Resin Incense with Charcoal Discs
The Fragrance of Wood Resin Incense as used in Ancient Times

Incense comes in many forms, resin, cones and sticks.
I love wood
resin the best.  

The most straightforward type of incense are dried herbs that when burned create sweet or pungent aroma. Sage, Cedar, and Sweet grass are all examples of this. An outgrowth of burning dried herbs is burning essential oils. Oil incense is very simple, a tea light candle in oil burner, and pour a little fragrance oil in the top dish. The heat generated from the candle is enough to heat the oil and release the fragrance.

A selection of resin incenseA selection of resin incenseMost herb stores, metaphysical shops, and even holistic grocery stores now carry a variety of essential oils and oil burners. These are good choices for folks who would like to have scent accompanying their ritual work but have breathing issues such as asthma or emphysema.

A final category are minerals that can be burned and give off a fragrance, Sulphur for example is a foul smelling mineral that is sometimes used as an incense in certain types of tradition conjure workings.
Loose incense powder is the basic ingredient in most commercial incense making--sticks for instance, the most popular form of incense, are nothing more than pieces of wood, rolled in an adhesive substance and then rolled in loose incense powder.

Incense powder has three basic components: the base (some that can be ignited--often sawdust), the igniting ingredient--this is an incendiary like saltpeter, and the scent which can be created using essential and synthetic oils. When using a self-igniting loose incense  you should invest in a simple candle snuffer. You can use the snuffer to make cones of incense that can then be burned easily.

Resin is more complicated but its history goes back to the dawn of time. The recorded use of incense dates back to biblical times and may have originated in Sumerian and Babylonian cultures, where the gum - resins of aromatic trees were imported from the Arabian and Somali coasts to be used in religious ceremonies. It was also used by the Pharaohs, not only to counteract unpleasant odours, but also to drive away demons and gratify the presence of the gods, as they believed.

The Babylonians used incense while offering prayers to divining oracles. Evidence suggests oils were used mainly for their aroma. Incense spread from there to Greece and Rome. Brought to Japan in the 6th century by Korean Buddhist monks, who used the mystical aromas in their purification rites, the delicate scents of Koh (high-quality Japanese incense) became a source of amusement and entertainment with nobles in the Imperial Court during the Heian Era 200 years later.

During the 14th century Shogunate, samurai warriors would perfume their helmets and armor with incense to achieve an aura of invincibility. It wasn't until the Muromachi Era during the 15th and 16th century that incense appreciation (Kōdō) spread to the upper and middle classes of Japanese society.
Incense, being an article familiar to humanity since the dawn of civilization, has meant different things to the different peoples who have come to use it. Given the wide diversity of such peoples and their practices, it would be impossible to form an all-inclusive list of the ways in which incense has come to be used, since the methods and purposes of employment are as diverse as those who have employed it.

Use of incense in religion is prevalent in many cultures and may have their roots in the practical and aesthetic uses considering that many religions with not much else in common all use incense. One common motif is incense as a form of sacrificial offering to a deity.

What is Resin Incense

When some trees are injured, they produce a thick, sometimes solid, sticky substance called a resin. Benzoin (Styrax Benzoin) is an example of a resin. In production, the trees will be cut in many spots to encourage the tree to produce its resin.

The use of incense dates back to ancient times when it had a two-fold purpose--to lift prayers on sweet smelling smoke up to heaven and to mask the distasteful odors in temples due to animal sacrifices. Today in conjure work we use incense as a part of spell casting, altar work, and rituals. As with herbs, roots, and curios, the Doctrine of Signatures (like attracts like) also holds for incense. Therefore for sweet, love-drawing or money drawing type work you would use scents that are sweet and attractive, for banishing or enemy types work you would use scents that are pungent, bitter, and unpleasant. There are several different types of incense commercially available today--stick incense is the most common, followed by cones, spirals, coils, briquettes, and loose incense.

