The magical influences of water operate most effectively on the astral-emotional nature. We will find that incense also has its special effect. Incense has its greatest effect on the mental-intellectual nature. When we burn incense, we are activating the mental plane and manifesting the force of the air elementals. The activation of the mental-intellectual nature by the use of incense also has an effect on the astral-emotional nature as well. When we stimulate the mental intellectual nature by burning an incense, we stimulate the flow of communication with the forces of the universe. Burning incense also enhances the flow of communication between people. The interested reader may want to read Incense and The Magic of Perfume for additional information.1
In the more advanced magical techniques used to summon a spirit to visible appearance, incense not only promotes communication with the spirit, but through the medium of the smoke flux it makes it possible for the spirit to manifest to visible appearance with the least possible expenditure of energy. In many of the lesser techniques of magic this dual function of incense plays a large part in gaining the effects desired.
You will find that burning incense is not an elaborate process. The spices and gum resins which are mentioned here are available in many health food, herb, and occult supply stores around the country. Self-lighting charcoals may be purchased at most of these stores, or at religious supply stores in almost every city. Many of the incense mixtures that follow can be made from spices found in your kitchen.
You can make an incense burner from an old cat food or tuna fish can and a saucer. Place the can on the saucer and put a self-lighting charcoal on top. Light the edge of the self-lighting charcoal with a match and allow the flame to travel across the surface of the charcoal. This is accomplished with a lot of popping and sparking. Once the charcoal is lit across its top surface, the sparking will stop. You may now add incense to the hot charcoal about a quarter teaspoon at a time. If you wish to do so, you can always add more incense to the charcoal after the first batch has gone out.
Once you have experimented with burning incense, you may want to try using a censer. A censer is simply an incense burner which is swung by hand. Using a censer will allow you to apply incense throughout your entire living quarters using only one charcoal, for you can carry the incense with you as you apply it throughout your home. You can make a censer from another cat food can and three small pieces of chain. Place some sand in the bottom of the can and a self-lighting charcoal on top. Light the charcoal, and once the sparking has stopped, you can put some incense on it. Then pick up the censer by the chain end and swing it gently as you slowly walk through your home. Figure 1 will give you some idea of how this is done. Once you have tried this method, you will be surprised how easy it is to do. When you burn incense in your home, you will find that the effects last from four to twelve hours afterward. If you frequently burn similar incenses, you will find that the place where they are burned tends to maintain the vibration of the incense blend permanently. If you are comfortable with the incenses you are using, this is all right. If the incenses you are using are all calls for help, however, you will find that they become self-defeating. If you burn only incenses which are requests to the universe for help, protection, or money, you will find that their results drop off quickly. The forces of the universe tend to look on this as a case of over-kill, so they will respond to the burning of these incenses less and less and eventually not at all. Therefore, many of the incenses mentioned in this chapter are marked with a request for infrequent burning. The number of times a year you can safely burn them and still have them work for you is noted.
Figure 1. Two methods of burning incense. Top: using an upside-down can with charcoal and incense on top; and bottom: making a censer out of an empty can.
If you wish to use a number of incenses in your work, or if you wish to burn incense frequently, you should select those which are calming and of a spiritual nature. The area where you will be working will then take on this calming and spiritual vibration. When you have set up the spiritual vibration, other more specific incenses will have the desired effect because the forces of the universe will always respond to a spiritual call. Only calls based on human greed are ignored. Specific incenses should only be used for specific tasks, and only when you really need them.
Some people like to burn incense simply to maintain a mystic aura to their living quarters. When this is the only reason for burning incense, you should question your motive. I have never met a real magician or occultist who burned incense simply because he or she liked the smell. On the other hand, incense is burned by people who would like you to think they are “into” the occult. You must remember that incenses are a powerful tool in magic. Those who misuse powerful tools lose the right to use them constructively.
Mixing and Storing Incense
You will find that the incense formulas presented here will make more incense than you might wish to use at one time.
