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Incense

Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:14 am

By snowdrop on Thursday, June 6, 2002 - 07:32 pm:

Hello Everyone, I've always worked with smudge or incense sticks but recently ,especially since moving out of London into the Herts countryside I am drawn to our own native ways and wanted to know how I could make my own simple incense.I know you have to use charcoal discs to get your own blended stuff to burn ,but how do you get started?Simple blends for beginners please!Diane
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:15 am

By rosie on Thursday, June 6, 2002 - 07:49 pm:

i haven't really done this myself (my only attempt with the charcoal discs ended in some lively fizzing noises and black smoke!) but there are some good books out there and recipes are not hard to find! scott cunningham did 'cunninghams complete encyclopedia of incense, oils and brews' for one. i think there's also info in using charcoal underneath- you can use charcoal blocks, it doesn't have to be the disc things. once you've started making and working with the incense there's also no reason why you shouldn't make up some of your own, as you find out what works for you. good luck! :)
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:15 am

By Rae on Saturday, July 6, 2002 - 09:01 pm:

In response to Snowdrop:
Hi.
About our own native ways. I feel strongly about using incense made with our own native plants. For example, cleansing and banishing in Britain would be done with juniper rather than sage, as in America.
If I were in America of course, I would use sage. Lots of plant books give the country or continent of origin for each species.
Bright blessings,
Rae
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:16 am

By ~Sage~ on Monday, September 30, 2002 - 08:59 pm:

BB Rae! I so concur with what you are saying about native plants. I know that this works on the physical level and its only understandable that the magickal properties would "know their land" as well. What an interesting thought~!Sage
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:17 am

By Bonnie on Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 07:41 pm:

I have a pine & cedar tree in my yard, and can collect dropped needles for incense. I find juniper berries when I go out for walks. I don't strip off bark, but cedar & pine can be bought from garden stores only they call it mulch. I grow several herbs in my garden, sage among them, and lavender (who would be without lavender?). I grind them to a powder in a small, electric coffee grinder for small batches or use my electric blender for big batches. Cedar and pine shavings can be purchased from the pet-supply isle (used as bedding) at a general merchandise store too. Adding a few drops of scented oil of the same or a complimentary scent helps the powder stick together. I drop these blended powders right onto the charcoal blocks, but with enough pine-wood sawdust they can be self-lighting.

Just thought I'd mention that the sage herb used in cooking, & commonly grown in home gardens, is not the same as the ritually used white-sage (which is actually wild sagebrush). The closest sagebrush substitute I've found that is sold at garden centers is Russian Sage. If you're tyeing up a bundle, you have to use the stems as well as the leaves, where as with wild, white sagebrush you'd use just the leaves.

Tie a sprig or two of lavender into the Russian sage bundle.

The cooking herb sage can be used in a pinch, but doesn't have the sweet smell.

And if you're using the pine/juniper/cedar needles mentioned earlier, don't let them be completely dried out because then it just smells like a forest fire. I've dried pine & cedar needles in my toaster-oven & you have to let them dry just a wee bit, & not get all-over brown. You just want to remove the dampness from when they were laying on the ground. If you're making a powder & not using tied bundles, this can get a bit gummy in the grinder. I tried using the microwave for drying other, leafy herbs & set them on fire. Not good -phew! The batteries in my smoke detector work just fine.
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:17 am

By Francine on Thursday, March 13, 2003 - 09:51 am:

Ta for the info Bonnie, I must try making some incense too, I've never done that. So you mix the powdered herbs and oil together and put the mixture onto charcoal, and then light the charcoal? How long does it burn for? What kind of burner do you need? And I guess you could use the juniper berries you can buy for cooking with! I haven't seen Russian Sage, but shall look for it!
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:18 am

By bonnie on Thursday, March 13, 2003 - 02:10 pm:

Hi Francine. :) Use any fire proof bowl (or the ever-popular abalone shell), filled with an inch of sand to absorb the heat. Light the charcoal 1st. 1/3 teaspoon of powder burns about 15 minutes. The coal will burn for an hour or more so you can add more powder as you need it.

With the tied bundles, you just want to get the tips smoldering. You want smoke, not flame. So once it's lighted & the tips glow red, wave it with a quick flick of the wrist to put out the flame. It'll smolder until you snuff it, which I do by pushing the burnt tips into the sand. 2 helpful tools when handling charcoal & powdered incense are a pair of tweezers or even ice tongs to hold the charcoal & a small spoon for the incense.

Oh - you can add a bit of pine sap that you've scraped off the bark to make powdered leaves & needles stick together.

I know we've had this discussion up to our eyebrows, but I want to correct some bad info I'd given. I've discovered that what I was calling sage brush out in the high desert where I used to live in Idaho is correctly called silver sage and is not the same plant as sacred white sage. They're part of the same plant family. I just wanted to correct my bad info. And once again, ad nauseum, white sage is the fragrant desert herb you want and not common cooking sage.

I've read that benzoin can be added to mixtures too but when I tried it, it smoked too much. Has anybody else ever tried benzoin with better luck?
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:19 am

By wood-bee-witch on Sunday, January 11, 2004 - 10:33 pm:

Hi Bonnie. When you say to mix the dried herbs with oil. Do you mean pure essential oil? If so doesn't this get a little expensive. Or can I just use say normal vegetable oil? Also where can I buy the charcoal blocks from? So many questions. Sorry!
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:19 am

By Oak Leaf on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 09:39 am:

Hi W-B-B,

I have bought charcoal blocks from Druidskeep their Web address is: www.druidskeep.co.uk

Charcoal blocks seem to absorb moisture very easily so it's best to keep them in a warm dry place.

Personally, I only use incense for special rituals and not for my daily ritual. A little home made incense (say a teaspoon full) will almost certainly be enough for a ritual. One or two drops of essential oils should be sufficient so a small bottle will last for ages.

Though I have a stock of incense cones, I much prefer to use simple home collected ingredients.
I feel that this is much closer to the Hedgewitch tradition and ingredients like bay and rosemary can be grown in pots if space is short.

A good basic book is: Scott Cunningham's "The Complete Book of Incense Oils & Brews". Though I feel that many of his recipes are over-complex and use too many expensive bought-in ingredients it is well worth having. It does have a section on simple incenses and also, very importantly, goes into detail as to how to use it; for example, he describes how to empower the incense as you make it, so that its virtue is released as it smolders.

Anyway, I hope some of this helps.
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Re: Incense

PostAuthor: TheWiseHedgewitch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:19 am

By wood-bee-witch on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 02:56 pm:

Thanks Oakleaf! I will check out that site.
I have Scott Cunninghams book on Wicca and there is some stuff on making incense in there but if I remember rightly he suggests purchasing some special kind of gum or sap I think. I remember thinking to myself then " and where the b****y hell do I get that from?"
Using essential oils sounds simple and a lot easier to come by.
Warm blessings!
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