Resins are another type of incense, these are typically sap that has hardened from certain types of trees. When the resin is placed on a charcoal disk it will burn with a fragrance. Dragons blood and Copal are two examples of resin incense. Resin incense are typically sold in chunks or in granule form. If you enjoy the scent and process of working with resin incense you will need to get charcoal brick and a heat proof surface to burn the incense on.

Not all incense smells "good." Everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to fragrance. Some people adore the scent of mint while others cannot abide it, but for newcomers to Conjure it is important to understand that not all incense does or should smell floral and delightful. For certain conditions like cleansing and uncrossing substances may need to be burned that smell astringent, pungent, or even foul. A good teacher or manual will tell you when to expect this and in some cases (like fumigation with Sulphur) will advise you to work outside or open all doors and windows.

Using Resin Incense
Resin incense typically comes in powders, granules or chunks. This is also what churches and temples around the world first used. All resin incense requires charcoal to burn so to use resin it must be supervised at all times. Also resin incense is more complicated and time consuming than cones, sticks etc but is the most ancient way to experience the aromas.  
Special charcoal disks are used as in the picture on the left. I normally use the ash from previous burnings as a base to burn the next disc on, it helps in keeping the heat in the charcoal and stops the dish getting too hot.

WARNING - charcoal discs burn EXTREMELY hot!!!

Censer, Resin Burner or a heat-resistant dish
Charcoal disc
Resin Incense
Tongs (small & large)

I typically use a candle to light the charcoal, holding the charcoal in tongs to keep my hands well away from both. I keep moving the charcoal through the candle flame until the edges of the disc start to glow red. Note, it sparks and crackles as it lights! Once lit I carefully place the disc on top of the dish in the centre of the ash with the centre well in the disc face upwards.

After the disc has turned an ashen grey colour I place a small amount of salt in the well of the disc. This adds a small barrier between the disc and the resin and gives a better result as usually the first resin burnt has a slight charred aroma to it.

Using the small tongs place a small amount of resin on the salt. A smoke will rise from the resin as it heats and burns and the smoke has the aroma of the resin you have chosen. No two are alike.
As the smoke dies down you can add more resin until the disc burns out which, depending on the make can be up to an hour. Never leave it unattended as like a candle, the disc is extremely hot until it dies and cools off.  

Resin Incense in Magic

Using incense in spell and ritual work:
Some of the more formal conjure practices call for using incense during ritual work. Incense adds a visual and sensory component to your spell work that can move it from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Different workers like to work with incense in different ways. Some of these include:
• using incense to start or close a spell/ritual
• "smoking" mojo hands, talismans, crystals, candles and other sacred objects through incense smoke
• Adding a pinch of loose incense to petition papers, bottle spells, and even candle rituals
• Cleansing and purifying your body, home or vehicle
• Protecting your body, home, or vehicle.

My Favourite Resin Incense

Prinknash Abbey Blends
The Benedictine Monks of Prinknash Abbey have been blending incense since 1906, when the community was on Caldey Island and are now the oldest major incense blenders in Europe. Incense made by the monks of Prinknash Abbey is made to a secret recipe but the main ingredient is known as Gum Olibanum [or frankincense] which is formed on the bark of various kinds of shrubs, not those of the pine family as in the case of Gum Thus [mock frankincense] but on species of the genus known as Boswellia which grow in the Middle East, chiefly in Somalia and Eritrea. This is the basic ingredient of incense. The secret of Prinknash Incense lies in knowing how to blend the essential oils and and other gums so that a sweet odour is given off instead of an unpleasant smell of burning.

Please visit Prinknash abbey!


Frankincense has been used since ancient times to awaken higher consciousness and to enhance spirituality, meditation, prayer and mental perception. Frankincense slows and deepens breathing, reducing tension and helping to calm and comfort oneself while lifting one's spirits. It is said to relieve past links and subconscious stress.