You can store the surplus in small bottles or plastic jars. Baby food jars are good, so are plastic vitamin tablet bottles. The important point is that they should be kept sealed. Incense, like almost everything else, will deteriorate over time in contact with air. If you keep incense in small sealed containers, you will find that it will last almost indefinitely. I have used incense that I have had stored over ten years with good results. In some cases, when certain incenses need to blend together, long-term storage enhances the effect. The incenses will not lose their virtue, but they may lose most of their scent if they are left exposed to the air. Spices are said to lose their seasoning qualities after six months in a kitchen. This is not true for their effect as incenses in my experience. You may wish to adopt my own rule of thumb—use the incense unless it looks bad. If it looks bad, throw it away and make up some fresh incense.
I have found that the best way to mix incense is by using a mortar and pestle. I have a good ceramic mortar and pestle given to me by a friend who is a chemist. They may also be found in houseware stores, in a variety of sizes. If you have a mortar which will hold about a cup of liquid, you will have one which is the correct size for almost any practical use.
Gum resin incenses, such as frankincense, myrrh and benzoin, are easier to work with and last longer if they are purchased in large lumps and stored in closed containers. This usually makes them difficult to break up and grind in the mortar, however. If the pieces to be ground are placed in the refrigerator overnight before they are ground or broken up in the mortar, they will be easier to work with. If they are ground to a powder, the excess can be stored in a glass or plastic bottle and used when next required, saving having to grind each batch.
When incenses are made entirely from spices, it is often easier to mix them on a piece of paper. The paper may be creased and used as a funnel to place the finished incense in a small bottle, which you can shake to complete the mixing.
Incense is one of our oldest offerings to God, and you should enjoy working with it. Please remember to label and date all the incense you make and keep it out of the reach of children and adults who do not understand its use.
Incense from the Kitchen
Kitchen spices and blends are useful as incenses. The effects they have are indicated in the following list. These simple incenses may become your favorites.
ALLSPICE: Good for social gatherings; increases the flow of conversation and the rapport between people.
CINNAMON: Calming; has a protective vibration. It stimulates the mind to some extent, and it can also bring money into the home. It is good to burn in the nursery, as it has a calming and quieting effect on young children.
CLOVES: Psychically protective, it keeps negative thoughtforms out of the place it is burned.
COFFEE: Good for protection from negativity; it can put an end to nightmares when it is burned in the bedroom. Better for teenage children than cinnamon.
MACE: Good for self-discipline; aids concentration and strengthens the mental body. It is a spice ruled by Mars and affects the mental plane.
NUTMEG: Makes people feel expansive or jovial. It adds to self-confidence, opens people to being joyous. It is not a sexual incense, but it does promote congeniality.
The following spice blends are used as incenses, about a quarter teaspoon at a time. Their names are indicative of their use.
BLESSING OF CONCORD
Cinnamon and allspice combined in equal parts. This places a smooth and witty feeling into the place where it is burned. It encourages social affairs and discourages jealousy between people. A bit of frankincense can be added to raise the vibration.
MENTAL EASE AND PEACE
This resulted from a friend's making up an incense from the recipe in the folk song called “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.” Taken in equal parts, it yields an incense which seems to smooth out the vibrations in the place where it is burned. It makes meditation a bit calmer and easier and calms the home at bedtime. It also seems to relieve mental tension and help those who worry a lot.
MENTAL STIMULATION AND WIT
This incense is an example of the positive use of mace—the incense of Mars. It has a mentally stimulating effect and is good for increasing the alertness of those who do mental work. It is not a bad incense for the office or the store, in that it seems to perk things up a bit. It is bad to burn where tempers flare, however. Take two teaspoons of mace and mix with a teaspoon of ground cloves and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Burn a quarter teaspoon at a time on a hot charcoal for best results. The remainder can be placed in a small bottle and stored for future use. It improves a bit with a week of ageing.
This incense is used to affect a blessing on a person, place, or thing. It is particularly good for blessing a new possession or article of clothing. Pray for what is desired as the incense is burning. Make the incense by mixing a teaspoon of ground bay leaf with a teaspoon of ground cumin. Add a pinch of salt and mix well. Burn a quarter teaspoon at a time on hot charcoal and let the fumes of the incense reach the person or item being blessed.
