The winter celebrations are upon us. In some traditions, Frankincense and Myrrh, as well as other wonderful resins are used to help establish a space that is unified and elevated for the collective to enjoy, to celebrate, to contemplate. Frankincense and Myrrh have a rich history, and as many know, were two of the three gifts presented to the one we call Jesus - the third gift was gold - by the famous Wise Men.
I will leave it to you to explore the rich history of these aromatics. They have been used for rituals throughout the ages, and for good reason. Frankincense has been known to elevate and unify a gathering in the creation of an intentional atmosphere. It has been shown to affect mood in an elevated way without excitation. The many healing properties of these substances are impressive and their essential oils figure prominently in aromatherapy applications.
Their use as a mnemonic device for assisting in our alignment to the higher aspects of our existence has been long documented. They can serve to clear and cleanse a personal or group atmosphere quite effectively.
A few days ago a woman came into the shop who was looking for a special gift for a friend who was in a lot of pain. She felt this pain was a physical manifestation of grief, for she had not long ago lost her partner. Her friend sought to find a gift that would help her friend participate in her own healing. When I suggested some Frankincense and I told her of the following ritual, the friend lit up - it was perfect!
I thought this might be a good time to pass this ritual on to a bigger audience as the season, with its old into new year observance, lends itself to applying the technology of ritual as a way of voluntarily creating an atmosphere of intention for clearing and resetting into the new year. Experience has shown this ritual to be very powerful. Plant medicine is potent when we engage ourselves in an integral way - that is to say, with the body, mind, and heart aligned and working cooperatively. These incenses are incredibly useful at assisting us in this alignment. But don't believe me - see for yourself!
Instructions for Clearing and Cleansing Incense Ritual:
Use a mortar and pestle to grind the Frankincense and/or other resins to a nice fine powder. Work with clarity of vision and intention as you do so, for this is the beginning of your process of creating an intentional atmosphere for healing/resetting.
You will need a clean sheet (preferably white) that can be used exclusively for doing this ritual, which is great to do from time to time. Also, a brazier that is safely heat resistant, and a straight backed chair.
Meditation prior to the bath/shower may be useful. The more you can engage the three "brains" of the head, the heart, and the base of the spine moving/instinctive in alignment with the moment's process, the more effective your work can be.
Once ready to take your shower or bath, prepare your space by placing the brazier with the charcoal disc underneath the chair at the center. Place the sheet on the chair,and have the incense powder ready for use. It may be useful to light the charcoal round beforehand, so that it fully ignites and is ready to use once you are done with bathing, which is a process that should take about fifteen minutes or so. If you wish to bathe longer, wait until you are ready to sit on the chair and start that aspect of the ritual.
Take a lukewarm bath or shower and as you bathe, visualize yourself cleansing the impediment or obstruction you perceive to be responsible for the dis-eased state. The more you can get yourself into a state of being that is high attention and spirit dominant, the better the results you can achieve. . When bathing, use mantra, prayer, affirmations, visualization to achieve the state of being that empowers the change you seek. Be open to receiving information or instructions. Realize the power to heal. Be grateful for the element of water that has the ability to cleanse away your obstructions or impediments that bring about the conditions of dis-ease you wish to address and change. An open and accepting state of being is a good place to be.
Once complete, do not towel dry. Go directly to the chair, and put a layer of the incense powder on the charcoal round that is well ignited. Sit on the chair naked, and wrap the sheet so that it covers both your body and the chair all the way to the floor, sealing the area of the brazier, and all the way around your neck so that it is like you have created an incense sauna. Sit there and do your meditation, affirmation, mantra, prayers with the clear intention of dissolving all that obstructs the pure awareness state that is at the core of our being. It is in spirit dominance, the truest state, where we have the power to change what is dis-eased. The pure resin incense is a strong assisting factor to the process and it is very effective at producing an intentional atmosphere which promotes this state of clear being.
You can do this for as long as it feels appropriate - a half hour is a good time period, but trust your inner guidance. Once complete, give thanks for the tremendous opportunity you have been given to do this work, and close the space however you feel appropriate. This ritual can be repeated, but give yourself at least three days to observe and assimilate the potent process you have just engaged in.
Best wishes and best wishing to all - realize that to wish with the fullness of your being is a powerful thing.