Uncover hidden spiritual meanings

A container for incense that helps to purify an area. 

A censer or incense burner is a container which is used to burn incense or perfume in solid form. They are available in different sizes and forms and one has to choose to depend on the amount of incense that is to be burned.

Materials and construction have also varied since the ancient time in both secular and religious context. Some are simple earthenware pots or bowls, others are silver or gold vessels. Some are small while others are several meters high. Many designs of incense burner are made of openwork in order to allow for a quick flow of air.

Many cultures attach burning of incense to a spiritual or religious connotations, thus influencing the decoration and design of the censer.

Use of Incense in The Wiccan Traditions

During Wiccan, ritual incense represents the element of air.

In modern magic, incense represents all the four elements; air, water, fire, and earth. This is due to the fact that, the smoke of the incense spreads and is felt in the air after it has been created by fire; the materials which are used to carry out the incense are products of the earth as they are grown there; and water is used to form the combustible incense.

The incense is believed by the covens that it releases natural energy. When it is mixed with a variety of fragrances, it can be used to perform ritual and spell for different purposes.

The Different Incenses In The Pagan Practice

Different pagan practices associate different plant materials to have specific magical attributes. Each tradition has its own attributes it is given to a certain botanical plant during the incense burning, thus it may vary from one tradition to the other. But for the Wiccans and neo-pagans, the use of incense is limited to two purposes in their modern rituals.

They believe that incense is responsible for creating a conducive atmosphere which is appropriate for the invocation of spirits and deities which are normally present during the performance of the rituals.

They also believe that, when the incense is burnt, it releases a large amount of energies which are dormant in the natural incense and this energy can be put into use to perform their magic. In their magical workings, they avoid using dipped, synthetic, or perfumed incense as it is believed that, such artificial materials don’t contain useful energies for magic.

Some of the Incense Used in The Censer

Though it doesn’t apply to all traditions, but the following incense is used for the purposes listed.

  • Pine or cedar, incense helps in cleansing the space from negative energies.
  • Frankincense is used for purification, creating a devotional atmosphere. It is associated  with the sun and masculine powers.
  • Dragon’s blood is used for strength, love, and courage. It is added for potency any spell work.
  • Myrrh is similar to frankincense and additionally, it is used for attraction and healing purposes too. It is associated with feminine powers.
  • Sandalwood is used for purification and devotion.
  • Benzoin is used for purifying.

Charcoal Discs

The most popular way to burn incense is using a charcoal disc. To burn loose herbs is best on a charcoal disc, this is easier to handle the herbs than other types of incense.

Whichever incense is burned in the censer, its main purposes are the same, to prepare the ground for a ritual to be performed. Share with friends on social media to enlighten them.

By Florance Saul
Oct 2, 2012