No matter your faith, practicing with sacred smoke is a powerful way to make your intentions known and support change in your life. Incense isn’t just an alternative to air freshener. Sacred smoke is a shared journey between yourself, the plants around you, and, if you choose, your god or gods—it creates an opportunity to experience and listen to the natural rhythm of the earth beneath our feet. This book seeks to connect you with these things.
An argument between friends can be hashed out over calming lavender smoke. A home can find prosperity in the embrace of burning clove powder. Space can be consecrated with the grace and devotional power of cedar. Every ritual or occasion can be tailored to the language of scent.
Sacred smoke isn’t required for intention work, rituals, and spells, but it certainly does lend an air of the sacred to separate us from our day-to-day, doesn’t it?
Each plant material used in incense, smoke, or cleansing is going to have a different energetic association. Some are associated with the elements of earth, air, fire, or water; others are associated with protection, money, grounding, and other intentions. So there are a few uses for burning these materials other than mere purification. Pick the material to match your intention.
Heat from the burning materials is very physically purifying, and the process releases volatile oils from the plant materials that have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties as well.
Our sense of smell ties in directly to the limbic system, the part of the brain where all of our emotions come from. Why is that? When we smell something, we are unpacking all of our memories, looking for the last time we remember smelling it. Our sense of smell is really a trip down memory lane. That’s why sense memories are such strong stimuli. Our sense of smell is 90 percent emotion and 10 percent recall.
Magical correction fluid for the universe, a do-over.
Everyone deserves a second chance if they are willing to admit their mistake and make it right. Sometimes you need your own ritual to mark the occasion. Patchouli loses its earthy aroma when burning, so don’t worry, it won’t smell like burning dirt.
White Sage Salvia Apiana
United States. Cleansing and purification of spaces and people.
Bathe in the smoke of a few dried leaves of this member of the salvia family to refresh body, mind, and spirit. White sage smells herbal and woody; it has a bite, but not as sharp as its culinary cousin. Many ethical buyers note the “wildcrafted” labels on white sage and feel right about not supporting harmful farming practices without all the facts. White sage does not grow well in a farmed environment, so nearly all the white sage that is sold today is wildcrafted. Increasing demand is also negatively impacting the cost of the materials for the population for whom it is a sacred plant. Because of the circumstances of growth habit, climate, and potential for wildfires, this can lead to poaching, overharvesting, and trespass on native lands, just to meet demand in an ever-increasing market.
Amy Blackthorn is a long-time student of horticulture and herbalism as well as a certified aromatherapist. She incorporates her knowledge of “green witchcraft” in the creation of tea recipes and essential oils for her company, Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends. She lives in Delaware.
Paperback, 176 pages
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