Burn Incense

The history of incense

Immerse yourself in the ancient world of scents and myths.

Smoked goods

Smoking is a custom known to all ancient cultures. Sitting around a campfire in the evening, it was easy to notice that different types of wood produced different smells. Their effects were not always the same. They could be invigorating, soothing, or the cause of particularly vivid dreams. These observations were then used to create the desired effect. This is how the art of incense was born and is still used today.

For our ancestors, the smoke produced by burning herbs, resins and woods served as a message to the gods and to ward off evil spirits. In the Christian faith, such customs were not initially viewed so favourably. In the Roman Catholic Church, however, incense was burned vigorously from the 9th century onwards. It was used on major church holidays to commemorate the gifts of the Magi. Of course, incense was also mentioned by the famous Hildegard of Bingen. She explained in her writings that smoke could be used to drive away various diseases from the body and soul.
Incidentally, a modern way of burning incense is in the sauna. Although the ritual significance of this has been somewhat downgraded, the health benefits of the various infusions are undisputed.

Why people burn incense

Christianity actually forbade the invocation of demons, spirits and gods. They were no longer to be asked for help or appeased by the smoke. Despite this, there were plenty of opportunities to burn incense in the Middle Ages. This has not changed to this day. People smoke to gain clarity and make the right decisions. With the smoke you can drive away negative influences and cleanse the whole house or individual rooms. This is especially advisable after a long illness or unpleasant events.

It is also a good idea if you are inaugurating a new house or opening a new business. The scent of incense can bring peace and inner reflection. It comforts you in loneliness and helps you to concentrate. It can help you deal with grief and anger or protect you from foreign influences. It can also be used as part of a thanksgiving or sacrificial ceremony. Smoke from medicinal herbs activates the healing process and supports the immune system. An incense ritual can help you find your mental balance and open your mind to connect with higher spheres. It is also said to help with love matters.

What you can use incense for

If you have a particular goal in mind, it is worth looking at which herbs or woods you can use to help you achieve it. Different plants often have very different effects. Frankincense is used for protection, purification and blessing. Styrax, on the other hand, has a relaxing effect and drives away negative thoughts. Meanwhile, lavender flowers are used to win men's hearts, and eucalyptus leaves can be used to dampen your emotions if they threaten to boil over. Choose the right incense and let the scent touch you. The smoke will have a beneficial effect on your body, mind and spirit. There are special incenses for energetic and spiritual cleansing and, of course, for healing.

Whether herbs, wood or resin - what you smoke with and which scents you like depends on your intention and preferences. For beginners, it is often advisable to start with pure substances in order to discover their effects. Later you can experiment with your own blends.

When to burn incense

The timing of an incense burn has a significant influence on its success. If you want to fulfil your inner desires, choose the time around the full moon. If you need steadfastness to persevere with a project you have started, then around the new moon is the best time. During the waxing moon you can dispel any doubts that may be plaguing you. If you are planning something that you are not yet sure about, this period will help you gain clarity. For anything you want to let go of, be it problems or an old love, choose the days around the waning moon. This is when incense that deals with these issues is most effective.

How to burn incense

Of course, the process itself depends on the materials you use. The simplest are incense sticks or incense bases. In any case, you should create a beautiful place, perhaps an altar, where you perform the ceremony. Fine holders for the incense sticks or elegant bowls will also create the right atmosphere. Take your time because, as the saying goes, "good things come to those who wait". Dress beautifully for the occasion.

Appropriate music will add to the special atmosphere. Be mindful of your movements and thoughts. Create your own ritual that makes you feel good. Do not inhale the rising smoke directly. Blow it away with your hand or a pretty feather. Once your incense has burned, pause for a moment and listen to yourself. Only then should you turn your attention to other things.

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