Incense Recipies for Ovates and those doing Ovate Studies

Incenses for Ovates

The following recopies are most appropriate for ovate work, or those engaging in divination, mysteries, and other spiritual pursuits.  I also have posted an introduction to incense making as well as recipes for bards and druids.

I suggest growing and/or wildharvesting as much of your ingredients as you possibly can (ethically, of course). This allows not only for more sustainable incense making, but also for you to work with the energies of the plants throughout the process.  See my previous post for more information. These recipes were created by myself and members of my grove; some of them were adapted from other sources (as noted) and the rest are fully original creations.  I hope you enjoy!

Notes: Cone/stick incenses form a incense clay that you can then shape into cones, sticks, spirals etc.  They need about a week to two weeks of drying time before you use them.  If your incense doesn’t burn, or won’t stay burning after lit, it needs more woody materials (base materials).  Please see my earlier post for more details.  Powder incenses must be burnt on a charcoal block; they will not burn by themselves.


Incense in progress
Incense in progress

Tree Divination (Ovate) Recipe (Powder)
This is a recipe I created for use with the Tarot of Trees. Its also an all around wonderful smelling and working for any kind of divination or psychic work.

  • 1 part frankincense (powdered)
  • 1 part red sandalwood (powdered)
  • 1 part cinnamon
  • 1 part crushed juniper berries
  • 1/10th part sweet orange essential oil (or to your scent preference)
  • ½ part lemongrass (or less)
  • ½ part yarrow (or less)

Powder the frankincense and juniper berries separately first. Resins are tricky to powder–a circular motion works best.  Juniper berry likewise can be tricky–sticking it in the freezer for about 20 min makes it way easier to make smaller – it doesn’t really ever “powder” completely.  Once you have those two ingredients prepared, add the rest of the ingredients except the essential oil.  Add the oil after the rest and grind well.  Best made around Beltane or Samhuinn, as this is when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest.


Tree Divination (Cone Incense)

This is a very similar recipe to the one above, but this one is combustible, so it burns on its own and does not need a charcoal block.

  • 1/8 part yarrow – powdered
  • ¼ part lemongrass powder
  • 1 part frankincense
  • 2 parts sandalwood powder
  • Tiny bit of sweet orange oil
  • ½ part pine resin
  • 8 parts Makko (can replace with 1 part gwar gum and increase sandalwood powder to 6 parts)


Spirit Guide Incense

An incense for working with and honoring spirit guides and totem animals.

  • 3 parts frankincense
  • 2 parts sandalwood
  • 1 part pine/conifer resin
  • 2 parts sweetgrass
  • 1 part sage
  • 1 part pine needles (white pine works well)
  • ½ part white willow
  • ½ part sassafras root
  • 1 part cedar
  • 1 part lemongrass
  • 1 part lavender essential oil


Healing Incense #1 (cone/stick)

An incense that Reiki Master Briel created for use with Reiki healing sessions.

  • 7 parts sandalwood
  • 1 part myrrh
  • 1 part Juniper Berry
  • 1/3 part peppermint
  • 1 part guar gum binder
  • 6 parts water (preferably rain water)


Dreaming of What May Come Incense (Powder)

To encourage prophetic dreams.

  • 1 part mugwort
  • 1 part hyssop
  • 1 part canadula flower / marigold
  • 3 parts osha root
  • 3 parts dragon blood
  • 3 drops lavender
  • 7 drops orange oil

Based on a ½ teaspoon part (for oils).


Earth Liberation and Happy Trees Incense

This incense was formulated to burn to help lift sadness and anger from the land; to replace it with peace and happiness. 

  • 4 parts sandalwood – protection, wishes, healing
  • 2 parts lavender oil – when mixed with sandalwood, used to conjure good spirits
  • 3 parts cinnamon – healing
  • Pinch vervain – protection, purification, peace, healing
  • Pinch daisy – happy spirits
  • Pinch Thyme
  • 2 parts red amber powder
  • 1 pinch diamana
  • 1 pinch hibiscus
  • 2 parts dragon’s blood
  • 4 parts makko (or replace with 1 part guar gum, 3 parts sandalwood)


Red Moon Incense (Incense for Women’s Magical Work)

Created for some wonderful women in my life!

  • 3 parts sandalwood – moon energies, spirituality, meditation, protection, wishes
  • 1 part frankenscense – spirituality and meditation
  • 2 parts cedar – enhances spirituality
  • 1 part myrrh – healing, enhancing spirituality, meditation
  • ¼ part milkweed – draws moon, faeries, protection, dreams, divination
  • ½ part anise – protection purification, call forth spirits to aid in magical operations
  • 1 part ginger (powdered)
  • ¼ part eyebright
  • 1 part guar gum
  • Wine for mixing it up? (This made it smell weird, so maybe its not for everyone).

Ancestor Incense

For communing or working with your ancestors.

  • Graveyard pine or Yew (pinch); (e.g. some confier gathered in a graveyard or other sacred space where the spirits may be near)
  • Cedar  – ½ part
  • Mistletoe – pinch
  • Sandalwood – 1 part
  • Orange Peel – ½ part
  • Copal – 1 part
  • Lavender – ½ part

Healing the Sick Incense (powder)

An incense for healing the sick or purging oneself of illness.

  • 2 parts rosemary – sleep, purification, healing, protection
  • 2 parts osha root – healing
  • 1 part sweetgrass – call positive spirits
  • ½ part juniper
  • Orange oil (to scent level you desire)

Dana O'Driscoll

Dana O’Driscoll has been an animist druid for almost 20 years, and currently serves as Grand Archdruid in the Ancient Order of Druids in America. She is a druid-grade member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and is the OBOD’s 2018 Mount Haemus Scholar. She is the author of Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-Centered Spiritual Practice (REDFeather, 2021), the Sacred Actions Journal (REDFeather, 2022), and Land Healing: Physical, Metaphysical, and Ritual Approaches for Healing the Earth (REDFeather, 2024). She is also the author/illustrator of the Tarot of Trees, Plant Spirit Oracle, and Treelore Oracle. Dana is an herbalist, certified permaculture designer, and permaculture teacher who teaches about reconnection, regeneration, and land healing through herbalism, wild food foraging, and sustainable living. Dana lives at a 5-acre homestead in rural western Pennsylvania with her partner and a host of feathered and furred friends. She writes at the Druids Garden blog and is on Instagram as @druidsgardenart. She also regularly writes for Plant Healer Quarterly and Spirituality and Health magazine.

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  1. I purchased your Tarot of Trees deck a few years back and have been extremely stingy with the incense you included. It’s my absolute all-time favorite, and I didn’t see it available on your site when I last visited. Thank you for including the recipe here. It’s a beautiful incense to use at any time.

    1. Absolutely! I’m glad you like the blend 🙂

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