Ready for the New Year: To Help Cleanse Herself of Negativity, Ces Drilon Turned to an Ancient Practice - Mirror,Mirror

“It made me feel I was sending positivity into people’s lives”

Smudging has increased in popularity in the Philippines following the rediscovery of this ancient practice around the world.

READ ALSO: My First Vote: Ces Drilon

The ritual of smudging or sage burning is performed to cleanse our spaces or ourselves of negative energy. With the chaos and uncertainty of the past year and a half, tools to handle our stress and anxiety have become a godsend.

Practiced by different indigenous peoples of the Americas, the practice links their belief in the connection between smoke and spirituality. The smudge stick is said to relieve tension, anxiety, and stress the natural way.

Lately we have seen the advent of sage, cedar, palo santo and other smudge sticks which are lit to release a cleansing smoke to shift energy in a room from negative to positive.

Smudging your space, house or even your workplace might bring an instant flow of clarity.

“Making smudge sticks was very healing for me!” shares broadcast journalist, entrepreneur, and The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service president Ces Drilon.

“It made me feel I was sending positivity into people’s lives,” she says. “But first I had to burn the very first smudge stick I made which I learned to make in a natural perfumery class that I took.

Drilon shifted into being a purveyor of products derived from local herbs and plants. She founded Provenciana, a brand which has its own smudge stick called The Cecilia. Its version combines traditional elements with local ingredients like turmeric, Manila copal, elemi rosins and resins. Manila copal is derived from the Almaciga tree which is plentiful in Palawan while elemi is derived from the Pili Tree.

These local ingredients are mixed with white sage, cedar, palo santo, lavender flowers, blue sage, and wild purple sage. Medicinal smokes like burning sage and other herbs are a powerful ritual that indigenous communities have been using to clear negative energy for thousands of years.

The great cultures and religions of the past used incense in offerings and worship for thousands of years. These are associated with divinity, cleanliness and purity. The smoke emitted by the herbs are believed to transform spaces evoking spirituality, royalty, and peace.

These properties are what drew Drilon to them, especially as she entered a period of transition and challenges.

“There came a time in the first quarter of 2021 that I really needed to cleanse myself of negativity. The smudge stick really helped me release what no longer served me,” she shares. “It’s a great natural tool to help in dealing with anxiety and is so aligned with my direction to harness the healing and nurturing powers of our endemic plants!”

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