✵ never miss an opportunity to sleep on a screened porch ✵

Thursday, January 7, 2010

INCENSE {rituals*mystery*lore}

I found this little treasure of a fantastic book*by Gina Hyams*on some site {i honestly have no idea where} and was intrigued. Seriously, is there that much to know about incense? YES, there is! I read the entire book in one sitting {if you are remotely familiar with my attention span - you would be in shock about now}. Please let me share my new found enthusiasm with you..... So first of all, I've had a love/hate relationship with incense most of my life. Growing up with a hippie momma, we burned a lot! I can remember little sticks poking out of all the plants in the house. Then there was this period in my pre-life {about 10ish years} that I attended the Catholic Church {no longer applies} and was again having the love/hate thing with incense. I kind of only liked the masses where they burned it. Mostly because I was amazed at the amount of people coughing their heads off {I mean, how could something so holy....cause such suffering?} and otherwise, I thought it made the church seem mystical. Now that I've just convinced myself why it is that I was drawn to this book, let me give my version of a book report.
*

*there are 2 kinds, combustible (has a burning aid) & non (needs charcoal/real fire) *there are artificial ingredients, and they are the culprits for the smoke induced headache, AND you can tell by the smell through the package if A.I. are inside....really strong*there is a global belief in it's divine powers, and prayers are believed to be carried to heaven in the smoke*each fragrance carries it's own vibrational quality and life force (synthetics do not) *the energies of the earth, wind, stars, moonlight and sunshine are released when natural plant materials are burned*
*

***the word "inspiration" means "breathe in"***
*

This book has charts for choosing your scent, resources of where to purchase natural incenses, prayers (Taoist, Zen Buddhist and Zuni), a recipe for a version of the intoxicating Kyphi (developed by the high priests of Egypt during secret, chant-filled temple ceremonies) incense, a Big Sky Meditation (this is going to happen on top of Grandfather Mountain), a morning calm ritual.....
*

When Napoleon was away at war he would burn his wife's favorite incense before her portrait so he could feel her near....how sweet is that!
*
Yemen women {even today} are covered head to toe, all you can see are eyes. Yet....in the words of the author, "the fragrant cloud that follows them is one of the most alluring and sensual things in the world".
*
*
*

96 pages, front to back....I highly, highly recommend this book.
*
*
Cheers to you Gina Hyams...you throw down a great little book!!!!

peace.love.harmony.

1 comment: