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Monday, June 28, 2010

MIPC: Affirmations

"People will be attracted to my positive energy and want to help me achieve my goals!"
-----------------------Cordelia's affirmation

Angel, Pilot Episode
Original Air Date: October 5, 1999

Commentary: Affirmations are defined as a statement asserting the existence or the truth of something. In magick, affirmations are often worded in a positive manner and repeated over and over to ourselves either silently, or aloud. The idea is that we focus on inwardly that which we wish to manifest outwardly. However, it is not enough to simply repeat these statements, but we must also believe them to be true.

Belief is perhaps the most important factor in magickal thinking. If you don’t believe the words coming out of your mouth you’re not going to achieve any results. Affirmations help us build up our beliefs and make them more real. In fact, the word affirm come from the Latin word that means ‘to make solid’. When we are thinking positively, we are not thinking negatively; and in the absence of negative thoughts we grow to believe our words. With belief in our thoughts and words, comes the manifestation of our desires.

Writing Your Affirmations

While some people may have a difficult time thinking positively, it’s not very hard to write a positive statement. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing yours.

  1. Begin your affirmation with the words I AM. For example, I am wealthy rather than I will be wealthy. By stating that you will be wealthy it places your intent in the future rather than the present and that is precisely where your intent will manifest in the future, always before you, always out of reach.
  2. Make your affirmation active rather than passive. Directly after the words I am, include a word ending in –ing. For example, I am having, I am receiving, I am manifesting, etc...
  3. Avoid negative words and contractions. For example, repeat I am patient and understanding, rather than I won’t lose my temper. The point here is to focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.
  4. Be specific but keep it short. In order to get what you want, you must be clear about what you want. Avoid vague statements but keep your statement short as short affirmations are easier to remember.
As you can see the only thing wrong with Cordelia affirmation is that she has worded it in the future tense (will be) rather than the present one.

Carolina Dean

Thursday, June 24, 2010

MIPC: Witch's Funeral

[Scene: Mausoleum. A beautiful ivory-colored coffin sits on a pedestal amongst the flowers. An ivory-dressed, Wiccan Priestess stands before a blue silk covered altar table, which is adorned with a ceremonial chalice. A tied, silver cord lays before the chalice, three lit candles surround it, symbolizing birth, death, and the rebirth. To the unaware mourners, however, the service comes across a part traditional, part New Age. Piper, Phoebe, Leo, Cole, Darryl, and Victor are seated close to the priestess. Piper and Phoebe dab at their eyes and Cole keeps his eyes peeled for any trouble. The funeral program, which bares the symbol of the triquetra above the name, read: "PRUDENCE HALLIWELL, 1970-2001; "Forever in our Hearts."]

Priestess: That which belongs to fellowship and love. That which belongs to the circle, remains with us. The wheel turns. As life is a day, so our sister has passed into night. Nothing is final, and we who remain behind know that one day, we will once again share the bread and wine with our sister. O' blessed spirit, we bid you farewell, for you await a new destiny.

(With that, she unties the silver cord and gently lays it into the chalice. She blows out the candles. Mourners standing, shaking hands, crying, etc. Darryl goes over to Piper and Phoebe to hug them and people begin to pay their respects. Phoebe thanks another mourner, then turns to the last of the mourners, whom she doesn't recognize -- Paige, who shifts over anxiously.)

Charmed, "Charmed Again"
Original Air Date: October 4th 2001

Commentary: Just like other religions have ceremonies to honor and/or mark life events such as births, deaths, marriages, coming-of-age, etc....Wicca is no different. However, unlike many other religions there are no standard rituals for these instances in the religion of Wicca, therefore, you will find many different rituals from which to compare the Witch's Funeral seen here. 

Nonetheless, there are certain elements which many Wiccan Funerals have in common. Typically, there will be an altar where the High Priest or High Priestess will cast a circle, invoke the deity, and open (at least) the western gate (the gate associated with death and rebirth).  That being said, due to the fact that Wicca is still somewhat an 'outsider' religion and many people who identify as Wiccan often come from families who identify as one of the more mainstream religions some (if not all) of these elements may be performed before guests arrive or eliminated all together. 

