How To Cleanse With Incense

While incense can be used to cleanse a place or fumigate a person, the range in effect varies from very mild to exceptionally strong. Some of the stronger kinds of cleansing incense can actually have a detrimental effect upon those who are unskilled in their use. These incenses will not be mentioned here. We will concern ourselves with using incense to safely cleanse spaces and fumigate individuals. These can be very potent aids to maintaining spiritual purity and cleanliness in a home.

To some extent, we might compare burning incense to sending up a beacon or flare to attract those spiritual forces we wish to call. Each odor appeals to a particular force, and the "force" answers the call. Once the forces come to where the incense is burning, they manifest their nature; thus we obtain the effect we wish in the place to which we call them.

When we use incense to clean a place, we are calling those forces of the astral universe which regularly act to remove negative influences. We are simply calling them and asking them to work in a particular area. When we burn incense to improve the vibrations of a place, to give a place a more "spiritual" vibration, we call on those forces which naturally act to improve the spiritual vibrations. Each incense, or blend, is a sort of "telephone number" which is answered according to the sincerity of our request.

If we burn incense with no real purpose, we may find the forces decide we are calling a wrong number -- and they will not act in harmony with our desires. In any summoning, the forces will act only in direct proportion to the sincerity and clarity of the prayer extended. To be able to use an incense properly we must first understand these rules.

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All spiritual work is primarily a matter of sensitivity, symbolism, and intent. When proper symbolism and intent is utilized, the matter of sensitivity decreases in importance. Intent is really a matter of how sincere you are about what you are trying to do. What are your real intentions in the matter at hand? Those who have proper sensitivity, which is controlled by how much the true intuitive faculty is developed, need add only individualized symbolism and their directed intent. I say individualized symbolism because people who have a developed intuitive faculty may use symbols peculiar to themselves to attain the same ends I speak of here.

How to Burn Incense

Burning a gum incense on charcoal (the most pure way) is not difficult when you know how to do it, but it can present difficulties to the novice. First of all, you don't want to burn down your house -- nor do you want burn marks on your furniture. You can take an empty tuna or cat food can and wash it out. This can be inverted on top of an old saucer to provide a safe burning space for the charcoal. Self igniting charcoal can be purchased from any religious supply or herb store. These charcoals are lit by applying a match to the edge. The charcoal rapidly ignites across the whole surface. Soon the charcoal will turn red with heat and the incense in powder or gum form can be added with a teaspoon. Add only about a quarter teaspoon at a time, allow it to burn out before you add more. When you place the incense on the charcoal you may pray for the effect you desire.

Cleaning a House

The most potent and safe incense for removing any form of "bad vibes" is the so called dragon's blood. It is a gum resin exuded from a plant found around the Malay Peninsula. It is quite popular in the United States, and can be purchased in many herb and spice stores or occult supply stores around the country. It may occasionally be found in old fashioned drugstores, in powder form. Usually it is sold as a powder or as a "reed," a stick about an inch in diameter and about six inches long. If you cannot buy the powder you will have to make powder from the reed. This is done by laboriously scraping the reed with a paring knife until it forms enough powder to use. If you have a mortar and pestle you might break off a bit of the reed and grind it down that way. As not much of the powder is required, this is not a particularly difficult process. Dragon's blood has a distinctive reddish color, and is difficult to confuse with other incenses. It has the quality of being both very obnoxious to malefic (evil) spiritual forces and at the same time attracting benefic spiritual forces. It may be said to act as a kind of astral knife, cutting out that which is not wanted.

Before you start to clean a house or apartment, it is important to open all the windows. This lets the malefic forces out, along with the distinctive smell. Once the windows are open, place about 1/8 teaspoon of dragon's blood on a hot charcoal and let it burn until it has given off all its smoke. Wait at least a half an hour before closing the windows. This incense cleansing should be followed with another incense to bring in beneficial vibrations to the newly cleaned place. Frankincense is good for this purpose.

