Last Updated on July 7, 2022 by Wishbonix
Incense refers to substances that can be burned to release fragrances or active ingredients. Basically, you can burn all flowers, bark, resin, and wood. Incense comes in a variety of forms. The most well-known form is probably the incense stick. Why burn it at all? Smoke is lighter than air and connects heaven and earth. In many cultures and religions, incense is used to contact ancestors, spirits, and the divine. One could also say that the earthly-archaic is associated with the spiritual transcendent when incense is burned.
A peep into the historical documents, including the Bible, speak of incense used for various rituals. Incense, related to the element Air, plays a pivotal role in spell casting. It drives away evil spirits and brings in luck and positive energy. Spiritual practitioners use incense to cleanse the surroundings, making it ready for the rituals. Typically, the magical practices begin with the lighting of incense and end with it burning out. It is also used to purify the articles like clothing with the right aroma suited to the needs of the spell seeker.
Different Types of Incense
Incense, with its fragrance, can create the proper tone and mood for spiritual activity and can be of various types.
One variety is the natural incense which is made from wood chips, herbs, resins, and other natural ingredients.
These natural incenses can be granular resin incenses, placed on a charcoal disc and burnt, or smudge stick, typically made of dried herbs to burn slowly from the top-most tip.
Compounded Incense Sticks
On the other hand, compounded incense sticks are made of wood flour mixed with aromatic ingredients like herbs, oil, etc.
These sticks can be joss sticks and self-lighting powders. Joss sticks are generally used for a shorter duration. Witchcraft and Pagan rituals energize the air with positive elements.
On the other hand, the self-lighting incense powders are popular in Hoodoo.
With the inclusion of the required ingredients, these are mixed with the wood flour to form corn-shaped incenses.
Special Purpose Incenses
There are also special-purpose incenses made with the inclusion of the proper ingredients as demanded by the spells that are to be cast.
These vary with the magical practitioners’ magical practices and the spell seeker’s needs.
Instructions for Burning Incense
How To Burn Incense With Charcoal
Burning incense with charcoal works well for resins such as incense. Of course, herbs, leaves, and other incense mixtures can also be burned on charcoal. The plants and herbs are finely ground in a mortar to enhance the fragrance.
The following is required for burning incense on charcoal:
- a fireproof container
- a pair of tweezers or tongs
- charcoal or charcoal disk
- Incense, such as incense mixtures, herbs, woods, bark, resins
This is how it works
- Fill the fireproof container with sand.
- Light the charcoal on one side. It is best to hold the charcoal with tweezers or something similar. It takes a little while, so I use a candle to light it.
- Allow glowing, which can be recognized by the charcoal turning white.
- Sprinkle some sand on the glowing charcoal, reducing the direct heat, and the scents can develop better.
- Start laying the incense. Not everything at once; rather slowly, add some more.
- Attention! The container is very hot. Therefore, place it on a heat-resistant surface to cool down.
How to Burn Incense Using an Incense Burner
An incense burner is a gentler way of smoking and is suitable for rose petals or incense blends, for example. There is less smoke than when burning with charcoal. The strainer is a special, flat incense strainer, but you can also improvise with a metal tea strainer. Incense blends are well suited for burning on a screen. The herbs merge with the liquefied resin, creating an intense fragrance. Resins and herbs can also be burned individually on the incense screen. This method is convenient for burning incense indoors, as there is no smoke from the charcoal.
How to use an Incense Burner
- Place a piece of aluminum foil on the strainer (to keep it clean)
- Put the incense mixture on the strainer.
- The distance between the candle and strainer determines the intensity. A space of approx. Four inches is optimal. This way, the incense exudes its scent over a long period.
Using Smudge Sticks and Incense Bundles
Incense bundles or smudge sticks are dried herbs tied together.
- Light on one side until smoldering. Blow a little and fan the air because the incense sticks need air to burn.
- When it’s smoking nicely, please place it in a fireproof dish.
- Finally, carefully squeeze out the embers in a bowl with a bit of sand or tap off the embers. You can light the incense stick repeatedly until it is used up.
You can make incense sticks with white sage yourself from collected herbs.
How to Store your Incense
The following applies to incense: the better it is stored, the longer it will last.
- Resins are very durable; there is no actual expiration date. Nevertheless, it makes sense to store the resin as airtight as possible, for example, in sealable jars. As a guide, the more scented the resin is without heating it, the more likely it will lose its intensity and should be protected.
- Herbs have a shorter shelf life and therefore need protection. After about 2-3 years, herbs, leaves, and blossoms are no longer fresh. Shelf life depends on the strength of the plant parts. All herbs keep well in dark, sealed jars.
- Woods, barks, roots, seeds, and fruits have a long shelf life and can be kept in a bag for a few years. Exception: Herbs that are directly lit for smoking do not burn as well if stored in sealed containers. It is better to keep them in paper bags or boxes to regulate the humidity.
Each incense has a unique fragrance that draws greater energy toward the magical work to be performed. Some of the fragrances and their properties are mentioned below:
Magical Properties of Incense for your Rituals and Spells
- Blueberry – The aromas exuded by blueberry have immense potential to drive away negativity from the air, bringing in positive energy to the surroundings.
- Carnations – The sweet smell of carnations has the strength to heal any kind of wound or damage.
- Cherry – Cherry has the strength to lure your partner towards you, creating a loving and passionate relationship.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon fragrance can spread the energy that works to improve the psychic skills of the practitioner. It is also a solution for wealth spells.
- Frankincense – Apply this to improve mental clarity and alertness by triggering positive energy within the immediate environment.
- Gardenia – Gardenia-perfumed incense is used to cast spells meant to heal a broken relationship. Gardenia radiates energy that can bring in amicable solutions and harmony.
- Jasmine – Jasmine is considered the fragrance of love and luck.
- Lavender – These incense sticks can create an environment ideal for love and fertility spells. It has the strength to carry the mind to better heights.
- Myrrh – Used for centuries, myrrh can heal and calm a distressed mind. It is also included in self-love rituals.
- Pine – Pine incense is burnt to wipe out the negativity looming in the air, stimulating optimistic and positive energy. It is also capable of turning negative spells into positive ones.
- Rose – Rose is always connoted to love, hence its use in love magic.
- Sandalwood – The strong fragrance of sandalwood enjoys protective properties and is considered a scent to heal and ward off malevolence acts.
- Vanilla – Vanilla incenses are burnt to stimulate passion, bringing closeness to the relationship. It has been used to enhance memory and take the mind to the heavenly bliss of peace and tranquility.
In short, with the inclusion of the right incense in a magical ritual, we can be assured of creating the right environment for making it succeed.