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Making Ritual Incense and Oils


Happy Samhain, everyone!  Today I’m changing it up a bit and sharing the process of making loose incense and oil blends.


Creating your own blends requires concentration on its use: will it be for Moon or Sun rites, for a Sabbat, meditation, or purification?   By focusing on its purpose you charge the incense with intent and so empower the blend.  Incense can be made during a particular Moon phase, and/or a certain day and hour if you like to use such correspondences.  The herbs in the recipes are magickally connected to the planets or deities for which they are used.  All ingredients must be natural—essential oils, not synthetic.  The only exceptions are musk, civet or ambergris, though humanely collected oils are available online.  Your herbs and resins will work best if in chunk form rather than powdered.

Note:  Cinnamon oil is corrosive and can burn your skin.  Be careful when using it!  Also test other oils such as pepper before putting it into a blend you plan on wearing.


What you will need for your work:  a mortar and pestle and the ingredients called for in the recipe.  It’s better to measure the amounts by hand if you can.  If that is too awkward for you, measuring spoons and an eyedropper is also needed, plus a small bottle of rubbing alcohol and some paper towels.


Start by blending resins first.  Grind the resin while concentrating on its attributes, then add the next resin (if you are using more than one) and grind it in turn, again focused on its qualities.  When you are finished with your resins, add an herb.  This is ground just as you did with the resins.  Add each herb in turn and continue grinding them into the mixture, staying focused on each one so it is charged and adding its qualities to your incense.


Finally, add a few drops of essential oil to the herbs and resins.  Grind it in.  Next, clean the dropper inside and out with rubbing alcohol and paper towel to prevent mixing the oils in their bottles.  If you have several droppers this can make the process quicker since you won’t need to clean them until you are done.  If you like, you can mix the herbs apart from the resins, then set aside a small amount of the herbal mixture and add the oils to it.  The blend is then added to the remaining herbs, ground together, and added to the resins. 


Use whatever method you like to empower your finished incense:  visualization, singing, chanting, etc.  Put the blend into a container that has a tight lid.  Clean and cleansed glass jars are fine.  I like apothecary jars since they work great and look nice on a shelf with a vintage-style label.  Ceramic jars can be used as well but stay away from plastic.  It is an artificial material and oils will etch into it.  Clean your mortar and pestle with the alcohol and paper towels.


Your new incense needs to sit for twelve hours before use to allow everything to mix.


Ritual oils are much easier to make.  Put an equal amount of each essential oil into a clean, cleansed glass bottle while focused on the oil’s attributes.  Twist the lid on and shake the oil mixture, concentrating on its purpose.  As with your incense allow the blend to rest for at least twelve hours before using it.


Here are some recipes to get you started.  I’ve included measured amounts on two of them as they are what I found to work well.  You can, of course, change it to suit your preferences.




Moon Incense                   Exorcism Incense                                Yule                                                                                                                                                        

2 T. lavender                      1 T.  Asafoetida                                  Pine needles

2 T. sandalwood                 2 T. bay leaves, crumbled                   Mistletoe

1 T. myrrh gum                  2 T. vervain                                         Saffron or Safflowers

1 T. poppy seeds                ½ T. mullein                                       Frankincense

½ T damiana                      ½ T. vetivert                                        Rosemary oil

½ T. anise seed                  4 drops patchouli oil                           Spearmint oil

1 t. nutmeg                         7 drops cedar oil

4 drops lavender oil                       

4 drops camphor oil                     

2 drops cinnamon oil                                                                                                              



 Moon Oil                            Sun Oil                             Blessing Oil

Sandalwood                         Frankincense                     Jasmine                

Wild lily (or lotus)               Pine                                   Frankincense

Rose                                     Juniper                              Cedar

Cypress                                Civit                                  Ambergris







End Note:


The information about incense making and the recipes are from my Workbook, ca. 1980

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Lady Eva Michenet has been a practicing Witch for more than thirty years. She has authored articles for various publications including SageWoman's newsletter, the eZine Rending the Veil, two Pagan Writers Community Sabbat anthologies, and Witches' Voice.


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