Monday, October 16, 2017

The Many Functions of Incense During Prayer/Ritual

We often think incense to be among the simplest of religious and ritual tools, but it does, in fact, serve a range of functions in one's spirituality, and knowing this can help a practitioner grow.

The first step in using incense properly and successfully when you pray is to find some that is of quality make and sweet fragrance. Often times, people settle for cheap brands that can be found in places like Walmart. They smell terrible and are probably not made from pure material. It's a cheap knock off and it's not going to be pleasing to anyone sensing it. Walmart may have other great things, but incense isn't one of them. I know this because, back in the day, I also used to purchase said incense and it was always unbearable. When I started buying quality material like frankincense from reputable suppliers, the difference was amazing. A Pagan supplier is going to give you your best incense, not cheap chain stores. It's important to know the difference.

When you burn your cones or sticks during ritual and/or prayer, the first obvious purpose is offering to the Gods. Since ancient times, incense products have been used to invoke and please Deities. Certain kinds, such as frankincense, also act as a purifying force to cleanse the area of negativity and miasma (pollution). Sometimes when I just want to pray at my shrine, I'll light a cone of incense on the altar for the purpose of purification and to burn as a consistent offerings to every God I pray to during that time. It's easier than presenting individual gifts. Perhaps one could call it a bulk offering. Incense lasts quite a while, giving me the ability to pray and offer to numerous Divinities one right after another.

The smoke of the incense and its fragrance can also travel with your prayers/words to the Gods who are near at hand when invoked, and thus your prayers arrive at them in great sweetness and pleasantness. It helps gain the attention and admiration of the Gods to your verbal statements and petitions. In short, the incense helps to please them when hearing your prayers.

Incense is also pleasing to your own self, and this is very important as well. The nice smells can lessen your stress, quiet your mind, and calm your very soul. This aids greatly in spiritual focus and physical health.

There really is no reason to not burn incense often, either during your religious activities, personal time, or both.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris.

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