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How to Burn Palo Santo

Palo Santo wood (bursera graveolens), Spanish for “Holy Wood”, is one of our favorite sacred cleansing woods! It not only removes harmful and negative energies from your sacred space, but it also evokes a special feeling of love and peace! You can use this wood in your cleansing rituals to bring you good fortune, positive energy, and universal love.

In 2019, we learned that this “Holy Wood” tree is under government protection in some areas of South America; this means that obtaining sustainably- and legally-sourced palo santo can be difficult. Always make sure that your sticks are obtained from fallen branches and not from harming full trees. Be sure that your magical practice is healing the Earth, not harming it. 

Why is palo santo so hard to burn?

Palo santo is a hard, sweet, smoky smelling wood that is typically sold in rectangular pieces. Because it’s wood, as opposed to a sage bundle’s leaves, it requires a lot more heat to start burning it. There is a special technique for lighting a stick of “Holy Wood”.

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How to Burn Palo Santo

Time needed: 1 minute

  1. Remove the stick from the package.

  2. Hold it downwards at a 45-degree angle.

  3. Light the end and keep it in the fire for around 30 seconds.

  4. Once the hot end is bright red, it’s ready to use!

  5. Allow the smoke to cleanse the space.

  6. Extinguish the sticks by letting them burn out on their own.

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