Friday, February 13, 2009

An Ancient Act - Blending and Burning Incense

Something new - all natural Incense!
I've recently started blending loose incenses - something I've enjoyed doing in the past, but have found little time to enjoy in the years since I was married.
Blending incense, burning herbs or resins, is something that people have done for ages. It's the one devotional act that has consistently been a part of religious rituals since time immemorial. Specific ingredients are chosen with intent; a charcoal or fire is prepared; the herbs and resins are strewn onto the burning coals. It's an act that most all have witnessed, whether it's in person or via film.
What is it about burning something that is so in tune with the ritual need each of us occasionally feels? Is it this act of offering, whether simple or complex, that embodies our need to know that some greater power is looking out for us, protecting us from . . . what?
I burn things whenever I get the chance.
No, I'm not a pyromaniac. I've had my fingers burned enough to respect fire, but sitting before a flame and watching something turn to ash is appealing on a primitive, deep seated level that has few equivalents. And who doesn't enjoy the crackle of cedar on a cold winter's night or the smell of woodsmoke in the chill fall air of October?
And what about the smell of roasting meat or food?
So I am back at where I started this post.
The other day I blended up 7 varieties of loose incense. Loose just means that you need charcoal to burn it on. This is the oldest form of incense known to man. Bamboo stick incense or even composite joss (a common incense used throughout Asia that is a stick but contains no bamboo) didn't come about until later. The lovely part of loose incense is that you leave chunks of resin whole and you're able to see the various components - bits of leaf matter, chunks of resin, fine powders.
Burning incense is something sacred. It takes focus and intent, from lighting the match to adding a pinch onto a sparking charcoal. Something votive in these actions keeps me feeling completely human which is why I love it so. Scented candles cannot compare to a twisting finger of smoke!
You can see all of my new Lustral Incense Blends at my webstore -
You can also directly link via my favorites listed at the right of the screen!
Have a blessed day and think on what there is in your life that makes you feel spiritual, even if it deviates from what is the accepted norm. :o)
Life, Love, and Strength!

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