Palo Santo Incense Sticks - Peru
Palo Santo or Holy Stick is a natural wood aromatic incense used for centuries by the Incas and indigenous people of the Andes as a spiritual remedy for purifying and cleansing, to get rid of evil spirits and misfortune, and also for medicinal purposes.
It has a fine citrus aroma with underlying notes of frankincense, its close relative. It is often used by shamans in sacred plant spirit ceremonies. This Palo Santo is sustainably wild harvested from Peru from naturally fallen trees and branches that lie dead for 4-10 yrs. before they are harvested. It is sold by weight which translates to 5-9 semi-uniform sticks per 2oz package (45-70 per pound) approximately 4 inches long and 3/8 to 3/4 inches diameter.
Burning herbs and resins (aromatic tree sap) is one of the oldest form of incense. Long before there were sticks and cones, people would add fragrant botanicals to fire to create beautiful smelling smoke to entice their deities or to please themselves. It is believed this is one of the most powerful means of working with herbs to imbue a space, an object or a person with holy qualities.
The name Palo Santo means "Holy Wood", and what a fitting name that is. The magic of Palo Santo is in the alchemical process that happens after the death of a limb or a tree. You see, in order for the Palo Santo to gain its magical and medicinal properties it must die, but not just any death only a natural death of a wise old limb or tree. The Palo Santo trees live for 80 to 90 years. After this death the tree must remain in its natural habitat for 4 to 10 years to complete its metamorphosis. Only then do its sacred, medicinal and mystical properties come alive.
Palo Santo has been used for thousands of years in Peru and Ecuador by shamans and healers. Travel today through the Andes Mountains you still find shamans, curanderos, and healers using Palo Santo as part of their ceremonies and healing rituals, evidence that its use more alive than ever in their culture. Increasingly the healing properties of Palo Santo are finding its way into the rest of the world as one of the truly great resins of Mother Earth. It has capacities in both physical and metaphysical realms.
Palo Santo has even caught the attention of western scientific researchers for it chemical properties which include limonene and monterpenes that are being studied for their anti cancer effects. It is truly amazing that this Holy Wood can at once, through its healing scent and sacred smoke, provide energetic protection, remove bad energy, uplift the spirit and bring good luck as well as ethno-botanical uses.
Aroma Description: warm, delicately sweet,rosy-woodsy
Element Association: Air
Magical Associations: Luck, Protection
Astrological Association: Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius
Planetary Association: Mercury