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Author Topic: Uses of incense burning in different traditions  (Read 5220 times)
Waldfrau
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« Topic Start: March 01, 2008, 04:10:03 pm »

I like to smoke [edit: burn] various incense because I love the smell and feel that it creates a positive atmosphere, but I wonder how it is used in different traditions and why.

I've read somewhere that smoke cleanses the room of spirits and somewhere else that you can offer incense to spirits or gods.  Huh


Which traditions/religions do use incense and why?

Why and how are you using incense and does it relate to a specific tradition?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2008, 02:47:25 am by Passionfruit, Reason: vocabulary » Logged

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« Reply #1: March 01, 2008, 06:31:57 pm »

I like to smoke various incense because I love the smell and feel that it creates a positive atmosphere, but I wonder how it is used in different traditions and why.

I think you mean burn incense..."smoke incense" gives me a very interesting mental image lol. Cheesy

I use incense both for cleansing, for offerings, and just to create a good atmosphere. What I'm going for determines the type of incense used. For instance, for serious cleansing I use a mixture of Frankincense and sage. It STINKS but it works. I'll also choose an incense or a blend depending on what exactly the ritual is "geared towards".

Tonight I used a mixture of High Desert Sage and Pinon Pine. The sage is cleansing and the pinon comforting. It really smells good together and creates a wonderful atmosphere (which is what I wanted for this particular ritual.)
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #2: March 02, 2008, 02:51:00 am »

I think you mean burn incense..."smoke incense" gives me a very interesting mental image lol. Cheesy
Oh, sorry, yes I meant burning incense. I haven't even smoked tabacco or other stuff. Not that you can tell with my vocabulary confusion...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3: March 02, 2008, 08:39:51 am »

Why and how are you using incense and does it relate to a specific tradition?

In Hellenic Paganism, incense is an acceptable offering to most of the Gods (all but the Cthonic deities).
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« Reply #4: March 03, 2008, 01:10:11 pm »

In Hellenic Paganism, incense is an acceptable offering to most of the Gods (all but the Cthonic deities).

Hmmm, I didn't know that.  Thanks for the heads up!  (I just thought they got *different* incense.  Come to think of it, it makes sense, though.  Cthonic offering go in or on the ground - not in the air.)
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« Reply #5: March 15, 2008, 11:39:24 am »

Why and how are you using incense and does it relate to a specific tradition?

Well, many, many religions and cultures across the world use incense. The Hebrews burned incense for God (and they had to do it a special way or they got killed by God, its in the old testament, crazy stuff). Now, even today Orthodox and Catholic churches burn incense. They even incense the people (purifying), and then the other incense is seen as prayers going up to God.

In Asian cultures, many temples burn incense. You can go to temple and light a stick and place it at the temple. Zen Buddhism and Shinto employs this (I believe). Hinduism does as well. Once again, prayers raise on incense, and it is seen as an offering.

I believe Native American religions also use as well.

Many pagan religions use it for offerings and purification. Witchcraft will often use a corresponding incense for a spell. Its not required really, but many people like to work with it.

I personally love it. In my workings I use white sage for purifying. I offer frankincense stick incense, its kind of my 'every day' incense. I love it, it smells divine, and I think the gods appreciate it? I use Triloka, as it smells amazing and doesnt seem to bother me (sometimes others make me stuffy). If I have a specific intent, I might mix up an incense or pick a stick incense that corresponds to said intent.

It sets the mood, and I think it really is one of the more magickal things you can offer on your altar!
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« Reply #6: March 16, 2008, 04:16:42 pm »

Which traditions/religions do use incense and why?

In the Aztec religion, copal is the most sacred incense and one of the most common offerings to the Teteo. It is literally the food of the gods - it was believed that as the smoke rose into the realm of the gods it turned into tortillas for Them to feast on. Smiley

Incense is also very much appreciated by the Kemetic gods. Myrrh, frankincense, and kapet, a spicy-sweet mixture of various resins and gums, are all traditional. If I'm remembering correctly, incense was seen in ancient times as the breath of the gods.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 04:38:06 pm by Cosima, Reason: typo » Logged

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