Incense Magick: Art & Ritual of Incense

Incense fanatic Carl Neal walks you through the joys, wonders, and science of making and using natural incense. From making your first basic cone to creation and use of elaborate incense rituals, Incense Magick is your guide to the sometimes secretive world of incense and incense making. Every article explores different facets of incense, incense making, ingredients, rituals, tools, or techniques.

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A Pagan Celebration of St. Patrick's Day

Seven or eight years ago, I shocked a large group of my Pagan friends.  I was at a small festival in Oklahoma that happened to take place during St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  I was vending and teaching at this festival (as well as performing my first song) and knew most of the attendees very well.  As we were cleaning the dining hall after dinner, I invited everyone down to my vendor table to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a drink of Irish whiskey.  The look of horror on some of their faces was priceless.

Immediately there were old friends standing in disbelief.  How could a good Pagan celebrate St. Patrick driving the “snakes” (i.e. “Druids”) out of Ireland?  Why would a Pagan celebrate a day to honor a Christian Saint?  I assured everyone that I had not turned my back on my heritage and that I had created a simple Pagan ritual to appropriately celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. 

Reluctantly, a small group of folk gathered at my table as I poured half a dozen shots of whiskey (“the water of life”) and handed one to each of them.  With looks of trepidation and concern, they raised their glasses as I raised mine and offered my incantation:

“Saint Patrick…UP YOURS!”

Everyone drank and the roar of laughter was heard throughout the camp.  This year, I hope that you and yours will join me in my tradition and have a rousing round of toasts.

It is true that this had absolutely nothing to do with Solitary Pagans or Circles of One, per se, but I hate seeing sad Pagans on a day of celebration!!!

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  Carl Neal has walked a Pagan path for 30 years. He is a self-avowed incense fanatic and has published 2 books through Llewellyn Worldwide on the topic. For many years (and even occasionally these days) he was a vendor of altar tools and supplies which led him to write The Magick Toolbox for Red Wheel/Weiser  


  • James Taylor
    James Taylor Monday, 17 March 2014

    I literally laughed out loud at this. Thanks Carl, great post.

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Tuesday, 18 March 2014

    Wonderful. I'll remember it and use it perhaps next year.

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