When cleaning a house for the first time, it is advisable to leave the premises for a while. It is not a good idea to have "company" around when you are doing this kind of work on your newly acquired house or apartment. If you have pets, you may want to be sure they are outside when you are cleaning. This will assure that your pets don't become affected by any negativity. (We all understand that animals are much more sensitive to astral vibrations than people, don't we?) The cleaning will not hurt you, and if you are around for a while it won't have an effect on you, but all housecleaning is best done when you are alone.

To Sweeten the Home

Should you desire to add a lift to your home life, to make life in your home more sweet, you can use this incense after you have cleaned it with dragon's blood. You can use this incense whenever you want to add this lighter vibration. Take1\4 teaspoon of brown sugar, and mix in two or three drops of honey with a spoon. The resultant paste is burned on a hot charcoal. Brown sugar is used instead of white sugar only because it seems less acrid when it burns. This does not add a vibration of sexual love, but rather a vibration that leads to a divine love.


When you go to an herb store and buy frankincense you will find you have a translucent amber colored gum resin. Usually it comes from the inner bark of a short shrubby tree of the family Burseraceae, genus Boswellia. It may have been gathered either in Africa, India, or Arabia. It is a material that has been used as an incense since the dawn of recorded history. Frankincense is probably the most frequently used of all incenses, and is certainly the best known. It has the ability to bring a spiritually elevating influence into a place, and for that reason it is the primary constituent of church incenses. Most Catholic religious stores sell a prepared church incense which is 51% frankincense and it is really wonderful for attracting a beneficial influence to a place. You may recall that a chest of frankincense was one of the gifts that the three wise men gave to the infant Christ. Its use is recommended in the Bible, Exodus 30:34 and mentioned in Revelations 18:13. It cannot be too highly recommended, and its safety is undoubted.

Those who wish to gain some control of the spiritual environment should keep a small stock of various kinds of incense on hand, for it can be burned on charcoal as the occasion demands. Only three varieties of gum resin incense are needed: dragon's blood, frankincense, and benzoin.


Benzoin is another gum resin incense. The lumps of benzoin are crystalline, and are easily crushed by hand. It is a much more brittle incense than frankincense, myrrh, or dragon's blood. It is used in church incenses in the Greek Orthodox rite, and more rarely in the Roman Catholic Church. As an incense, benzoin has the ability of directly attracting the higher spiritual forces, and bringing them closer to man. Benzoin may be burned with frankincense to heighten the effects of both, and impart the most positive spiritual vibrations to the place where it is used.

Take four teaspoons of powdered benzoin and mix with six teaspoons of frankincense. When thoroughly mixed add about a quarter teaspoon to a hot charcoal. This incense will promote spiritual clarity, and attract the inhabitants of the higher astral realms to the place where it is burned. It is an excellent incense for blessing a home or fumigating a person.


The three wise men also gave the infant Christ a chest of myrrh. Lumps of the gum resin myrrh are brownish and dull and they have a distinctive odor. Myrrh is also used in most church incense, but for a different reason than frankincense. Myrrh fumes bring the astral realms closer to the earth, opening up the spiritual doorway so that the influences attracted by the frankincense may manifest. In any incense mixture, myrrh acts to promote the manifestation of the forces attracted by the other incense blends. By bringing the astral realms closer, it allows "motion" between them. This attribute of myrrh has much to make it a discouraging incense for the novice. It should be used only in conjunction with frankincense, and not burned alone. Unless it is mixed with an elevating incense it is liable to bring negative things to the person using it incautiously.

Take three teaspoons of powdered frankincense and mix with one teaspoon powdered myrrh. When thoroughly mixed add about a quarter teaspoon to a hot charcoal. This incense will promote a more directed spiritual nature in the place where it is used. It may be used with good results as a meditation incense. It has a relaxed spiritual vibration, reminiscent of the Catholic Church in the days of the Latin Mass.

This article is excerpted from the book:

Spiritual Cleansing: A Handbook of Psychic Protection,
©, by Draja Mickaharic.

Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Samuel Weiser Inc.,

Info/Order this book

 About The Author

DRAJA MICKAHARIC is also the author of: Century of Spells and Practice of Magic: An Introductory Guide to the Art, both published by Samuel Weiser Inc.



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