Incense is a powerful tool of the Witch. It is used for purification, consecration, preparing sacred space and honoring Deities.
There is nothing more witchy than mixing up herbs and resins in a mortar and pestle, then sprinkling them over a burning charcoal. Wafts of fragrant smoke rising upwards into the air.
For me, incense represents the element of air. For some it is earth or fire. Yet, this is what makes incense so versatile. It holds connections to all four of the elements.
Incense is air, upon which it lays smoke and scent.
Incense is fire, without the flames of which it would not burn, nor release it’s sweet and woody aroma.
Incense is also firmly rooted in earth. The resins and herbs that are it’s very essence, are drawn from the soil as herbs, trees and bushes.
In a round about way, and an example of inter-connectedness, Incense is also water. The moisture contained within the herbs and also the source that, without which, they would never have grown.
Incense is also used to honor and invoke our Gods and Goddesses. With each herb and resin carefully selected to please and correspond with a particular deity or season of the Great Wheel.
Incense is used to cleanse and purify. White Sage being a widely used herb to prepare sacred space or cleanse our homes of unwanted energies.
Incense is used to open the mind to the astral realms or prepare the body for Shamanic journeys. Mugwort being particularly useful for dreams and visions.
Frankincense and myrrh are a good starting base for most incense mixes.
Sandalwood is a great stand-in for hard to find resins or herbs. Being the ‘white candle’ of incense.
Below is my own recipe I use for Samhain. It honors the season, smelling similar to autumn leaves, especially if mixed and stored in an airtight jar for a few days.
It also pays homage to Hecate.
Frankincense, myrrh, Bay, mugwort, sandalwood and pepper are all sacred to the Dark Goddess.
1 part Frankincense
1 part Myrrh
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 part Mugwort
1/4 part Sage
1/2 part Sandalwood
1/4 part Patchouli
pinch of Black Pepper