Burning Mermade Incense by Katlyn Breene

"Incense has always been a sacred offering
A carrier of prayers
Calming the mind , inspiring the heart and
Healing the body

Incense is an ancient and transformative art form.
Take the time to experience the alchemy of incense...

From the living creations of earth and water
Transformed by fire
Released into air
To inspire the spirit…"


Thank you…
If you are here reading this it means that you have the desire to experience natural incense and the art of releasing its full fragrance. Nothing else is quite the same…

If you are new to burning Mermade incense of any type, read this article, it will help you use and appreciate fine natural aromatic resins, oils and precious woods as incense.

(For a quick instruction go to Basic Method for Burning Incense on Charcoal article)


To properly release the true aroma of sacred woods and resins is an art and meditation, Yes incense can be tossed upon a hot charcoal and billows of scented smoke will arise to a wondrous effect. This is how much the world uses resins incense. But the smoke from this form of burning limits the experience of a great deal of the essential oils and properties of aromatics. Especially precious woods such as sandalwood.

With Mermade Incense Premuim Resin blends there are several ways to heat the incense and let the true beauty come forth and bless your home, altar or community.

Here are methods and tools we suggest from our personal experience and research throughout the years. Please note we do not fully cover the traditional Japanese methods, which are excellent. There are many wonderful sites online to explore the Japanese way of “Ko”. 
Kodo, Preparing the Censer

For a quick guide to burning incense we also recommend visiting the site 
Incense Making.com

 

To begin, you need a Censer or Incense Burner.

 Censers
A censer is the container in which incense is safely burned. It can be anything from a ceramic pot or dish , a sea shell, to an ornate work of art. There are certain requirements for the proper censer. It should have a wide opening at the top to allow circulation; it should be made of fire resistant material and should have an aesthetically pleasing appearance. brass, bronze, stone or ceramic are usually used.

It is recommended to place some sand or ash (this is usually rice husk ash) in the bottom of the censer. The sand will absorb the intense heat of the charcoal and protect the censer and the surface upon which it rests and the ash allow air under the charcoal to let it burn well and also protect delicate insense materials form coming in direct contact with the coal. This sand or ash will also act as way of holding stick incense. Earth, salt, mineral sand, marine or volcanic sand may also be used for this purpose. It is nice to use some kind of sacred earth such as sand from a favorite beach or desert location.



















Censer Sand and White Ash are available from Mermade

 



 Ceremonial Censer
We import a special brass censer with a wooden handle that is highly recommended for ritual use and Smudging . It can be held and carried around while doing blessings with a smudge fan, purifications or any type of ceremonial work. It also makes incense easy to carry from room to room to scent your home


Candle Burner is beautiful and gentle way of heating resin incense. When used with foils inside of the stone bowl the incense reaches a higher heat and burns well, the foils also make it easy to clean. It s soft glow enhances the atmosphere as its heat releases the fragrance of the incense. These are also used for Essential Oil diffusers. 





















 Electric Incense Heater
We recommend the use of these burners over any other method for releasing the true scent of Mermade Premium incense with less smoke.
Electric burners are by far the best and most efficient way of burning fine incense. Now we are able at last to offer them at very good price.  

It is an investment you will never regret. They burn cleanly and consistently, and can be adjusted to the perfect temperature to heat the incense, and allow it to give forth its true essence, while not burning it up completely or too quickly. 

If you enjoy incense in your home or temple and want to receive its full benefit, invest in an electric burner, you will not be sorry.

 Using an Electric Incense Heater

We are very pleased to be able to offer this beautiful, reliable and easy to use Golden Lotus Electric Heater. Unlike Charcoal for burning incense you have control over the level of heat and therefore you will receive the greatest benefit, scent and subtle aroma from fine natural ingredients with very little smoke. It lets the incense gently warm up and release its scent.  We recommend this heater for fine Agarwood , Sandalwood chips and also resins. 

The Golden Lotus electric incense heater is thermostatically controlled to enable use with  many different types of fragrances , incense resins and gums, powdered incense , bakhoor, wood chips, soft and hard dhoops, simmering granules, scented wax, herbs, flower petals, and essential oils.
The best setting to use will depend on the type of material being burned, and your own personal preference.
 
We recommend for most incense that you turn the Thermostat to full (230).

This heater provides a gentle heat that cycles so there is no fear of over heating or scorching your incense.
It is meant to bring forth scent and not smoke, so if you desire more smoke from your incense, use traditional charcoal and a resin censer .
For oils and waxes use a lower setting, experiment to see what works for you and the material you are heating.
Note that it may take a minute or two for the scent to begin to be released.

Basic Guide

- Press a single layer of foil into the metal dish or place a foil cup directly on the heating surface. Mermade carries beautiful gold squares of foil and cups for this purpose.
 - Plug in and turn the heater on by adjusting the inline thermostat control knob. The red light shows that the power is on. We find that a maximum setting of 250 works best for most woods and resins.
 - Place incense onto the foil with the small spoon provided. Place the metal dish with incense on the hot surface of the heater until it has released all its fragrance or has turned dark. Delicate woods and resins may vary in time needed, but since the temperature is controlled it will not scorch or flame.
 - Be sure to always place the heater on its circular base when in use
 - Putting the lid on the heater while in use helps keep in the heat. It is also traditional not to “clean” a censer lid that is used for fine incense, for over the years the residue that collects inside will be a fragrant history, especially if you are heating fine woods like Agar and Sandalwood.
 - Do not reuse the foil. Dispose of it with the incense residue when the metal dish cools or remove it with the incense pinchers provided, Foil cups may be used more than once. The Cups are re-usable 2 or 3 times each.
 - Please be sure that you turn the thermostat control to the off position after use.

