What is Incense?
The most common misconception about incense is that incense is simply smoke. It isn’t. Incense is the smoke produced from burning a combustible material. Combustible just means “burnable” and there is a wide variety of materials that can be burned from cheap sawdust (sometimes filled with toxic chemicals like formaldehyde) to the most exotic and expensive (and often endangered) woods.
But you don’t have to suffer with cheap fragrance or ruin the environment or your health by burning incense. There are a variety of high-quality natural materials that are safe and aromatic such as fragrant woods (like sandalwood, cedarwood, and cinnamon bark), herbs (like lavender, patchouli, and deer’s tongue), seeds (like star anise, allspice, and tonka bean), and resins (like frankincense, myrrh, and copal) that also have magical properties that you can harness.
Incense in Spell Work
Incense and magic have gone hand-in-hand since ancient times. From before written history until today, people have used incense to honor their deities, connect with the spirit realm, make offerings to their gods and goddesses, and cast spells. It’s a beautiful thing to light a stick of incense or burn some herbs on a piece of charcoal, filling the room with intense healing or spiritual energy.
Incense can be used in spells to shift your own energy, the energy of others in the room, or to cleanse or imbue your space with positivity. If you’d like to bring some powerful magic to your practice and supercharge your spells, you might want to consider adding some incense to your rituals or making burning incense a ritual in itself .
Types of Incense
There are many different types of incense that can be used in spells. Each has their advantages and you may want to select one or another that works best with your spiritual practice, preference, and lifestyle. Here are some of the most common ones:
Cone Incense for Spell Work
Cone incense is a type of incense where the base material, which is typically made from wood pulp or charcoal, is shaped into small cones. The cones are usually pre-formed and soaked fragrant oils before packaging them. These are then used to burn as an aromatic for providing fragrance.
The advantages of cone incense is that it is easy to store, easy to light, doesn’t break easily, and you don’t need special tools burn it. Just light the tip of the cone and then set it in an incense burner filled with incense sand to absorb the heat.
It’s also easy to make your own incense cones with our all-natural incense making kits. And making your own incense adds extra magic to your spell work while ensuring that you’re using the very best ingredients: aromatic woods and pure herbs with no fillers or artificial fragrances.
Stick Incense for Spells
Stick incense comes in two forms: dipped sticks (made from a bamboo stick surrounded by wood pulp and dipped in artificial fragrance) which are less expensive and have varying degrees of quality, or Japanese-style stick incense which is considered the highest quality, most natural incense available on Earth.
When we are doing our magic, we prefer the quality of Japanese stick incense because it is low-smoke, uses natural ingredients that support our intention and has no harmful chemicals. Only the finest raw materials are used and the results are remarkable, subtle scents that invite us to use all of our senses in our incense magic — what the Japanese call mon-koh, or “listening to incense.” These luxury incense sticks are also in alignment with our ethics to respect the Earth. The Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry in Japan, and the US Fish & Wildlife Department validate that the stick incense we sell are properly accounted for and responsibly harvested.
Japanese stick incense is easy to light, low-smoke and naturally fragrant. Simply light the end of a stick and after several seconds, blow out the flame and place the unlit end in a stick incense holder.
Botanical Incense for Spell Work
Botanical incense simply means burning herbs, resins, or woods on a piece of incense charcoal. While these botanical ingredients are almost always safe to burn, there can be quality issues with the charcoal that you use. Typical “self-lighting” brands such as Three Kings, Swift Lite or Kwik Lite charcoal contain saltpeter. Saltpeter makes these easy to light and give a sense of magic as the charcoal crackles, sparks and pops, but also gives off toxic fumes that can be very unpleasant to smell and can compromise your health.
We’ve discovered a much safer alternative. Bamboo charcoal is low smoke, clean burning, emits no unpleasant odors, and doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals. While you might have to hold the charcoal over a flame a little longer to get it to light, we think that this compromise is well worth the advantages of protecting your health and well-being, not polluting the air, and letting the natural fragrance of your herbs and resins shine through.
All of our incense spell kits contain the highest quality bamboo charcoal and safe-to-burn incense herbs and resins so that you can be assured of having a pleasant experience in your spell work.
Smudge Sticks and Herb Bundles for Spell Work
Herb bundles, sometimes called smudge sticks or censing sticks, are simply small bundles of dried herbs that can be lit while the fragrant smoke is wafted over yourself or in your space to spiritually cleanse and imbue your space with intention. It’s easy to make herb bundles by drying fresh herbs yourself, or you can purchase a smudge stick if you don’t have access to that particular herb where you live.
White Sage is one of the most well-known herb bundles but we carry many other types of burnable herbs for your magical purposes. Simply light one end and wave it over someone or something in order to clear any negative energies. This action can be done with the intent of purifying an area, person, or object; sending healing thoughts; or imbuing a person or space with a particular intention.
Once you’re done using the herb bundle, just stub it out in a cauldron or other fire safe bowl and relight it again the next time you want to use it.
Self-Lighting Loose Incense for Spell Work
Self-lighting loose incense is sawdust mixed with saltpeter and aromatic herbs or artificial fragrances. While the convenience of self-lighting incense might be enticing, we see some problematic issues with it. First, the sawdust might be treated with highly toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. Second, saltpeter is also toxic when burned, as we mentioned above. And finally, while some self-lighting incense might have botanicals in it, there are others that are simply artificial fragrance with no natural herbs or resins, so you might not be getting any support from magical plants in your incense spell.
Burning Incense During Meditation
To conjure and cast spells, it’s best to focus on centering yourself, which can be achieved through meditation. Typically, the way I prefer to do this is to create a sacred space where I can be alone with my thoughts, then light an incense, preferably one that is has real botanical ingredients in it to support my spell work. It’s important to let it burn and fill the space with its gentle fragrance. In doing so, I allow my mind to free itself from the restrictions of whatever thoughts might be working against my intention.
How to Choose the Best Incense
When you’re choosing the right incense for your magic, you have many options. The most customizable is to make your own blend and burn it on bamboo charcoal, while the easiest is to burn cones or sticks. Each incense has its own speciality when it comes to magic so you can either choose herbs that support your spell intention or choose an incense that has been crafted or blended with your intention in mind. Find the one that fits best with your lifestyle, has a fragrance that is attractive to you, or has the energies that you want to bring to your spell.