Incense is an ancient tool used for centuries across the planet by a plethora of different religions, cultures and spiritual practice. Modern witches, who have adapted their practice to the expansions and limitations of the modern world, still use the same ingredients used by spiritual masters of ancient times. Frankincense, sweetgrass, myrrh and sandalwood are still favored ingredients in the making of incense.  

Incense is usually made up from a combination of resin, gums and spices which release a comforting scent into the air when burned – thus justifying the connection incense has with the element of air.  

Much like essential oils, their uses and properties are multi-faceted and varied. They are used within a variety of spiritual practice to purify the air, objects and people, to help with concentration, to help draw money into one’s life, to strengthen the protective field around a person or a space or to draw love and stronger relationships to one’s life. 

Pagans burn incense in a tool called a censer, this can be found upon most alters. We pass our other magical apparatus through the smoke of burning incense it as a part of the process of dedication. Incense gives us another platform upon which to make offerings to our chosen deities.  

The smoke that is emitted from a burning incense stick aids us in changing the state of our consciousness through transforming the space around us. It clears the air alongside the mind, which can bring a stronger sense of relaxation and clarity to the practicing witch. This helps to build the appropriate ambiance that a witch requires for spell work. Reed diffusers also have the same effect on cleansing a space or an altar for ritual work. They don’t let off the same amount of smoke but their purpose is still effective. Check out or store where we offer an array of incense and reed diffusers ideal for any altar! 

Many pagans dedicate incense to a specific intention or deity during the ritual of their spell work. This is particularly helpful in strengthening the intention or the purpose of a spell if you didn’t make the incense but you want to personalise your goals. The process of doing this is very simple, you just light your incense and swirl it three times whist verbalising a few direct words of incantation or dedication over the smoke. For example – ‘I dedicate this incense to Hecete and all the magic I perform will be in her name’ or ‘I dedicate this incense to the goals I have within my workspace, I encourage its influence to help me flourish.’ 

There are magical practitioners who believe that the purest form of incense is grain incense, but the effectiveness of cone incense or stick incense alongside the benefits of their convenience, makes them a popular choice for witches across the world. You can find all the literature and ingredients you need to choose and use the right kind of incense for you in our online shop. Come and have a browse at our collection, where you’ll find more information about specific kinds of incense.Closely associated with the element of air, incense is a staple of esoteric practice in diverse spiritualities across the globe, and has been used throughout history. Blended or grain incense is often composed of gums or resins, spices, and other substances that are burned for the sweet smells they produce. Modern witches still use ingredients favoured by the ancients in many of their incense blends, such as frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, and sweetgrass.

Like magical oils, their uses are widely varied. Incense can be used for purification, consecration, money drawing, protection, love and just about everything else besides, and few altars are to be found without an incense burner or censer. Pagans often pass magical tools through incense smoke as part of the consecration or dedication process. Incense is also often also seen as an offering to the deities to which the altar or temple room is dedicated.

As with fragrance oils, the scent of incense transforms a space for ritual purposes, altering our conscious state. Not all incenses are pleasant, but each fragrance is evocative – clearing the mind, inducing clarity and relaxation, and creating the ambience required for spellwork. We also stock reed diffusers which give off a continuous, pure fragrance which is subtler than incense smoke, but can still be put to the purpose of scenting a room for ritual work.

Purists prefer grain incense but the convenience of cone incense or incense sticks is undeniable. It is difficult to make your own incense sticks and cones, however blending grain incense to create your own desired effect is easy once you know how. We offer a variety of herbs, woods and resins for this purpose. In order to release the incense smoke, use a smouldering charcoal disc (light it and wait for it to turn grey before use) and a heat-proof dish, and you can even add a few magical oils to the blend for added punch.

It is also possible to dedicate incense to a particular purpose or intention, which is useful if you didn’t make it yourself but wish to personalise it for your goals. Simply focus on your intent, and stir or swirl your granular incense three times while speaking a few words of dedication over it. For example: ‘I dedicate this incense to Hecate and all the magic I will perform in Her name,’ or ‘I dedicate this incense to achieving my career goals. May its influence help me flourish.’

Another important purpose of incense is smudging, or cleansing through smoke. You can use all types of incense for this, including smudge sticks, and can even just smoulder fresh or dried herbs of your choosing. Sage is a popular herb for smudging, and sandalwood smoke is particularly purifying. Pass your magical tools through purifying smoke to cleanse them before and after use, and cleanse yourself by passing the herbal smoke over your body from head to toe. This is a remarkably powerful blessing to perform for others, too, and helps clear away the blockages of the mundane world, allowing magic to flow.

If in doubt about how to use your incense, remember: its smoke carries our prayers on the air to the heavens, and, if you believe in such things, the gods therein.