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INCENSE FOR ALL: The Story and the Glory of Pure Cleansing

by Judi McLaren

The Modern-Day History

Prevalent throughout the scriptures and ever-present across the ages, the mention and use of incense serve a multitude of purposes. Modern-day use of incense has recently seen sales increases across the industry in the USA as a direct result of the global epidemic.

 

Populations of people began to include any way possible to help with stress alleviation, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and a complete revision and renewal in faith.

 

In a recent article posted in December 2020, the correlation of burning incense along with coping mechanisms in the throes of COVID saw an average rise of 140% in sales of incense in the USA within a single year.[1] 

 

 

The Holy 

The biblical significance of incense is associated with worship, confession, prayers, and spiritual cleansing. These truths of faith are accepted as pure good and noted in the holy scriptures as being entrusted to Moses direct from the words of God in the Book of Exodus: 

 

 "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Take fragrant spices—gum resin, Onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord. Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from their people."

 

Biblical incense is known by the common term of frankincense/myrrh and is known to be the incense most often mentioned in the Bible. Also known as the holy incense, it is created with just 4 ingredients, frankincense, the sweet stacte spice, the resin from the galbanum plant, and Onycha. This non-secular blend was reserved for Temple purposes only. 

 

The Spirit

Smoke attracts itself to negative spirit and energy and releases it into a space where it can be regenerated. Incense rises straight up to signify prayers and lauds lifted up to God. By way of deep symbolism, it can be juxtaposed with the white dove in flight, a spirit ascending to heaven after death, angels' wings wafting up during temple prayers or even in the solitude of atonement.  

Incense can be burned during times of meditation, prayer, general reflection, or to help cleanse and clear the air and make a space sacred. Most incense that is used in spiritual applications consists of resins like Frankincense and Myrrh, 

 

The Science

When researched further, the unknown element of Onycha in the holy incense has been the missing link until recently hypothesized in https://theconversation.com/ that it is the ground-up shell of a murex whelk or sea snail. Its inclusion in the incense was to :

● Lend the sweet smell emanating from the base protein of purified burnt fingernails, which was said to remove the fishy smell during historical times.

● Sea snails were among very few animals considered to be clean enough to be burned in sacrifice. 

● Even the Tyrian purple variety of whelk shell made the dye for the material used to make the highest noblest robes and clothing worn by priests.[2]

● Used to purify the holy temple and to cleanse the soul, it became standard for medicinal purposes to remove any putrid sick odor and leave a cleaner, sweet but not cloying odor behind.

 

The Benefits by Diffuser, Stick or Oil

Influenced and inspired by our sense of smell, our brain receptors react with emotions and actions. For example, the smell of coffee and bacon can bring smiles to many faces and immediately affect our appetite. For the same reason, a specific aroma or scent can assist with mood-altering processes. 

The benefits of aromatherapy include internal balance, calmness, cleansing, and realignment of your inner light and faith. Coupled with the right incense, these are known to lessen the symptoms of depression and stress-related issues. The most common problems facing us today when speaking of day-to-day uses of incense are anxiety, insomnia, and lack of concentration. Incense can help and below are a few scents you can work into your everyday life.

  • Best scents to ease anxietypine, jasmine, chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, clove, musk, and patchouli.
  • Best scents to help with staying focused while studyinglemongrass to relieve stress and headache, improve concentration, instill relaxation and calm nervous tension, and mint to keep the mind focused and fresh, activate a positive good mood, and improve job/school performance, thyme is nerve-calming, staves off depression, rejuvenates mentally and physically tired feelings, lessens insomnia, and improves brain activity. 
  • Best scents for sleep: lavender !! Please note that it is highly potent. Burn one stick at a time!! Cinnamonclove, jasmine, vanilla, ylang-ylang, rose, frankincense, and sandalwood.

 

No matter your reasons for burning incense, you'll find a premium selection made available to you directly from the Holy Land. Can't find your scent? Contact us at 1-877-439-3643 and we will do our best to provide you with the purest, highest quality incense and related products. 

 

 

 

 

[1] www.newyorktimes.com

[2] Exodus 26 and 28


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