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Resins and woods are the raw ingredients of incenses. A resin is the dried sap that was "bled" from a tree. It contains sugars and other compounds found in the plant or tree's sap, which is why most have a sweet scent when burned. Other products in this category are chipped or ground up woods, like Sandalwood. These are often used as a base for powdered incenses, and like resins, most smell very good burned on their own. I also include Sage leaf and smudge sticks in this section because they are used in similar ways.
How to burn resins
The charcoals used to burn resins get very hot. Use a burner made for resin incense, with a metal screen or with sand or rocks to insulate from the heat.
We often break the charcoals in half because they burn for nearly an hour. Light the charcoal with a lighter or match, and when it starts to spark, put it in the burner.
lt is best to let the whole charcoal begin to glow before adding any resin. Then sprinkle on the resin as desired, a little bit at a time. lf you add too much or cover the charcoal completely, you might put out the charcoal. Also, most natural resin incenses smell better when burned in small amounts at a time.
Keep away from kids and pets. Let the charcoal burn down completely, and make sure it's all ash before throwing out because it could set trash on fire. Ask us how we know!
We don't clean the burner after every use. When there is a collection of ash in the burner, pour contents into strainer over the sink and rinse with water. Let dry, and put rocks back in burner. (If you use sand you'll just have to dump the whole mess and use fresh sand).
Store unused charcoal in a zip-lock bag or in a jar, because they won't burn well if they collect humidity from the air.
Wood Aloes, Cape AloesWood Aloes, Aloe ferrox, is used as a substitute for Aquilaria agallocha, which is called Lignum Aloes, Lignaloes, Oud, or Oriental Lignum. Wood Aloes does smell a lot like the nearly commercially extinct Oud, a perfume/resin/incense made from the Aquilaria tree. It is perfectly suited as a substitute for this rare substance.
Wood Aloes is also known as Cape Aloes, and is derived from Aloes ferox, and is native to the Cape area of South Africa. It is a sparkly dried powder that I believe is made from the dried sap of the plant. When burned it has a tangy, sweet, dark earthy flavor. For this reason I assign it to the influence of Saturn. If you look at the plant however, especially when it is in bloom with it's fiery red tor ch-like inflorescence, you would probably say that it is rulled by Mars, and most plants with thick, fleshy succulent leaves are given to Jupiter.
The below correspondences are vis Cunningham, Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs in plain text, C.L. Zalewski, Herbs in Magic and Alchemy in brackets, or my own interpretations in parenthesis. In this case, Cunningham nor Zalewski reference Cape Aloes. These are my best guesses.
Element: (Earth, Water
Zodiac: (Cancer, Capricorn)
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