A basic “How To” blend & burn your own incense powders in a Censer.
- Mortar and Pestle
- A Censer (or similar vessel able to withstand the heat of smoldering coals)
- Various Herbs, Gums, Resins etc (depending on your purpose)
- Self-igniting Charcoal Disks or smoldering coals from a fire
- AS ALWAYS Most important: Your own Magickal Intent.
Note: The was originally posted on a former version of the Witchipedia by user FraterAC 3/2013
As this is just a basic “How To” I’ll just give a few generalized examples…
- Firstly you need to gather the Magickal herbs, gums, resins, barks, woods, flowers etc that are appropriate for the Ritual or Work that you’re planning on undertaking, along with your mortar & pestle, censer & charcoal.
- As a general rule it’s always best to use a Gum/Resin like Frankincense, Myrrh, Copal, Benzion, Mastic or Dragon’s blood as a base for your incense because unlike the dried herbs (leaves, flowers, bark etc) which burn very quickly, the gums & resins last a long time smouldering on the charcoal which saves you stopping mid-ritual to top up your censer (a real “mood killer”!).
- So having chosen the herbs & a resin base one should start by adding just small amounts of the dried herbs (don’t add the resin/gum base just yet) to the pestle and begin grinding them into a course/rough powder (if they’re to fine they’ll burn to quickly on the charcoal).
- While grinding the herbs with your mortar, “Visualize” the powers of the Universe/Gods/Goddesses being imbued into the incense.
- A good way to do this & also help focus your Magickal Intent is to chant an appropriate chant or rune as you do so…whatever chant or even song feels right to you.
- Once you have the herbs ground you can then add 1 part resin/gum to 2 parts of the herbs etc you’ve chosen.
- At this point, you don’t want to grind too much, just enough to bind the herbs to the gum/resin base.
- Light your charcoal disk (or add coals) whilst it’s sitting in the censer, if this is your first time using self-igniting charcoal disks then be prepared for a little bit of an intense “crackling” as the saltpeter in the disks light it up.
- Wait for the initial smoke from the disk to die down & place a TINY amount of your prepared powder upon the coals.
- Allow it to burn a while & experience the scent you’ve created.
Let your intuition be your guide..
Perhaps you feel the mix could use a little more of one or other of the herbs so adjust your mixture accordingly.
- When you’re finally happy with the mixture you’ve made, please place it in a glass bottle, label it with the date, time etc it was made, the ingredients, the purpose it was made for & any other relevant information.
- Try not to make too much, fresh is always better so it’s best only to keep your mixtures for about 3 months.
- As with all Magickal Operations, Intuition should guide you.
- Practice makes perfect.
- BE CAREFUL WITH THE CHARCOAL DISKS AS THEY ARE RED HOT AND CAN BURN
For More Information:
The section on Herbal lore here on the Witchipedia