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Incense, Magic & Spirituality

Incense, Magic & Spirituality

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Throughout every culture in the world, their religious and spiritual heritage, tells their own unique stories concerning sacred rituals and ceremonies, which were held at certain times of the day or year in relation to Spirituality. In ancient times, Mother Earth, was indeed comprehended as being a sacred living organism with a consciousness that was alive, pulsating across the land like a unified web of intricately established relationships. This web traveled through rivers, lakes, wells, mountains, standing stones, trees, ancient track ways and burial mounds; a great many of which were known to be Holy Places. These places were where people for centuries had worshiped the Divinity in Nature, and were able to tap into this web.

Communication with these Holy places was done through song, dance, music, poetry and story telling for example, at times of Life Cycle and Fertility Rites, and when Seasonal Festivals were held, such as the Equinoxes and Solstices.

These special places in nature, were not only Holy, they were also gateways to other dimensions within the cosmos, and people such as Shamans, Priests and Priestesses, could during ceremonial and ritual activities, travel into, to seek both power and assistance for divination and healing purposes, as well as gain information about the mysteries which lay between death and rebirth. Knowledge was quite often received here from the ancestral realms, through these gateways, which were the accessing points to where the collective body of wisdom resided. Another medium used for accessing these dimensions in the cosmos, was through dreaming and sleep

One of the main activities which played a major part in these rituals was Incense Burning Ceremonies, either in a group setting or individually. Unlike other cultures, which sacrificed animals, for the purposes of receiving the power to heal or receiving special knowledge for success in hunting; when consciously offering certain resins, herbs and gums, at these power places, activities such as burning fragrant herbs and resins, was seen as a ritual, which was both a creative and powerful 'medium' for invocation with reference to directing prayers to God, and also as a way of seeking renewal of oneself, through communion with Mother Nature and the Earth.

About 500 years ago, because of the arrival of the industrial era and the modernisation of the world which followed, many stories, poems, and songs, about the sacredness of these holy places and the powers to be found there, were written into fables and fairy stories, so that they might survive, and this is the one of the main reason why the Druids, gain inspiration through story-telling, singing, poetry, and dance, during ceremonial and ritual activities.

In the world today, we see a huge interest in Spirituality and Healing, as a response to the on-going ecological crisis which the planet continues to under go, as a great many people are horrified over the extent of the appalling damage that human beings have done to the earth through greed and ignorance.

At the present day, there is a re-emergence of the 'Old Ways', where Western Contemporary thinking and life, is taking on a different meaning, where people are striving to unify consciousness, through ceremony and ritual. The revival of Druidry and Wicca are evidence of this, as is interest by Westerners in Native American Spirituality.

There has been a huge interest, more so over the last decade, to restore, or maybe reawaken is a better word to use here, the creative inspirational powers of these special places, inspiration, that was put to 'sleep' by religious leaders (through spells and incantations). Many seekers, have come to believe, that when the inspiration or power of a place are renewed, it gives new life to the place itself, thus protecting the land to recover and helping Mother Nature herself.

Incense Burning and Nature Spirits: Within the realms of Nature, exists a multitude of different dimensions, where nature beings such as Elves, Gnomes, Goblins, Dwarfs, Trolls and Elementals such as Fairy beings and Devas, who reside in rocks, trees, water, hills, plants and in the Sauna. There are also Wizards and Witches, Wise Men and Women, who despite being hundreds or thousands of years old, have the ability to still walk through the worlds, and many of whom still work alongside Mother Nature, helping to protect the land, despite being in absolute futility sometimes in different situations, with reference to what human beings are doing to the planet.

What the ancient peoples knew, was that when the use of drums, song, dance, poetry, and burning incense was combined together, it fed and nourished these guardians and helpers, in some cases giving them power to grow in size, and carry out very difficult tasks, such as dealing with harmful forces, and helping to direct human kind in their daily lives. They also assist with healing and difficult situations on the earth, and also in their kingdoms, concerning departed loved ones, who are making the transition in to the world of spirit.

In ancient times which predate the bible, Shamans believed that a Fire was a gift bestowed to people on Earth from the Gods and Goddesses, who resided in the Heavens. They knew that not only did the aromatic plants when burned, change the atmosphere in a room, but the aroma was a medium, through which the power and mysticism of a special place could be accessed. For example, skilled Celtic Priests and Priestesses, who used tools, such as drums, runes, crystals and bones for divining future events, would contact their helping spirits, prior to divination, by burning fragrant substances, thus increasing their awareness. For spiritual cleansing, incense that was warm and harmonizing, was also burned by Shamans, before they began to drum, chant and dance, as the aromatic substances released from the plants helped the shaman move from the physical reality into altered states of consciousness. For this certain fragrances, for example, such as Sage Leaf , Sweet Grass, Copal Gum and Frankincense would, when burned, cleanse and purify the ritual space, thus creating an atmosphere of healing power and establishing contact with Spiritual Guides and Healers.

In the North, Shamans from Lapland and Siberia melted down Spruce resin into a glue like substance, and used it in the construction of drums and other ritual tools.

In contemporary life, many therapists (Dentists especially!), use incense for space clearing the therapeutic environment in which they work, especially in waiting rooms, and where people hang their coats, where anxiety and stress in often left!

As part of the inspiration for the work that I am doing, I have carefully brought together a number of Incense blends, which can be purchased and used for a variety of different activities. The list and activity of each mixture, is found on the page: 'Magical Incense Blends'.

An important note about incense burning. There are some herbs which are Contra Indicated (irritants when used), by people who are pregnant and who have medical conditions such as Epilepsy. Do not use the incense, if you have any chronic medical condition or allergy.


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