Happy Tuesday morning! I hope that beautiful supermoon has you feeling restored! I feel a bit tired actually. I could not sleep at all last night. Typical for me on a full moon. Today, I want to share some research I did on the history of incense. For me, I burn it daily on my home, and during my meditations. So I thought a little history was overdue for me. *My favorite brand is Triloka, and my favorite scents are Frankincense, Frankincense & Myrrh , and Sandalwood. I love the Triloka brand because they are hand rolled in India, herbal & all natural. They are divine! The Frankincense has psychoactives in it that produce a sedative affect. It's very calming! I buy it at whole foods, or Amazon! 😘 So here's a little history on the use of incense. I hope you enjoy✨
For centuries, cultures around the world, have used incense as a traditional way to honor their Gods. It is a practice seen in nearly every religion around the world.
Ancient writings provide insight on how religions and cultures used incense in their practices. From the Hebrew and Christians, to Buddhists, Egyptians, Hindu, Pagan, Native American cultures and many more. Although diverse in their traditions and beliefs, one common ground they stand on is the use of incense in their spiritual practices.
One of the oldest surviving texts, (the Ebers Papyrus 2000 BC), provides a list of medicinal herbs in use as incense around 1800 BC. From ancient texts like these, and Egyptian Hieroglyphs we learn the age of incense and it's use for spiritual purposes. Additionally, Exodus 30:34-36 of the Torah, God gives his first instructions to Moses for using and preparing incense. He says to Moses, "Take sweet spices, stace and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall be an equal part) and make an incense". In Luke 1:8 of the bible, "Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense." Yet again In Revelation 5:8 of the Bible, we find another description of the importance of incense and specifically it's smoke. "And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." Further, In Revelation 8:3-5 of the Bible, we find a description of how the Biblical Angels used incense. "And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth;" Buddhists believe offerings of incense and the spread of it's fragrance reminds practioners to practice good conduct. They believed it symbolizes the fragrance of pure moral conduct. According to Liu Zhongyu of the Taoist Culture, "The earliest known record of Daoist using incense is mentioned in the History of Wu in the Annals of the Three Kingdoms, which states that the Daoist Yu Ji taught people to burn incense and read Daoist books in the eastern reaches of the Yangtze River." In India, incense sticks are part of the 16 essential offerings during a Hindu ritual. Each of these offerings have symbolic spiritual significance and are offered to the Divine in a particular order. In Hindu cultural beliefs, incense keeps the practioner calm while performing ritual worship. The other offerings in these rituals are betel-nut, betel-leaf, cardamom, camphor, clove, cloth, diva (lamp) flower, fruit, grain, naivedyam (mixture of nine offerings), sandal paste, and water. Historically, the ancient Greeks sought a scientific approach to the use of incense. The father of medicine, Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.), is believed to be the first person to establish a scientific method of medicine with the use of incense. In this method, the use of aromas through incense is said to play a significant roll. Legend says Hippocrates healed Athens from the plague by burning aromatic plants throughout the city. The Japanese came relatively late to the use of incense compared to other parts of the world. But once the Nara and Kamakura Periods (710-1333 C.E.) followed interest, they turned it into a fine art. According to the Japanese, incense purifies mind and body, improves communication, acts as a companion in the midst of solitude, and brings moments of peace amidst ciaos. I can relate to these ideas!
Native Americans throughout the Americas have long used smudge sticks for purification, honoring the Spirits and inducing intuitive visions. A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs that are tied with sinew in the shape of a stick, or braided and tied together. These herbs often include white sage, cedar, lavendar, sweet grass, copal and more! When smudging, an individual would hold the smudge or burn it in a bowl and use an eagle's feather to waft the smoke in an area or over a person. I smudge in my home weekly. Pagan practioners of Celtic Shamanism often used incense in the healing rituals as well.They used avariety of herbs and spices to meet their specific needs.
As you can see, all cultures across the lands recognizes the use of incense as a necessary attribute to practicing their cultural beliefs. Nowadays, modern society continues these practices for personal pleasure & enjoyment too! We can thank our ancestors for passing down the traditions through many generations.These aromas can enhance meditations or devotional activities as the fragrance of the incense lingers in the air. During meditation, an individual can pull in the aroma and energy of their chosen mixture and allow it to bring their consciousness to a higher state. Whether it's used for holistic medicinal purposes, or mediation it's effectiveness has caused through the centuries! I encourage you to try it, if you haven't yet. Have a fantastic week!
Love & Peace, Spirit-Translator Kim Babcock www.kimbabcock.net email@example.com