The sense of smell is one of the most primal of senses. It stirs the deep-seated emotions that lie forgotten in the body. And since the most primal of emotions is the desire for union and the Divine, scent can be influential in spiritual pursuits.
WITCH TIP: Before using scent in public or group settings, check to make sure all participants are comfortable with the fragrance. Many people are allergic, and that can ruin not only their day (or health), but the whole ritual.
You can get incense in cones, sticks, or powder forms.
Because many incenses are made with chemical fragrances and fillers rather than natural sources, they can be problematic or even dangerous for many witches. Even the natural kind can cause problems for some people.
(Witches, other pagans, and New Age practitioners often tend to be more sensitive to their environment than others.)
Look for all-natural incense. The health hazards of chemical fragrances are well-documented. (Link opens in new window.)
These are commonly used in scent diffusers, on swatches of fabric, or if mild, on the skin.
As sacred scents, essential oils can also be dabbed onto special ritual items, to purify them or strengthen certain energies.
WITCH TIP: Be conscious of what you are buying. Many chemical perfumes are now sold as "essential oils." Read the labels carefully. Chemicals are not conducive to spiritual well-being, nor physical health. Chemical products don't qualify as sacred scents.
Amber is a very spiritual scent. It connects you with higher consciousness, in a very grounded way. Just like the trees it comes from.
Amber is a wonderful ritual fragrance. Make sure you get the real stuff, which is generally available in a semi-solid form, kind of crystallized. It should be available at your local alternative bookstore, New Age store, or Eastern import shop.
Since each plant has its own Power, you have hundreds of potent allies in your magickal and spiritual tasks.
There are plenty of herb books available with information on the uses of the plants. If it's good for the heart when you ingest it, it'll be good in a spell for the heart as well.
Many foods have symbolic connections to deities . . . Pomegranates, for example, are sacred to Persephone and perfect for Samhain rituals.
And spices, like herbs, are potent spiritual forces. They are wonderful when used as sacred scents or incense.
Smudging is my favourite alternative to incense. Many who cannot tolerate incense are not adversely affected by smudge smoke, especially when used in small amounts.
Plus, invoking the spirit of such sacred plants is a lovely practice.
And the smell doesn't linger or permeate fabrics as much as incense does, so it can be used to cleanse and purify the space, and then aired out before the ritual.
Please see this article for more information on how to smudge.
Purifying, sanctifying, protecting. Also brings good energy. Carries prayers, especially thanks, to the Divine.
Cleansing, removing harmful or negative energies. Protects against negative energy.
Blesses and purifies your actions, past and future - so encourages forgiveness too.
Blessing, purifying, calling in good energy. It brings beauty, and will carry your prayers up to the Divine.
Sweetgrass is endangered, so it's best to use some other option . . . like cedar. Or if you must use it, buy it from First Nations shops, to support their protection of this sacred plant.
Invoking Divine, sanctifying, blessing, balancing. Inspires, promotes peacefulness, creates harmony and connection with the Goddess.
Sadly, this sacred being is commonly abused as a drug, and since it's illegal in North America (ludicrous, but true) it is not recommended in sacred smudge.
But since some Wiccans are using it for ritual purposes other than smudging, it should be clarified that drug use for altering consciousness is not actually a Wiccan practice but a shamanic path. Using hallucinogens for sacred journeying is dangerous on many levels, and should only be undertaken with the training and supervision of an experienced shaman and after necessary purification. (And of course only under legal circumstances.)
If you enjoyed this article, please Stumble it! It only takes a second to share the good stuff with other seekers. (Link opens in new window.)
If You Liked Sacred Scents: Wiccan Incense, You May Also Enjoy
These Related Articles . . .
New material is always added; please subscribe to our RSS / Blog or The Silver Chalice E-zine to receive updates and unique articles.
Discover Your Wiccan Name Your true name holds magickal Power - it is your Essential Self. It is your magickal name. But how do you find it? To know your Wiccan name, you need to clear away what's hiding it from you . . . Continue…
Wiccan Etiquette Tips & Taboos Want to avoid those dreaded social faux pas, but don't know Wiccan etiquette? Fear not! This handy article is here to save you from social embarrassment and withdrawn invitations to rituals . . . Continue…
Wicca Magick What is magick? How does it work? Why does it work, and perhaps more to the point, why doesn't it work when we want really it to? This is an exploration of the essence of magick in the context of Wicca spirituality, plus tools to increase your magickal skills . . . Continue…
Wicca Meditation Everybody these days seems to be talking about the importance of meditation. But what's it all about? And does it have a place in Wicca? Actually, meditation has a lot to offer your Wicca practice ... Continue…
Preparing Your Ritual Tools You've got your ritual tools and altar objects - now what do you do? You certainly don't want to just put them on your altar or on your person, without clearing them of any energies they've collected! Preparing your ritual tools doesn't need to be complicated. But it does need to be done. This article covers all the basics of preparing your ritual tools... Continue…
Return from Sacred Scents to Wicca Altar Basics