Resins are plant and tree saps that either bleed naturally from their organic sources forming beads or tears, or are extracted in some way and come in peas. There are a lot of commercial and practical uses of resins, ranging from glues to varnishes, perfumery to food additives, but I’m not going to concern myself with those applications today. As is usual here in Thornesworld, we’ll be talking about magick.
Resin is incense in its most pure and natural form. Resin incense has been used for thousands of years and is still used today in religious ceremonies around the world and across many cultures. They’re also just wonderful anytime for the delicious and pure scents they release as they melt/burn. Resin smoke is fragrant, pure and very intense so only a small amount is needed – even a small bag will go farther than you think.
Some resins are harder to find than others and can be very expensive. It’s also sometimes difficult to be sure one is actually getting what one is paying for, so you may not find all resins available in my shop. Until I’m sure, I just don’t buy. I try really hard to source my resins ethically and make sure to know the province of my resins. It’s just good magick, y’all.
When burning resins you will need a heat resistant container, preferably with a heavy layer of sand in the bottom, and charcoal tablets to burn the granules over. Some of the chunks may be more than you wish to burn all at once. Try a small piece at a time and add more as needed. The resins may be crushed using a mortar and pestle, or chopped with a sharp knife or shaved with a razor into smaller pieces or even pulverized into a fine powder for easy measurement. Be aware that powder will burn faster and produce more smoke, quickly.
You can experiment with making your own loose incense blends, adding resins to crushed herbs, aromatic woods and essential oils, (I’ll cover that in another post), or just enjoy pure resin for its particular magickal purposes and scent.
I’ve put together a few magical correspondences for you. They are partly from various sources like Cunningham and Wylundt, much from my own experience and magical use of these resins along with a sprinkling of random folklore. I wondered a bit about adding the gender info, because really the gender of these resins (like so many wonderful things and creatures) tend to be somewhat fluid, depending on the the way they’re being employed, and the purpose to which they are being used. So do feel free to either utilize, change or ignore the gender correspondences.
White Copal – Indonesia
Copal is sometimes called young amber, and it’s said that it becomes darker and more golden as it ages toward the deep golden hue of true amber. True amber, however, is the fossilized resin of plant material from the cretaceous age (and younger) and interestingly, true amber resin has very little scent, even when heated under very specific conditions. The scent we think of as amber is in reality various blends of resins and essential oils.
Uses: Attraction, celebration, clearing, cleansing, inspiration, invocation, happiness, purification, love, protection, exorcism, meditation, cleansing stones/crystals
Mayan Copal – (Gold or Black Copal) – Mexico
Uses: Consecration, contact other planes, exorcism, increase spell power, meditation, spell breaking, protection
Frankincense – (Gum Olibanum Tears) – Ethiopia (Boswellia carterii)
Uses: Courage, joy, protection, purification, consecration, exorcism, Solar rituals, honoring solar deities, meditation, luck, to induce visions, peace, relaxation, assist in psychic development & spiritual growth, clairvoyance, divination, spell power, strength, inspiration, knowledge, magick, satisfaction, success, spell breaking, wisdom
Myrrh – (Commiphora Myrrha) – Ethiopia
Uses: Brighten disposition, compassion, consecration, healing, exorcism, increases powers of other incense in blends, spell breaking, success, transformation, wealth
Opopanax – Sweet Myrrh – (Commiphora Guidotti) – Kenya Small Pea Exudation Resin
Planet: Moon & Dark Moon
Uses: Protection, healing, grief healing, exorcism, moon rites, to honor moon goddesses, honor the dead, shadow work, purification, meditation, contemplation, raising energy/vibrations, increases powers of other incense in blends, healing, bless and consecrate spaces, places and items
Arabic Gum – (Acacia Senegal)
Uses: Contact with other planes, calling up the dead, harmony, gain, increase spell power, insure agreements/contracts/pacts, attract money, peace, purification, protection, psychic development, growth & awareness, psychic powers, spirituality, tranquility, money, platonic love
Benzoin – Loban Gum – (Lindera Benzoin) – Sumatra
Uses: cleansing, exorcism, harmony, inspiration, knowledge, love, memory, peace, peace of mind, protection, psychic protection, purification, prosperity, spell breaking, tranquility, wisdom, also used to marry/blend other scents/resins.
Dragon’s Blood – Daemomorops draco,
or Dracaena draco (Canary Islands) (a softer ball of resin sourced from fruit), or Dracaena cinnabari (Socotra, Somalia), Croton draco (Mexico)
Cleansing, clearing, exorcism, courage, magickal protection, money, luck, personal power, increases the potency of magickal workings, aid in returning lost love, energizing psychically, magickally and spiritually, health, virility, to raise sexual energy and to cure impotency. Mix with other resins and/or herbs to enhance their energy and aid in blending
I’m still on the hunt for Storax/Styrax (which is a confusing quest of language, culture, history and misinformation) and may end up using the nest best thing, which is Siam Benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis). I have found a good source for Labdarum and Balsam, but I’m afraid it’s pricey and not in the shop budget just yet. Contact me if you’re interested in these two. If I get enough interest, I’ll get some, but be prepared!
In Light and Shadow,
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