DG writes: “Help! I found a strange bundle of sticks in my daughter’s room. They were tied together with a twine string and had a crystal attached. I found them hidden in a shoebox under her bed. I’m afraid they might be associated with witchcraft. Do you know what they are?”
I am so sorry that I am unable to waylay your fears! The “sticks” you are describing sound very much like palo santo sticks which often come bundled with or without a crystal attached and are used in shamanism and witchcraft.
For those who never heard of them, palo santo sticks (which means “holy wood in Spanish) come from the palo santo tree which is found throughout Central and South America. Amazonian shamans have been using it in sacred plant spirit ceremonies since the time of the Incas and believe the smoke enters the energy field of ritual participants and clears it of misfortune, evil spirits, and negative thoughts.
According to folklore, sticks which naturally fall from the tree must be left to lie dead on the ground for four to 10 years in order for the medicinal and mystical properties of the wood to “come alive.” This site explains that branches felled by lightning are believed to have the highest concentration of medicinal and mystical properties.
The sticks, which are normally about 4 inches long and come in a bundle of around 8-12, are widely used by witches before and after “ritual work.” One witchcraft site features an invocation to say after allowing the incense to burn for 30 seconds: “I ask that the holy wood of the Palo Santo to infuse this space with blessing and purity.”
Another witchcraft site suggests using it on a daily basis to bring “good and helpful people toward us,” including “wise ancestors and teachers” to aid in problem resolution. “It’s even more essential if we engage in spirit communication,” the site recommends.
As for the crystal attached, in some witchcraft quarters, it is believed that a person cannot be a good witch without the knowledge and use of crystals which are used in a variety of rituals. For example, clear quartz is believed to bring about protection and healing. Others say rose quartz promotes love and romance and helps relieve anxiety and depression. Amethyst is supposedly good for protection, and selenite provides clarity and protection from nightmares. Hematite is a favorite for those involved in divination activities such as scrying.
That said, the combination of a bundle of palo santo sticks with a crystal attached is a good sign that your daughter may be either involved in, or at least has come into contact with, witchcraft. Because of how widely popular this is with young girls, my suggestion would be to sit down and have a talk with her to ascertain just how involved she is in the craft.
If she has been dabbling in it, and is a Catholic, she would need to renounce this sin and repent in sacramental confession. But this sounds a lot easier than it may be because of how our occult-friendly culture has convinced teens that there’s no harm in these practices. You will have to counter these deluded messages.
Perhaps some of the recommendations given at the end of this recent blog will help you to understand why your daughter teen might be involved in this, and what reading materials may help her to understand the serious mental, physical and spiritual danger that she is placing herself in by involvement in witchcraft.
Last but not least, I highly recommend saying a Rosary every day, pleading with Our Heavenly Mother to intercede on your daughter’s behalf that she might receive the grace she needs to defy this dangerous trend.
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