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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.
OpoponaxOpoponax is referred to in countless magickal texts, but there is confusion about what plant it originally was. The Opoponax currently in use is the resin, or dried sap of Comiphora guidotti, a close relative of Myrrh. In fact, Opopanax is often called "Sweet Myrrh" although it's difficult to get sweeter than Myrrh.
Grimoire type magick is where Opoponax gets most attention, and I wonder if it is not mostly because of the occult and exotic-sounding name! Compared to its sister Myrrh, Opopanax is indeed a darker color, and is deeper, darker, more "occult" smelling. It's cool bitter sweetness easily assigns it to the rule of the planet Saturn, especially in regard to its correspondence with Binah.
The below correspondences are vis Cunningham, Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs in plain text, C.L. Zalewski, Herbs in Magic and Alchemy in brackets, and my own interpretations in parenthesis. In this case, Cunningham nor Zalewski reference Opoponax. These are my best guesses.
Element: (Water, Earth)
Planet: (Saturn, Mars)
Zodiac: (Capricorn, Scorpio)
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