How to Make and Use Your Own Incense

How to Make and Use Your Own Incense

By Patti Wigington, About.com

Smoke in the Sky:

For thousands of years, people have used fragrant flowers, plants, and herbs as incense. Using smoke to send prayers out to the gods is one of the oldest known forms of ceremony. From the censers of the Catholic church to the Pagan bonfire rituals,

incense is a powerful way to let your intent be known. You can make your own quite easily, using a blend of herbs, flowers, wood bark, resins, and berries. Most of these are items you can grow yourself, find in the woods, or purchase inexpensively.

Why Incense?:

Incense — and other fragrant items, such as oils and perfumes — work on a couple of different levels. The first is the effect on your mood — a certain scent will trigger a particular emotion. Aromatherapists have known for years that smells affect different parts of the senses. Secondly, an aroma may have various associations. You may be walking through a store, catch a whiff of Chantilly, and suddenly be reminded of your grandmother who passed away when you were away at college. The smell of a particular food may evoke memories of the summer you spent at camp.

Finally, we experience scents on a vibrational level. Every living being has energy, and emits its own vibration – plants are no different. When you blend them into incense, these vibrations change in accordance with your intent. This is why, in magic, incense is so popular — in addition to making your ritual space smell nice, you are able to change the vibration in the atmosphere, effecting change in the universe.

Why Make Your Own?:

You can buy commercially produced incense sticks and cones just about anywhere, and they’re not that expensive. However, they’re made with synthetic ingredients, and therefore have little to no magical value. While they’re nice to burn, and certainly smell lovely, they serve little purpose in a ritual setting.

Burning Your Incense:

Loose incense, which is what the recipes on these pages are for, is burned on a charcoal disc or tossed into a fire. The charcoal discs are sold in packages by most Wiccan supply shops, as well as church supply stores (if you have a Hispanic Marketa near you, that’s a good place to look too). Apply a match to the disc, and you’ll know it’s lit when it begins to spark and glow red. After it’s glowing, place a pinch of your loose incense on the top — and make sure you’ve got it on a fireproof surface. If you’re holding your ceremony outside with large fire, simply toss handfuls into the flames.

How to Read the Recipes:

Any good cook knows that the first step is to always gather your goodies together. Collect your ingredients, your mixing and measuring spoons, jars and lids, labels (don’t forget a pen to write with), and your mortar and pestle.

Each incense recipe is presented in “parts.” This means that whatever unit of measurement you’re using — a cup, a tablespoon, a handful — is one part. If a recipe calls for two parts, use two cups. One half part is a half cup, if you’re using a cup to measure, or half a tablespoon if you’re using a tablespoon.

When making your own incense, if you’re using resins or essential oils, combine these first. Use your mortar and pestle to mash these until they get a bit gummy, before you add any bark or berries. Dried herbs, flowers, or powdery items should go in last.

Special Kitty of the Day for March 31

Morris, the Cat of the Day
Name: Morris
Age: Seven years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Domestic Shorthair
Home: West Boylston, Massachusetts, USA
Morris was adopted from an animal shelter in June 2011. Our previous cat had passed away and we decided we were not going to get another cat. But in a few months we were ready for another one. We are both retired and thought it would be nice to adopt an older cat.

Our daughter had stopped in at a nearby animal shelter and saw a friendly yellow cat named Morris. (When our children were young we had a very nice yellow cat, so of course he caught her eye.) Anyway, we just had to go see Morris and, of course, ended up bringing him home with us. It is the best thing we ever did.

Morris is a very social, affectionate, handsome boy and enjoys any attention he can get. He loves to play with his catnip birds, batting them around and chasing them. He also loves to play laser, running after the light and getting his exercise. (which he needs as he could lose a few pounds) He enjoys his scratching lounger and after he has scratched a while will snuggle up in it and sleep there. Morris also spends a lot of time looking out the glass doors to the outside deck watching the birds and chipmunks.

Morris was a great choice for us and we really enjoy him. We hope other people consider adopting older cats.

