Incense Magick


As well as making use of herbs as plants,
decorations and for healing, their most important
use in magic was – and still is – in incense.
Incense symbolizes the Element Air and the
spiritual realms and has been part of ritual use by
magical workers and priests alike for thousands
of years. Granular incense, with its basis of resins
and gums, is nowadays usually preferred for
magical workings or ritual worship. It has a
magic all of its own. For this reason a good
incense burner will be one of your most
important tools. You should choose this carefully,
and not just for its aesthetic sense, because it is
vital that the incense is allowed to burn properly.
Since time immemorial, people have burned
sweet-smelling woods, herbs and resins to
perfume, cleanse and clarify the atmosphere in
which they exist. During outdoor rituals special
woods and herbs with magical qualities would
be thrown onto bonfires or into altar cauldrons.
In the home, open-hearth fires could be used to
give off perfumed smoke which sweetened or
freshened the air. The word ‘perfume’ means
‘through smoke’.
Initially, resins and gums were used most
successfully, so in areas where resinous trees
grew, incenses were used to honour the gods.
Egypt became especially renowned for its high
standard of blending and the use of ritual
incense. There was a particular class of incense
– which is still available today – called Khyphi.
It required magical techniques and the finest
ingredients for its manufacture.

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