As stated above the three candles represent life, death, and rebirth (as many witches ascribe to a belief in reincarnation). The silver cord rsed in the ritual represents the silver cord which is said to connect a person's physical body to his or her spiritual body. The silver chalice is one of the four main tools associated with witchcraft (along with the wand, pentacle, and athame) and is often said to represent, among other things, the "fount of life" that is, the vagina (whereas the athame, represents a penis). The fact that during the ritual the priestess unties a knot in the silver cord represents severing the ties between the individual's spiritual body and their physical one. Dropping the cord into the chalice would be indicative of sending the person's spirit back through the gate from which the soul came into this world. 

The priestess' words as life is a day, so has our sister passed into night reflects the witch's belief in reincarnation (a theme which appeared on the show many times). The bread and wine alluded to refers to a rite at the end of a ritual where the participants partake of food and drink giving thanks for their blessings. This seems to indicate that the witches believe that the individual will reincarnate into their family/coven in another life (another fact that was proven to be so throughout the series). 

I think the symbolism of the rite seen in this episode is both simple and beautiful.  I think that it could be very easily be adapted for use by practicing Wiccans and Pagans. However I would replace the chalice with the cauldron, as it is more traditionally associated with transformation and regeneration. 

Carolina Dean


Charmed Again Script 
See the Scene (Youtube Video)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Island Life: A Knot in Thyme

Even though I've lived on Whidbey Island for a little more than four years now, I've never had the opportunity to explore everything that it has to offer. However, this past weekend, I finally had the opportunity to take a whole day with a friend who took me around Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands searching out crystal shops, obscure book stores, and family farms. 

Today I'd like to share my experience visiting A Knot in Thyme a beautiful Holly Farm and Lavender Garden located at 4233 Degraff Rd. Oak Harbor, WA. The farm has been described as 

"...a working horticulture family farm comprised of a 75+ year old holly orchard and an ever-expanding selection of specialty gardens. The Quilted Garden is an intricate pattern of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers; The Vertical Garden explores growing plants in small spaces; The Miniature Garden delights children; The Courtyard connects gardens with lavender, herbs and flowers. Enjoy our free farm tour by draft-horse-drawn wagon, with special music; walk the trails."

In addition to the tour and various plants for sale, they also offer demonstrations (composting, wreath-making, holly growing, etc...) and activities for children such as learning to transplant seeds for winter. 

Its seems to be a family business, the day I visited the people on scene were, I assume, the son and daughter of the owners. Although they were very nice and accommodating, they didn't seem to know a lot about the plants and herbs they were selling. At one point the son approached the daughter with two plants asking her to identify them for a potential customer, and the daughter had to call the owner and describe the plants over the phone to get an answer.

Although I didn't get a chance to tour the gardens, I spent about 45 minutes in their gift shop among their various wares which includes Amish furniture, crystals, ceramics, home-made soaps, beeswax candles, essential oils, potpourris, muslin bags, etc...

While there I was able to purchase a beautiful Tiger's Eye Crystal Point, (at  left) a Hematite Crystal Point, and a medium sized bag of dried Lavender (see photo above). I even found an authentic old-fashioned witch-ball! The prices were very reasonable and I only wish that I had had more money to spend that day. I regret that I left my camera in the car because I would love to have been able to show you more pictures of this beautiful place. A Knot in Thyme is defiantly a place that I will return to again and hopefully with more money! 

Carolina Dean

More Information

A Knot In Thyme
4233 Degraff Rd.
Oak Harbor, WA 98277

Directions: Located 2.9 miles south of Deception Pass or 4.2 miles north of the Oak Harbor Navy jet display. From SR 20 turn west onto DeGraff Rd. The Farm is the first place on the right.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Dowsing in the art and science of locating people, places, and thing by means of a forked stick, called a dowsing, rod, or by a pendulum. A pendulum is comprised of a weighted object, called a bob, suspended on a chain or thread so it can swing freely.

