Disclaimer- I wrote this post before becoming pregnant and am now using smoke alternatives for cleansing such as bells, crystals and sprays. When working with smoke it’s also important to consider the little lungs of your furry children by making sure to cleanse in well-ventilated rooms and double-checking which herbs are not suitable for pets.
Smoke cleansing is a popular choice for protection, purifying the space and removing negative energy but unfortunately its popularity has led to unsustainable commercial harvesting of endangered plants. Because of this, I’ve chosen to use homemade smoke sticks gifted to me by friends or support local small businesses who ethically source their materials.
My favorite vendor, Larry Running Turtle Salazar- sells his supply at the Corpus Christi Trade Center. I like to shop his booth whenever my husband and I make a trip down to Corpus. He is an incredibly kind and knowledgeable Tsalagi & Apache elder with an amazing backstory of endured racism toward Native Americans in South Texas which sadly still persists today. In fact, the name
Larry Salazar was given to him in an effort to conceal his family’s heritage by adopting Mexicano culture in order to survive and remain in Texas from a time when Native Americans were being persecuted for simply living on their rightful land. If you’re interested in his story, watch this video or purchase his book- The Pipe and the Pen.
Below are a few of the smoke sticks I picked up on my last visit. All of these can be used for their purification and protection properties but each one has a different energy to add to the mix.
- Encourages visions & lucid dreams.
- Aids in restful sleep.
- Astral travel
- Amplifies psychic visions and induces prophetic dreams.
- Use in conjunction with divinatory practices.
I normally have very vivid dreams but it’s been a while since I’ve had a lucid one. Usually when I lucid dream it’s because I’m having a nightmare and I’ve given myself superhuman strength or special powers to defeat the bad guy. But it’d be interesting to use the lucidity in my dreams for more manifestation purposes. I’m also working on opening my third eye chakra and developing any latent psychic abilities, so I think this smoke stick will be perfect for that kind of work. Disclaimer- mugwort is not suitable for pregnant or lactating women.
- Setting boundaries.
- Release emotional pain stored in the heart chakra.
- Self love, empowerment and beauty.
Living in the age of smartphones and social media where accessibility to everyone and anything is just a click of a button away- it’s easy for us to lose our sense of boundaries. Contrary to popular opinion, I believe no one is entitled to your energy without consent. There are so many psychic vampires out there who knowingly or unknowingly suck the life right out of you- especially if you’re an empath and are already predisposed to energetic drain. Yerba Santa helps create an energetic boundary of protection which can then be reinforced by visualizations. As you circle your body or your space with the Yerba Santa smoke, visualize your psychic defense system. You could go with the tried and true ball of light. Definitely an oldie but a goodie. Or you could invoke your inner Elsa and create a wall of ice blocking negativity or parasitic entities- this technique is my personal favorite. Either way- your boundaries, your rules.
Yerba Santa is also useful for gaining a more positive self-image by creating a sense of empowerment and recognizing our divine beauty. Another focus of mine is unblocking some childhood trauma which made me feel ugly and worthless. It’s this horrible narrative I’ve replayed over and over again in my head since I was a kid, and has gotten worse now that I’m getting older and beginning to see signs of aging. I plan on using this as part of my weekly beauty ritual to help rewrite that negative self-dialogue.
- Concentration, focus & insight.
- Emotional control and balance.
- Money & Prosperity
- Purification & healing.
Pinon, or pine, is one of my favorite herbs to use for magick. I get mine from my parent’sChristmas tree every year. I ask them for a few big branches and air dry them for a few months before removing the pine needles and storing them in my apothecary. It’s an herb I often reach for when I’m working on increasing money flow and prosperity. I also enjoy its Divine Masculine qualities which help me step into my worth and own my power as a strong, intelligent and ambitious being. Burning this smoke stick would be beneficial before job interviews or magick
pertaining to success and the career. It would also help balance one’s emotional equilibrium, especially during Mercury or Mars Retrogrades when our tempers tend to get the best of us.
Smoke is a major part of my practice, as it blends several elements together by burning Earth with Fire and creating something new in the Air. However, I have to be mindful of my fur babies when using my smoke sticks. Many of the herbs in my apothecary can be toxic to my cats so I try to vacuum any spills immediately when working with loose dried plant matter and keep them in the other room when working with smoke. If this is unavoidable, keeping a window open while
burning the smoke sticks would help ventilate the room so it’s not overpowering for their little lungs. And of course, always make sure to snuff the stick out completely when you’re done with the smoke. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.
I hope this gave you a little inspiration to seek out alternative smoke stick options and hopefully support local vendors in your area. If you’re really impressive, you can make your own smoke bundles from your very own garden. Shout out to all you green-thumb witches out there! I’m envious of your skills.
Do you use any unusual smoke sticks in your practice? Do you grow your own or buy from a trusted vendor? Let me know in the comments section below!
Great article!! thoroughly enjoyed learning about new cleansing bundles with herbs I had not thought of using. Always learning!