Your most important incense is the ritual incense used to cense an area used for ritual purposes. The following is my own blend, which serves well for most work. Specific rituals call for specific incenses, and in some cases this incense will not do at all. However, you will find that it will serve for most simple ritual work. The incense will not only cleanse an area, but it will also bring in the vibrations required for most work.
Mix the following gum resins either by weight or by volume. A tablespoonful may be crushed in the mortar for use as required. Be sure to label the container and date it so you remember when you prepared it.
The incense may either be used on the altar or in a censer. It is also useful for fumigations and for censing in spiritual cleansings.
This incense is used to protect those occupying the place where it is burned. It was originally devised by Joseph-Antoine Boullan, a well-known occultist of the 19th century. The story of his preparing it for the use of J. K. Huysmans is told in Eliphas Levi and the French Occult Revival.3 The incense was made and blessed in the name of St. John the Baptist.
The incense is made as a stiff gum, formed into small balls or pellets the size of a pea. These can be flattened into wafers if desired. It is to be burned on charcoal with a prayer for protection whenever protection is desired. The incense improves slightly with age as long as it is kept in a closed container which does not allow the camphor gum to evaporate.
Mix in a mortar:
1 teaspoon finely ground myrrh powder
1 teaspoon frankincense powder
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon camphor gum (either synthetic from your local drugstore or natural from a store selling Indian foods and spices)
If the mixture does not form a gum, add a bit more camphor to bind it. The finished pellets may be rolled or dusted with myrrh powder to make them less sticky if desired.
You use this incense by placing a pellet on a hot charcoal. While the fumes are rising, you should pray for the protection you desire. If you are praying from a Christian perspective, you should make your prayer to St. John the Baptist. From a pagan perspective, you should address your prayer to the martial or Mars-related deity in the pantheon you use.
To cleanse yourself or another person from negative influences, you may use this incense in a fumigation. For information on fumigating yourself or another person see page 75 where fumigation with incense is discussed at length.
HIGH SPIRIT INCENSE
The name “High Spirit Incense” is frequently found on incenses sold in occult or curio shops. It is an incense which attracts higher spiritual forces, and has the effect of protecting, blessing, and generally clearing up the spiritual environment. The incense given below is not what you will find in the occult store but is actually the incense used by spiritual practitioners. It is made from gum resins, and while it is costlier, it is also much more effective.
If you are only going to work with one or two incenses, this is one which you will want to keep on hand. The incense is made in the mortar and sealed in small bottles. You may burn about a quarter teaspoon at a time on charcoal.
3 teaspoons frankincense
2 teaspoons benzoin gum
1 teaspoon myrrh
You may use this incense either in a fixed burner or in a censer. You may also use this incense in a fumigation, especially following a cleansing bath.
This incense is sometimes known as High Church Incense, or Church Incense. The formula we will use contains gum resins, while the occult store product is usually made from perfume oils and wood flour. You will find that our version of the incense has a very spiritual and quiet vibration. It is useful for meditation or for calming a nervous vibration.
This incense is made in the mortar and stored in small closed bottles. You can burn it on charcoal about a quarter teaspoon at a time.
2½ teaspoons frankincense
1 teaspoon myrrh
1 teaspoon copal
You may burn this incense either in a fixed burner or in a censer. You will find that it is best in meditation if you use a fixed burner that remains about six feet away when you are meditating.
INCENSE FOR SWEETENING THE HOME
This incense originated with black Americans in the South. It was a favorite incense in the pre-Civil War South, when resin gums were not available to the black slaves. This incense cheers up the home, settling so-called “troubled conditions.” It is also good to use around old people, especially those who feel that they have nothing to live for.
Unlike the other incenses made from gums, this incense does not store for more than a week or so. Therefore, you should make only the amount you will need for one time.
Mix two or three drops of honey in a quarter teaspoon of brown sugar. Place the resulting paste on a hot charcoal and allow the fumes to fill the house. The odor can be rather strong if it is burned in a room full of people; consequently it is usually better to burn this when you are alone. The vibrations will remain when the rest of the family arrives.
