The tradition of using herbs and resins to support spiritual rituals goes so far back into our history as humans. It’s no wonder that it is something that seems to be included in most cultures at some point in their history. I find it so fascinating that cultures all over the world, separated by oceans & landmasses, found the burning of herbs/wood/resins useful and an integral part of their spiritual practices. For me, using incense feels like it comes from something primal inside me, like my ancestors from all over the world are whispering their traditions to me, urging me to include this in my personal spiritual practice. And I do burn incense a LOT!
I love to mix my own herbal blends and put my own energy into the creation of my incense. It feels so magical to use my own creations in my spiritual practice. I prefer scents that have an earthy or musk smell to them, they make me feel connected to the Earth and to the moment. My favorite smell is sandalwood or nag champa. I don’t get to use much sandalwood because the oil is super expensive and I know the trees are being over-harvested. So I do have sandalwood, but I don’t use it often. It’s reserved for special rituals that I put a lot of care and preparation for. I’m sure I’ll get backlash from some for even using it at all but whatever.
Speaking of things witches get shamed for, let’s talk about the use of white sage. I’ve gotten shamed on Instagram for using what someone thought was white sage. It wasn’t, it was a type of sage that grows here in Nebraska. She full on verbally attacked me for using white sage and even sent some nasty DMs giving me a tongue lashing for being a basic irresponsible witch. Yes, there’s information out there that suggests that it is being over-harvested and scarce due to the draughts in California. So what do we do about it? Grow your own if you can, buy from people that grow it themselves, or find something else to burn instead of it. I try to buy for the shop from wholesalers that grow it themselves. I’m going to try to grow it this spring and am so excited at the idea of being able to grow and use my own white sage! But I’m not going to shame people that buy it and aren’t mindful about where they get it. To each their own. Isn’t that something that drew most of us to this path anyway? The idea that you do your thing and I do mine. So, that’s where I’ll leave that.
Here is a list of other things you can burn instead and what they are used for:
Cedar/Evergreen-wisdom, cleansing, protection, money/abundance
Amber-resins, musk, floral blend. truth-seeking, love, desire, past life recall, divination
Cinnamon- protection, power, cleansing, passion, love, abundance
Dragon’s Blood- tree resin. empower your intent/workings, love, protection
Frankincense- all-purpose, consecrating items, offerings, purification
Jasmine- meditation, divination, love, prophetic dreams, sensuality, moon magick
Lavender-all purpose. Healing, meditation, refreshing mind/body/space
Nag Champa- meditation, all-purpose, spiritual awareness, divination
Patchouli- love, sex, money/abundance
Rose-love, romance, self-love, open heart charka and stimulate spiritual gifts
This is by no means an end-all list, this is a small list so go explore and experiment with what you resonate with.
I am a walking witchy cliché and I own it! I love all things dark and twisty! I have a black cat named Smudge and a black chihuahua too. There’s nothing more empowering to me than wearing a really nice black outfit with combat boots. I smell like herbs and oils most of the time and don’t even own any perfume from a store that doesn’t also sell incense. What are some you embody? And why do we shame others for being ‘basic’? Who the hell cares what is basic? Why can’t we just be supportive of each other? It’s the whole ‘I’m superior’ bullshit and it’s not productive so if you are one of those that shame others for whatever reason; stop it.
Well that’s all I have for today! The new podcast episode is out on these subjects so go listen! Check out the new group for the podcast too! Links are below!