Many new-age shops offer pendulums which make use of a crystal as a bob. However, a pendulum can easily be made by suspending any weighted object, such as a needle or a ring, on a thread or chain. In the Hoodoo Tradition, spiritual workers often make a pendulum by suspending a piece of Queen Elizabeth root on a length of red thread. In certain cases, the worker may make a special kind of pendulum called a Jack Ball with the root in the center along with other items.

Dowsing for Something Lost

  1. Thread a needle and hold it over a map of the search area.
  2. Focus your thoughts on that which you wish to find.
  3. The closer you move to the location of the object or person the stronger the pendulum will begin to swirl.
  4. When the needle hangs over the location of the object or person, it will stop moving and you will likely feel it ‘pull’ towards that location.

The Pendulum as Oracle

A pendulum may be used to divine the answer to subjective questions. To do this, hold your pendulum on its thread or chain between your thumb and forefinger. Place your elbow on a tabletop, and lower the bob to within an inch of the table surface.

Speak to your pendulum and say “show me yes.” Note which direction the pendulum swing. Next, ask “show me no,” and note the direction in which the pendulum swings. Finally, ask “show me I don’t know,” nothing the pendulum’s direction.

Test your pendulum by asking it subjective questions to which you know the answer. When you are sure that the pendulum is answering truthfully via the correct pendulum swing, move on to asking it subjective (yes/no) questions to which you do not know the answer.

With continued use and practice you will find your pendulum to be an accurate and useful source of information. 

Carolina Dean 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lost Sheep Vigil Candle

To prepare this candle you will need:

A Pink Vigil Candle*
(pink for the bond of love that connects people
(for protection and comfort)

(to draw those you wish to see)
(for remembrance and protects family)
Lodestone Grit
(natural magnets that attract) 
Magnetic Sand 
(for feeding the lodestone) 

Attraction Oil 
(to draw the person back)

Photograph of Missing Person 

Mortar and Pestle 

Begin by taping or gluing the photograph to the Pink Vigil Light. Mix the dried herbs together in your mortar and grind them with a pestle, praying for the individual's safe return. When you are done, add three to nine drops of Attraction Oil to the mixture. Bore three holes in the vigil light. Add three drops of Attraction Oil to each hole. Fill each hole with your herbal mixture and top it off with one Lodestone Grit (tell it what you want it to do and fed it with magnetic sand). In addition you can place the person's personal concerns in the holes as well.

Anoint the rim of the candle with Attraction Oil, swirling your finger around it three times in a clockwise motion. Hold your hands over the vigil light and pray for the individual's safe return. When you are done place your left hand over the top of the candle and take hold of it with your right. Lift up the candle and bring it down knocking it on your altar or workspace three times.

Finally, light the candle and let it go to work. 

If you want to take this spell a step further and confer protection on the individual while they are missing, flip 7 black candles, anoint them with Fiery Wall of Protection Oil. Arrange the candles in a circle around the Pink Vigil Candle and light them with your prayers of protection. Light the candles to surround the individual with a strong aura of protection so no harm may come to them while they are missing. 

Carolina Dean 


*You may substitute a pink Human-Figure Candle in place of the Vigil Light and load it with the herbs mentioned in the spell.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Setting Lights

What is Setting Lights?

Setting Lights, or candle-altar service, is a service offered by many spiritual-workers and owners of candle-shops. The setting of lights refers to burning candles with accompanied prayer for various goals. Although virtually any kind of candle can be used, setting lights typically  refers to the burning of a fixed Vigil-Candle on top of a client’s petition for a period of 7 to 9 days, during which the candle will be closely observed.

Generally speaking, the size of the candle that you decide to use should reflect the severity or consistency of your problem. If your issue is a relatively minor one, such as drawing fast money, gaining an interview, etc... you may wish to use a birthday candle, a tea light, or a short taper. If your problem is a major issue, such as long standing bad luck, ill-health, or a strong enemy, then you would definitely want to use a glass-encased Vigil Candle.

Typically, the client will speak with the worker about their issue or problem. Sometimes a reading on the issue will be performed, but not always. The worker will often have the client write out their petition on a piece of paper, however, sometimes the worker will write the petition themselves. The worker will take the petition from the client and set about fixing a vigil light for the client’s goal.

