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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Living in a Censer

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

If you live anywhere near the West Coast of the USA, you already know exactly what I’m talking about.  For the last 8+ days everyone who lives anywhere near me has been living 24/7 in a huge incense censer.  As if COVID wasn’t enough to keep us apart, now many of us are dealing with the unhealthiest air on the planet.  This creates a strange situation for incense makers.  Have you ever tried to test a new incense blend while standing in the world’s largest censer?  The only respite we get from this thick air is in well-sealed rooms in our houses.  The last thing anyone wants is to light incense and add more smoke and ash to the situation.  Living in an incense censer is NOT a good thing.

I did want to take a moment and remind everyone who is dealing with this situation, that there is more going on here than evacuations and closures.

   Today’s reports say that more than 500 structures have been destroyed in one fire alone.  That is an incredible tragedy, but it’s not the worst thing happening in the West Coast Censer.  There have been at least 27 people killed here by the fires (so far).  That can’t be overlooked.  It’s also important to remember that countless animals and plants have been killed or displaced.  The ash that has been falling here for days, as someone recently reminded me, is composed (in part) of those deaths.  When this is over, I plan to have a ritual with some of the deepening ash in honor of all those lost lives.  Even those who escape the flames, be they human or animal, may have nothing to return to.  The loss of housing and habitat is overwhelming.  I fear that some of our animal populations may never recover.  What we have seen in the last month is frighteningly similar to what we saw less than a year ago in Australia.  That event nearly caused extinctions, and it might do it yet even though those particular fires have been extinguished.

I hope you will remember all of those lost in these fires.  As the smoke and ash sweeps across the North American continent (and even into Europe), please remember that within that smoke are the remains of countless of Mother’s creatures.  Please offer a blessing when the smoke passes your way. 

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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  


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