To bring comfort, centeredness and a feeling of making any space your own…
This post comes to us from Natalie Shukur.
I have been traveling a lot this past month — staying in sublets and housesitting friends’ places across Brooklyn, living out of a suitcase, and doing my best to keep some semblance of a normal routine. Cooking my own meals, using my favorite beauty products and incorporating grounding rituals for my space, wherever that may be, all have proven to be a tremendous help. Going beyond the usual Nag Champa joss sticks and bundles of sage, I sought out some new tools to add to my kit. I’ve used various combinations of these, from the airplane to my many landing spots along the way. They have brought me comfort, centeredness and a feeling of making any space my own. These rituals will be escorting me back home to cleanse my work and sleep spaces, and help set positive intentions.
Palo Santo is one of the most effective ways to clear and deodorize a space. If your place smells a bit funky, or you’ve accumulated cooking odors, these sticks of bark — wild harvested from the Palo Santo tree — will neutralize it pronto. Light a stick and let it burn for a few moments before snuffing it out and trailing the warm, woodsy smoke where it’s needed. Palo Santo, or ‘holy wood’ in Spanish, has its history in shamanic rituals across Central and South America, and is said to clear negativity, bring luck, and chase away evil spirits.
A travel-friendly alternative to incense sticks with a higher concentrated aroma is resin. Usually crafted from amber or pine, resin burns on top of hot coals to help you to connect to the earth and settle into a space in a ceremonious way.
Sprays and spritzes are a great space and sensory clearing aid to have on hand when burning isn’t an option. I’ve been trying out a sacred smudge mist, featuring witch hazel, Douglas fir, red cedar, pine, white sage, juniper, desert sage and vetiver to purify the air and help me sleep. Mists are also handy to use as part of your meditation practice to set the mood, and are perfect as a pillow mist on long flights.