The candle is often ritually lit with appropriate prayers pertaining to the client’s goal. The worker will carefully observe the candle each day making notes regarding how the candle burns. When the candle is spent, the worker will usually prepare a candle-burn report explaining how the candle burned and what that means in relation to the client’s wish.


A written petition often takes the form of a statement describing the client’s wish. In the Hoodoo tradition, one is typically advised to write one's petition on brown paper torn, usually from a grocery type sack, on all four sides by hand. This is thought to make the paper pure.

However, there are instances where the practitioner is allowed to cut the paper with a pair of scissors. The use of scissors is seen as symbolic of using weapons such as swords, knives, and daggers against one's enemies. Some situations in which you would cut your petition paper with scissors can include when driving two people apart, or working enemy tricks.

Once the client’s goal is written down, the paper will often be rotated 90 degrees. The client’s name will then be written a certain number of times (usually 3, 7, 9, or 13) crossing and covering the wish.

Ideally paper torn from brown paper bags are used along with lead pencils or regular ink pens whose colors matches the goal (red for love, green for money) and usually paired with black for contrast. For example a petition for prosperity would have the individual's name written nine times in black ink and crossed nine time with 'prosperity' in green ink. Sometimes symbols such as dollar signs, hearts, astrological symbols, will be incorporated into the petition.

If I am am writing a petition that will have an effect on two people, such as bringing them together or driving them apart; I will cross one name with the other and write what I want to happen in a circle around the names. For example, in the below post, you can see an example of a petition I wrote myself when I wanted a local car dealer to finance me when I went to buy a new car. The dealer's name was written in red ink so that he would be filled with positive thoughts of me and so that he would be inclined to finance me. My own name was written in black to surround me with an aura of prosperity and show me as someone who will make my payments on time. The paper itself was torn from a sack of sugar.

If I am writing a petition that is meant to command or compel another person, I will write their name in all lower case letters and cross and cover their name with my command in all caps (usually with a sharpie). Again, my specific command will be written around the names in a circle.

In addition, I have also used different types of papers for different situations.

* If I am doing any kind of love or sweetener type of spell, I write my petition on the paper torn from a sack of sugar.

* If I am writing a petition for any type of prosperity or financial increase, I use a portion of the envelope in which my monthly bank statement is mailed. I've also used the financial section of the newspaper and write my petition on the paper in black permanent marker. Black being a color associated with profits in accounting.

* I often save the cards, letters, and envelopes that friends send to me. I clip their signature from the card as well as the part that they licked to seal the envelope and save these as personal concerns. I also save parts of the envelope with no writing on it (usually the inside), which I can use to write a petition that is intended to have an effect on that person. I also save handwritten notes that people leave me at work for the same purpose.

Folding Petitions

  • If you are drawing something towards yourself such as love, good health, or money; you will fold the paper towards yourself three times (for manifestation) rotating clockwise one time between each fold.
  • If you are moving something away from yourself, such as poverty, illness, or an enemy; you will fold the paper away from yourself three times rotating it counter-clockwise between each fold.

Typically, petitions are placed under the candle while it is burning. However, sometimes it is taped the the vigil light itself.

What You Can Expect from having Lights Set for You

Before you decide to have lights set for your goal, you should have a realistic expectation of what the process can do for you. First of all having a light set for you is not the same as hiring a worker to do a full-on spell or ritual on your behalf. Spells often take more preparation, time, and energy to perform and will be more expensive.

Many spiritual workers believe that setting a light for your goal is an excellent way to begin work on a particular goal. The process is more economical and once completely burned a divination on the light will give you an indication of your success or failure as well as any additional steps which may need to be taken.

Depending on your situation or problem, a single vigil light may not be enough to get the job done. However, having a light set for your goal will often open doors and get movement on your particular issue. That being said when having a light set, you are making a commitment to achieving a goal. You cannot expect the candle to do all the work for you and you will be expected to do your part. For example, if you have a light set for you to obtain work, you must make an active search for work, apply for jobs, send out resumes, show up for interviews, etc….