Doggie of the Day for March 31

Callie, the Dog of the Day
Name: Callie
Age: Four months old
Gender: Female Breed: Boxer
Home: Canada
This is Callie, she is my pride and joy. This little boxer baby was born on October 23rd 2011 in Marystown, Newfoundland. Now, let me explain to you where she came from, and why I love her! During my search for my new puppy, I posted an advertisement on the internet explaining that I was looking for a boxer pup. The reason for this, is because I had a boxer before Callie. He meant the world to me, unfortunately I lost him. When I found myself ready to move on and “fill the void” so to speak, I was determined to find the perfect one.

One cold night, in the middle of November, my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered it anyway. I was greeted by the cheerful voice of a young woman. She went on to explain that she saw my ad, and she is the proud owner of two pure bred boxer’s, Jerzi and Jax. She told me that Jerzi had recently given birth to eight boxer puppies who were only a few days old. She continued telling me about the puppies, what they looked like, how many were male and female, etc. Personally, I was in search of a brindle, male boxer pup, just like my old one. Unfortunately the only brindle puppies available were all females. I’d never owned a female dog before so I was a bit skeptical. After our long and informative phone conversation, the lady sent me some pictures of each pup. I browsed through them a few times but only one caught my eye. There she was, a days old, feeble, wrinkly, brindle, beautiful. I had never been more in love with a photograph in all my life. I called the lady back the next day and told her I had chosen the puppy I wanted. The biggest, the first born, the most beautiful. She was thrilled with my decision and so was I. I soon after paid the $300.00 deposit, and picked out her name. All there was left to do was wait.

On December 18th 2011, I drove to meet with the lady’s husband to finally own my perfect puppy. I was overwhelmed with excitement I nearly jumped out of the car while I was still driving to my destination! When I finally arrived to the rendezvous, I paid him the rest of the cash, and held her in my arms for the first time. It was cold, windy and snowy, she was cold so I wrapped her in the blanket I bought especially for her. She snuggled into me the whole way home, on my lap. I’d never been so happy to own something in my life. I brought her into my home to show my sister and family and of course, they fell in love.

Callie is the most brilliant puppy I have ever seen. She was easily house trained, she knows quite a few tricks, and gets along famously with my mother’s dog, Max. I know boxers have a ton of energy but Callie is something else! She’ll run laps around the house, prancing and tripping up in her legs at the same time, front flip into her bed and kick and squirm and whine for her own entertainment. well, ours too, its quite the scene. She gets too excited sometimes but can calm down as soon as I say so. Her gorgeous chestnut brown eyes sparkle at me every morning and it just lights up my day! She’s so silly, so cuddly and so beautiful! I would do anything for this little girl, she’s my whole world! The thing I love most about dogs, any dog, is that they will never judge you. They will always love you. You are all they know. They depend on you. It feels good to know you’re the one they look up to. I wouldn’t trade her for the world. ❤

Calendar of the Sun for March 31

Calendar of the Sun
31 Wolfmonath

Imbolc Eve: Day of the Bean Sidhe

Color: Black
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of black place a cup of blood, kept from the last slaughtering. Before it lay bloodstained rags and a flute, and many small unlit votive candles. Block the windows and shut out all sunlight.
Offering: Give aid to a child who has lost their mother.
Daily Meal: Red meat and milk.

Imbolc Eve Invocation

Go, my children, to the riverbank,
In the dark of the night when the wind is howling,
And you shall hear the wails of one who mourns,
And you shall see her kneeling by the water,
Washing the bloody clothes of those
Who did not survive the giving forth of life.
She weeps for the mothers lost,
She weeps for the children lost,
She weeps for the life cut short,
What should have been a joyous day
Become a night of mourning.
She weeps above all for those
Who have no one else to weep for them.
So we shall light a candle, on this night
Before the morn of Candlemas,
For all those who have no one to weep for them,
And we shall shed the tears
And we shall be the voice,
And we shall do the work
Of the lonely Bean Sidhe.

