Making Your Own Incense

Making Your Own Incense

Things You’ll Need

Herbs, woods and resins
Mortar and pestle
Bamboo sticks

Incense is used in many cultures for purposes such as accents in religious ceremonies or aromatherapy. The process to make incense sticks is fairly simple and can be very rewarding to those interested in creating their own scent.

1. Decide what kind of incense you want to make and purchase the proper ingredients and supplies.

2. Research different incense recipes based on the scents and herbs that you prefer and gather these materials along with tools to prepare to make stick incense.

You will need at least 3 ingredients: an herb, a resin and a wood. You will also need binding materials such as gum Arabic, makko (an incense powder ingredient derived from tree bark), and charcoal to make the mixture combustible.

3. Gather your ingredients, according to your preferred scent strength, along with bamboo sticks and prepare to mix.

4. Crush your herbs or solid ingredients in equal parts to make a smooth powder. Use a mortar and pestle for best results.

5. Combine all dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Add makko.

6. Allow the mixture to sit overnight.

7. Prepare distilled water or fragrant hydrosol and add to your incense mixture slowly.

The mixture will need to be pliable, not runny and able to adhere to the bamboo sticks.

8. Knead the incense dough thoroughly.

9. Roll your mixture onto the bamboo sticks, allowing the mixture to coat the stick evenly.

10. Lay the sticks on a drying rack to enable them to dry evenly.

11. Allow your incense sticks to dry for 1 to weeks prior to attempting to use them.


Keep incense sticks out of direct sunlight and heat while they are drying.

Experiment with different herb, wood and resin combinations until you obtain a mixture that is most pleasing to you. Also, try other methods of incense making to become familiar with the mixing process and learn how to use the ingredients.

Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands while you mix ingredients and form them onto incense sticks.

Depending upon which scent you choose, sandalwood versus frankincense for instance, you may need only 10% of makko added to the mixture.

Break up incense sticks that didn’t produce the expected end result and try the process again.


Never attempt to dry incense by baking or microwaving it as this creates a fire hazard.

Don’t allow incense to burn unattended. Always burn incense in a well-ventilated area away from pets and children.

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Various Yule Incense Recipes

Yule Incense 1

2 parts Frankincense

2 parts Pine needles or resin

1 part Cedar

1 part Juniper berries

Yule Incense 2

3 parts Frankincense

2 parts Sandalwood

2 part Chamomile

1 part Ginger

1/2 part Sage

A few drops of Cinnamon oil

Yule Incense 3

3 parts Pine needles or resin

3 parts Cedar

1 part Bayberry

1 part Cinnamon

Yule Incense 4

3 parts frankincense

A few drops orange oil

A few drops juniper oil

1 part crushed juniper berries

½ part mistletoe

Method Blend together and burn on charcoal.

I is for Dragon’s Blood Ink




Dragon Blood Ink


Items You Will Need:

1 part of powdered Dragon’s Blood Resin

12 – 15 parts of Alcohol

1 part of Arabic Gum

A few drops of essential oil of Cinnamon or Myrrh

Make all your resin a powder and add the ground Arabic Gum. Then add the alcohol just a little bit every time, till all the powder is dissolved completely. This might take some time.

Filter through a strainer on which you have attached a piece of cloth (clean piece of cloth, a cloth you will not need again).

Store the ink in a bottle and inscribe on it the name of the ink. Keep on your altar ready to be used.

Best time to make this ink is during the Waxing Moon.



Be sure you have all necessary ingredients. If you lack any, decide on

Each ingredient must be finely ground, preferably to a powder, using either a
mortar and pestle or an electric grinder. Some resins won’t powder easily, but
with practice you’ll find the right touch. When I first worked with herbs I
couldn’t powder frankincense. It kept on gumming to the sides of the mortar and
to the tip of the pestle. After a while I stopped fighting it (and cursing it,
I’ll admit-not a good thing to do with herbs used in incenses) and got into the
flow of the work. The frankincense came out just fine.

When all is ready, fix your mind on the incense’s goal-protection, love, health.
In a large wooden or ceramic bowl, mix the resins and gums together with your
hands. While mingling these fragrant substances, also mix their energies.
Visualize your personal power-vibrating with your magical goal-exiting your
hands and entering the incense. It is this that makes homemade incense more
effective than its commercial counterparts.