Backing Up the Work

This refers to when a person is performing spiritual work on their own behalf and they also hire a spiritual worker to burn a vigil light for their same goal. Sometimes the worker and the client will work in tandem, meaning that they will time the lighting of their candles so that both parties are working at the exact same time depending on their geographical location.

How Often Should Lights Be Set

Often a client will ask to have lights set in runs, which means that they wish the worker to light a new candle for the same goal as soon as, or shortly before, the old one burns out. Before deciding to have lights set in runs for you, you should at least wait for the first candle to burn out and consider what information the divination of the candle tells you.

Many spiritual workers adhere to the adage 3 days for a sign, 3 weeks for movement, 3 months for completion. Therefore, it usually takes about three weeks before you will begin to see movement on your issue, if at all.

If the signs are positive and you see movement on the issue within three weeks, you probably won’t need to have another light set. In some cases, the divination may indicate additional work that may need to be performed such as a ritual bath, or a honey jar.

If the signs are negative and there is a noticed lack of movement on your issue, it could indicate strong obstacles which will have to be dealt with before you can accomplish your goal. However, one must always consider the possibility that one’s goal simply isnt’ meant to be.

Carolina Dean


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sympathetic Magick and the Use of Dolls

When it comes to using Doll-Babies in magick, most people are familiar with the stereotypical image of the "Voodoo" doll stuck full of pins to cause suffering and grief for one's enemies. Historically, various types of dolls were used to gain love, empower individuals, bring about healing, and secure prosperity in addition to punishing one's enemies and staving off rivals.

Sympathetic Magick

The process of manipulating images to effect their physical counterparts is believe to have originated in paleolithic times. Although no dolls from this period in history have been recovered, it has been theorized that cave paintings depicting successful hunts were actually a form of magick, which forms the basis for many spells and rituals, called Sympathetic Magick.

Sympathetic Magick works on the principle that ‘invisible bonds connect all things’. Sympathetic Magick can be divided into two categories, Homeopathic Magick and Contagious Magick. The Scottish anthropologist Sir James G. Frazer first described these types in his book The Golden Bough (1890).

* Homeopathic Magick holds that “like attracts like.” A classic example of this type of magick is the melting of a waxen image of an enemy resulting in his or her death. Visualization is a form of sympathetic magick, instead of creating a physical image of your goal, you are create a mental one. Many taboos come from homeopathic magic. People avoid certain harmless things because they resemble various harmful things. Among the Inuit (Eskimos), for example, parents have traditionally warned their sons against playing a string game, such as cat's cradle, in which children loop string around their fingers. They feared that playing such games might cause their fingers to become tangled in the harpoon lines they will use as adults.

* Contagious Magick holds that “things once in contact with one another continue to exert an influence on one another after they have been separated.” An example of Contagious Magick from a folk magick remedy to cure a wound would be to rub some medicine on the object which caused the wound in the first place. People who believe in contagious magic fear that an enemy can gain power over them by obtaining parts of their body. Therefore, they carefully dispose of their nails, hair, teeth, and even their body wastes. 

