Sandalwood is one of the most sacred trees in the world. It has numerous spiritual and magical properties. The heartwood of this tree (which has a sweet and uplifting fragrance) has been used since ancient times for prayer, meditation, relaxation, healing, protection, cleansing and for even for accessing higher states of consciousness.
The scent of the heartwood (inner trunk) of this tree is considered sacred in line with other sacred scents like Agarwood, Palo Santo and Frankincense resin. The heartwood takes many long years to develop and hence contains powerful energy within that can be utilized for many spiritual & magical purposes.
The heartwood is heavy and depending on the type can be yellow to reddish brown in color. It is known to retain its powerful fragrance for decades.
In this article, let’s look at the various spiritual benefits of sandalwood and how you can use it in your own life.
What does sandalwood symbolize?
Sandalwood symbolizes protection, vitality, relaxation, healing, balance and spiritual devotion.
One of the reasons why Sandalwood is considered a symbol of protection is because the inner trunk (heartwood) of this tree has a leathery quality to it and cannot be eaten by termites or other insects. Termites tend to eat the outer layer (sapwood) but the inner layer (heartwood) remains intact. Other than this, sandalwood is also said to have a powerful energy to it that is associated with raising your vibration and offering powerful protection against negative energy.
The wood of this tree is heavy and has a powerful yet calming fragrance to it. Also unlike other aromatic woods that tend to lose their fragrance after a short while, the sandalwood tends to retain its fragrance for decades (even after it has been detached from the tree). This symbolizes vitality, youthfulness and even immortality.
Healing & relaxation
Sandalwood has a deeply healing effect on the mind, body and spirit. The fragrance of this wood has a deeply calming effect on your being and helps activate and align all your base as well as higher energy centers. This is why Sandalwood has been used for meditative and contemplative practices in many cultures across the world since ancient times.
Sandalwood is also thought to stimulate the pineal and pituitary gland which releases negative programming, brings clarity, promotes intuition, understanding and creative energy, and helps one connect to higher consciousness.
Good luck & prosperity
In Hinduism, sandalwood is linked to wealth and prosperity as it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi (the Goddess of wealth and prosperity) lives in the sandalwood tree. In fact, the sandalwood tree is known as ‘Sriganda’ which translates to ‘The scent that is dearest to the Goddess‘.
Since ancient times, sandalwood has symbolized spirituality and spiritual devotion. The wood of this tree has been used in prayers and offerings to the divine. The wood has also been used to build temples, statues of deities and other valuable things used in spiritual rituals. The cooling properties of the wood has been said to open the third eye and crown chakras and aid spirituality and connection to higher consciousness, which is why in Hinduism there is a tradition to apply sandalwood paste on the forehead, neck and chest areas.
In many parts of East Asia including China, Japan and Korea, incense made of sandalwood is commonly used during worship, rituals and ceremonies.
8 Spiritual & Magical uses of Sandalwood
Let’s look at the various spiritual and magical uses of sandalwood.
1. Wear sandalwood beads or tilak for protection from negative energy
Sandalwood has powerful protection properties. You can make sandalwood into a paste and apply it in the form of a tilak (round dot), using the tip of your ring or middle finger, on your third eye chakra (located in the center of your forehead). This will help protect you against all forms of negative energies. If paste is not available, you can use diluted sandalwood oil instead. To dilute, add 4-5 drops of sandalwood oil in a 30ml (1 fl. oz.) vial of scentless carrier oil like Jojoba oil.
Another easy way to protect yourself is to wear a necklace or bracelet made of sandalwood beads or one containing a piece of sandalwood. This also raises your vibration and helps promote spiritual awareness.
You can also burn sandalwood powder by putting a pinch onto hot charcoal to enhance your protection spells. Alternative, you can dress a candle with sandalwood oil or burn sandalwood incense.
2. Diffuse sandalwood oil to reach deeper meditative states
The scent of sandalwood is deeply calming. It frees your mind from unwanted thoughts and brings you to the present moment while promoting focus and concentration. This is why diffusing sandalwood oil can help facilitate your meditation practice.
To enhance your practice consider diffusing Frankincense with Sandalwood oil. As you meditate inhaling this sacred fragrance it raises your vibration and helps you reach deeper states of meditation.
Another way to meditate using Sandalwood is to use a Japa mala (prayer beads) made of sandalwood. You can use it for mala/bead meditation where you chant a mantra while counting the beads with your middle and index fingers. You can also wear the Sandalwood mala as a necklace or bracelet while meditating to attain calm and focus. This can help you attract calm even in surroundings that are not ideal for meditating.
One more way to enhance concentration during your meditation practice is to anoint your third eye chakra (located in the center of your forehead) with sandalwood paste or oil as discussed earlier. Sandalwood has a cooling effect on your body and applying it to your forehead helps stimulate your focus and alerts your mind.
3. Bath with sandalwood for cleansing your aura & promote psychic abilities
Sandalwood is associated with the element of water and a great way to utilize its powerful energy is to use it during a bath. Bathing with sandalwood not only relaxes you deeply, it also cleanses your aura of any negative energy, brings mental clarity, helps you let go of lower level emotions like anger and revenge, promotes self love and even activates your third eye chakra increasing your intuition and psychic abilities. You can also take a Sandalwood bath before any divination, meditation or yoga practice.
This is a great bath to take on a full moon night as sandalwood is associated with the moon.
