The first time I smelled the smoke of palo santo I felt an odd sense of coming home…
When I first moved to San Francisco I came across an adorable shop called Foggy Notion. Alissa, owner of the shop, carries hand made, local items from hand salves to beautiful hand made bags. While I was still in my mode of “simple living” I strayed away from any material item I didn’t necessarily need, and instead found myself in love with a tightly bound cluster of white sage. Alissa was sweet enough to burn some for me after which I fell in love.
Months later I was walking in the Mission and found myself upon a street vendor selling crystals and other eclectic items, one of which was palo santo. I lingered and went back and forth as to whether or not I should buy anything but ended up leaving empty handed.
However, after meeting with a few friends for dinner I decided to go back; it was calling me. I loved the vibe so much I ended up buying a beautiful vanadinite cyrstal along with a stick of palo santo.
What is white sage and palo santo? White sage and palo santo, originally from the regions of North/Central/South America, has been used for years during ceremonial and ritualistic events. Smudging has been used (and continues to be used) as a special ritual to ward off negative energies, clear energy, grounding, protection, gratitude, etc.
To this day I burn palo santo and white sage pretty much everyday. There’s a reason for this sacred tradition of smudging and clearing space. Whether it’s to clear space for a new home or to wash away the day’s stress, burning palo santo or white sage is a wonderful way to begin a small offering practice.
I say “offering” because there is something beautiful about offering up your wishes, worries, and hopes up to something Greater. It’s a simple, yet symbolic act of acknowledging there are always angels watching over us.
Hopefully after you’ve acquired these beauties you can begin to have fun with this deeply personal practice.
Oh, and don’t forget to practice fire safety too 🙂