Historical Use of Dolls in the Practice of Magick

The use of dolls in the practice of magick can be found in cultures the world over. Some examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Wax-Dolls (effigies) were known to have been used against Pharoah Ramses III of ancient Egypt in a plot by one of his many wives in an attempt to kill him so that her son would become the new Pharoah.
  • In 1320 Galeazzo Visconti, the Duke of Milan, was accused of attempting to murder Pope John VIII with a wax doll.
  • European royalty were known to make use of wax dolls to punish, torture, and kill rivals. Caroline of Brunswick (1768-1821), the Princess of Wales, was known to have made use of a wax doll of her husband, the future King George IV, which she jabbed with pins.
  • The Greeks made use of dolls (kolossi) made out of wax, clay, or even metal. The personal concerns of the person the doll was intended to represent were often incorporated into the body of the doll along with spells written on paper. Parts of the doll's body were tortured, deformed, and even removed, in an effort to bind and protect.
  • European witches often made Poppets, an older spelling of puppet, from sewing together two pieces of human shaped cloth and stuffing it with dried grass, herbs, feathers, etc....
  • In Colonial times, witches often made use of human shaped dolls formed from bread dough, dollies manufactured from corn husks (called corn-dollies), effigies made from wax, and poppets.
  • Among West Africans a type of doll called a bocchio, or fetish, can be found. A fetish is often carved from wood and will often have a hollow spot in which additional items such as herbs, roots, bones, etc.. can be placed. Unlike previously mentioned dolls which typically represent a human being, these fetishes represented Gods or Spirits. When slaves where brought to America, the use and possession of a fetish was forbidden. The bocchio then began being made in the form of Poppets which could be explained away as a child's toy.
  • Similar to bocchio, Hopi Indians make use of Kachina Dolls, which represent figures from Hopi Mythology. Although they are not used to represent people, they are petitioned for various needs such as protection and healing.
  • In the spiritual practice of espiritismo, practitioners will often alter a store bought doll, bathe it in herbs to cleanse the doll and perform rituals to entice their spirit guardian into the doll. From then on they will venerate that spirit the doll as the physical presence of the spirit in the physical world. It will often be petitioned for love, protection, health, success, etc.. and given offerings in return for its blessings.
  • In the practice of Hoodoo, modern practitioners often make use of store-bought Barbie © dolls, called doll-babies, which they often alter and consecrate to represent a specific individual. In addition, dolls in the form of poppets, or waxen effigies may also be used.

How Dolls are Used in Magick

Dolls are often sewn to represent the person as much as possible and items such as herbs, curios, seals, etc... which correspond to your intent may be incorporated into its body. The doll will often contain the personal concerns of the individual the doll is intended to represent. However, the doll may also be sewn from clothing once worn by the individual. Examples of personal concerns include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bodily Fluids
  • Hair/Nail Clippings
  • Used Clothing
  • Dirt lifted from the Person's Footprint
  • Handwriting Sample
  • A Photograph

Once the doll is constructed it is ritually named for the person that it is intended to represent. Naming rituals can take many forms including a Christian baptism, or exposing the doll to the four elements blessing the doll in the name of the individual.

The naming-ritual is believed to forge the magickal bond between the doll and the individual. Thereafter the doll is considered to be that individual. Spells and rites are performed with the doll to bring about your goal. That which you wish to occur to the individual is symbolically enacted upon the doll.

An Easy Protection Ritual That You Can Perform

First, take a clean white hankerchief and soak it in spring water to which you have added half a cup of kosher-salt. Let the hankerchief soak in this salted water overnight, during a Full Moon.

The following day, gently ring out the hankerchief (but don't completely dry it this way) and place it outside where it will dry in the clean air and sunshine. When the hankerchief is completely dry, take a poppet that represent yourself and wrap it in this handkerchief.

Once you have the doll wrapped in the handkerchief, place it somewhere where it shall remain safe. If you choose, you can enhance this ritual by the lighting of candles, incense, chanting, prayers, etc...but this is not required. Symbolically, you have surrounded yourself with a "white-light" of protection, which you can call upon at any time, simply by visualizing yourself being bathed in this white light to recharge yourself, reduce stress, or strengthen your sense of security. 

Carolina Dean 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Banishing a Ghost

Begin by cleansing the space both physically and spiritually. There are many ways you can do this including:

• Beginning at the top of the house clean down and out.
• Clean from the back of each room, towards the front.
• Sweep out each room and out the front door.
• Mop the floor with some Chinese Wash in the water.
• Wash the front door-step with water that includes Blessing Oil.
• Smudge the entire house with Sage.
• Mist each room with a mixture of Kosher Salt and Holy Water.
• Boil cinnamon sticks and vanilla on the stove.
• Remove all clutter.
• Seal any portals with Clove Oil.

The Ritual

Erect an altar where the most ghostly activity has taken place. In the center of the altar place a cauldron in which you burn a combination of dandelion root, wormwood, and sandalwood.

Create Sacred Space and Cast a Circle.

Open the Western Gate, saying:

“Western gate now open wide,
reveal the path to the other side;
allow the spirit to pass therein,
and bring this haunting to an end!”

