Incense is basically any combination of plant materials which are usually mixed together with essential oils and a base (such as pine sawdust, powdered quassia wood, or powdered sandalwood).
There are generally three forms of incense: the granular (also known as "raw") type which is prinkled and burned on a small, glowing block of charcoal, the cone type, and the stick type. All three can be used in the practice of magick; however, the granular type is considered to be more traditional.
Of course, all Witches have their own personal preferences when it comes to which type of incense they use. I have worked with all three and found that I like cone incnse the best for indoor rituals and spellwork, and the stick incense for those performed outdoors.
Incense is an important part of the Craft and magickally powerful in any form; however, if you are planning on making your own homemade incense for spellwork (especially for the first time), the granular type is probably the easiest of the three above-mentioned types to make.
In Wiccan rituals and spellcastings, incense is often used to sumbolize the ancient element of Air. It is burned as an offering to the Goddess and the Horned God (as wells as to other Pagan deities), to invoke Slyphs (the elemental spirits of Air) and to create the proper mystical atmosphere for casting spells, divining or invoking.
Incense can be used in just about any type of spell to enhance it, and when combined with visualization, the simple act of burning incense becomes a potent spell in itself.
Additionally, the breathing in of incense fumes is believed to help an individual achieve an altered state of consciousness (an old technique by Witches and practitioners of ceremonial magick alike).
Different incense fragrances each possess different magickal vibrations. There are also traditional Sabbat ritual incenses, and even corresponding incense for each of the seven days of the week.
THE MAGICKAL PROPERTIES OF INCENSE
The following is a list of various incenses and their corresponding magickal properties.
ACACIA: Burned with sandalwood to stimulate the psychic powers.
AFRICAN VIOLET: Burned for protection and promote spirituality within the home.
ALLSPICE: Burned to attract both good luck and money.
ALOES: Burned to attract good fortune, love, spiritual vibrations and strength.
ALTHEA: Burned for protection and to stimulate the psychic powers.
ANISE SEEDS: Burned as a meditation incense.
BASIL: Burned to exorcise and protect against evil entities (such as demons and unfriendly ghosts), and to attract fidelity, love, good luck, sympathy and wealth. This is also an excellent incense to use when performing love divinations.
BAY: Burned to facilitate the psychic powers and to induce prophetic dream-visions.
BAYBERRY: Burned mainly to attract money.
BENZOIN: Burned for purifaction and to attract prosperity.
BISTORT: Burned (often with frankincense) as a powerful incense to aid divination.
BRACKEN: Burned in outdoor fires to magickally produce rain.
CEDAR: Burned for purifaction, to stimulate or strengthen the psychic powers, attract love, prevent nightmares, and heal various ailments, including head colds.
CINNAMON: Burned for protection and to attract money, stimulate or strengthn the psychic powers and to aid in healing.
CIRON: Burned in rituals to aid healing and also to strengthen the psychic powers.
CLOVE: Burned to dispel negativity purify sacred and magickal spaces, attract money and stop or prevent the spread of gossip.
COCONUT: Burned for protection.
COPAL: Burned for purification and to attract love.
DAMIANA: Burned to facilitate psychic visions.
DITTANY OF CRETE: Burned to conjure spirits and to aid in astral projection (especially when mixed with equal parts of benzoin, sandalwood and vanilla).
DRAGON'S BLOOD: Burned to dispel negativity, exorcise evil supernatural entites, attract love, and restore male potency. Many Witches also burn dragon's blood for protection when spellcasting and invoking. When added to other incenses, dragon's blood makes their magicakal powers all the stronger.
ELECAMPANE: Burned to strengthen the clairvoyant powers and scrying (divination by gazing) abilities.
FRANKINCENSE: Burned to dispel negativity, purify magickal spaces, protect against evil, aid meditation, induce psychic visions, attract good luck and honor Pagan deities.
FUMITORY: Burned to exorcise demons, poltergeists and evil supernatural enetites.
GALANGAL: Burned to break the curses cast by sorcerers.
GINSENG ROOT: Burned to keep wicked spirits at bay and for protection against all forms of evil.
GOTU KOLA: Burned to aid meditation.
HEATHER: Burned to conjure beneficial spirits and to magickally produce rain.
HIBISCUS FLOWERS: Burned to attract love.
HOREHOUND: Burned as an offertory incense to the ancient Egyptian god Horus.
JASMINE: Burned to attract love and money and to induce dreams of prophetic nature.
JUNIPER: Burned to stimulate or increase the psychic powers and also to break curses and hexes by evil sorcerers.
LAVENDER: Burned to induce rest and sleep and to attract love (especially of a man).
LILAC: Burned to stimulate or increase the psychic powers and to attract harmony into one's life.
MACE: Burned to stimulate or increase the psychic powers.
MASTIC: Burned to conjure beneficial spirits, stimulate or increase the psychic powers and intensift sexual desires. The magickal powers of other incenses are greatly increased when a bit of mastic is added.
MESQUITE: The magickal powers of all healing incenses are greatly increased when mesquite is added.
MINT: Burned to increase sexual desire, exorcise evil supernatural entities, conjure beneficial spirits and attract money. Mint incense also possesses strong healing vibrations and protective powers.
MYRRH: Burned (often with frankincense) for purifaction, consecration, healing, exorcism and banishing evil. Myrrh also aids meditation rituals and was commonly burned on altars in ancient Eygpt as an offering to the deities Isis and Ra.
NUTMEG: Burned to aid meditation, stimulate or increase the psychic powers and attract prosperity.
PATCHOULI: Burned to attract money and love and aslo to promote fertility.
PINE: Burned for purifaction and to banish negative energies, exorcise evil supernatural entities and attract money, as well as to break hexes and return them to their senders.
POPPY SEEDS: Burned to promote female fertility and to attract love, good luck and money.
ROSE: Burned to increase courage, induce prophetic dreams and attract love. Rose incense is used in all forms of love enhancement and possesses the strongest love vibration of any magickal incense.
ROSEMARY: Burned to purify, aid in healing, prevent nightmares, preserve youthfulness, dispel depression, attract fairyfolk and promote restful sleep and pleasant dreams.
RUE: Burned to help restore health.
SAGE: Burned for protection against all forms of evil and to purify sacred spaces and ritual tools, promote wisdom, attract money and aid in healing the body, mind and soul.
SAGEBRUSH: Burned to aid healing and to banish negative energies and evil supernatural entities.
SANDALWOOD: Burned to exorcise demons and evil ghosts, conjure beneficial spirits and promote spiritual awareness. Sandalwood incense is also used by many Witches in healing rituals and in wish-magick.
SOLOMON'S SEAL: Burned mainly as an offertory incense to ancient Pagan deities.
STAR ANISE SEEDS: Burned to stimulate or increase the psychic powers.
STRAWBERRY: Burned to attract love.
SWEETGRASS: Burned to conjure beneficial spirits prior to spellcasting.
THYME: Burned for the purifaction of magickal spaces prior to rituals, to aid in healing and attract good health.
VANILLA: Burned to attract love, increase sexual desure and improve the powers of the mind.
VERVAIN: Burned to break cures and for protection against sorcery (black magick) and thieves.
WISTERIA: Burned for protection against all forms of evil.
WORMWOOD: Burned to stimulate or increase the psychic powers. When mixed with sandalwood and burned at night in a cemetery, wormwood is said to be able to conjure spirits from their graves.