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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in pagan incense
Holy Smoke: Sacred Wood and Herbs for a Happy Home

I heartily approve of the Danish tradition of hygge which is a lovely form of self-care togetherness. The Scandinavians integrate hearth fires into this custom so we’ll take it one step further by adding sacred herbs on top of the wood for a cleansing, purifying and therapeutic twist to hygge home fires. You can either bundle the herbs together with string or lay them on top of the unlit wood. I do both and speak this spell before lighting the fire in your fireplace or firepot.

 Warmth and love, heart and heat,

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Space-clearing Herbs for Sheltering-in-Place

Sweetgrass: Native Americans have burned braided sheaves of sweetgrass for centuries. It is so scentful, it can also be wafted around as a wand to clear energy without lighting it. Native folks also brew a tea from it to use as an astringent body and hair rinse; you can do this by steeping a tablespoon of the dried chopped sweetgrass for five minutes in a standard teakettle or four cups of boiling water. .It is also used as an adornment woven into braids or as a crown. They go by the philosophy that “strong hair means a strong mind.”  This power herb cleanses both body, soul and your home but the highest use is for rituals when you burn it to call forth the ancestors and send away anything unwanted.

Copal: Mexican and South American tribal healers and modern shamans gather this tree resin to employ as ceremonial incense throughout the year. You will still smell the sweetly pungent smoke of copal on Day of the Dead as it helps us connect with our ancestors and loved ones who passed to the other side.  While burning it is part of the ritual, it is also believed by shamans and healers to help tap into the spiritual realm. Copal also has the power to bring about total relaxation.

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Mental Magic: Healing Meditation Ritual

Our minds are our most powerful tool. It is with directed thought, your intention that you create enchantment and create outcomes in your spellwork. By this same token, the consciousness management that is at the core of meditation is the connecting thread in body, mind and spirit wellness. I think of meditation as “mental magic” and you can and should harness the power of your brain to deal with stress and difficulty and achieve a higher state of awareness. Many of us start our day with some kind of grounding practice and I begin with an intention-setting meditation immediately upon rising.

Cultivating a calm inner state is instrumental to realizing your deepest goals and intentions. By starting your day grounded and centered, you'll experience more balance and flow throughout your day and into each evening. The practice of meditation helps you raise your energy and self-awareness. By expanding your consciousness, you create a clear, inner space that allows you to move towards the center of your creations. It's from this place of grounded awareness that you'll really focus on what's most important to you. Through guided meditations designed to help you relax and center, you'll have an opportunity to hone in and refine your inner vision

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Foundations of Incense: Oak

When I think about making incense cones and sticks, I usually see wood (a base material) as the simplest and most reliable ingredient in the blend.  After all, it’s the base material that provides the heat to evenly burn the other ingredients.  I generally use a simple formula when creating a pure wood incense: 2 tablespoons of wood powder, 1/8 teaspoon of gum binder, and about 1 tablespoon of water.  Simple right? 

When it comes to woods, Oak is a wood seen as sacred by multiple cultures.  It is fairly easy to powder and has wonderful burning properties.  Most of us are familiar with the pleasing smell of Oak burning in a campfire.  These facts make Oak seem like a natural base material to use for many different types of incense.  Occasionally, Nature likes to teach us humility by showing us that we aren’t nearly as smart as we think.  Oak has been chuckling at me for decades, but I think we have finally found our middle ground.

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