Includes:

Ceramic Heater with lid, metal dish, and base, implements (spoon and pinchers), Foil sheets an cups sample, Incense samples, Satin lined Gift Box, 120 v, U.S. 2 prong plug



 Resin Incense Burner
We also offer a special censer just for charcoal use. It is a brass vessel with a screen over the top where a charcoal disk can rest. this lets the air surround the coal and burn uniformly. the incense residue then easy to remove for it falls into the vessel.





















 Incense Foils
Foils should be used with the electric censer to keep the bowl clean as well as with charcoal tablets– these we provide with all censers and with all our resin incense. The foils are beautiful as well, 3”x3” squares with silver on one side and gold on the other. Incense can be wrapped in the foils ready for individual ceremonial use or small amounts given as gifts or sacred offerings.

These foils can also be used with charcoal to keep the incense from burning too quickly.


 Using Foil with Charcoal
Incense substances are delicate. Though you may place the incense directly on the lit charcoal and enjoy the scent, it is advisable to use something to lessen the heat and allow the heart of scent to be released rather than burned. They can be shaped into a “boat “ like form to hold loose incense, folded or torn into a smaller square to allow more air to move around the coal.

 Charcoals
Charcoal provides the magickal presence of natural fire, which lends the scented altar apart of its power and beauty. It also allows the mobility of the censer for ceremonial use and rites of smudging and purification. (See CEREMONIAL USE OF INCENSE)

Natural fragrant substances should be burned on special incense charcoal tablets or disks. The heat releases their beauty and aromatic properties.

For indoor (or outdoor) use we offer the silver coated Japanese Charcoal, which contains no chemicals or additives. It is made from bamboo and burns very cleanly with no unpleasant odor. The silvered coating helps shield the incense from direct contact with the lit coal. 

The Golden Charcoal we offer is very good quality, clean burning and very fast to light. It is great for in ceremony when you need have it heat quickly or light in a breeze. It does contain self-igniting elements .

BASIC METHOD :

With this method of burning incense you'll actually be "heating" or smoldering the incense,  not burning  it directly on the charcoal. This method of burning incense is especially good for aromatic wood chips.
Fill a heat proof incense bowl or censer with at least 2" of sand, or natural ash. This will provided some much needed insulation for your burner. Charcoal can burn at up to 1500 degrees F. 
If you filled your burner with sand (instead of ash) form a cone shape so that you can place the charcoal tablet at the peak. This will allow air to flow around the charcoal. 

To light any type of charcoal it is recommended that you keep a candle by your censer. Hold the tablet with pinchers, charcoal tongs, chopsticks or carefully with your fingers, over the candle flame or lighter until the edge begins to glow. The Golden type will emit sparks as they ignite. Place coal in the prepared censer.

Wait until the charcoal is  covered with grayish-white ash. Be sure to wait until this layer of ash forms to cushion the incense from the direct heat of the coal.

 This will take about 5 minutes or so. If you like you can fan or blow on the charcoal to help get the whole tablet started. 
If you're using ash, you may want to cover the charcoal with a thin layer of ash. If you're using sand, loosely cover the charcoal with a small piece of  foil (you can even make a small foil cup). Making sure the charcoal has enough air flow at the top so it doesn’t go out. Sand doesn't allow the charcoal to breathe like ash does. 
Place your incense directly over or next to the ash covered charcoal. If using sand, place it on the foil. 
The charcoal will stay hot enough to burn incense for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Be sure to store your charcoal in an airtight container, tin foil, or plastic bag when not in use. Moisture in the air can make the charcoal difficult to light. 

 Burning Nature Spirits Incense

Nature Spirits Incense contains only what Earth has created... It is a handmade stick style incense, which needs no Charcoal or Heater

 We find that half a stick is enough to scent a room.

Each blend contains the traditional resins - the natural wood binder “Laha” from Nepal and woods and herbs and spices, these are then enhanced with pure essential oils. It is truly a labor of love... 

We could never mass produce or marketed it wholesale. This is our offering to you, a sacred art to bring inspiration to the ceremonies of your life. 

When burning this incense place a tip of the stick in a censer filled with rice ash or sand and light the top point. Let it burn for a while before gently blowing out the flame. Since Nature Spirits have a high resin and essential oil content you may have to light it again half way through. 

Take time to experience this incense, let it burn for a few minutes then smell the essence of the blend, it lingers and is felt long after the smoke clears. .
May it enhance your sense of the sacred ...

Please let us know what you think about natural incense, it is very different from the the usual fragrance sticks and cones. The ingredients are much more costly , does 100% natural make a difference to you and the energy of your spiritual work? Remember, Fine incense is appreciated by the scent and atmosphere it leaves behind. Never judge incense completely while while it is burning... 

 

This article was published on Thursday 29 March, 2012.