Incense is associated with the element of Air, and, in some traditions, Fire. Smouldering incense is often placed before images of the deities on an altar or a shrine. Many Witches feel that incense is an essential component of a successful ritual. This is partly due to the consciousness-altering potential of quality incense, which can facilitate a more focused state of mind when performing magical work. Smoke from the incense can also provide visions of the deities being invoked in ritual, or other images pertinent to the work being performed. Furthermore, certain herbs, spices, barks, and roots have specific magical qualities, so homemade incense blends can be usedto strengthen magical spells. Whether homemade or store-bought, traditional Wiccan rituals favour raw or granulated incense, which requires charcoal briquettes to burn on, and is usually held in a censer. The censer can be a traditional swinging censer suspended from chains, like those used in the Catholic church, or a more simple construction, depending on whether the incense is moved around during the ritual. Some Witches may let the incense smolder in the cauldron in lieu of a censer. For Witches who are more sensitive to incense smoke, lighter stick or cone incenses may work better. Some opt for scenting their magical candles with oils instead. Whatever the choice, it’s generally agreed that some form of aromatic enhancement is optimal for magical work.