Learn With Sedona: Sage & Palo Santo

Pictured: Palo Santo & White Sage

Aloha and welcome to our new blog series "Learn With Sedona" where we go over some of the metaphysical and spiritual knowledge we've curated through our store's 35 years of being open.


Smudging is a Native American tradition of purifying, cleansing and blessing sacred spaces, homes, businesses, implements or people. The smoke of the burning sage helps to carry away negative energies.

To smudge an area:

First, be sure to open the windows for ventilation if it’s an enclosed area so that the negative energies can be carried away. Also be careful if you have a smoke alarm as it may go off. (Smokeless-Sage Mist/Spray may be a better alternative to use in this case.) Either use a sage wand or bundle, or put your loose sage into a clay pot, a shell, or heat-proof bowl. Light the dry herbs with a match or lighter. Allow it to burn a few moments, then fan the flames out with a feather or your hand so that the herbs remain smoldering. It is the smoke of the herbs (not the fire) that works to cleanse the room. When the sage is smoldering, walk around your space in a clockwise direction and fan the smoke into all areas of the room. If using a wand/bundle use a heat-proof container to catch falling embers and ash. Please be aware that the scent of the sage smoke may linger on fabrics and upholstery.

To smudge crystals and tools, run the crystal or tool through the smoke of the smoldering sage for a short time.

To smudge a person, light the sage and fan the smoke around the individual in a clockwise position. You may also fan the smoke at each Chakra both front and back and at the top of the head and at their feet.

Sometimes due to humidity or moisture, the sage may not stay lit. If the sage bundle is bound too tightly, there may also not be enough air flow for proper burning. Try drying the sage out thoroughly, loosening the string binding the leaves together, or carrying a lighter with you to relight the sage as needed.

Burn only as much sage as is needed— loose leaf sage is great for this purpose. If burning a sage wand or bundle, you may not have to use the entire thing in one session. When done, snuff out the remaining sage on a dry, heat-proof surface. We do not recommend using water for this, as it may make it harder to relight the sage again when needed. Please be sure that the sage is properly extinguished and do not leave it burning unattended!

There are many varieties of sage traditionally used for smudging. The most available of which is Desert Sagebrush or leafy White Sage, not the garden herb used in cooking and seasoning.

  • White Sage is more leafy and has a slightly sweeter scent when burned. Easily used in bundles or loose.

  • Blue Sage or “Grandmother Sage”, also known as Azure Sage for its abundant blue blossoms when in bloom, has a lighter scent than white sage and is also known for its medicinal properties when burned for support in healing.

  • Desert Sagebrush is frequently used in bundles or smudge sticks. It has an herbaceous, sometimes “peppery” scent.

Sometimes other herbs are mixed with the sage and burned together or after smudging for added energy:

  • Sweetgrass is a sacred herb which when burned helps to call in beauty, harmony and “sweet” positive energy.

  • Cedar has been revered by people all over the world for hundreds of years and is known for its strength and endurance due to its long roots. Cedar is often used in House Blessing Ceremonies to bring in stability and good influences.

  • Juniper is also known for its purification properties and is frequently used for protection, good health, and prosperity.

  • Lavender though not a traditional Native American herb, is very popular in the European tradition for its wonderful calming and relaxing influence.

  • Yerba Santa, “Holy Herb” or “Sacred Herb”, known for its many medicinal properties is burned not only to purify, but also to raise the spiritual vibration, to create boundaries, and to protect.


Palo Santo or “Holy Wood” is native to South America and was frequently used instead of sage for purifying, cleansing, and in healing work.

Burning Palo Santo:

Palo Santo can be used in the same way as sage. To light, hold the stick over a lighter or open flame for 30 seconds to a minute, then fan out the flame. Allow a good portion of the stick to burn and use as needed. Fully extinguish when done by snuffing out on a dry, heat-proof surface. We do not recommend using water for this, as it may make it harder to relight the Palo Santo again when needed. Please be sure that it is properly extinguished and do not leave it burning unattended!


Sage and Palo Santo incense in stick or cone form can also be used for purifying and cleansing. Most incenses are made with the oils from the respective plants. Although many traditionalists feel it is much better to burn the real, actual substances to purify and cleanse, incenses can be used for convenient, quick cleansings when a thorough cleansing cannot be done.

As always, if you ever have any questions about our products or even just general metaphysical know how feel free to send us an e-mail at sedona@sedona-hi.com or call us at (808)591-8010 during business hours.

- Taylor

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560 N. Nimitz Hwy, Ste 105A
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817

Monday thru Saturday:
12:00pm - 5:00pm

Starting Nov. 27th:
Mon to Thur: 12pm - 5pm

Fri & Sat: 12pm - 6pm
Sunday: 1pm - 5pm

Email: sedona@sedona-hi.com
Phone: (808) 591-8010

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