Thursday, May 26, 2011


When I was in herb school, I learned that many of the substances people use to purify and cleanse with smoke actually have anti-microbial properties. Sage and myrrh, well known for their use when groups gather for spiritual purposes, are but two examples of incense that not only cleanse energetically, but physically as well.

Wise ancients chose well: They somehow knew that these herbs, resins, and substances would ensure the health of everyone there. Given that these rituals attracted dozens or possibly hundreds of people, large quantities of smoke that kills the nasty bacteria everyone was bringing with them (and possibly passing onto others) was a very good idea.

Since my herb class, I have also discovered that many of the selections Witches and subsequent others choose for ritual incense have other properties. Frankincense is an anti-depressive, for example. Some other substances commonly used in incense are euphorics, still others are used for bringing on specific visions.

I admit to being a "gearhead" when it comes to magical wares. I have an entire 3 shelf cabinet of candles for any purpose (all colors, sizes, shapes). I also collect incenses like crazy. You should see my incense shelf in the temple! In addition to single resins and herbs, I have 23 blends- all for a specific god or goddess. I also have blends that I use for specific work: divination, oracular work, or devotional offerings to specific beings.

Some of my favorite incense (whether made by me or other Witches or Shamans) are blends that are for specific purposes or beings. It makes your ritual or magical offering that much more potent when everything you do/use is in concert with your purposes. When giving devotion to Hekate, why not use a blend crafted to Her- with herbs, flowers, and other substances that are associated and sacred to Her?

I will often spend time crafting a specific blend if I am doing a big working, but often I rely on the work of others that I know and respect. I know of several Witches that make incense that is far superior to anything I have made- and I gladly pay for their wares because of it.

So what are some of my faves, not made by me? The Witch of Forest Grove makes a fantastic Bee Oracle incense (which is not always available, as it is crafted in small batches). Sword and the Rose (a local place that does do phone/mail order, but does not have a webstore), makes so many blends that I possess: Isis, Elf Queen, Udjat (and at least a dozen more). All use amazing ingredients that are sourced mainly in Egypt. The recipes come to the maker in trance with specific beings, and he crafts them at the appropriate times, astrologically. They are AMAZING. If you ever are in San Francisco, do not miss a chance to visit.

What are your favorites? Where do you get them? Do you ever make your own?


  1. Herbs and incense are some things that I am really interested in. I love the idea of your one for every purpose.

  2. Well, I warn you, it can be taken to extremes (most people get rather wide eyed when they are in the temple and see the selection)! LOL

  3. A wonderful post on incense!
    I am so happy to be finding such wonderful blogs via the posts surrounding the Circle of Moms Faith issue. Stop by and visit when you can. Blessings, Cordelia
    Not sure why I am showing up as anonymous when I try to post under my Google acct, so if you click my name it should take you to my blog.

  4. Welcome Cordelia- so glad you found me. I will stop by your blog for sure!


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