Ancient Blend is a very special incense made with natural resins, woods, flowers, herbs and oils. This incense is great for Sabbats, Esbats, altar and devotional incense, meditation, consecrations, blessings or any time!
If you've never enjoyed burning resin incense on charcoals, this blend will change your mind. If you already enjoy resin incenses, give Ancient Blend a try, you won't believe your nose. Reading through this recipe is an excellent demonstration of how to make a quality resin incense and you can adapt the techniques to other ingredients.
This recipe originally made about a kilo of incense (2.2 lb.) but we've scaled it down as much as possible to make a batch of about 150 grams (5.35 ounces). A little goes a long way, use just a pinch at a time!
Because this is a large recipe, even the scaled down version will last you several years of regular ritual use and the incense ages well, becoming more rich and mellow over time. Although the ingredients were selected for a wide array of purposes and associations (earth, air, fire, water, spirit, protection, purification, etc.), you can omit several ingredients and still use the incense successfully. You can also add the missing ingredients as you obtain them, roughly estimating the proportions according to the remaining blend you already created.
This recipe may seem complex, but creating Ancient Blend is a fairly simple, five step process. Most of the expensive ingredients, such as Jasmine Absolute, can be purchased in small, inexpensive quantities through Liberty (listed in the Secret Suppliers List). Each ingredient is included for the following reasons:
- Traditional magical, religious and folklore correspondences
- Overall aromatic properties
- Synergistic* energy combinations
A few ingredients, marked with an asterisk (*) are optional. If you absolutely cannot obtain the ingredients marked with an *, it is okay to omit them without altering the blend too far off from the original recipe and energy. Other than these ingredients, please follow the instructions closely. A pestle and mortar is used to ensure even blending and particle size, without creating a sticky and powdery mass that will result if you use a blender or coffee grinder.
Five Step Method for creating Ancient Blend
Step One: Crack & Cure
- 2 g. Frankincense Resin
- 3 g. Gum Mastic
- 1 g. Loban Resin *
- 70 g. Copal Blanco Resin
- 18 g. Benzoin Resin
- 1 g. Opopanax Resin *
- 1 g. Myrrh Resin
- 3.5 g. Copal Negro Resin *
- 6 g. Rich Dark Copal Resin *
- 3 g. Golden Copal Resin *
Crack and blend together the resins listed above in a pestle & mortar until you achieve the texture and consistency of very coarse ground coffee (press pot or percolator type). Pieces should be about 1.5 mm to 5 mm (1/16 to 1/4 inch) diameter. Work in small batches of a spoonful or two. This will help keep the particles of your granulated resins more consistent. When finished, spread the resins out in a thin layer on paper. Keep the resins "curing" on this paper overnight, or if you have time, up to three weeks. The surface area you've exposed by cracking the resins will be slightly sticky. Curing the resins will oxidize these sticky surfaces and prevent your finished incense from clumping. If you omit copal negro, rich dark copal and golden copal, increase the copal blanco to a total of 80 g.
Step Two: Blend Oils
- 3 drops Benzoin Resinoid
- 8 to 9 drops Jasmine Absolute
- 1 drop Myrrh Essential Oil
- 1 drop Frankincense Essential Oil
- 2 drops Atlas Cedar Essential Oil
- 1 drop Patchouli Essential Oil
- 10 drops Cassia Essential Oil
- 3 drops Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil *
- 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 5 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil
- 1 drop Rose Absolute
- 1 drop Clove Bud Essential Oil
- 5 drops Amber Fragrance Oil (pure concentrate, not diluted)
- 5 drops Jasmine Fragrance Oil (pure concentrate, not diluted)
Blend all oils together in a glass container that has a tight fitting lid. Small spice jars work well for this, but be sure you use a container large enough to mix the botanicals from the next step into the oils easily. If you omit the cinnamon leaf eo, increase the cassia to 12 drops total.
Step Three: Soak Botanicals
- 20 g. White Sandalwood Chips (about lentil size chips, crush with a hammer if yours are larger)
- 4 g. dried, whole Rosemary Leaves (I use whole leaves and break each in half or crush very lightly in the pestle & mortar.)
- 2 large pinches dried, chopped, blue-violet Statice Flower Petals (available at florists or from your garden)
- 2 g. dried, whole Lavender Flowers
- 1 g. dried, whole Calendula Flower Petals (a.k.a. Pot Marigold, petals only, no seeds!)
- 1 g. dried Chamomile Petals or lightly crushed whole Chamomile flowers
- 2 large pinches dried, shredded/torn Rose Petals
Blend the botanicals (herbs, wood and flowers). Pour into the jar with your oil blend, seal the container and shake or stir well. Allow the botanicals to soak up all the oil. Keep mixing until the oils are evenly distributed. Let sit overnight (sealed in the jar) to ensure absorption.
Step Four: Crushing!
- 9 g. White Sandalwood Powder
- 2 g. Celestial Amber
- 2.5 g. Honey Amber
- 2 g. Red Amber
Crush the amber resins in your pestle and mortar until they are smooth and paste-like. Add the sandalwood powder and continue to blend until consistent. Spread the powder out in a thin layer on a glass plate or baking dish and allow to sit overnight or up to a week.
These amber resins are the soft, fragrant incense type. The types of amber in this recipe do not have to be used. Instead, you can use any type of soft, fragrant amber that is accessible to you. All you need is a total of about 6 or 7 grams of amber resin (any type) and 9 grams of white sandalwood powder.
Step Five: Combine & Sample Fragrance!
Combine the crushed and mixed resins from step one with the oil soaked botanicals from steps two and three, plus the sandalwood/amber mixture from step four. Stir well and store in a glass jar. Allow this mixture to age at least a week before use. Some compaction or sticking may occur while Ancient Blend ages. Simply stir it or stab it with a spoon or chopstick to break it apart again. Aging your resins and sandalwood/amber powder will prevent this from becoming a serious problem.
Burn on charcoal or on a mica sheet over charcoal. Remember, a little goes a long way, so use just a small pinch at a time!
Step Six: Clean Up
Scrape your pestle and mortar with a sharp spoon and use ethyl alcohol (vodka, everclear, gin) or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing) to soak it clean overnight. Tools with oil and amber residue can also be soaked. The alcohol you use to clean your tools can be used in a spray bottle (away from flames!) to freshen and charge linens, carpets, cloaks and altar cloths. Filter the oil if necessary through a coffee filter so it doesn't clog your spray bottle. The alcohol will evaporate quickly, but allow some time for it to disperse before lighting candles or incense.
Synergistic* the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual ingredients, expressed as 2 + 2 = 5.