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what incense do you like to burn with tarot readings?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 25 Apr 2005, and now archived in the Forum Library.

mullein  25 Apr 2005 
i cant read without just lifts my senses..if i go somewhere to read where i may not be able to burn incense sticks i drop lavender oil all over my cloth before i go.and take a bunch of herbs with me..just for the scent..i really like musky incense patchouli.or sandlewood or cedar wood..fruit smells leave me cold..i also like frankincense and myrhh..if i have a bbq i allways burn herbs on that also..i just love scent..i also like a candle if its possible to take one with me.. 

Ahria  25 Apr 2005 
I usually burn sandlewood incense and a mix of oils in a oil burner, but I do it often not just when I am reading... 

Citrin  25 Apr 2005 
I love both essential oils and incense sticks. =)

My favorite oils are probably pathouli, pine tree, and cinnamon. And my favorite sticks are just traditional, Indian ones. Do they have any names? To me they just have that typical, earthy incense-stick-scent hehe. I can read well without any scent around, but it definitely gets me focused easier.

I love lemon, bergamot, and orange, but for some reason I have a hard time concentrating on myself/my cards when I use them. 

Shade  25 Apr 2005 
I have really gotten into Edfu Kyphi and ancient Egyptian recipe that helps with visions. My coven decided to make it last Autumn and it smells really good burnt on charcoal. There is something very magical about smoke drifting up from a sizzling brazier.

There are several recipes, here's a traditional one:

This recipe was reconstructed from ancient Egyptian papyrii. Although an ingredient or two may not have translated correctly, this should be pretty close to the actual incense used in Egyptian temples.

Amount (In Parts) Ingredient
3/4 Honey
3 Raisins
1/4 Copal
1/4 Myrrh
1/4 Orris
1 Sandalwood
1/4 Storax
1/2 Frankincense
1/2 Cinnamon (REAL stuff only, and grind it forever)
Red Wine (enough to moisten mixture)
Benzoin (enough to roll balls in)

Thoroughly grind all ingredients separately, then mix together groups of ingredients by nature: resinous together, powdery together, etc. Finally, mix all batches together, add red wine to moisten, then roll into 5/8" balls and roll balls in benzoin. Lay out on waxed paper for a week or so, until firm.

CAUTION: Incense balls will look like donut holes. Be careful that folks know that these scrumptious looking balls of incense that you've left laying around are NOT edible!

The balls can be used when firm, but for best results, they should be allowed to cure a few weeks. Kyphi I've had for two years is better than ever.


The version we made (Taken from the Elemet Encyclopedia of 5,00 spells) was a little different and required:

Bay Leaves
Cardamom pods
Coriander Seeds
Golden Raisins
Juniper Berries
Mastic resin
Orris Root
Red Wine
Sweet flag/calamus root

1. Blend equal parts dried ground acacia, henna, and juniper
2. Soak the resulting powder in wine
3. In a separate container soak golden raisins in wine
4. Allow this soaking process to continue for seven days
5. Take equal parts cardamom, sweet flag/calamus, cinnamon
6. Grind each separately then blend and grind again into a fine powder
7. Add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of myrh resin to the spice mixture
8. Drain the herbs and raisin soaking in wine and add them to the honey/myrrh/spice mixture
9. Add sufficient wine to steep the combined materials plus terebinth and raisins to form a thick paste
10. Use this as is (simmer it to release the fragrance) or dy it (this is what we did), cut into squares and burn as incense.

It turned out very well 

Jeanette  25 Apr 2005 
I really like Nag Champa (even when it's not burning it smells good).
Shade, would you be willing to sell any of your handmade incense? It sounds magical and perfect! 

13thFaeChylde  25 Apr 2005 
Another Nag Champa fan here, that is the one I burn the most, whether reading or not.

Mmmmmm....wish my office was incense-friendly :) 

fyreflye  25 Apr 2005 

wellspring  25 Apr 2005 
Love using sandalwood too, and Potala, and Red Crystal. Earthy musky scents. And candles too.

