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Smoking has been going on for centuries, not just to create a pleasant smell or for disinfection, but above all to cleanse the atmosphere of the invisible and to clear the mind. Incense can be found in the rite of the Catholic Church as well as in Asian temples. Smoking with herbs is an art that dates back to Celtic times.

Today I would like to give you a little insight into smoking. Of course, this is just a small excerpt of what else there is to write about it. You can do so much with plants and medicinal herbs, including smoking.

What actually is smoking:

Incense burning is the burning of incense on hot charcoal, in an incense burner, or the lighting of incense sticks or incense cones. This releases fragrance and/or active ingredients into the surrounding air. There are many things you can use incense for, starting with aromatherapy, relaxation and cleansing rituals, meditation and trance. Smoking is not only part of magical or religious ceremonies, but also to disinfect rooms or to drive insects out of the house.

What do we need for smoking:

  • a fireproof smoking device, such as a warmer or bowl

  • Coal

  • Sand

  • Incense tongs

  • Incense

  • Incense spoon

Incense bowl (Image from: Hexenshop Dark Phoenix)

Smoking in the bowl:

Incense bowls are available to buy, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend using an ashtray or something else, as they can burst if things are too hot. Fill the bowl with a little sand, at least halfway. Use a candle to light it. To hold the charcoal, use the smoking tongs. When the charcoal slowly turns white, you can place the piece of charcoal in the middle of the bowl. Once the heat source has burned out and is completely whitish, you can place a teaspoon of the incense mixture on it, or place it directly in the sand, directly around the charcoal. This means that the mixture does not burn immediately, but rather more slowly.

With this smoking process, the air in the room is smoked very quickly. Be careful indoors when fire alarms are installed. You can also open a window so that bad air can escape more quickly.

Resins are also suitable directly on the charcoal.

Incense burner (Image: Witch Shop Dark Phoenix)

Smoking with a warmer:

There are many warmers to buy, make sure there is a sieve at the top. Place about 1 teaspoon of incense in the sieve and it is better to use less rather than too much. A tea light goes in at the bottom, which then slowly smokes the herbs. So there is no strong smoke.


Incense burner lava:

The warmer is with lava stones, where you can put herbs (if the sieve is included, otherwise buy separately), essential oils, resin, a warmer for all aspects


Smoking with incense tufts:

To make incense bunches, you tie fresh herbs together and then let them dry. These are then lit and, like smoking in a bowl, have a strong smoky effect with charcoal. Smoking with incense tufts is suitable for intensive cleaning.

The correct tying technique for incense tufts:

In my example we need mugwort, thyme, bedstraw, red clover, St. John's wort and mullein.

First, the mugwort is cut to the appropriate length and placed in front of you. The arm is then placed in the middle, but you can also place it on the outside. Since the bedstraw crumbles a lot, we put it in the middle. The red clover comes in where you would like it. St. John's wort can be placed outside or inside so that it looks beautiful. Now you put everything together in a bundle and add the mullein flowers on the outside and all around. Connect the stems a little inside so that nothing falls out later.

Always use plants with thick stems for the inside of your incense bushes so that it can really glow later.

At the bottom of the herb bundle, cut away any excess and start tying it tightly to the tuft using a natural string made of jute, hemp, cotton or the like. When it comes to the cord, it is important that there is no plastic in it, as is the case with sewing thread. We don't want any chemicals to burn up later. The string length should be twice as long as the bundle. When tying the laces, try to pull everything as tightly as possible so that there is hardly any air between the plant parts. When you have gone all the way around with the string and have reached the top where the thick stems end, bend all the remaining herbs from top to bottom and tie them tightly again, from top to bottom. Once the fresh herbs have been tied into a tight bunch, you can hang it up to dry in a well-ventilated room. It is also important here that you label what is in the tuft and the date.


How to light a dried bundle:

You take a candle and hold the bundle of herbs over the candle flame. Do not hold it near the candle flame, otherwise it will immediately start to smoke. Circle it a bit and hold it steeper over time until it glows on its own, blow on something lightly, hold it steeply over the middle of the candle again until it really glows. If it continues to glow on its own, you can place it in a fireproof base. e.g. B. a warmer, a fireproof bowl, etc. If you want to smother the bundle of herbs and use it again, you can use a fireproof bowl with sand. Simply stick the bundle of herbs in the sand where it glows and let it go out.

It is also important to say that you should never light the herb bundles and leave them alone. Please always stick with it!

