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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When 2 are 1

The beauty of nature can be found in the most unusual places and teach us the most unexpected lessons.  A few days ago I was returning to work from a lunch (half) hour spent going through the neighborhood thrift store.  I pulled into traffic and then had to wait at a long light.  While sitting there, I looked up and saw an amazing and unexpected sight.


In the sky far above me, I could see two bald eagles flying.  I was a little surprised to see bald eagles in the city, although not far from potentially good habitat for them.  Many times people mistakenly believe that buzzards are eagles, but these were indeed the real thing.  The pair was flying in opposing spirals with one flying clockwise and the other counterclockwise, but both descending at the same rate.  It looked almost as if they were circling an invisible tornado (perhaps they had been riding a thermal up and were coming back down).

It was a beautiful dance in the sky.  I was, for once, thankful that traffic light takes so long to change.  As I watched them dance, I realized that I was really seeing a single creature in that moment.  When the pair danced, although they moved in opposite directions, they were dancing as if they were one.  Their movements were perfectly balanced as if a single mind directed them.  They were truly dancing as if nobody was watching and it was amazing.  I was so fortunate to witness it in those few minutes.

This is how I often see Solitaries as well.  I generally consider couples (who practice without others) to still be Solitary (if they practice together) for this very reason.  When I see a large group of people (or flock of birds), I still see many individuals.  When I see a balanced dance as the pair of eagles performed, I see only a single individual.  When a bonded couple practices together they are, for practical purposes, an individual.  Sometimes couples do not remain together and they must disentangle their lives to once again become individuals.  I’ve even known a triad of people who truly were one.

Where souls touch and meld, despite the number of individuals observed, there is only one.

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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  


  • Natalie Reed
    Natalie Reed Tuesday, 13 May 2014

    What you describe sounds like part of the mating dance of eagles - eventually they would have clasped together and free fallen toward the ground, breaking at the very last moment and swopping away from one another. It is breathtaking, and you are very blessed to have been witness.

  • Carl Neal
    Carl Neal Tuesday, 13 May 2014

    I thought that might be the case but the dang light changed and I had to go back to work! It was, indeed, a case of 2 becoming 1. I do indeed feel blessed to have seen such a moving event. The energy from it was almost overwhelming.

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