Cat :-) 

NightWing  25 Apr 2005 
Shade: Thank-you very much for sharing these fascinating recipes for incense. I intend to try making them this summer, when I can do some of it at least outdoors (This follows a previous unfortunate incident involving the smoke & fire detectors in my building). The ingredients sound wonderful, as I expect the final result will be! Thanks again.

Because of the aforementioned "unfortunate incident", I can no longer use smuge pots, which were my first choice before a tarot reading. }) 

Emily  25 Apr 2005 
Although I do like to burn incense, Nag Champa is also my favourite but being a temple incense its very strong - I also like the more flowery ones like rose, Lavender and patchouli - I have a few ethic shops around here that sell very good quality incense. I have a wooden box with a lid that the stick incense sits in through a hole in the side, you shut the box and the smoke comes out through lattice work - looks really nice and all the ash is contained. :)

My favourites are the oil burners though - I either buy the little bottles of oil pre-mixed or mix my own. I don't just have these on for tarot readings I use oil burners all the time - buy the large ones that hold alot of water and they will last the life of the tealight candle without having to add more water. :)

Scented candles are ok but if I use those all the time then they don't last long. :) 

mike gorth  25 Apr 2005 
I have incense when I was into wicca which I'm not anymore. I really sort of hate it the smoke is icky and I only smell smoke when it burns. I have a lot of essential oils that I like. I mostly like to just smell them on occasion but I sometimes burn them. When I do a reading, I find it distracting. I really like peppermint, orange, lemon, lime, clove bud but my favorite essential oil is nutmeg.

Mike Gorth 

mullein  25 Apr 2005 you have any problems getting all those ingredients for your incense? i shall make some but i am sure their are things on your list i will find difficult to get here in the uk..thanks for your recipes they are very interesting.. 

Shade  26 Apr 2005 
Ooooh Fireflye the Shoyeido stuff is goof but it is reeeeeeeally expensive. Well I suppose expensive suggests that it is over-priced... it's not it really is worth it if you can make yourself put down the moola for it.

Mullein: Well we had the benefit of having the herbal stock of three covens to work with and only had to buy one or two of teh herbs. My suggestion would be to get together with a few people to make it so you have access to other people's stock. Just make sure you have enough wine for the incense AND ofr all of the people making it as well =)

Also, the recipes have been experimented with a lot over the years so you should feel free to try different things. When I burn it I don't think "Aaaah smell that galangal" if one or two of the ingredients were deleted I thikn it would be ok.

Incidently my trad. is putting together an Ezine which launches this fall and one of the frst articles is a blow by blow acount of creating the stuff... with lots of helpful pictures along the way. When we lauch the ezine I will link it here for people who want to try. 

shadowdancer  26 Apr 2005 
I would love to burn some incense at home, but alas my partner cannot stand them. :( He is allergic to anything I try to burn, which makes it difficult when I decide to cleanse my crystals with frankincense. (In fairness the whol house does smoke up when I use it, but it is the most efficient way I know).

I did by some perfumes from Egypt which I would love to use more often, but will have to wait until I can have the windows open on a permanent basis. Our weather here does not lend itself to that happening very often. 

Little Baron  26 Apr 2005 
Nag Champa for me as well ... as I have been using it since I started reading and learning eight years ago, whenever it is burnt and whether by me or I come across it somewhere else, I instantly smell ... tarot.

It transports me back to those first days of having my first tarot deck - sitting on my big red bed with the cards set out infront of me, a querent in front and the window open with a slight breeze coming through. That smell is such a lovely memory and has entwined itself through my own tarot history.

Major Tom  26 Apr 2005 
mullein wrote: you have any problems getting all those ingredients for your incense? i shall make some but i am sure their are things on your list i will find difficult to get here in the uk..thanks for your recipes they are very interesting..

Mullein, You might like to try Spice World UK

-=Light=-  26 Apr 2005 
I would love to burn some incense at home, but alas my partner cannot stand them. He is allergic to anything I try to burn, which makes it difficult when I decide to cleanse my crystals with frankincense. (In fairness the whol house does smoke up when I use it, but it is the most efficient way I know).

I did by some perfumes from Egypt which I would love to use more often, but will have to wait until I can have the windows open on a permanent basis. Our weather here does not lend itself to that happening very often.