(The cup of blood is poured as a libation. Each comes forward and lights a small votive candle, and then all wail in a great torrent of sound together, with one playing the flute wildly over the cacophony. Those who can shed tears should do so. This should go on until all are exhausted from wailing, and then all should go quietly to their other tasks in silence until Hesperis.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Your Magickal Correspondences for Saturday, March 31

Weekend Images, Pics, Comments, Graphics
Your Magickal Correspondences for Saturday, March 31

Magickal Intentions: Spirit Communications, Meditation, Psychic Attack or Defense, Locating Lost Things and Missing Persons, Building, Life, Doctrine, Protection, Knowledge, Authority, Limitations, Boundries, Time and Death
Incense: Black Poppy Seed and Myrrh
Planet: Saturn
Sign: Capricorn and Aquarius
Angel: Cassiel
Colors: Black, Grey and Indigo
Herbs/Plants: Myrrh, Moss, Hemlock, Wolfsbane, Coltsfoot, Nightshade and Fir
Stones: Jet, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Black Onyx, Snowflake Obsidian, Lava, Pumice
Oil: (Saturn) Cypress, Mimosa, Myrrh, Patchouly

Saturn lends its energies to the last day of the week. Because Saturn is the planet of karma, this day is an excellent time for spellwork involving reincarnation, karmic lessons, the Mysteries, wisdom, and long-term projects. It is also a good time to being efforts that deal with the elderly, death, or the eradication of pests and disease.

The Wicca Book of Days for March 31 – A Lunar Lady

The Wicca Book of Days for March 31

A Lunar Lady

Luna, the Roman Moon Goddess whose Greek equivalent was Selene, was once honored with a festival in Rome on March 31, also the day on which a temple was dedicated to her on the Aventine Hill. This Goddess of the Lunar Disk was envisaged as traversing the sky either perched on a mule or driving a biga, a chariot pulled by two horses, and was considered to have gone astray whenever there was an eclipse of the Moon. When this happened, mortals in Rome called back the errant Goddess by blowing trumpets, banging metal objects together, and generally making an almighty din.

Silver and Pearls

Since Ancient times, both silver and pearls have been considered sacred to Lunar Goddesses, for both resemble the gently glowing Moon. Pay tribute to Luna, on this, her feast day, or pearls mounted in a silver setting.

Thank Goodness It Is Saturday! Make It A Great One, My Friends!

Saturday Images, Pics, Comments, Graphics
Today’s Affirmation for Saturday, March 31st

With a gentle hand, I release regret. With acceptance I acknowledge lessons learned. With gratitude I give thanks for the richness of my experience. With a generous heart I share the treasures of my wisdom. Thus I enter the final chapter of my life as it was the first. My gentleness, surrender, gratitude and generosity have give me back my childhood.

 

Today’s Thought for Saturday, March 31st

“The world is a bridge. Pass over it. Do not build your dwelling there.”

Inscription on the Great Mosque in Fatehpur, Sikri, India

{17th Century}

 

Today’s Meditation for Saturday, March 31st

A Beautiful Life

As we grow older we may experience sadness as our youth slips away and the signs of aging begin to accumulate. To come to terms with this experience, think of the cycle of the Sun as a metaphor for human life. As you do so recognize that the beauty of life lies in its unfolding. From birth until death we follow a beautiful curve of the spirit – a transition from an innocent joy to a mature courage, which has no truck with regrets.

I be darned if I take another day off……

Hello Images, Pics, Comments, Graphics
Good Saturday Morning, my luvs! Did you miss me? Sorry about that! Most of the time I try to give notice when I take a day off. But yesterday was sort of an impromptu day off. And boy, if I take another one off, I hope someone turns me into a jackass (you notice no “lol!”). I won’t go into details because I will just get mad again but it had to do with my lazy husband. Today is peaceful and I am going to let sleeping dogs lay for now, “for now!” Things are always subject to change, lol!

Anyway, I hope you missed me because I missed you. I missed the peace and quiet of the internet. All my sweet and loving friends, all the peace and quiet of the internet, did I mention that already, lol! But it great to be back. It is funny, it seems like you miss just a day, it seems like you have been gone a week or two. So before time gets away from me anymore, I am going to get busy. 

Have a super fantastic day!

Love ya,

Lady A