Here’s a simple bath recipe using sandalwood oil:
- 3 to 4 Drops Sandalwood Oil
- 3 to 4 Drops Lavender Oil
- 3 to 4 Drops Rose Oil
- 1 Cup Sea Salt
Blend all the oils and salt together and allow the infusion to sit for around 10 to 15 minutes before adding it to your bath water.
4. Use sandalwood for manifestation
Just like other sacred scents that include Agarwood oil, Palo Santo wood and frankincense resin, the scent of sandalwood has taken many years to develop and is hence very powerful. By inhaling this scent, you are literally connecting with this power which will raise your own spiritual vibration and help you manifest faster.
Consider diffusing sandalwood oil or burn sandalwood incense or simply inhaling the scent from a piece of wood or oil while you visualize what you desire.
Another way is to mix sandalwood powder with Frankincense resin and burn them together on hot charcoal. This combination of scents will help align all your chakras and open your highest spiritual centers required for quick manifestation. Since sandalwood is associated with the moon, this is best done on a full moon night.
One more way is to write what you desire on a chip of sandalwood and then burn it in a cauldron while visualizing your desire to quickly bring it into your reality.
You can also burn sandalwood incense or diffuse the oil during your prayers.
5. Use sandalwood to activate your third eye chakra & spiritual awareness
If you constantly feel drained, restless, low in energy/motivation and directionless in life then it could be because your chakras are not in alignment. Sandalwood can help you change this.
Sandalwood is particularly associated with the third eye chakra but it has a positive influence on all chakras and helps bring them in alignment thereby promoting better energy flow. It helps activate your base chakras and hence helps in grounding and also the higher charkas promoting spiritual awareness and higher connection.
To activate your third eye chakra (pineal gland), simply anoint this chakra with sandalwood paste or oil, massaging the area (center of forehead) gently, 5 times clockwise and 5 times counter clockwise with your middle finger after waking up in the morning or before going to bed on a daily basis.
The third eye chakra is the chakra of understanding and intuition. With this chakra activated, you will start getting insights, understanding, clarity and solutions to all the issues in your life. This will also open your creative energies and promote self love.
You can also apply sandalwood paste on your neck and chest area to activate your throat and heart chakras.
To bring your chakras in alignment, consider meditating while diffusing sandalwood oil and mindfully inhaling the scent. A sandalwood bath or wearing sandalwood mala as discussed earlier can also help with this.
6. Scatter sandalwood powder around a place to clear it of negativity
If you are looking to cleanse a space of negative energy, scatter sandalwood powder in the space and clean it after 24 hours.
You can also burn sandalwood powder (on hot charcoal) and show the smoke around the space with intention and while reciting a mantra or prayer to cleanse the room. To enhance the effect, burn sandalwood with three to four dried and crushed bay leaves.
One more option is to create a cleansing spray by filling an empty spray bottle with around 20 – 30 drops of sandalwood essential oil, around 15ml (0.5 fl. oz.) unscented witch hazel liquid extract and around 10ml (0.3 fl. oz.) of water. Shake the bottle well to mix all the ingredients. You can then spray this blend around the room for cleansing and purification.
7. Use sandalwood for promoting self love & emotional stability
Just like it calms the mind, sandalwood also has a relaxing effect on the heart. It helps open your heart chakra so you can let go of feelings of hate and revenge toward yourself and others while promoting feelings of self love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, understanding and emotional stability. In doing so it also promotes vitality and optimism.
To open your heart chakra consider wearing diluted sandalwood oil as perfume. You can apply this perfume on your inner wrists, behind ear lobes and the center of your chest to get maximum benefits. Apart from this, all techniques mentioned in this article help activate your heart chakra as well.
8. Use sandalwood to improve your relationships
If you are having recurring conflicts in your relationship like arguing over trivial matters, ego or jealousy issues, etc., then sandalwood can help you overcome these. This is because the soft and sweet fragrance of sandalwood helps melt away feelings of stress and associated negative emotions including anger, hate, jealousy etc. It also helps promote divine love, empathy and understanding which are crucial for a successful relationship.
You can achieve this by simply diffusing sandalwood oil in your home whenever you are with your partner.
How to create sandalwood oil at home?
If you do not have access to sandalwood essential oil you can create it yourself at your home. Here’s how:
Step 1: Buy sandalwood chips and crush them into a fine powder using a mortar pestle.
Step 2: Take a cup of scentless carrier oil like Jojoba Oil or Virgin Olive Oil in a glass container and add the sandalwood powder in it.
Step 3: Let it stay this way for around 10 days. Keep shaking the bottle occasionally so everything blends well.
Step 4: Finally, strain the mixture using a cotton or muslin cloth. The oil that comes out is sandalwood essential oil.
You can store this oil in a glass container and use it in your diffuser.
As an alternative to a diffuser, you can also add a few drops of the essential oil to water and heat it to produce an uplifting aroma around your house.
What type of sandalwood should you buy?
The are many varieties of sandalwood available in the market today and most have pretty similar spiritual and magical properties. So you need not necessarily insist on the traditional white Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) and can instead buy varieties like the Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) or the Pacific Sandalwood (Santalum austrocaledonicum) that are more abundant in comparison.
Sandalwood is a slow growing tree and the heartwood (central fragrant trunk) of this tree takes over 15 years to develop. This is why the power contained within this tree is immense and can certainly help you in your life to grow spiritually, manifest your desires, activate your chakras, shield yourself from negative energies, cleansing as well as attaining deep calm and relaxation.