homemade incense*

reading nook

reading nook

I've always felt something like making homemade incense would be way too overwhelming for me.  I admired creations like that from afar, assuming it wasn't simple enough for me because I crave simple these days.

When I woke yesterday morning a few hours before my boys, I noticed the light coming through onto our reading chair was so ethereal and all I wanted to do in that moment was sip coffee and read through something that would infuse life into me for that day.  I looked through a part of our home library in my husband's home office that I haven't delved into for a while.  I found this book that I completely forgot we had: Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children.  This book is so gentle and beautiful and intentional and not at all complicated to read, which is what I am needing not only for me but also to share with my son.  I love reading with him because he craves it, especially spiritual books honoring the earth, moon, sun and sky, which he connects to on a deep level.

I turned to the chapter on Spring and found a few simple recipes for Incense.  One in particular caught my eye.  It was called Safe & Loving Home Incense.

When Cedar woke, he crawled into the chair with me and I read this bit to him and suddenly he filled with so much life and asked if we could make some that day.  So off to our magical little tea shop downtown I went.  This shop's walls are covered in shelves of big and small jars of loose teas and spices and herbs.  Its the yummiest smelling shop with such healing energy.  We always go there for special healing teas for whatever ailment we are experiencing.  The two women working there are such gentle listeners and guides.  I was so geeked out to be making my first incense and she was so excited to gather all the ingredients for me.

I went home with all the goods and created a peaceful environment for Cedar and I to explore and create in the late afternoon.  It was raining outside, so it was the perfect day for this.  I played our Liquid Mind station on Pandora and sat near him and let him make a batch all on his own while reading it to him.

Safe & Loving Home Incense

Cinnamon, sandalwood powder, bay leaf, angelica and marjoram.

The spices were left in their natural granule-type state so we could grind them in our mortar & pestles.  That was the part that Cedar loved the most.  It felt really good for his body too because it wasn't easy and he had to push and twist really hard (especially the Cinnamon granules) to turn them into as much of a powdery form as he could.

What I loved the most about this ritual for me and Cedar was that as we were grinding up our spices, we closed our eyes and visualized our sweet home with a warm and loving glow around it.  In the photo of Cedar below, you can see him closing his eyes and visualizing.  My eyes filled with tears because he truly is able to meditate in this way so clearly and he was so very mindful about it...so very quiet in those moments.

visualizing our home

visualizing our home

In the Incense portion of the Spring chapter, she talked about the energy of the child being infused into the incense and how powerful that is.  And its true. I felt it.  I felt it when we poured the incense on the lit charcoal and watched it burn.  Our home felt enveloped in so much pure love and we sat there watching it burn with so much joy that our hands had created something our home needed, we needed.

There are more involved ways of making incense (cones and sticks with resin, etc.) but this, this felt very attainable to us and within our reach for now and I am so grateful for it.   This whole activity left me feeling such a peace and calm vibration throughout the day.  

So simple, yet so powerful.