How to Perform a Cleansing Ritual
- Open every door and window in your house, and turn on fans if you have them.
- Light the Palo Santo, and when it catches fire, blow it out and allow the embers to start to smoke (like you would light incense). Use any fireproof plate or bowl to catch the ash and embers;
- Set your intention for each room. Say a prayer of cleansing. For example, “I cleanse this room of any impurities and negativity”;
- Walk around the room, waving the stick so its smoke drifts into corners, along walls, around windows, and along ceiling lines. As you do, imagine the smoke absorbing negativity, problems from those who were in the space before you, toxicity, and anything else you want to go away. See the smoke dissipating and floating out the windows, and imagine that bad energy flowing out of your space, making room for positive, fresh energy.
- After you’ve blessed every room, give yourself a smudgial (that's a smudge facial) - Cup your hands over the smoke and “wash” your face with it, then wave it all over your body as you would in a water shower. Visualise any residual negativity sailing out of your body, out of your home, and into oblivion.
- When finished, place your stick in the fireproof bowl to extinguish naturally. It's good practice to smother the stick in ash. You will be able to have several cleanses from one stick.
Palo Santo burns slowly, so it is easy to forget that it is still a live flame that must be treated with care and respect. It is important to always be conscious of where your stick is and what it might come in contact with.
Always make sure that no part of burning items come in touch with wood or other flammable materials. Never burn sticks or incense with anything directly above it, as the rising smoke can cause discolorations and possibly fire. The vessel you choose to hold your Palo Santo may also get very hot, so be careful not to place it on wooden surfaces or to touch metal burners after you have been burning incense or sticks in them.
Never leave burning holy wood sticks unattended. As with candles, don't leave the house while incense or holy wood is still burning - if you need to put a piece of holy wood out, turn it upside down and bury the flame in sand or ash. This will allow you to use it again in the future.