Incense and oils have been associated with spiritual rituals of mankind for over 5,000 years. Whether it is the sage smudge stick of the Native American Indian or the frankincense and myrrh of the Mediterranean, scented smoke was an integral part of spiritual life. Burning at the alters of pantheons of Gods and lit to help guide the way of spirits of the dead to the higher plane, incense holds an important place in the spiritual world.
Some believe that smoke is cleansing, some believe the prayers of the living are carried to God or the dead on the smoke as it rises. Incense or vapors were reported to be part of the process of the readings of the Oracles of Delphi. The scents that the incense permeates through the air can help soothe the psyche or help heighten awareness.
Associations have been assigned to the burning of various herbs or incense. Here are a few of the most popular. These are pretty popular scents that are normally easy to find at your local incense store.
Cedar: (There’s a reason why we line chests with it to protect our clothing and textile goods.) Smoldered it’s great for purification, healing , and helps align the inner spirituality.
Frankincense: Spirituality, of course. (Remember the gifts of the Three Magi in the Christian faith?) Frankincense can also provide protection.
Myrrh: Myrrh is highly recommended for an aide in meditation. Encouraging peace and helping with healing and protection, Myrrh has long been recognized for it’s special properties.
Sandalwood: Sandalwood is an old and well respected member of the incense family. It has long been associated with spirituality and personal healing. It is also used for protection.