Incense - How to Enjoy it and Create Perfect Calm
Discover how to enjoy incense and create the perfect atmosphere in your home. Learn about the history of incense and how you can apply the calm and relaxation it can help you with.
It is believed that the use of incense originated in Egypt. However, these aromatic materials date back to biblical times so there is no tangible proof. Wide ranging cultures use the aromas for different needs. Pharaohs used the aromatics to drive away evil spirits, and some religions still practice this. Some believe that the strong fragrance brings them closer to prophets, and that it enhances prayer value. At times bouquets are used as direct gifts of thanks to the gods. Over many centuries the scents were used in warrior's helmets as a sign of strength, and by others in purification ceremonies.
Eventually incense became a sign of dignity and beauty. It became a source of entertainment and a concentration aid as well. Incense popularity spread throughout the East and the Mediterranean to a point of high demand which developed into the Incense Trade Route, or Incense Road. Tree resins, spices, dried saps, and rare woods were used as exchange. This was the beginning of a very significant time in history, and like anything that is lucrative, eventually caused conflict directly by hoarding for control.
Incense from Natural Resources
The Arabian grown Boswellia tree offers an extremely fragrant resin. This is believed to be the primary factor of frankincense in the bible. The resin is still a profitable commodity, and is available in different grades. There are frankincense dealers to help choose a good harvest quality. Using incense made from high-end resin is distinct in some religions, and the product is still hoarded to a certain degree. Other woods used for aromatic resins are sandalwood, cypress, and cedar.
Oils are another approach to making incense. Although, it is argued that the oil based product isn't as high in quality or authentic. They're cheaper in price and suitable to many people. Most incense offered in retail stores are derived from a mixture of resins, essential oils and synthetic fragrance oils. Flower buds from lavender and rose will fill the air with a pleasant bouquet. Sage, bay, and balsam leaves are commonly used, and animal oil such as musk is sought after. Couch grass and spikenard roots have a unique scent, and the calming aroma of nutmeg oil is made from the fruit of its evergreen tree.
Incense to Create the Perfect Atmosphere
When purchasing incense sticks, cones, or resins, for meditation it is much like deciding which medication is best for what ails you may have. If you're seeking protection you might choose hyssop, sage, anise, or the well known frankincense. Love is believed to be summonsed by jasmine, thyme, musk, and vanilla. Peace is attracted by magnolia or lilac, while clove, pine, and honeysuckle enable wealth. If purification is on your list perhaps it’s time for sandalwood, lime, or anise. Scents that are used for multiple needs will stretch your dollar. For example, lavender will rally love, peace, and purification. Patchouli is a well-liked aroma for alleviating stress, anger, and anxiety.
How to Burn Incense and Enjoy it
The indirect burning of incense requires an outside source of heat, and non-combustible incense must be used. Resins and wood chips are appropriate for this technique. A good source of heat is charcoal tablets, and beautiful incense bowls are made specifically for this.
Direct burning requires a direct flame to the incense, and after a few moments the flame is extinguished. The cones or incense sticks will smoulder and give out the full advantage of the aromas. There are scores of fascinating and decorative burners to enjoy this technique.
The most important thing is to enjoy incense and try out different types to either uplift your spirits or create a perfect calm.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Miles writes for the trusted incense store the Crafty Jungle. A family run online shop providing high quality incense sticks and incense cones from the UK to worldwide.