Which herbs are suitable:

Anise: is air purifying and harmonizing, promotes perception

Mugwort: has a calming effect and gives energy and life force, helps to make decisions, let go and start again, offers protection and blessing, cleanses, strengthens feminine power, drives away demons, promotes the experience of dreams

Dost: drives away “demons”, bad mood, anxiety, depression. Relieves nervousness and relaxes the nerves.

Fabiana (Pichi Pichi): has a slightly intoxicating, euphoric effect

Spruce resin: has a calming effect and is often used to smoke new homes.

St. John's wort: lifts the mood when anxious , sadness and depression, opens the mind, gives security and warmth, tensions are reduced, cleansing, protective

Chamomile: has a calming effect, relieves mild depression, helps with sleep disorders

Cardamom: has a strong mood-enhancing effect, for successful or powerful incense

mullein: Cleansing of voltage and electrosmog , if there is a lack of self-confidence, uplifting, promoting clairvoyance, warding off lightning

Cumin: works on dissatisfaction when things are clarified or need to be looked at when you are looking for new ideas or a new impulse

Lavender: has a calming, harmonizing, balancing, cleansing and disinfecting the room.

Laurel: the air helps Cleansing of germs and the atmosphere helps to evoke true dreams and to remember them better later, for sharpened perception and open senses

Meadowsweet: at new beginnings and things that develop, in order to let go of the protective armor and process difficult experiences

Mariegrass: relaxes the body, brings clarity, stimulates creativity

Melissa: helps with tension and stress, calms the nerves, is used in love spells, especially for lovesickness,

Peppermint: works disinfects, refreshes and invigorates body and mind

Rainfarn (poisonous) – Not recommended: Thunder plant, dispels tension, strengthens emotional defenses, courage and self-esteem, psychoactive, can cause bleeding in pregnant women

Marigold: has a calming effect, you take it when it comes to love and gives a feeling of security and sharpens your intuitions

Rose: has a calming, relaxing, aphrodisiac and heart-opening effect

Rosemary: protects , has a heart-opening, cleansing, stimulating, concentration-enhancing and aphrodisiac effect, can also be used for love incense

Sage: cleanses and clears the aura and the atmosphere, frees old burdens and stuck feelings in the body, clears the lungs and promotes concentration, neutralizes odors - especially after an argument, removes "disease spirits" viruses, bacteria and fungi from the air, promotes the Concentration and helps with meditation

Yarrow: " Rauhnachtskraut” helps with oracles and clairvoyance. Straightens and strengthens the “backbone”, has a balancing effect. Attention! Can cause meadow sendermatitis!

Thyme: helps for physical and mental fatigue, courage, assertiveness, gives self-confidence, has a cleansing, antiseptic, germicidal, restorative and concentration-promoting effect, is difficult to mix with other herbs

Swamp Porst: has a calming and sleep-inducing effect, traditional ritual plant

Frankincense: has a disinfecting effect, germicidal, wound healing, mood-enhancing. Never smoke incense alone, as it opens the door to the other world.

Cinnamon: has a strengthening and stimulating effect

In principle, any plant that exists can be smoked as long as you have knowledge of what you are doing and how the plants work.

Please be careful with poisonous plants and mushrooms or if they have aphrodisiac, confusing effects and so on. If you don't know what you're talking about, you should first do some research.

The most important days are above all the herb bush consecrated on August 15th with St. John's wort, five-fingerwort, bellflower, caraway, daisy, wild boar, bibernelle, rue, wormwood, bittersweet nightshade, Cattail, mullein, peppermint, lovage and bloodroot, as a start to herb gathering for the winter.

When the bush made from the 7, 9, 12 and 15 important herbs has dried, it is traditionally smoked.

This usually happens on draw days. On St. Andrew's Night (November 30th), Thomas (December 21st), Christmas Eve (December 24th), New Year's Eve (December 31st), Epiphany (January 6th) or Candlemas (February 2nd)

Incense brings a special awareness into rooms. The old is passing away, a new wind is blowing in. Injuries and insults are a thing of the past and are banished, the air is free for pleasant, positive experiences. Those trained in shamanism see incense as a magical tool. The dark beings flee and the pure, helpful plant devas move in, who support people in everything and keep them healthy.

You don't do important smoking like this on the side, you prepare it. You use the old tools such as flint, tinder sponge and real charcoal. The flint stone creates the spark, the tinder sponge absorbs it and smolders, heating the charcoal, on whose dying embers the dried herbs produce pleasant smoke that wafts through all the rooms.

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