Incense has a decent number of uses and one of them is spirituality. If you're unaware of the link between spirituality and incense then this is the perfect article for you. In thisarticle we'll be discussing incense, its benefits and honing on the spiritual benefits of incense. Keep reading to learn about incense, spirituality and the millennia old relationship between them.
Incense is an aromatic material derived from a mixture of seeds, barks, flowers, roots, resin and a combustible base. Incense is burnt in paste or powder form. When burnt, it releasesan aroma into the immediate surroundings. This aroma is completely dependent on the scent you select.
The previously mentioned items are all combined together to create incense. If you're interested in learning more about how incense is made, you can read our article, "How incense sticks are made". Incense has several uses and benefits which we will be getting into shortly.
There are several types of incense. We will be focusing on four types of incense; incense cones, incense powder, incense coils and incense sticks
1. Incense Sticks - Incense sticks are the most popular variant of incense. They come in a plethora of scents. Incense sticks are one of theoldest forms of incense. Incense sticks are incense paste that has been coated around a slim stick or a stick that has been submerged in the raw form of incense. Incense sticks are easy to use and require only a flat surfaceand an incense holder.
2. Incense Cones - As the name implies, this is incense that is presented in a cone-like shape. You might be wondering why it has to be a cone-shape.This shape allows incense to be packed in a ball to ensure the incense is tightly packed. It also has one "sharp" end which is where the burning starts. Without that sharp end, it would be hard to use regular incenseballs in an incense burner. The cone shape also signifies the "head" and the "tail" which makes it easier to use and reduces how fast it burns.
3. Incense Powder - This is the closest you can get to raw incense form. Incense powder is dried and sifted. It cannot be burnt without an incensepot. This incense type is concentrated and needs proper safety precautions before being used.
4. Incense Coils - Incense coils are coil shaped incense. They can be burnt on a flat surface. These are also the only variant of incense thatdo not necessarily need an incense holder or burner.
Incense also has many benefits. Here are some of them;
1. It helps to foster creativity
2. It helps with feelings of anxiety
3. It helps with feelings of sadness
4. It helps with relaxation
5. It is a form of alternative therapy
6. Certain incense scents can improve sleep
7. Incense is great for spirituality and spiritual practices.
The uses of incense are numerous however we'll only be discussing three; aromatherapy, practical uses and spirituality.
1. Aromatherapy - Aromatherapy is a form of therapy that appeals to the senses of the body, specifically the sense of smell. This is done throughthe use of essential oils and burning incense. Aromatherapy is a very popular type of alternative therapy because it is one that you can do in the comfort of your own home. It helps with nerves, stress and melancholic feelings.
2. Practical Uses - Incense can also be used as an odour repelling item. Incense is used in a lot of public places to combat noxious and unpleasantodours.
3. Spirituality - Last but certainly not the least, we have spirituality. This is the focus of today's article which is why it will haveits own section.
Spirituality is the state of being spiritual. Spirituality turns the focus inward instead of outward. There is more focus placed on the soul, the universe within us as opposed to theworld and material objects. Spirituality sees the world as one with the people instead of people inside the world. Spirituality involves a shift in core beliefs which will first lead to internal changes and then external changes.It is important that we note that spirituality and religion are not synonymous. Spirituality is not a religion, rather religions are forms of spirituality.
Now, how does incense tie in with spirituality. Incense has always been a spiritual product. We mentioned three major uses of incense above and two out of the three are spiritually inclined.At its root, incense is a spiritual product. The first use of incense we can trace is a spiritual use. The Ancient Egyptians burnt incense as a way to invite generous spirits and chase away evil and demonic spirits. The oldestincense kettle found was used for spiritual purposes.
Besides Ancient Egypt, incense was burnt for spiritual purposes in Ancient Greece, religious purposes in Ancient China and spiritual purposes in Native communities. At its core, incenseis a product of and for spirituality and we'll be discussing why.
Incense and Spirituality: Why does incense do spiritually?
1. Incense has properties that are medicinal and used for healings. This is because incense is made with natural herbs. Herbs that were historically used in medicine before modern medicine.
2. Incense is used to clear the air of bad or negative energy. Energy is a very real concept. In some cases, you can actually feel negativity and bad energy from people. This is whatwe call "gut feelings". Native communities burn sage and incense to dispel evil spirits the same way Ancient Egyptians did.
3. Incense can also be used in prayer. Incense is regularly used in some forms of Christianity. Incense is burnt during prayer sessions to ensure the atmosphere is clear and free fromany noxious personalities.
4. Meditation is also a spiritual practice. Burning incense during meditation is a way to calm and quiet the mind. It can be very hard to get your mind calm and relaxed. Incense is usedso you have something else to focus on which is your sense of smell. It also helps you relax.
5. Incense can also be used in yoga practices. Yoga at its core is also a spiritual practice that was created in India.
We can find proof of incense use in major religious books. Frankincense and Myrrh are forms of incense and they appear in the Christian Bible. This is all to show that incense is a validproduct of spirituality. It has been used for spiritual purposes historically because of the benefits outlined above as well as other benefits we are rediscovering. The major types of incense are all from spiritual sourcesand so are the major uses. As earlier stated, at its core, incense is a product of and for spirituality.