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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Do Pagans have ‘Come to Jesus’ Meetings?

** Update: After reading comments on FB I wanted to clarify this.  It may be is a case of the written word not always coming through as intended (in this case - sarcasim).  My purpose here is not to introduce a serious topic for consideration.  It is to show that we can sometimes get caught up in a "tempest in a teapot" and that it can be pretty funny if we step back and look at it.  I hope you get a chuckle during a stressful time. Namaste.


I admit that I’m a fairly thick-skinned Pagan and don’t take offense when someone uses the word “Witch” in place of a naughty word they can’t say on television.  I don’t get upset when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas” (and I almost always spare them my lecture about how saying that is actually casting a spell).  The other day I used the phrase “come to Jesus meeting” and later I was thinking about it.  Should I have been averse to using this phrase?  Am I an insensitive Pagan?


First I would like to recognize that there are wonderful Christo-Pagans out there who might find the phrase quite appropriate.  I’ve always been a proponent of welcoming Christo-Pagans into the Great Pagan Community.  That said, I’m not a member of their ranks so that begs the question.

The title for this piece is really inaccurate.  I can tell you from personal experience that Pagans DO have “come to Jesus” meetings.  I know because my presence was required at one about a year ago.  Nobody called it that, but that’s exactly what it was intended to be.  A local Community leader wanted to explain to me how I didn’t understand the way that our organization functioned and to show me the correct way to be a member of the team.  There might as well have been a full choir singing “Down to the River to Pray” since it was obviously a “come to Jesus” meeting.

Yeah, I didn’t come to Jesus.  Instead, I pointed out that this wasn’t Jesus at all and that I wasn’t going to come to him.  In the end, I completely turned the whole thing on its head.  Does that mean that I turned a “come to Jesus” meeting into a “come to Satan” meeting?  If so, who should be offended, the Pagans or the Satanists?  I suppose I may have created a “run from Jesus” meeting instead (I’m not certain) but if so, won’t that offend the Christians?

We have these types of meetings regardless of what we care to call them.  So I guess the real question is should Pagans USE the term “come to Jesus” meeting?  Heaven knows I don’t want to be accused of religious sensitivity.  Uh-oh, I think I just did it again…


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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  


  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Wednesday, 09 April 2014

    I've never seen that term used by pagans, but I've seen several of that kind of meeting where some self righteous self appointed "leaders" tell others to do what we are told or get the H out. That's how "consensus" actually works in real life.

  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch Wednesday, 09 April 2014

    I've used it a lot. For me, it conveys the meaning well. When I tell someone we need to have a "come to Jesus" meeting, they understand that things are going to have to change or ways are going to have to be parted. For me, the phrase is less religious and more "look out".

    Of course I refer to stilettos as Jesus heels too. That reference is when you wear them, you are hoping you will point them at Jesus soon. ;)

    So no, I don't see the phrase as wrong. I think it's pretty funny.

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