Upholding Ma'at

Journeying through the modern world with ancient ways.

Budget Thursday: Incense and Incense Burners


There are some supplies that are difficult to keep on an affordable basis. I personally feel for Kemetic paths this is incense. Some of it depends on convenience, some of it depends on the types of incense available, and some of it depends on what you’re willing to make. Not everyone has the time or resources to devote to creating their own kyphi, for example.

How does one provide incense while on a budget? How could one stretch the incense one already has? Here are some ways to stretch incense:

Grind non-combustible incense (e.g. loose incense) into a powder. This provides better control of how much you use and burns more even. It also stretches resins like frankincense and myrrh further and thus saves a considerable amount of money.

-Use incense sticks. While this is better for the pocketbook it isn’t without problems. Some brands have a lot of filler that makes it impure for ritual use, such as cow dung or even urine. There are brands that do not. The best way to know for certain is to ask the manufacturer. Short of that there’s an old rule I go by: when in doubt, don’t.

Use cone incense. The same filler problems that occur with stick incense also occur with cone incense.

-Burn incense only as needed. This is much easier to accomplish with combustible incense, like incense sticks. Simply burn the incense where needed and extinguish it so it doesn’t burn the entire time.

With incense you’re going to need an incense burner as well. There are a few that will accommodate for both stick and incense, but if you use non-combustible incense this becomes problematic.

-Purchase incense burners that burn multiple combustible incense. These are relatively easy to find as well as inexpensive. The versatility also promotes interchangeable use of cone or stick incense. I purchased one for a dollar at a grocery store.

Make your own burner using a bowl. When I worked at a Chinese restaurant the owners had a small shrine where the incense burner was a bowl of rice. They simply burned the sticks upright. I have found when copying this method that it works for charcoal and cone incense as well. I have used salt because it’s more accommodating for charcoal burning in my experience.


2 thoughts on “Budget Thursday: Incense and Incense Burners

  1. I’ve used a small bowl as an incense burner. I happened to have some granite chick grit to fill it with, but kitty litter (the pure clay type) or sand would do just as well.

  2. Pingback: Pagan Blog Project: C is for Censer | Upholding Ma'at

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