Next, mix in all the powdered leaves, barks, flowers and roots. As you mix,
continue to visualize or concentrate on the incense’s goal.

Now add any oils or liquids (wine, honey, etc.) that are included in the recipe.
Just a few drops are usually sufficient. On the subject of oils: If there’s a
sufficient amount of dry ingredients in the recipe, you can substitute an oil
for an herb you lack. Simply ensure that the oil an essential oil, for
synthetics smell like burning plastic when smoldered.

Once all has been thoroughly mixed, add any powdered gem-stones or other power
boosters. A few-not many-of the recipes in this book call for a pinch of
powdered stone.

To produce this, simply take a small stone of the required type and pound it in
a metal mortar and pestle (or simply smash it with a hammer against a hard
surface). Grind the resulting pieces into a powder and add no more than the
scantiest pinch to the incense.

One general power-boosting “stone” is amber. A pinch of this fossilized resin
added to any mixture will increase its effectiveness, but this can be rather

The incense is now fully compounded. Empower the incense and it is done. Store
in a tightly capped jar. Label carefully, including the name of the incense and
date of composition. It is ready for use when needed.



Scott Cunningham
Here are some guidelines to follow when compounding combustible incense. These
are for use with the Cone Incense Base #2 recipe above. If they aren’t followed,
the incense won’t properly burn. There’s less room for experimentation here than
with non-combustible incenses.

* First off, never use more than ten percent saltpeter. Ever!

* Also, keep woods (such as sandalwood, wood aloe, cedar, juniper and pine) and
gum resins (frankincense, myrrh, benzoin, copal) in the proper proportions: at
least twice as much powdered wood as resins. If there’s more resinous matter,
the mixture won’t burn.

* Naturally, depending on the type of incense you’re adding to the base, you may
have to juggle some proportions accordingly. Simply ensure that frankincense and
its kin never constitute more than one-third of the final mixture, and all
should be well.

* Though this hasn’t covered all aspects of combustible incense making (that
could be a book in itself), it should provide you with enough guidelines to make
your own. Experiment, but keep these rules in mind.

The Making of Incense – The Materials

The Making of Incense
The Materials

Incenses are composed of a variety of leaves, flowers, roots, barks, woods, resins, gums and oils. Semiprecious stones may also be added to incenses to lend their energies to the mixture. Out of the literally hundreds of potential incense ingredients, perhaps 14 are most frequently used. Keep a stock of these herbs on hand if you plan to make several incense. These might include:
Frankincense, Myrrh, Benzoin, Copal, Rose petals, Bay, Cinnamon, Pine needles or resin(pitch) Juniper Sandalwood Cedar Thyme Basil Rosemary
Be aware that many plants (if not all) smell quite different when being smoldered. Sweet scents turn sour fast.

Dragon’s Blood

Dragon’s Blood

Several tales tell of the magickal uses of a dragon’s organs and blood. In European lore, the blood was said to make a person invulnerable to stab wounds if they bathed in it, able to understand the speech of birds and animals if they drank it. One of Bothvar’s companions, in the Danish Hrolf’s Saga, ate a dragon’s heart and became extremely brave and strong. Eating the tongue gave eloquence and the ability to win any argument. The liver cured certain diseases, as did various other parts.

Medieval medicine and magick mention the use of dragon’s blood many times. Since dragons are not going to willingly give up their blood, magicians had to turn to other sources. There were said to be several sources of this material, other than from an actual dragon. The “bloodstone” hematite, an ore rich in iron, and the mineral cinnabar, a compound of mercury, were both called forms of dragon’s blood. However, the most widely used “dragon’s blood” was a gum resin. It was said that trees which originally grew from actual spilled dragon’s blood produced a reddish-brown sap of great magickal value. This species of tree is still called Dracaena draco by botanists. Incisions were made in the bark and sap collected as it congealed into resin. Most of these trees are found in the East Indies, souther Arabia, and the Canary Islands. Dragon’s blood resin is still known and used in magickal procedures today.

“Dancing with Dragons”

D. J. Conway