Sage vs. Palo Santo and New Moon Rituals
As of lately, your feed is probably getting bombarded with crystal healings, New Year rituals, and smudging trends. So many people are going back to their roots and the roots of our ancestors for traditions and practices to help with their new world problems. Why wouldn’t we? These rituals and practices have been around for thousands of years.
Let's start with smudging. Smudging is a Native American tradition and a tradition of other indigenous cultures that have been used for thousands of years to clear the energy of the physical body, aura, and spaces. Sage is the most common herb used and is specifically said to purify and clear negative energy. Have you heard the term taking an “energy bath”? Well, that is what you are basically doing.
Want to try it? Start by getting a sage bundle. Light one end of the bundle until it is lit. Then gently blow on the smudge and rotate the stick until you get a stream of smoke. Then you can waft the stick around you or your space. To take a more traditional approach you can place the lit stick of sage in abalone shell. The abalone shell was used in many cultures because it was said to carry the element of water being from the ocean. This balanced the element of fire with the element of water. Then you can waft the smoke in the direction you would like with your hand, a feather or a sacred smudge stick that is usually made with a few feathers. In Native American cultures, feathers are considered to maintain the spirit and energy of the bird it was once attached to. They believed they were sent down as spirit guides connecting us to the heavens and guides above.
This is a great practice to start creating a space that feels healthy and energetically peaceful. Recent research has also proven that burning sage removes a whopping 94% of bacteria in the air! When the researchers tested the air a day later, it was still clean. You do have to burn a lot of sage to get this result but smudging daily must help some!
Next is Palo Santo. Palo Santo is a tree that grows on the coast of South America. In Spanish, the name means “Holy Wood”. Shamans and medicine people burn Palo Santo in ceremonies for its energetically cleansing and healing properties, similar to Sage. It helps to lift your vibration in preparation for meditation and allows for a higher connection. It has incredible therapeutic healing properties, enhances creativity and has been said to bring good fortune. I read somewhere that you use sage to clear the negative energy and Palo Santo to bring good energy in and it was like a light bulb went off in my brain. I didn’t know why I particularly chose one over the other on any given day but when I think about it this way, that is exactly what I was doing!
To use the Palo Santo you hold the stick at a 45-degree angle when lighting. Allow it to burn for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then blow out. Wave the smoke over you, your home, an object or anything you would like to clear. The Palo Santo smell will fill you with peace and positivity. The glow will end on its own unless you blow on the ember, which will keep the smoke going. Make sure to let the Palo Santo burn out on a heatproof surface (again we use our Abalone Shell in this case).
So now you know the difference between the two common forms of smudging. Today being the first new moon of the New Year is an exciting day! Last night we were lucky enough to have Mothering Healing walk us through a New Moon ritual. This is an amazing experience if you can do it in a class with a guided teacher but it is also something you can do by yourself at home.
Things you will need: a pencil, a piece of paper, a lighter, a place to burn a piece of paper (please use safety first!) and a piece of new Palo Santo. Start with a short meditation to ground yourself. Slow your breath. Clear your mind. Then think about the things you want to release from last year. Write them down. Then meditate for a short period again and think about the things you want to accomplish in this New Year. When you open your eyes, write 3-4 words that you want to create this year on each side of your Palo Santo. When you are done writing take the piece of paper you want to release from last year and burn it. (Please be safe! Do not do this anywhere where there is a fire or smoke hazard. If you cannot burn it just visualize this part of the ritual.) As the smoke ascends to the sky see all these lessons being released into the heavens. Thank your spirit guides for the lessons you learned. Now take your Palo Santo and burn the end. When you blow on it and the smoke starts, say the words on your stick as though they are happening currently at this moment. Save the Palo Santo and repeat this part of the ritual daily until the stick is gone. Make sure to say the words daily as though they are happening in the present moment.
The ritual of the burning and the affirmations is a powerful tool. Have you heard the saying ”your words create your reality”? What would happen if you just took a few minutes every morning to start your day with this ritual of burning the Palo Santo?
- Amanda (@missdjlux) ❤️