I’m always banging on about using incense. If you’ve read my previous posts recently then at almost any opportunity I’m lighting up and zooming off into trance. Now, as a Hedge Druid, why would I need these props? Surely, if I’m true to my cause I shouldn’t need anything except the sweet scent of Nature’s own aromas to send me thoughts skyward? Well, our friend Gwydion over at Sparrowhawk’s Haven would agree with you too – keep props to a minimum. In fact, don’t use any props at all!
I used to agree with this position. I started out from that position and for years I withstood the urge to use props of any kind. Yet, in recent years I have relented slightly. Am I going soft? Probably. There’s a bit more to it than that though. I have learned that incense and crystals do help me to do meditation. Incense offers me protection and brings me to trance faster, and crystals can do almost anything I need – protection, focus, re-direction – they’re very useful tools.
Tools such as incense and crystals free my mind to concentrate on the matter at hand, and they mean that I don’t have to expend my energy on setting up protection or connection, and I can focus quickly on the task I need to do. Also, I feel that incense invites spirit forms to come closer. It’s like a smoke signal to them that something interesting is about to occur, and they seem to gather and be around when incense is lit outdoors.
So there are a couple of reason why I use these tools. True, you don’t NEED anything. True, again, you shouldn’t come to rely upon having these tools available. I agree. Yet, if they are available, and you like working with them, then why get snooty about it? So, in my travels I have worked out a handy guide to how many incense sticks you can use for what purpose. It’s my own list, but if it proves useful for you too, then that’s all good too, right?
- One for a quick connection – preparing the ground
- Two for meditation – one either side – you in the middle (between the worlds)
- Three for protection – in a triangle around you
- Four for marking the quarters – calling in the elemental forces
- Five for a combination of three and two – a deep protected meditation
- Six for a change – six sticks will usually need to be placed into a formation of some sort – a sigil – to connect to a source of change
- Seven or more – for a total clearance of all blockages or existing energy patterns
As Bruce Lee said of learning martial arts – take what is useful for you and discard the rest. My dowsing shows me that this table of information is useful if you wish to adopt it as your own, but worthless otherwise, because you can create your own associations if you want to. Seems to be the way of many magical practises!