Introduction to loose incense and how to burn them
by Lindsey of ESOTERIC ODYSSEY
I’m Lindsey, the owner of Esoteric Odyssey – a place where you can find enchanting loose incense blends.
My passion for herbs started 10 years ago when I completed an herbalist course. At that time, I didn’t expect that my strongest connection with herbs would be through incense and aromatic healing, but I am so glad I finally followed the way that resonated with my heart.
Introduction to loose incense
The loose incense that I make are made of loose leaf herbs and bits of barks and resins. They do not contain added substances to make them burn continuously, like stick and cone incense. Therefore, you need a constant source of heat to burn the loose incense.
All of the herbs I use are either organic or wild crafted. The wild crafted herbs I use are gathered with respect from the area where I live, which is Eastern Washington State. I also use quality selected resins from a trusted company.
It is important to me to tread as lightly as I can on our Mother Earth, so I am proud to say that all the incense blends come in biodegradable bags (the labels are biodegradable as well).
Benefits of using incense
Our sense of smell plays a vital role in our daily human experiences. Scents can trigger specific responses that encourage a variety of emotions, thoughts, and states of being. These can include relaxation, concentration, creativity, motivation, peace, sense of self, deep spirituality, sexual arousal, and the list goes on and on.
Many herbs have antibacterial and anti-viral properties that, when burned, can purify the air leaving it clean and fresh. During these “special” times, you can help keep your house clean and disinfected through burning incense. They are also wonderful at covering up unwanted household smells from pets, cooking, damp clothes, etc.
The effect of good aromas has been shown to raise serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is considered a natural mood stabilizer and helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. It also helps reduce depression, regulate anxiety, and reduce headaches. I know it’s a stressful time for so many people right right now. Using incense can help you maintain a balanced mindset and encourage stress release and relaxation.
Enrich our connection
I believe that one of the most important reasons we should use incense is to deepen our connection to Mother Earth. We have been given these wonderful gifts that enrich our daily lives by their enchanting, mystical, and exotic scents. My hope is that through using these ancient medicines, we will renew our love and respect for all things, including our true selves.
In my experience, I have found incense to work on an energetic and spiritual level. It is used in many different areas of spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, magical experiences, ceremonies, rituals, esoteric arts, etc. It is a vehicle between this realm and others and can carry prayers, clear negative energies, and work in ways we probably won’t ever understand.
Esoteric Odyssey’s incense blend collection
Ingredients: cedar, white sage, sweetgrass, willow bark, rosemary, hyssop, palo santo.
This blend is great for purifying, cleansing, and clearing negative energy. I like to use it for spiritual practices like sweat lodges, ceremonies, etc. Or if you need to clear out the negativity of your room or house, this blend is perfect for that.
Ingredients: cedar, rosebuds, holy basil, styrax, frankincense.
This blend is helpful for meditation, prayer, deep contemplation, soul-searching, and things of that nature. It can assist you in your inward journey as you dive deep within yourself.
Ingredients: bay leaf, eucalyptus, holy basil, thyme, galangal root, juniper berries, copal.
If you are struggling to overcome something in your life, this blend is for you! It can strengthen, uplift, resresh, and rejuvenate. It can help you rise above those circumstances and find the courage and strength to push through and move forward.
Ingredients: lavender, chamomile, dessert sage, bay leaf, benzoin of Sumatra.
This blend encourages relaxation, sleep, rest, and letting go. This is a wonderful and gentle blend during this time of change and uncertainty. It can help you ease your stress and bring a sense of peace.
Embrace the Love
Ingredients: rosebuds, rosemary, cherry bark, organge peel, myrrh, yarrow, patchouli.
If you are in need of some lovin’ or you want to boost a sense of romance, this blend is meant just for that. It encourages a sense of love, happiness, intrigue, and comfort. Who couldn’t use some more lovin’ these days?
How to burn loose incense
There are several ways to burn loose incense. What is important to remember is that it needs a constant source of heat in order for it to burn. With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite ways to burn them.
You will need: a charcoal disc, tongs, a heat proof bowl, ash/sand/salt/rocks/beans,a lighter, and your loose incense.
- Prepare your heat proof bowl by adding some ash/sand/salt in the bottom to disperse the heat from the charcoal disc.
- Using the tongs, grab the charcoal disc and light it using the lighter. Make sure you hold the flame on it until it starts to spark quite a bit. Once it starts sparking, set it down into the bowl and let it heat up for a few minutes.
- After the charcoal disc is nice and hot, sprinkle a pinch of loose incense on top. The herbs & resins will start to burn right away. They burn up pretty quick. Once the last of the resin has burned, I like to take my tongs and tilt the disc to get the burned incense off so I can put another pinch on. The disc should burn for 30-45 minutes.
- After you’re done, you can put a lid on (if available) to stop the smoke, or remove the burned incense and just let the charcoal disc burn down into ash.
- * When you purchase any of my incense blends, I include 2 charcoal dics to get you started.
Electric incense/resin burner
When I am not using smoke as part of my purpose for burning incense, I choose to use my electric burner. This method is great because it allows the herbs & resins to heat up more slowly so the aroma lasts longer and you don’t get the added smoke.
You will need: an electric resin/incense burner, tongs, metal trays (they usually come with them) or tinfoil, and your loose incense.
- Plug the electric burner in and turn it on. Some burners have a temperature gauge that allows you to choose your temperature. Mine has this and I always have it on the highest setting, but you will have to experiment to see what suits you the best. Wait at least five minutes to let it heat up.
- Place a metal tray or a piece of tinfoil shaped into a shallow bowl onto the burner. You don’t want to place the herbs & resins right onto the burner because the burned residue will stick to it and you won’t be able to clean it off.
- Drop a pinch full of loose incense into the tray or tinfoil cup. If you have a lid for your burner, gently put the lid in place. You should be able to start smelling the amazing aroma right away.
- After the incense has been burning for a bit, I sometimes like to stir it around to make sure all of it gets burned. To do this, use your tongs to remove the lid and then use the tongs to stir the incense. You can also trade trays if you want to use a different incense blend. Make sure to use your tongs to lift out the hot tray and to place the new one in.
- When you’re finished, just turn your electric burner off and let the burned incense cool before discarding.
If you don’t have the items listed above, but really want to burn your incense, you can make your own burner with just a few items.
- You will need a bowl, a tea candle, a strip of tin foil, and the loose incense.
Light the candle and set it in the bowl.
- Take the strip of tinfoil (should be about 3 inches wide and long enough to fold down the sides of the bowl) and lay it over the top of the bowl. Push it down over the sides so it stays in place.
- You want the strip of tinfoil to be over the candle (but not directly on the flame)
- Sprinkle a pinch of incense on top of the tinfoil. You will notice that the candle has heated up the tinfoil acting as the constant source of heat.
- Then enjoy the aromatic healing! The incense will heat up and release it’s amazing aroma.
- Discard the burned incense and keep adding new pinches as desired.
You can also watch this video for more infos on all five of my unique incense blends and the several ways you can burn them to enjoy their aromatic healing.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Always use caution when burning! Keep in mind that it is always a good idea to burn incense in a well ventilated area, especially if you are sensitive to smoke. Using an electric burner or making your own burner are great alternatives compared to charcoal discs if smoke is an issue for you.
Also, the incense blends are not intended for human consumption.