Merry Meet friends…thought I’d post a quick post on a Samhain loose incense recipe and a “how to” make loose incense. I really enjoy making and using loose incense. I feel so witchy choosing my herbs, grinding them using my stone mortar & pestle, lighting the charcoal and placing it red hot in my cauldron, and carefully placing the incense on the charcoal, a bit at a time, and watching it smoke. The smell is incredible..more potent then the sticks or cones. Its great for smudging your home, blessing your altar, or for meditation and time spent at your altar.
First the recipe….
2 parts Cinnamon
1 part ground cloves
1 part Dragon’s Blood resin
1 part Hyssop
1 part Patchouli
2 parts Rosemary
1 part Sage
A dash of sea salt
Loose incense recipes are most often written as parts…parts can be a tsp, a Tb, a 1/4 cup…just depends on how much you want to make. When I’m trying a new recipe I will just use a tsp..enough to see how it smells, see if I like it or want to make adjustments, such as more of one herb, or leaving one out totally, or adding something different. This recipe is just a guide..you most certainly can adjust this to your liking..you are the maker..make it as you like it!! Once I get the recipe the way I like it..I may make up the 1/4 cup size and store it in a tightly closed jar..well labeled.
Now for the how to….
—You want to find the best ingredients to use in your incense. Start with scents you find intriguing on their own to use in your incense. The best mixtures make use of either a wood or resin as a base. Herbs alone will burn way too fast and smoke a bit too much.
—To make the best smelling incense, use fresh ingredients and grind them yourself with your mortar and pestle. You can buy ground herbs and powdered resins if you wish of course. Woods and resins are take some elbow grease to grind. Some witches use electric coffee grinders to do this…if you do, I would have a coffee grinder just for this purpose..you don’t want the scent of coffee in your incense or pathouli in your coffee! :) I worry the grinding this way can release some of the scent..but it does save on alot of work. If you have an antique coffee grinder..hand cranked..that would be an even better way to go!
—Grind the woods, then the herbs, and lastly, the resins. The resins are sticky and will absorb the woods and herbs from the mortar. Grind each ingredient separately and place in a bowl for mixing.
—Once everything has been well ground, you can start to mix everything together. Mix the dry ingredients together (woods and herbs) and the resins together if you are using more than one. After both are well mixed, you can add the dry ingredients to the resin
—Now for the fun part..burning your incense! To evenly distibute and disperse the heat, fill your incense burner with sand. I know some who do this and some who don’t..your choice. Then light your charcoal. To light it, you may need to hold it with tweezers til it is well lit. I actually use a pair of cheap scissors…works just as well. Light it and hold it with the scissors/tweezers until the brick is well lit and turns blue. After it is lit well, place in your cauldron or fireproof dish. Then, simply sprinkle your incense on top. Put about a tsp at a time on the charcoal..don’t put all of it at once on the charcoal…it’ll smoke nice that way and last longer!
—Storage for loose incense is best done in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store it in a dark, cool, dry place. Label it well!
Making loose incense is easy, really. It takes a bit more time than just lighting a cone or stick. But the rewards are well worth it. Play around with recipes….find a list of woods, resins, herbs in your witchy books or online…choose something from each list..then add more herbs..and you have a mix! Do you love spicy scents like clove and cinnamon? Woodsy like pine and cedar, Earthy like patchouli and sandalwood, Floral? Sweet? ..so many choices and 100’s of mixtures!
I hope you’ll give it a try if you don’t already make your own….you won’t be sorry. I grow my own herbs which make it even more fun. Planting, growing, harvesting, and grinding my own homegrown herbs….makes for a very happy Witch!
Blessings and good scents to you all, Autumn