Botanical and other incense are a tool which can be tailored to the user's desire. At their simplest they may be used to stimulate the sense of smell and bring enjoyment to those nearby, alternatively, they can be a suble compilation designed to create a specific ambiance for a ritual or magical operation.
The following guide contains some botanical (and a few other substances) and their uses when burned. The attributes have been derived from a great many sources, both published and personal communication, and like most magical properties they are most effective when tailored to the individual or group using them. So sit down and burn some and see if they work for you. Try combinations. I have included some recipes which have worked for myself and others in the hopes that you will find them useful. Happy Censing!
A Scheme of Things: The botanicals which I will discuss fall into several broad categories:
1) EVOCATIVE - used to get the attention of divinities or to summon spirits
2) DIVINATORY - used to foretell the future or to see hidden secrets
3) PURIFYING - used to purify the purpose of a rite or the action of a given object
4) ENHANCING - used to intensify the purpose of a rite or the action of a given object
5) PROTECTIVE - used to shield the user or area from harm
6) BANISHING - used to drive out unwanted influences or spirits
7) HEALING - used to promote wholeness in mind, body or spirit
8) SPELL CASTING - used to promote a purpose, e.g., love, fertility, money, luck, fortune, concentration, etc.
Many botanicals fall into several categories, for example: Wormword (Artemesia) can be used 1) to evoke Artemis and call the dead 2) to promote divination 6) when consecrated to Mars in banishing 6) & 7) it was used to banish the Black Plague fleas 8) when consecrated to Mars, in works of anger.
Some Examples: Evocative:
Almond, Lotus, Ash, Mandrake, Basil, Myrrh, Bay, Olive, Blessed Thistle, Patchouli, Damiana, Rowan, Dittany of Crete, Rue, Elm, Thyme, Frankincense, Verbena, Henbane, Vervain Blue, Life Everlasting Flowers, Wormwood, Yarrow Divinatory:
Ash, Linseed, Bay, Mugwort, Cinquefoil, Rowan, Clove, Thyme, Elm, Wormwood, Frankincense, Yarrow Purifying:
Angelica, Mastic Gum, Bayberry, Myrrh, Burnet, Olive, Cinnamon Enhancing:
Anise Seed, Lotus, Angelica, Mandrake, Celery Seed, Mastic Gum, Cinnamon, Mugwort, Cinquefoil, Orris Root, Cloves, Peppermint, Damiana, Sandalwood, Dragon's Blood, Styrax, Frankincense, Uva Ursi, Henbane Protective:
Alfalfa, Juniper Wood, Basil, Life Everlasting Flowers, Blessed Thistle, Mastic Gum, Bay, Mistletoe, Camphor, Mugwort, Cinquefoil, Orris Root, Elder, Rosemary, Five Finger Grass, Rowan, Frankincense, St. John's Wort, Garlic, Vervain Blue Banishing:
Agrimony, Lavendar, Ash, Pine, Camphor, Rowan, Dragon's Blood, Vervain Blue, Juniper Wood, Wormwood Healing:
Balm of Gilead, Myrrh, Lavendar, Rosemary, Life Everlasting Flowers, Wormwood Spell-Casting:
Basil, Patchouli, Bayberry, Peppermint, Bezoin Gum, Rosemary, Camphor, Rowan, Cinnamon, Rue, Damiana, Sandalwood, Dragon's Blood, Tormantil, Frankincense, Uva Ursi, Lavendar, Vervain Blue, Lemon peel, St. John's Wort, Life Everlasting Flowers, Wormwood, Mandrake, Yarrow, Mistletoe, Ylang Ylang, Orris Root
Copyright 1996, 1998 by Rowan Fairgrove, Lori Herron and Alternative Nature
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