Hi Shadowdancer,

I sent you a private message. I am an Aromatherapist and have sent you information on getting pure essential oils to diffuse. For allergies I do not recommending 'burning' anything but using the oils in their natural state. I would say the 'smoke' is what is causing the problem. There is nothing wrong with applying heat or burning anything but when breathing it in ..... it can cause respiratory congestion. I have major allergies and chronic bronchitis, allergic to smoke etc..... and I can use pure essential oils without a problem. When diffusing them be aware of residue it can leave on furniture and clothing (silk etc... ) and some oils have contraindications with pregnancy, high blood pressure etc... so just be aware of which oils you chooose.

There are many essential oils you can purchase however you must be leary of where you get them. Currently there really is no law governing real essential oils so you have no idea of what is truly in the bottle unless it is from a reputable supplier. There are lots of reputable suppliers but the one I use and swear by is Eve Taylor oils. I live in Canada and they come from the UK so there is a supplier I order from in Ontario. My teacher was trained by Eve Taylor herself and I know the testing process that her oils go through to make sure they are pure. Chemical measurements, and chemical analysis and passing a light through it to measure the refractive index are just some of the testing that is done on the oils to make sure you are getting what you buy. As long as they are pure (not diluted as you can purchase in some stores), and used properly, you should be able to use them without fail. They will also last forever almost lol. The purest oils only need a couple of drops and that will diffuse into the air.

The favourites that I have seen in this thread can be purchased in essential oil form.

Good luck and remember this is merely a suggestion and I do strongly advise to read instructions about the usage and contraindications (reactions and reasons for avoidance). This can definately cut down the reactions in people that smoke can cause but it can give you more options and you can still use the aroma's that you like.

If anyone needs information on particular oils etc.. I would be happy to help them through private msg as not to clog up this thread. I do not sell oils and any suggestions I give are merely suggestions and not to be taken any other way.

Light :) 

Paul  26 Apr 2005 
I too, enjoy Shoyeido: "Morning Zen" and "Sitting Zen" are subtle. They are also large chunky sticks, so they last forever; thus, one could break it in half and only use 1/2 for the price-conscious around.

Now, for special occassions, I use Monastery Incense. Yup. It's from a Catholic Supplier in the U.S., (I'm not Catholic, but they don't care) that supplies resin incense of various blends for Catholic churches. The key here is that they pride themselves on making subtler blends, sweeter frankincenses and myrrhs that are tolerable for the congregations. And, indeed, they are. These resins never have the bitter after-burn of many frankincenses and myrrhs. They have a "Jerusalem Blend" that is very subtle and a "Byzantine Blend" that is a tad more earthy. But, they carry pure Frankincense and pure Myrrh that are actually sweet.

Anyway, for these, of course, I use a charcoal briquette. I place the bowl out on the veranda in my home and it wafts in. Just wonderful. 

mullein  26 Apr 2005 
shade i grow herbs myself and have a vast getting herbs is not to bad its the resins i might have problems with..and i make wine so thats not a problem i spend a lot of the summer gathering fruit for wine can normally find me grovelling around in the hedgerows..i suppose the cooking cinnamon you can buy in sticks would do for the cinnamon if i ground it down i shall have to have a think and see what i can come up with ..thanks anyway for the help.. 

stella01904  26 Apr 2005 
MM ~ Real Tibetan incense is the best, any kind. Also enjoy a good Nag Champa, frankincense, myrrh, various blends. I LOVE sandalwood but use it more often as an essential oil, I love wearing it. Same goes for jasmine, anything lunar. Dragon's blood resin is also nice. Don't like fruit smells except when eating fruit or baking cobbler! They don't belong in incense. BB, Stella 

satinangel  26 Apr 2005 
I burn incense almost daily, but it's not a requirement for reading Tarot.

My fav's are:

Nag Champa
Ylang Ylang
Tibetan Amber 

WalesWoman  27 Apr 2005 
I burn incense when I want to smell something different besides the ash tray or last night's dinner.

