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All About 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

Image (c) 2007 Patti Wigington

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 abou 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Lammas Rebirth Incense

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By the time Lammas rolls around, it’s usually pretty hot. In some parts of the world, gardens are beginning to dry out, and the earth has gone from soft and pliable to dry and cracked. Use this incense blend to celebrate the beginning of the harvest. We’re thankful for the foods we’ve grown, and for the bounty of the earth, and the knowledge that we’ll have enough to eat through the coming winter months.

Mabon Harvest Incense

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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.

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