Incense is one of my favorite parts of my spiritual practice. Probably because I respond so strongly to smells. Let’s look at 6 benefits of incense.
What is incense?
Incense comes from the Latin word meaning “to burn,” and has been part of religious and spiritual practice since ancient times.
There are a lot of different types of incense. From sticks you can pick up at almost any convenience store, to rare chunks of expensive resin that you only bust out for really special occasions.
Why burn incense?
Burning incense can be a deeply symbolic act, helping you slip into ritual consciousness and create sacred space for meditation and spiritual work.
It’s got a ton of uses, from clearing unpleasant odors from the air, creating an auspicious atmosphere for prayer, and aiding meditation by making the environment serene. Let’s go deeper on some of my favorite benefits of incense.
6 benefits of incense
- Clear stagnant energy and purify the air
Fragrance is a powerful way to clear the air of stagnant energy, lighten your mood, and purify the air. On a super mundane level, burning incense is a fast way to get rid of unpleasant odors from pets, cooking, etc.
Certain types of incense also have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, including frankincense and myrrh.
- Bless your home
Select an incense that has personal meaning to you, or use an incense that’s historically been used for blessing, like copal, palo santo, or white sage.
To use incense to bless your home, walk in a clockwise circle around each room with some lit incense.
With your hand or a feather, waft the incense smoke around, getting in all the corners and nooks and crannies.
As you do, speak an affirmation of your own creation out loud in a clear, confident voice. For example, you could say: “With this sacred smoke, I bless this home for love, peace, and protection.”
- Banish negativity
Incense has also historically been used to cleanse things energetically.
You can use it to help clear negative energy from a person, place, or object.
Choose a powerful cleansing incense (frankincense, dragon’s blood, pinon pine, or fumitory). Waft its smoke around whatever you want to cleanse.
Say something like: “With this sacred smoke, I release any negative or chaotic energy. This [person/place/thing] is purified and free from any energy that’s not aligned with its own.”
- Improve mood
Scent is also strongly linked to mood.
To elevate your state of mind, try burning lavender, sandalwood, or citrus incenses.
- Aid in ritual and prayer
Incense has been used for thousands of years to aid in ritual and prayer–from ancient Egypt to modern day Christianity.
Incense has also always been used as an offering honor deities, helping spirits, and ancestors.
Many believe that the smoke carries your prayers and offerings to the otherworld.
- Create sacred space
When you create sacred space, you’re basically blessing and setting aside a special area to do non-ordinary work.
For example, this can be meditation, spellwork, ritual, prayer, healing, Reiki, etc.
Burning incense can help you consecrate your sacred space and clear it of any energy not aligned with your work.
We almost always have frankincense incense lit on our altar. It’s a house favorite.
Either stick incense or chunks of whole resin gently smoldering on a charcoal round. It elevates the vibe and energy in the whole house. (Plus, purely on a sniff-level, it smells amazing.)
How do you use incense?
How do you use it? What kind is your favorite kind? Please comment and leave a tip below!