If I do a reading and incense is burning... it's purely a coincidence. I usually don't do anything special, besides just try to clear my mind of stuff and think about why I'm reading. 

smokey  27 Apr 2005 
Nag Champa here!
Sage, next!
Rose; afterwards_
Sandlewood follows. 

full deck  27 Apr 2005 
I don't believe that incense is needed for reading either but fragrance is a great way to attenuate the senses. I found a local store called "Aesop" that will put together custom fragrances that are great. It "ain't" cheap though. 

Julien  27 Apr 2005 
Um, well... I have been watching this thread with a smile on my face because my answer is well... Incense sticks make me sneeze. I sneeze my head off if there's a lot of incense smoke around me, my sinuses get clogged... And it doesn't much matter what the incense is -- it seems to be the smoke that causes the problem. So I don't use any, and when I've had my cards read, I've actually had to ask the reader to step out of their space because I can't concentrate... Oils are okay (and I combinations that feature sandalwood in them work well for me), so it's not the scent itself, but I think the smoke.


Sulis  27 Apr 2005 
I burn frankincense granules and I usually add some sandalwood or amber incense to it...........lovely.

Nag Champa's good too :) 

Imagemaker  27 Apr 2005 
I love the essential oils. I was turned off incense the day our house filled with smoke from a woodstove and we were scared the chimney was on fire (and the firemen came), and then I went to yoga class and the incense there smelled just like our crisis.

Haven't liked incense since! Not to mention the smoke in the lungs problem . . . 

lunascorpio  27 Apr 2005 
My all time favorite is Nag Champa; with sandalwood, frankincense, and musk following close.
Sorry to hear that, Imagemaker. 

Shade  27 Apr 2005 
Ever since I worked at a metaphysical book and goft store I have been an incense snob. I have to say I truly loathe the Auric Blends 10 sticks for a dollar stuff. It is just oily and cloying and people would buy it by the boatload because it was cheap. Bad incense can be pretty painful to be around. 

Lillie  27 Apr 2005 
I'm putting in my vote for my all time favourite, Nag Champa.

Also Sandlewood, night queen, patchouli, frankinsence, myrrh.

I love insence.
I love the raw stuff you burn on a charcole block, and the usual joss sticks and cones.
I also love the smell of wood smoke.
I love fire, I love burning things!

I love the smell of paraffin, It reminds me of fire breathing and poi. 

stella01904  28 Apr 2005 
MM ~ I sometimes buy assortments of Tibetan - rope incense, sticks with no wooden sticks inside (I had to get a special burner with a big hole) - nag champa, blends of juniper, a Tara blend - all wonderful! I'll have to do that again. This stuff is hand rolled and labor intensive to make, it costs more but it's worth it and actually non-irritating to many people who claim to be bothered by incense. Look for the words "Fair Trade Federation" if you buy any, so the Tibetans in Exile get their deserved payment. Don't just grab it from anyone off of ebay! is a very good place to buy. BB, Stella 

Rajaneesh  01 May 2005 
Nag Champa, all the way, my friend! 

Emeraldgirl  03 May 2005 
I love the smell of sandalwood. It's my favourite. I also love vanilla essential oil but I don't like a lot of the insence that you can buy in vanilla but most of the opils smell so yummy. My partner is also allergic to the insence smoke so I use manily oils in burners around the house. Other fav scents are:

Ylang Ylang
The Body Shop used to have a product called the essence of Moonflower which was absolutely stunning which they had in oils and it burnt really really well but I think they have discontinued the smell :( they kept a couple of others that came out at the same time but they don't smell as good :( 

TemperanceAngel  03 May 2005 
Nag Champa :D:D:D 

DarkElectric  03 May 2005 
I really like Frankincense a lot. Nag Champa gets three cheers too, and there's something I blend together myself which is equal parts amber powder and benzoin of Sumatra (regular benzoin doesn't have the same delicious musku scent). 

anion-  11 May 2005 
I like most incenses. If I have time to prepare I use a mixture of Sandalwood powder, Cardamom, Frankencense, and amber resin powdered and burnt on a charcoal tablet. Otherwise, I enjoy Japanese joss sticks, esp. aloeswood and sandalwood bases scents. Yummy!
While I like Nag Champa it is a bit too smokey to burn in close qaurters. I use it alot in my house though. 

The what incense do you like to burn with tarot readings? thread was originally posted on 25 Apr 2005 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

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