How To Use Incenses For Energy Cleansing

Can you imagine that I have never taught you how to use incenses? I figured this out today, when I was cleansing my room of negative energies. So I decided to put this text-based how-to guide along with photos and images, so you can learn how to use incenses for the purposes of general cleansing. Combining my own photos with some Flickr images, this guide is enough to teach the basics!


Let’s start with a simple question (and answer) – why do we even need incenses? Well, smoke is a great tool for cleansing negative energies – the one that we collect on our aura, and the one that are being collected like energetic dust in places of a different sort. From time to time, you should use an incense to cleanse your own aura, and once a month, you should burn out an incense in your room (or entire house) to cleanse it from negative energies.

You should also cleanse the place in which you’re going to meditate, or run a psychic or magical workshop. It’s very simple, and very basic method, yet it’s very, very effective. Now that you know why you should use incenses, it’s time to learn something more practical!

What Type Of Incenses We Have

We have many types of incenses. For example, there are:

  • Sticks – they’re long, thin, and can be either natural or something I call “false incense”. Generally, the thicker the incense, the better. Look at the first photo below – this stick incense isn’t the good one. It can be used for bringing nice smells to your house, but it shouldn’t be used for energetic/magical purposes. Look for brighter and thicker incenses, they’re natural stick incenses and they are the one that should be used for magical or psychic work.

Flickr, Creative Commons, by zackzen

  • Powder – there are hundreds if not thousands of powder incenses. Sometimes, they’re made of single herb or piece of wooden bark, and sometimes they’re a mixture of different herbs and barks – and they look like… umm, powder. As always, you should look for natural powders, as natural substances has the best cleansing capabilities.
  • Sage – another great “incense” is sage. It has very intensive and mystical smell, but it’s very popular tool for cleansing people and places of negative energies. There are different types of sage on the market, and few types of sage prohibited in most countries, so when buying one, make sure you ask for “sage for cleansing” :).

Flickr, Creative Commons, by jasleen kaur

  • Natural resin – finally, any kind of natural resin, the one that comes out from a tree, can be used for cleansing the place. Proper preparation of resin is a subject for another article, but if you can purchase a purified natural resin, then do so – it will be a great tool for cleansing.

That’s it – these are the basic types of incenses. Which of these types should you use? The primary rule says – use the natural incense! Sage is a wise choice for cleansing both people and places. When sage is unavailable, use powder incenses next. When they’re unavailable, then natural resin will do the trick. Finally, thick and bright stick incenses are your last hope. All these types of incenses can be purchased in New Age stores, or even on-line – just use the power of Google, and you should find the right incense yourself.

Of course, the smell matters, so if you have access to a local New Age store, choose it over everything else – after all, you should like the smell of your incense; otherwise, it might drive you crazy!

How To Use Incenses

When you have incenses ready, you need to use them. How to do so? Let’s start with something very, very simple – a stick incense. A stick incense requires a stand – there are different types of stands that can be purchased in New Age stores. On the photo below you can see a round stand and a flat, long one. A stick is being placed in the holes, in wooden stands. When this is done, all you have to do is use a match to light the incense, and let it burn out. You’re done!

Two simple stands for stick incenses (the round one is a DIY censer, made of jar cap, with a burned coal on it!)

How to use powder incense? For powder incense, you need a piece of special coal. You can purchase a coal for powder incenses in New Age stores, or you can look around for a charcoal for water pipes (shishas) – it’s the same, as far as I understand. You can purchase it on Amazon (aff), for example. Finally, you need a censer – so you can place the coal inside, then sprinkle the powder. When you have a censer, which can be purchased in many places (yep, New Age stores, too), you need to add some sand at the bottom, so the censer won’t be damage by the temperature. Then, you place the burning coal on the sand inside the censer, and finally, you use your fingers or a teaspoon to sprinkle the powder upon the coal. You’re done!

Coal for powder incenses

But you don’t really need a censer. You can use a piece of wood for isolation, then place a metal jar cap on the wood. Then, place the coal on the cap, and everything else is the same – it’s a “do-it-yourself” censer!

How to light the coal? You need a source of open fire – my friend uses the fire in her gas oven, but you can use a simple candle. You need something to hold the coal. Personally, I’m using very simple kitchen pliers. Like these:

Kitchen pliers

You hold the coal above the candle flame for 1-2 minutes, and then you wait a couple of minutes more, so the coal gets hot! It’s that simple!

And how to use resin? You can cast it on the censer’ coal, but if it won’t be pure enough, it might give bad smells away. So a better choice is to use a simple tool for roasting resin. It looks like this:

A tool for roasting resin

Now, I’m not really sure if this is available outside Poland :). But generally, it’s a small round vessel with a handle – you place a resin in the vessel, and you place the vessel above candle flame, then you wait few minutes until it beings to roast, giving out smell and smoke.

Finally, how to use sage? Light it like a cigarette, easily using a candle light. Let the flame burn for few seconds, then blow the flame out. The sage will be glowing and smoking nicely – now walk with it around the place and keep waving it around – this way, the oxygen form the air will keep the sage glowing a bit, and the smoke will be emitted constantly – that’s how you use sage. If the glow burns out, light the sage again.

You’ve Learned How To Use Incenses

That’s it – you have learned about the types of incenses, and you have learned how to use them. Everything else is quite simple – find a store, choose the incenses you like, and start using them regularly. You can light the incense on the floor, and stand above it, and the smoke will cleanse your own aura. Or you can light an incense in a single room or entire house, and let it burn out, and by doing so, you will cleanse the room/house of negative energies. You can cleanse yourself and the room before and after a psychic reading or psychic healing session, and you can “incense the room” once a week or once a month.

You can also explore the subject of making your own incenses, but it’s something I”m not an expert in, so you would have to do research on your own.

Lately, Llewellyn released a great book on incenses, the “Incense Magick: Create Inspiring Aromatic Experiences for Your Craft” (aff) – although it seems like it’s meant for witches and pagan, it’s a simple, yet quite complete guide to using incenses – you might want to check it out.

That’s it :). Any questions?

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Do you use incenses? If so, what kind of incenses do you prefer, and how do you use them?

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Comments and Discussion

Be sure to add your own comment, feedback, opinion and/or suggestion :).

  1. I didn’t know about the powder incenses! Thanks for sharing. :-)

    by Erin-Ashley / March 19th 2012

  2. You’re welcome :).

    by Nathaniel / March 19th 2012