Summon the ghosts, saying:

“Lingering spirit these words hear,
I call on you to now draw near;
join me within this sacred space,
come to me and show your face!”

Once you feel that you have made contact with the ghost, talk to it and explain that they are dead. Tell them that their life is over and it is time to move on. Show the spirit the path to the other side through the Western Gate.

At this point the spirit will either pass through the gate or not. If the spirit crosses over, you should feel it on some level either physically or psychically. If the spirit becomes angry or refuses to cross over, you can always try again at a later date. Either way, end the ritual by closing the gate.

Open the circle and clean up as usual. 

Carolina Dean 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Magick of Incense

This entry will cover the following:

Definition of Terms
Types of Incense 
Ritual Use of Incense

Definition of Terms

  1. Ash-Catcher- Alternative term for any type of incense holder. As the name implies, the ashes from burning incense collects on the ash-catcher to protect the surface on which the incense is burning.

  1. Censer- A vessel in which incense is burned. It is often suspended from a chain so that it may be swung about to distribute smoke in a given area.

  1. Fumigation- The exposing of something to incense smoke for the purpose of cleansing and purifying it.

  1. Incensing- Refers to the covering of a person, place, or object with incense smoke. In the practice of magic and spells this is often performed for the purpose of cleansing and empowerment. Also known as censing or smoking.

  1. Suffumigation- The burning of incense to produce fumes as part of some magical rituals.

Types of Incense

  1. Briquette- Incense made from pressing a mixture of charcoal powder and saltpeter into a small brick-like form and then scenting the resulting dried briquette with essential oils.

  1. Coil- Incense made from placing powdered sandalwood onto a thin bamboo or fiber core twisted into a spiral shape. It is then allowed to dry and then scented with essential oils.

  1. Cone- Incense made by a process of combining sandalwood with other woods, gum and pressing it into cone-shaped mold. It is allowed to dry and then scented with oils.

  1. Sticks- Incense made by adhering powdered wood, herbs, etc... to thin sticks which are allowed to dry and then scented with essential oils. Also know as Joss Incense.  

  1. Powdered- Incense made from a blend of wood fiber, saltpeter and scent, although dried herbs can be added to the mixture.  It is usually burned by shaping it into cones. It is also known as Loose or Self-Lighting incense.

  1. Rope- Incense is made by placing herbs and other plant materials on rice paper, thin fiber, or bamboo and then twisting the rice paper to form a 'rope'.

Ritual Use of Incense

In Wiccan ritual, incense typically represents the element of air. However, it also has other uses. They are:

  • To set a magickal mood.
  • To purify the area of negativity.
  • To release energy
  • To carry prayers/wishes to the gods.
  • For scrying

Setting the Mood- Similar to how color affect our biology, certain smells also bring up associations in our minds that can have a profound effect on our mood.  Our olfactory sense is the closest of our five senses tied to our memories, by using scents tied to pleasant or unpleasant memories we can call up the needed energy for rituals and spells. Imagine doing a love spell and burning incense that reminds you of your first boy/girl friend. Now imagine doing a love spell and burning incense that smells like burning tires. Which spell do you think has the best chance of being successful?

Purification- The burning of incense has long been used by Pagans, as well as other religions to purify people, places, and things. It is believed that the purity of the smoke, it’s pleasant scent, and the ingredients which make it up (usually herbs and oils) drive out negativity and evil.

Release Energy- As I stated above, natural incenses typically contain dried herbs and scented with essential oils that when burned release energy into the universe much like a prepared candle. This energy can be programmed by the specific intent of our rite (spell, chant, meditation, visualization, etc…) Incense manufacturers now make specific incenses designed to bring about specific wishes for love, success, money, health, blessing, etc…

Transmitting Prayers- In ancient times, the sky was believed to be the abode of the gods. Prayers, chants, spells, etc… were performed accompanied by the burning of incense in the belief that as the smoke rises towards the heavens and moved across the higher planes it would carry our wishes to God and spirits that would grant them.

Scrying- Although I haven’t seen this practice common today, magickal practitioners have been known to set incense burning and then stare into the rising smoke for signs, omen, visions, etc….

Carolina Dean