Incenses for Druids
The following recopies are most appropriate for druidic work, or those engaging in reading, study, grove leading, serious ritual work, or other work. I also have posted an introduction to incense making as well as recipes for bards and ovates.
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 Crescent Birch 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 for Intellectual Purposes
An incense for reading, writing, focus, and serious study.
- 1/2 part sassafras root (dried and ground) (success)
- 1 part juniper berries (strength, fire, will, communication)
- 1 part sage (air, communication, intellectual freedom, wisdom)
- 2 parts benzoin (air)
- 1 part frankincense (courage, focus)
- Orange essential oil (several drops, to your preference) (physical energy, purification)
Grind up all ingredients and add essential oil last.
Druid Grove Incense (powder)
An energy-raising incense appropriate for grove work.
- 4 parts frankincense
- 4 parts myrrh
- 2 parts benzoin
- 1 part sandalwood
- ½ part cinnamon
- ½ part rosemary
- ½ part bay
- ½ part yarrow or vervain
- ½ part white willow
Focus Incense (Cone/Stick)
For clearing the mind, grounding, and focusing for various activities. This is really nice for reading and study as well as discursive meditation.
- ½ part vanilla essential oil (empowering, mental powers)
- ½ part violet (peace, protection)
- ½ part lavenar (peace, purification)
- ½ part Cedar (removing negativity, spirituality)
- ½ part Vervain (grounding, earth-based for calming)
- 4 parts Makko (binder/base) (you can use 4 parts cedar + 1 part guar gum if you don’t have Makko)
- Use vanilla brandy to put it together if you have it, if not, water will work fine (water)
Unblocking Incense (powder)
Incense to unblock you and get you moving forward.
- 1 part pine resin (I use scotts pine I gather locally)
- 1 part benzoin
- 2 parts dragon’s blood resin
- 3 drops sweet orange essential oil (1 part = 1 teaspoon, add more if you are using a larger part measure)
- 1 part frankincense
- 1 part cedar
Honoring Spirits and Guides Incense (Cone/Stick)
This incense was formulated for regular burning in honor of spirit guides and spirits of the land.
- 6 parts sandalwood (spirituality)
- 1 part lavender (raise and summon spirits)
- 1 part thyme (for nature spirits)
- 1 part sassafras bark (for connection to the land; substitute bark appropriate for your area)
- 1 part frankincense (offering itself)
- 1 pinch agrimony (druid herb, protection for spirits)
- 1 part guar gum (binder)
- Ritual water for binding (should be water that has been consecrated or used in a ritual space. Our grove has a yearly Imbloc ritual that combines waters, so we usually make our incense from this water).
Wealth of Vision Incense (powder)
For seeing in multiple ways and on multiple realms.
- 3 parts red cedar
- 2 parts cinnamon
- 3 parts eyebright
- 2 parts mugwort
- 2 parts lemongrass
- 2 parts dandelion
- 2 parts orange peel
- 2 parts sandalwood
- 12 drops apple blossom essential oil (assuming 1 teaspoon = 1 part)
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Just a head’s up: There is no such thing as apple blossom essential oil and any seller claiming to have some should be given a second glance. Apple blossoms are too fragile for steam distillation and even if there was a solvent extracted absolute/CO2 , it would be crazy expensive. The best you could do and remember apple blossom is a very faint and delicate scent, is possibly an enfleurage or oil maceration. I suspect an alcohol based maceration would be too destructive and could possibly smell bad due to the cellulose in the flowers. But try a cold plant based enfleurage it may pick up the scent and possibly the energies of the tree/flower.
I’ve done an apple blossom hydrosol using the simple steam double pot method (https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/tag/making-hydrosol/) and its been pretty successful. But you are right about that oil–probably a fake!