I use incense daily, in the form of joss sticks and incense cones, but nothing makes me feel more cosy and comforted than the creeping fingers of smoke tendrils curling from a bowl of hand blended incense, nestled in the corner of a room; I go through an awful lot of the stuff, especially since learning, a couple of years ago, how simple it is to create. Concocted from natural resins, herbs, woods & oils, incense can be used for specific purposes such as relaxation or to combat anxiety; solstice or seasonal worship or spell working, or simply to add a scent to your home.
I create a new loose incense each solstice or sabbat and I thought that I would share my recipe for this Midsummer's creation.
2 tsp Mastic Gum 1 tsp Dammar Gum 2/3 tsp Frankincense 1/2 tsp Myrrh 2 tsp dried Marigold 1 tsp dried Rosemary 1 tsp dried Lavender 1 tsp dried Chamomile 1 tsp dried Meadowsweet 1 pinch of Dried Rosepetals 8 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
You can either use the incense as is, or you can use a pestle and mortar to grind the mix a little, it's entirely up to you.
If you've never burnt loose incense before, it's incredibly simple; sprinkle a generous amount of salt, earth or sand into a heatporoof bowl, cauldron or other container, which should also be placed on a trivet or ceramic tile. Using a pair of tongs, grasp a charcoal incense block and light it using a lighter or matches (you'll have to hold the flame to the charcoal until it begins to spark and crackle) before placing it in the bowl on top of your salt or earth. Once the charocal disc is red-hot, it will turn ashen; sprinkle your loose incense blend onto the charcoal disc and watch as the smoke whirls and the heady scent fills your lungs! Sprinkle more incense as you desire.
Be careful if you're burning loose incense indoors; it produces an awful lot of smoke, and it's best if you open your windows wide. Never leave lit incense unattended. As with any herbs, please be aware of any allergies that you may have, and take extra care if you are pregnant or have any respitory problems.
Do you have a favourite Midsummer Incense blend?