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Incense...is there a substitution?

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Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby Mandie Moonstone » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:55 pm

This question may have been asked before but I am wondering if there is anything that can be used during spellwork or ritual to replace incense? I have a couple new items that I plan to consecrate and charge this weekend but burning incense is a big no no for me due to my asthma. It would be nice to be able to perform the ritual outdoors but I have even less privacy outside than I do inside my home. (I live off of a busy street so traffic is usually pretty steady plus I am in the front of my development so all my neighbors pass my home coming in and we have adjoining lots so no privacy in the backyard either.) It doesn't feel right to just skip the step in any spell calling for incense or to leave it out when consecrating or charging although if there is no alternative I guess I can just "speak" my dedication to air without doing the physical act. Any ideas?
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby Alura Noel » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:30 pm

Hey Mandie,

The only thing I could think of that doesn't include burning things because of the smoke (so it doesn't aggravate your asthma) is using a feather smudge fan of some sort and fan an object for consecrating objects or to create that physical airflow in a ritual. Smudge fans are usually used to waft smoke around an area or onto something but I think using it without the smoke would work to create that symbolic representation of air.

I personally have never felt that need for incense because air is touching objects anyways but you could use it like that for that air representation by creating your own wind.

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You can use an elaborate fan or simply use a feather you have found. Some people like to know what feather the bird came from because birds carry it's own particular kind of energy. Maybe you could look for certain bird feathers that have the right energy that your looking for.

DIY Feather Smudge Fan Instructions

Hope that helps a little bit or helps you to think of a better option for you.
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby Mandie Moonstone » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:38 pm

Alura wrote:Hey Mandie,

The only thing I could think of that doesn't include burning things because of the smoke is using a feather smudge fan of some sort and fan an object for consecrating objects or to create that physical airflow. Smudge fans are usually used to waft smoke around an area or onto something but I think using it without the smoke would work to create that symbolic representation of air.

That is a great idea! I knew with all the creative minds on here someone would have a great solution. Thanks a bunch!
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby Vesca » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:10 pm

My husband has asthma too that gets aggravated with incense or smudging. We have however discovered that oil essences don't bother his breathing at all and you still get the scent aspect. Maybe you'd be interested in testing those waters if your asthma isn't too sensitive? :)
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby Echo_of_shadows » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:53 am

There are little "warmers" designed for use with either essential oil, or the use of scented wax melts. You may need to do a bit of trial and error to see which scents trigger asthma troubles if you want to work with scent in rituals. You might want to figure out how much scent is too much. Some wax melts come in small cubes, but you may want to use half of a cube if it's quite bothersome.
There are some spells that call for you to breathe life into things, so maybe you could substitute a few gentle breaths in consecration rites instead of passing an object through ritual smoke.
Sometimes when I set up my altar, I don't use incense as a representation of air. I have a pair of small feathers that I use. I can also use the feathers as a representation for the Goddess and God instead of using a black and a white candle, since one feather is black and the other is white. :mrgreen:
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby Mandie Moonstone » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:09 am

Echo_of_shadows wrote:There are little "warmers" designed for use with either essential oil, or the use of scented wax melts. You may need to do a bit of trial and error to see which scents trigger asthma troubles if you want to work with scent in rituals. You might want to figure out how much scent is too much. Some wax melts come in small cubes, but you may want to use half of a cube if it's quite bothersome.
There are some spells that call for you to breathe life into things, so maybe you could substitute a few gentle breaths in consecration rites instead of passing an object through ritual smoke.
Sometimes when I set up my altar, I don't use incense as a representation of air. I have a pair of small feathers that I use. I can also use the feathers as a representation for the Goddess and God instead of using a black and a white candle, since one feather is black and the other is white. :mrgreen:

Vesca wrote:My husband has asthma too that gets aggravated with incense or smudging. We have however discovered that oil essences don't bother his breathing at all and you still get the scent aspect. Maybe you'd be interested in testing those waters if your asthma isn't too sensitive? :)

Those are both great ideas, I have a warmer that I use just as an air freshner at times. I'm going to look into finding some essential oils that I can use instead. Thanks for the help everyone!
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby Alura Noel » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:32 pm

I thought incense was used as a representation as air because when it burned you can see the smoke. I thought about essential oil too because of the scent but how would that represent air? I suppose what I want to know now is why is incense used to represent air in a spell or ritual?
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby loona wynd » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:08 pm

Mandie Moonstone wrote:This question may have been asked before but I am wondering if there is anything that can be used during spellwork or ritual to replace incense? I have a couple new items that I plan to consecrate and charge this weekend but burning incense is a big no no for me due to my asthma.

Essential oils and an oil diffuser where you have a tea ligh heating a cup are your best bet. In this way you have the scent heated through the fire and the oil. The tinctures I create and sell are designed to be used in such a way. Essential oils can also be dribbled and dripped on light bulb for an effect of getting the scent in the air. I have asthma. I work with incense as well. But I understand your point. Essential oils and magical tinctures can work in your favor.
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby loona wynd » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:16 pm

Alura wrote:I thought incense was used as a representation as air because whwn it burned you can see the smoke. I thought about essential oil too because of the scent but how would that represent air? I suppose what I want to know now is why is incense used to represent air in a spell or ritual?

You asked a great question. In my experience the answer to this is simple. Scent is carried by air. When we smell something we take a deep breath. Essential oils when burned in a diffuser send out a scent. The scent is carried on the air hence air. Essential oils work as a symbol for the element of air because like incense they are also carried on air. They are worked with slightly differently but in the end can be used in the same way. Essential oils and tinctures being used as incense work effectively for asthmatics and for those who might not be able to burn incense as oils and tinctures can be heated by light bulbs...Does this help?

I have a write up on my website for my tinctures on how they work as smokeless incense. Magically tinctures and oils are used essentially in the same way. The only difference is the base of alchohol rather than a carrier oil.
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby SpiritTalker » Fri May 17, 2019 10:29 am

Aromas can be used to bless sacred space, stimulate mental awareness & set a mood. Think of the smell of baking bread or home made cookies. Scent produces a basic response in us. Aromas can represent Air because the scent travels through the air just like scented smoke travels on air. We don't have to see it, just smell it.

Smokeless suggestions:

Dry potpourri mixed in a shaker jar or dream pillow; shaken to release scent
Wet potpourri on the stove or electric pot
Reed diffuser
Oil diffuser - electric or candle-heated
Scented candles
Aerosol made with essential oil & equal parts water & witch hazel in a spray bottle
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Re: Incense...is there a substitution?

Postby Silas Nightfall » Fri May 17, 2019 11:37 am

I’m asthmatic as well. I have one of these... https://www.adwdiabetes.com/product/753 ... -nebulizer

If you want an alternative to oils, and use something you already have, brew your favorite herbal tea with moon water and use that in place of epinephrine.
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