How to Smudge Yourself with Palo Santo

How to Smudge Yourself with Palo Santo

It is hard to believe that burning a small piece of wood could make me happy, but it truly does! The smoke of palo santo wood smells fantastic and carries positive, uplifting energy. Smudging with this sacred wood is an excellent tool for empaths or sensitives who often take on negative energies from others or the world in general.

How Does Smudging Help You Feel Better?

The basis of smudging with a natural plant (i.e., palo santo, sage, cedar, lavender, sweetgrass, etc.) is that the smoke permeates the energy field infusing it with positive energy and helping to dissipate any heavy or negative energy. As with any healing ritual, one of the most powerful aspects is the mind intention that we set regarding the activity.

In short, if we believe it will help us to feel better, then it will have that positive effect. If you are a skeptic and think this is far too woo woo, then it probably isn’t the right tool for you. However, if you have an open mind, enjoy scents (aromatherapy), and are looking for a simple way to feel more empowered, smudging may be the ideal daily ritual for you.

Smudging Tools

The basic tools you need for smudging yourself include:

  • A plant to smudge – palo santo wood, dried sage, sweetgrass, lavender, cedar, and mugwort all work
  • A fireproof bowl or abalone shell to collect the ash. Some believe it is best to stick to a natural material like a large shell because it promotes a more positive natural vibration.
  • A fire source – a lighter or matches
  • Optional – a candle or tea light to help light the stick/bundle, and/or a feather to move the smoke through a space. This is helpful if you are trying to clear the energy in a room or throughout your home.

How to Smudge Yourself

Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is by seeing it in action. In the video included below (and found on the HHH YouTube page), I welcome you into my healing space so that you can learn how to smudge yourself firsthand.

As I share in the video, there are no specific rules for smudging yourself, other than to be safe when using fire. The basic steps of smudging are:

  1. Light your candle.
  2. Hold the smudging stick or bundle into the flame (or light directly with a lighter or matches) until there is a red ember formed.
  3. Hold the stick over the dish or shell where you are collecting the ash and shake the stick gently to stop the active burn while still keeping the smoke going.
  4. Optional – Set an intention of releasing the negative energy and welcoming in positive, healing energy. I like to ask the Universe to, “Please fill me with your love and light.”
  5. Move the smoke over your body from head to toe, front to back, making sure you get the soles of your feet as well. Repeat until you are feeling more at ease.  

When you are done sit quietly for a moment. If it feels good to you, offer a prayer of thanks for this easy healing tool. Smudging can be done any time of day. It makes a wonderful, uplifting addition to your morning and evening routines.

Where to Buy Palo Santo

Generally, the best place to buy authentic palo santo is to visit your local crystal or metaphysical shop. These shops are often the best sources for natural healing products, as the owners typically source their materials from reputable suppliers. You are also able to smell the products and get a feel for the energy they carry.

I also buy my palo santo online. Since I have heard that sometimes cedar wood is passed off as palo santo, I have been buying from the Triloka brand. Their palo santo has proven to be economical and consistent in quality. I also LOVE their Frankincense & Myrrh Incense. I have bought both items from LuckyVitamin. [Update 3/30/23 – this site is no longer active.] They are also available through [The following product links are active as of 9/30/21. The Amazon link is my affiliate link.]

Smoke-Free Alternatives to Smudging

Selenite Wand for Energy Clearing

Sometimes you are not able to have smoke in your environment. This happens in dorm rooms, hospitals, and in workspaces. In these instances, you can still clear your energy through smoke-free tools including the following:  

  • Crystal Wands – Crystals have their own positive vibration. Due to their unique shape, crystal wands can be particularly helpful in clearing your energy. You simply set your intention and then swipe the wand over your body. Selenite wands are effective at clearing energy in this manner. It is best to select a wand that feels good to you by visiting a local crystal shop.
  • Smudge Spray – Sprays that use the resin or oils of smudging herbs/plants can be used in a pinch. I have used Aura Smudge from Heritage Store on the soles of my feet to help protect my energy. I have also sprayed it around my desk in stressful work environments.

This series of posts is part of my commitment to supporting you in Finding Joy in Challenging Times. If you enjoyed it, please consider sharing this with a friend! 

What do you think? Do you enjoy smudging yourself? And, if you haven’t tried it, are you thinking about giving it a shot? Please let me know below.

Michelle Gibeault Traub is a health writer, compassionate coach, and the author of Online Dating for Sensitive Women. Her mission is to help women be their best in body, mind & spirit.

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