What’s That Smell? Incense and Other Scents

Hindu Yajna ceremony

Hindu Yajna ceremony

Do you like incense?

Or, like me, is it something you can take or leave?

Over time I have found that I am very sensitive to some odours. And can’t smell a damn thing at other times!

Incense is one of those things which I can be extremely sensitive to, especially those made using synthetic resins. For this reason I tend not to buy pre-made incense sticks and cones and stick to using natural resins and herbs.

I also notice that I have unusual experiences with some scents. Lavender, for instance, an essential oil well known for easing headaches, and burned as an incense to bring calm into a room, makes me tense and gives me a migraine. A head throbbing, eye balls swollen, light sensitive but too painful to shut my eyelids or keep them open migraine.

I have the same response to rose.

I’ve been burning a lot of palo santo wood lately. Not much, just a bit for a few seconds a few times a day. Palo santo is good for removing stagnated energies, and I am using the ash to help pull them out of my foot by tracing the Reiki Sei He Ki symbol on the bottom of my foot. I then burn the end and use the smoke to clear trapped energies from around me.

I can’t burn lots or for extended lengths of time because of the smoke alarm system. It’s wired into the mains electricity, and shutting it off at the fuse box would cause the whole thing to start blaring. Not to mention pissing off the landlord…

Here’s the odd thing about palo santo and me. When I smell it, I am reminded of burning rubber. So far, I’m the only person I know who smells rubber when using this incense.

White sage is another herb that I like to use for smudging and cleansing energies within a room and around myself and the tools I use.

Incense smoke Image by NanLT made using silk weave and photoscape

Incense smoke
Image by NanLT made using silk weave and photoscape

Turns out it has health benefits as well – there are studies which have shown burning white sage helps to eliminate airborne bacteria.

Incense represents a merging of the elements of fire and air when I am working, the directions of south and east.

I use burning incense to invite in these elements when I am doing ritual work and also for clearing energy from the area when I am doing healing work.

Right now, white sage and palo santo are the only two incenses I am using, however I have also in the past used sticks of nag champa (don’t they just remind you of a 70s head shop?), or resins of copal and frankincense and rarely, a small amount of kyphi.  I go by intuition when choosing what to burn for the most part. What does my inner voice tell me I need to use today. I must admit, I don’t pay much attention to the various charts telling you what to burn at what time for what purpose.

What about you? What incense do you find yourself using most often? Do you even like incense?







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