MONEY DRAWING INCENSE
This incense is useful for opening the door to money. It has gained a very good reputation in money-drawing, as it seems to work when it is used. Having used it myself when in financial need, I can testify to its effectiveness. I am sure it will work as well for you, although there are no guarantees in the operation of magic. Burning this incense seems to announce to the universe that more income is needed.
Mix a teaspoon of benzoin gum powder and two teaspoons of cinnamon in a mortar. Burn about a quarter teaspoon at a time on hot charcoal. Cense all the rooms of the house with the incense when you want a lift in your money supply.
This incense must not be over-used, as over-use is a signal that you are unhappy with the divine supply that is being given to you. The universe seems to interpret over-use as a sign of greed and reduces rather than increases the supply. Using this incense three or four times a year is best. You should use it when you are at a low point financially, as this seems to have the best results. It will bring money in to you—don't be impatient. It is important not to wonder where the money will come from, for doing so may act to limit the amount available to you.
This incense has been used for many years to encourage concentration when meditating. You may find it valuable when you study. This incense may be burned in your bedroom to aid your mind in directing itself to certain thoughts while you sleep. It is an aid to concentration in general. Mix together well the following spices:
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground mace
½ teaspoon powdered alum4
Burn a quarter teaspoon at a time on a hot charcoal. This incense stores well if it is kept in a closed bottle. It should be burned alternately with one of the spiritual incenses, or the vibration of the room where it is burned may become a bit too heavy.
This incense should not be used to cense people, as it has too heavy a vibration. For the same reason it should not be used for fumigations.
HOUSE BLESSING INCENSE
When you move into a new house, you often want it to get a “homey” feeling quickly. This incense will assist in making your house into a home. It was devised by an expert in ceremonial magic,5 and has been used by a number of people with success, including myself.
The incense improves with age, but it should be stored in a covered bottle. Mix this incense in the mortar and form into pills about the size of a pea.
1 teaspoon powdered camphor gum
1 teaspoon powdered nutmeg
1 teaspoon powdered dried myrtle leaves
This incense may be burned in a censer, but the best way to use it to put a strong vibration in a new home is to arrange several incense burners throughout the house. You can use cat food cans and saucers for this, with a charcoal on each one. Place two pea-sized lumps or about an eighth teaspoon of incense on each charcoal. Let the fumes rise and permeate the whole house until there are no more fumes rising. This takes about an hour. As the scent is a bit strong, you may wish to air out the house afterwards, but the vibration will remain in the house.
A single application of this incense is sufficient. It will establish a good vibration throughout the entire house, and unless there is a traumatic upset, it will remain.
INCENSE FOR ABUNDANCE AND PROSPERITY IN THE HOME
Once you have established a good homey vibration in your house, you might wish to refresh this vibration from time to time. Regularly used, say every month or so, the following incense will assist you in that effort. It has the quality of bringing abundance into your home, and when it is used as a censing incense throughout the house—with a prayer of thanksgiving—it will maintain the beneficial vibrations of the home and keep prosperity flowing in. This incense has other beneficial qualities as well, in that it has a spiritualizing effect in the place where it is burned. This assists in removing negative thoughtforms and keeping the home elevated.
In the mortar, mix the following:
2 parts ground cinnamon
1 part ground nutmeg
1 part benzoin
1 part ground dried myrtle leaves
Burn about an eighth of a teaspoon at a time on a hot charcoal in a censer. Carry the censer with you as you move throughout the house, allowing the fumes to reach through the entire house. The remaining incense may be stored in a closed bottle.
Fumigation with Incense
Fumigation is the process of using incense on a person, place, or thing to change the vibration of whatever is fumigated. The desire of the fumigation is to permanently change the vibration for the better. In the case of the fumigation of people, however, the change in the vibration is rarely lasting. Buildings and furniture will have a permanent change in vibration if they are thoroughly fumigated.
You might compare the concept of fumigation with the use of perfume. When you use any kind of scent, you have a change in your vibration, but the change is not lasting because the scent wears off. You will experience a similar change as a result of using a fumigation. In the case of a fumigation, however, you will find that the change in the vibration is more subtle. It will take a few days or a week for your natural vibration to completely supersede the vibration placed on you by the fumigation.