Sacred to the Sun God Ra, Frankincense is burned in rites of exorcism, purification, and protection. It is said to accelerate spiritual growth. Use for spirituality, exorcism, purification, luck and protection rites. (Resin) burn for protection, exorcism, spirituality, love, consecration, blessing, energy, strength, visions, healing, meditation, power and courage. Use to purify ritual spaces and invoke a spiritual frame of mind.


Mystic Temple Blends
Isis - Moon Goddess
Eye of Horus
Seduction (Powder)


Black Ethiopian
2 different blends - Black Ethiopian Incense Resin is a blend of frankincense, Benzoin, Myrrh and Styrax. It is commonly used in temples, ashrams, churches and mosques. Used for meditation and purification, it has a divine aromatic floral scent.


Healings Of Atlantis
I got these blends from Healings Of Atlantis but its sad it seems now they no longer do resin incense. I am glad I got these at the time.
Forest Blend, Myrrh, Black Diamond, Benzoin, Drummer, Resin Rock, Moon Copal


Myrrh is a Goddess plant of the Moon's sphere, sacred to Isis. Burned as incense, myrrh purifies the area, lifts the vibrations aids contemplation and meditation and creates peace. However, it is seldom burned alone; usually in conjunction with frankincense or other resins. Myrrh is a sweet, spicy, balsamic scent that is warm and rich with a slightly camphor-like undertone. It clears away negative energy, increases vibration levels for optimum use in meditation, peace, healing, protection and spirituality. Myrrh also helps with the dealings of loss, and is often used with other resins to increase potency and is complimentary when used with the other scents. Myrrh increases the power of any incense to which it is added. Myrrh is also included in healing incenses and sachets, and its smoke is used to consecrate, purify and bless objects such as amulets, talismans, charms, and magical tools. 


Celtic Blend  
Celtic Blend is a blend of multi-coloured Frankincense, Myrrh, Benzoin, & Lavender. Used in sacred, protection, and purifying rituals. A very refreshing, bright, calming, and lucid scent that promotes an incredibly refreshing, and positive energy.


A traditional blend of Frankincense, Dark Copal, Dragons Blood and Myrrh that creates a deep, orthodox style church incense. The smoke from this incense is graced with a hint of floral sweetness. Gloria Blend has a sweet floral bouquet and is perfect for religious ceremonies, contemplation or just to create pleasant, relaxing atmospheres. The burning of resins has a deep history throughout the worlds many religions and have continued to be used for ceremonial purposes to this day.


Dragon's Blood
Dragon's blood is a deep red, shiny resin used in incense burning. From an Asian palm tree called Daemonorops draco, also called the Dragon Palm. The fruit of the tree is covered with scales. The resin seeps out between the scales, is collected, cleansed and then melted.
Dragon's blood resin has been used for thousands of years in India as part of their rituals. This pure resin comes as a solid piece that is easily broken into smaller pieces.


Forest Blend
Forest Blend Aromatic Resin is the closest scent to the earth! This earthy resin has a light, sweet pine aroma with woodsy and earthy undertones that brings back memories of cool nights in the woods. Forest Blend is infused with natural oils and a variety of earthy resins to give it it's natural piney woodsy aroma. It has been used since antiquity to inspire prayer and meditation, and to fortify and revitalize the spirit.


Egyptian Resin
This  Incense has been Hand Blended by *Moon Goddess Garden* to be used to honour Egyptian Gods & Goddesses made using the finest Gums and Resins and is to be burnt on a Charcoal Disc.


Three Kings
This Incense Resin is a blend of Frankincense, Myrrh, Red and Black Benzoin. It is used for protection, spirituality and prosperity. Benzoin is a herb of purification, burned in incense to sanctify an area. Benzoin is a herb of purification, burned in incense to sanctify an area. It also awakens the conscious mind. Burn to purify, protect, for prosperity, for astral projection or to increase mental powers.

Those who don't believe in Magic will never find it...

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