Posts tagged incense
Buy incense / charcoal and use it to energize and purify body and rooms. Experiment with different effects. When cleaning a room you walk it counter-clockwise, when energizing the other way round.
Basically, there are incense sticks and incense cones, which can be burned directly, as well as resins and other solids, which are burned on a hot coal. Special containers for incense can be found in oriental shops.
Background & Impact:
Incense is used not only to create a pleasant fragrance, it is also used for natural medicine, ritual, spiritual and magical purposes. It has a particular effect on the subtle aura of man. Most have a cleansing effect (particularly: myrrh), others reinforce the currently available energy (eg. olibanum).
Incense is used in almost all religions in support of ceremonies.
Benzoin resin or styrax resin is a balsamic resin obtained from the bark of several species of trees in the genus Styrax. Gum benzoin is a major component of the type of church incense used in Russia and some other Orthodox Christian societies. Most benzoin is used in Arab Gulf countries and India, where it is burned on charcoal as an incense. It is also used in the production of Bakhoor (Arabic بخور – scented wood chips) as well as various mixed resin incense in the Arab countries and the Horn of Africa. Benzoin resin is also used in blended types of Japanese incense, Indian incense, Chinese incense, and Papier d’Arménie as well as incense sticks. When called sambrani or sambraani, it is a popular Indian incense used to scent and treat hair and prevent infections.
Copal is a name given to tree resin that is particularly identified with the aromatic resins used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as ceremonially burned incense and other purposes. To the pre-Columbian Maya and contemporary Maya peoples it is known in the various Mayan languages as pom (or a close variation thereof), although the word itself has been demonstrated to be a loanword to Mayan from Mixe–Zoquean languages. Copal is still used by a number of indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America as an incense and during sweat lodge ceremonies. It is available in different forms. The hard, amber-like yellow copal is a less expensive version. The white copal, a hard, milky, sticky substance, is a more expensive version of the same resin.
also called olibanum, is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra, B. carteri, B. thurifera, B. frereana, and B. bhaw-dajiana (Burseraceae). Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula and in North Africa for more than 5000 years. A mural depicting sacks of frankincense traded from the Land of Punt adorns the walls of the temple of ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, who died in 1458 BCE.
Frankincense was a part of the Ketoret which is used when referring to the consecrated incense described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It is also referred to as the HaKetoret (the incense). It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the First and Second Jerusalem Temples. The ketoret was an important component of the Temple service in Jerusalem. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible book of Exodus 30:34, where it is named levonah, meaning “white” in Hebrew.
Frankincense comes in many types, and its quality is based on color, purity, aroma, age, and shape. Silver and Hojari are generally considered the highest grades of frankincense. The Omanis themselves generally consider Silver to be a better grade than Hojari, though most Western connoisseurs think that it should be the other way round. This may be due to climatic conditions with the Hojari smelling best in the relatively cold, damp climate of Europe and North America, whereas Silver may well be more suited to the hot dry conditions of Arabia.
The Egyptians ground the charred resin into a powder called kohl. Kohl was used to make the distinctive black eyeliner seen on so many figures in Egyptian art. The aroma of frankincense is said to represent life and the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic faiths have often used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants and individuals considered to be moving into a new phase in their spiritual lives.
Kyphi (or: Cyphi) is a compound incense that was used in ancient Egypt for religious and medical purposes. The term “kyphi” is Greek and a transcription of the ancient Egyptian term kp.t. The earliest reference to kyphi is found in the Pyramid Texts: it is listed among the goods that the king will enjoy in the afterlife. In Isis and Osiris the historian Plutarch comments that Egyptian priests burned incense three times a day: frankincense at dawn, myrrh at mid-day, and kyphi at dusk. He reports that kyphi had sixteen ingredients and adds, “these are compounded, not at random, but while the sacred writings are being read to the perfumers as they mix the ingredients.” All recipes for kyphi mention wine, honey, and raisins. Other identifiable ingredients include cinnamon and cassia bark, the aromatic rhizomes of cyperus and sweet flag, cedar, juniper berry, and resins and gums such as frankincense, myrrh, benzoin resin, labdanum, and mastic.
Mastic (Mastiha) is the resin of the mastic and pistachio trees (Pistacia lentiscus). It is already mentioned in the Bible (Gen. 37.25 EU, EU Gen 43.11). How valuable mastic used to be, traces the history of Chios. The island was due to the cultivation of the mastic in the early modern period wealthy and populous.
Myrrh is the aromatic oleoresin of a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora, which grow in dry, stony soil. Myrrh was used by the ancient Egyptians, along with natron, for the embalming of mummies. It was also part of the Ketoret, which is used when referring to the consecrated incense described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It was traded by camel caravans overland from areas of production in southern Arabia by the Nabataeans to their capital city of Petra, from where it was distributed throughout the Mediterranean region. Myrrh is used to prepare the sacramental chrism used by many churches of both Eastern and Western rites. In the Middle East, the Eastern Orthodox Church traditionally uses myrrh-scented oil to perform the sacraments of chrismation and unction, both of which are commonly referred to as “receiving the Chrism”. In Judaism myrrh and aloes were used for the proper burial of the corpses, but they were also part of other rituals. Men and women wore it as a perfume, and beds were sprinkled before sexual intercourse.