Incense, like music, speaks without words to the conscious mind. It stirs the emotions as it brings back memories of things, events, places, and people long since forgotten. Because of its evocative nature, incense has always played an important role in both religion and magick.

Priests and magicians have long believed that the burning of incense will attract higher spiritual forces. It is believed that incense has the ability to deliver directly to the realm of the gods those prayers and wishes spoken into its smoke. These prayers are then blessed and their petitioners’ wishes granted.

Essentially, incense can be made from any substance as long as it smells good when burned. Some of the more traditional ingredients used are clove, cinnamon, sandalwood, and resins like frankincense and myrrh. The reason these aromatic substances smell so good is that their essential oils are released when they are heated, emitting a perfumed smoke.

The fragrant oils contained in the following herbs, spices and woods make them a source of natural incense that can be burned alone or in combination with other substances.

Generally, incense comes in two forms:  combustible, which is in the form of cones, sticks, and blocks, and noncombustible, which in the form of powder or resin. The simplest kind of incense to make is the noncombustible kind, asit does not require mucilage or an ignitable substance. Also, non-combustible incense is far less messy and frustrating to deal with.

The base for non-combustible incense is generally talcum powder and/or sawdust and/or powdered spice. Saltpeter is added to make the incense burn. A powerful essential oil is then added for fragrance along with a dye for color. The incense is then burned in a censer on small church charcoal blocks.

To create your own magickal incenses, begin with a base (talcum, sawdust, or a special spice blend). To the base, add the appropriate herbs or resins. Grind the mixture into a powder, and then add a few drops of perfume or essential oil. Mix well to blend oil and powder together. Place the incense in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and then label accordingly.

The following formulas are for non-combustible incense. You will need a grinder, a small mixing bowl, an eye dropper, measuring spoons, and jars with lids. Grind all of the herbal ingredients into a fine powder, add the oil and mix thoroughly. Store in glass jars or plastic bags.

Try to time your incense making with the appropriate moon cycle. For love and attraction use the new to full moon, for personal or psychic power use the full moon, and for protection or banishing use the waning moon.

Before you begin to make any magickal substance, take afew moments to think about what you are doing and why. As you blend the ingredients together, firmly instill your intent into the mixture. Visualize your desire, audibly chant or speak this desire as you work, forcing it into the very essence of the incense. This extra effort of focused energy will enhance the incense, and the magickal work it is intended for.