A well chosen incense can enhance your insight and improve the experience for both reader and sitter. Learn how to choose or make your own.
One of the most important aspects of practising any form of divination is to be in an appropriate frame of mind before beginning. This holds true whether you are sitting down with a deck of Tarot cards, working with Rune staves or even reading tea-leaves. Most people who use divinatory techniques understand that the chosen method is partially about helping the user access areas of the subconscious as a means of gaining insight or guidance. As such, the use of incense or other preparations to set the scene can be extremely helpful.
There are many perfectly good incense blends available from retailers, but it makes sense that a blend that you have composed yourself, to suit your own requirements and methods of divination will be much more effective. Once the basic method has been mastered it is a simple thing to blend several versions of your incense to allow you to make the most of your divination sessions.
Many of the herbs, gums, barks and resins used to blend incense have a long history of use in the esoteric arts. Some originate from specific parts of the world, and knowing this can be of use when compounding an incense to be used with culturally specific techniques, such as Norse Runes or the Native American Medicine Wheel. If you live in an area geographically very different to the area in which your chosen technique originated you may find it useful to add to your blend ingredients associated with both the original area and the area in which you yourself practice. This is one way of creating solid links between traditions and concepts and can help to ensure that your sessions start from a stable base.
On a more mundane note, if you routinely have to make space in a busy home to practice divination, then a specific incense can be blended to help temporarily neutralise the bustling energies of your surroundings and give you a little clear space in which to work.
Working with the recipes:
The best way to illustrate this is to offer a few recipes which I have used myself in the past. Each is a good introduction to the process of blending incense and the accompanying descriptions should show how each ingredient has been chosen. All ingredients are offered in parts, rather than by weight. This is to allow you the most flexibility when experimenting with mixtures. Any ingredient could be substituted for another if you felt something else was more appropriate or if something was unobtainable. The rule of thumb is to substitute like for like, so replace a gum with a gum, or a bark with a bark. Smell is a very subjective thing, so if you know an ingredient doesn’t do for you what it tends to do for others, swap it for something you feel will work better. Don’t forget to write down any recipes you come up with!