The primary object of a fumigation, whether of a person, place, or thing, is to eliminate negative influences which may be present. This is the reason why knowing landlords have houses and apartments fumigated after a tenant leaves. The fumigation completely removes the vibration of the previous tenants and places a new vibration into the living space. The fumigation of a person has the same effect—first it cleanses him or her of negative influences, and second, it raises his or her vibration to a higher level.
When you fumigate a building, it is necessary to use a number of incense burners. You may want to place one in every room of the house. A cleansing incense is placed on the coals of the incense burners and left for an hour or so. Once the cleansing is accomplished, the new vibration is placed in the building by burning a spiritual incense. You might want to use Coffee Incense to clean out the negativity in the place and then follow with House Blessing Incense to place a good vibration in the place.
When a crime of violence or murder has taken place in a house or apartment, it is frequently necessary to use incenses as well as other things to clean out the living quarters. Some of the materials used can be dangerous, so this type of cleansing is best left to those who have been trained to do it. One incense commonly used for this type of cleansing actually destroys the astral fabric in an apartment or house. With this type of cleansing the most evil vibrations can be removed and replaced with a feeling of sweetness and light.
Fumigating a person is a very simple thing, and one which will be found to be beneficial under all circumstances. You should get into the habit of using a fumigation on yourself whenever you still feel “grungy” after taking a cleansing bath.6 The incense will remove astral forms which the bath will not. This is not because the incense is more effective than the bath, but simply that the incense removes one thing while the bath removes something else.
When you are fumigating yourself, you should avoid experimenting with incenses other than those given below. You are working with your personal vibration when you do a fumigation, and you may create a change that you will not like. After any fumigation, the effect will stay with you for at least twenty-four hours!
To fumigate yourself (or another person) you will need a straight-backed chair, a white sheet, your incense burner and the incense you have selected. Place the incense burner under the chair and light the charcoal. Place the incense on the hot charcoal and sit on the chair (either nude or in your underwear). Now gently wrap the sheet around you, covering the chair, and everything but your head. Be careful not to let the sheet hit the incense burner or the hot charcoal! Sit like this for ten or fifteen minutes and you will fumigate yourself very well indeed.
ALLSPICE: Will assist you in being more harmonious with others. It is a good fumigation when you have difficulties in a marriage or at work.
BENZOIN: Will assist in removing blockages to your growth. For spiritual assistance, it should be accompanied by a sincere prayer to God for help.
CINNAMON: Will assist you in gaining protection from outside forces, and from malicious or negative people. It can be used with a prayer for a job or a business opportunity.
CLOVES: This is the best protective incense for fumigation. It will protect you from those who are deliberately malicious as well as from the sub-conscious negative thoughts of others. A clove fumigation is about the strongest protection fumigation there is.
COFFEE: A good fumigation against negative entities, including the spirits of the dead. It is also a good fumigation for those who are sick or who have been sick for a period of time. It will remove heavy thoughtforms from people. It also puts an end to nightmares induced by heavy thoughts of yourself or others. Use regular ground coffee, not instant or decaffeinated coffee.
FRANKINCENSE: A general fumigation for cleansing and spiritual growth. It will assist you to get off on the right foot in any form of spiritual growth or exercise. It is probably the best general fumigation to start with.
GARLIC SKINS: The outer covering of the garlic is peeled off and discarded when you cook with garlic. The skins are good for the removal of negative thoughtforms or obsessive thoughts. You should fumigate yourself with garlic skins if you feel discouraged about something, or if one thought preys on your mind. After breaking off an affair, it is a good idea to fumigate yourself with garlic skins every week for the first month or so. This keeps thoughts of loss from becoming too strong.
TOBACCO: Tobacco is an herb of Mars and is often used in incense in small quantities to add the Mars vibration. It is good for physical protection and for freeing yourself from influences sent to you. It may also be used with a sincere prayer to free yourself of the ability to send the Evil Eye to others.