In keeping with the Covenant of Hekate’s February theme of celebrating Hekate as Cosmic World Soul, here is another short post about ritual purification & cleansing. This is more of a personal post which includes my own purification incense blend recipe for all to use.
As most reading this will know, ritual purification of yourself and your sacred space is key when performing devotional or formal rituals. Theurgists believed in ritual purification, as evidenced in these excerpts from the Chaldean Oracles:
“The oracles of the gods declare, that, through purifying ceremonies, not the soul only, but bodies themselves become worthy of receiving much assistance and health: “for (say they) the mortal vestment of bitter matter will, by this means, be preserved.” And this, the gods, in an exhortatory manner, announce to the most holy of Theurgists.”
“The Theurgist who presides over the mystic rites of Apollo, begins his operations from purifications and sprinklings. “The priest, in the first place, governing the works of fire, must sprinkle with the cold water of the loud-sounding sea,” as the oracle says.”
I think it is incredibly important to ensure that yourself and your sacred space is purified before presenting to the gods you are honoring. I created an incense blend for purification purposes. The ingredients are basic and easily found, but the result is powerful and achieves my goal of purifying my sacred space. Plus I love the way it smells, that’s always a bonus! This incense may be burned before formal rituals, or it may be used on a regular basis for routine cleansing of your sacred space. Or both; this incense may be used however you prefer to cleanse your sacred space.
Basically, this blend consists of frankincense resins, myrrh resins, dried lavender flower buds, and dried rosemary (I included a photo below). That’s all. 4 basic ingredients. Nothing fancy, or top secret. It’s very simple to obtain and blend.
Using top-quality ingredients is very important to me personally. Frankincense and myrrh resins are readily available just about anywhere; do an internet search and the results are endless. The quality of these resins, though, can be suspect depending on the source. I personally prefer to purchase my resins from Mountain Rose Herbs. The price per pound may be a little higher than most places, but I know 100% without a doubt that they will be premium quality resins. They know where their stuff is harvested from, and that’s important, too. I am not affiliated with them in any way – I just like their offerings, and have been shopping with them for years. But use a supplier you know and trust. When buying myrrh, be sure to purchase pure myrrh resins – not the opopanax variety. It’s a slightly different variation of myrrh that is less expensive and (in my opinion) a lesser quality. For the rosemary, you can find that easily in your local market where the fresh herbs are or you can buy them already dried. Same for the dried lavender, though there are plenty of online resources for those too (such as bulk spice importers, or Mountain Rose as well).
To create this blend, crush the frankincense and myrrh resins with your mortar and pestle until they are in small pieces and try to have them uniform in size as best as you are able to manage. Use equal amounts of both. Once the resins are crushed to your liking, add the lavender and blend well. Then add the rosemary and blend well. I don’t measure anything when making incense… it sounds odd, I know, but I just eyeball everything and if it feels right, then I will leave it. Or, I will add a little more if I feel it needs a bit more. I never start out with too much, because you can always start with a little and add as needed, but you can’t take away if you add too much at first. You will just end up adding more of everything else to compensate and then end up with an enormous amount of incense that you won’t know what to do with. (been there!) Also, lavender has a pretty powerful aroma – try not to use too much of it.
Once you are satisfied with your blend, store any extra in a glass jar or an airtight container, out of sunlight.
I hope you enjoyed this little essay and if you decide to try this incense – I hope you enjoy that, too!
Honoring Hekate in February
As mentioned earlier, the Covenant of Hekate is celebrating and honoring Hekate as Cosmic World Soul for the entire month of February. A hashtag of #hekateworldsoul is being added to all public projects, so if you are on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or any other medium that utilizes hashtags, you may find these other works by searching #hekateworldsoul . Also, if you feel inspired to share your own experiences, be sure to include the hashtag so others can find you.
For Hekate as the Cosmic World Soul, February 2018 – a CoH devotional project – www.hekatecovenant.com
© 2018 The Torch and Key / Melissa McNair