All About Incense

Burning incense
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For thousands of years, people have used fragrant flowers, plants, and herbs as incense. Using smoke to send prayers out to the gods is one of the oldest known forms of ceremony. From the censers of the Catholic church to the Pagan bonfire rituals, incense is a powerful way to let the intent of mankind be known to the gods and the universe. You can make your own quite easily, using blends of herbs, flowers, wood bark, resins, and berries. Learn how to make your own incense by following our simple instructions, and using our easy-to-blend recipe ideas to celebrate the changing seasons.

Introduction to Incense

Close-Up Of Burning Leaf Incense At Temple
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You can buy commercially produced incense sticks and cones just about anywhere, and they're not that expensive. However, they're made with synthetic ingredients, and therefore have little to no magical value. While they're nice to burn, and certainly smell lovely, they serve little purpose in a ritual setting. Learn about the historical use of incense, as well as how you can blend your own combinations of herbs, flowers, and more to create lovely scents of your own for ritual use.

Incense, Asthma and Allergies

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Do you worry about incense making your allergy symptoms or asthma worse? Let's talk about how incense can effect your ability to stay healthy, if you suffer from asthma or allergies.

Full Moon Incense

Woman in front of full moon
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During the different phases of the moon, you may wish to perform rituals based upon your magical needs. While incense isn't mandatory for a good ritual, it certainly can help to set the mood. Blend together this mix to help guide you in workings that relate to the moon, intuition, and wisdom.

Samhain Spirit Incense

Spooky Cemetery at night with fog
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By the time Samhain rolls around, your herb garden is probably looking pretty sad. Now's the time to take all those goodies you harvested and dried in September, and put them to good use. This incense blend is perfect for a Samhain seance, divination session, or for any other autumn working.

Winter Nights Yule Incense

Pine Trees In Forest During Winter At Night
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To make your own magical winter night's incense, try this blend which evokes the spices and magic of a cold December night. Use it during a ritual, if you like, or as a smudging incense to purify a sacred space. You can also toss some into your fire just to make the house smell like winter.

Imbolc Incense

Cropped Image Of Hand Over Smoke Emitting From Incense At Temple
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When Imbolc rolls around, we've been cooped up in the house for a couple of months, and although we know spring is around the corner, it's not quite close enough for us to get out and enjoy just yet. Make up a batch of Imbolc incense that combines the scents of the season with the anticipation of the warmer weather to come.

Beltane Fire Incense

The Annual Beltane Festival At Calton Hill, Edinburgh
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At Beltane, spring is beginning to get seriously underway. Gardens are being planted, sprouts are beginning to appear, and the earth is returning to life once again. This time of year is associated with fertility, thanks to the greening of the land, and with fire. A few fire-associated herbs can be blended together to make the perfect Beltane incense. Use it during rituals and ceremonies, or burn it for workings related to fertility and growth.

Summer of Love Incense Blend

Litha is still a time of celebration around the world. Image © Matt Cardy/Getty Images

In the middle of summer, your herb garden will probably be blooming like crazy. A few aromatic herbs combined with light floral scents blend together to make the perfect "Summer of Love" incense. Use it for a romantic interlude with someone you care about it, or burn it when you're alone to help give your heart chakras a boost.

You’ll need:

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation, such as:

Love for me, from the heart,
within this incense it will start.
Lavender flowers, and patchouli blend.
Chamomile, catnip, and Sweet Annie to end.
Love is true when it's finally found,
brought to the heart from all around.
Joy and light, and love's blessing for me,
As I will, so it shall be.

Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.

Mabon Harvest Incense

Fall Potpourri
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To make your a blend of incense for Mabon, the autumn equinox, use scents that bring to mind the fall season, and the second harvest of the year. It’s a time to celebrate the season of balance and harmony, as well as the gratitude and thanksgiving of the harvest season.