Earlier today, I shared photos of my handmade incense cones on Instagram. I was asked for the instructions and recipe, so here it is!
First, you'll need to choose a base. I personally prefer to use ground cinnamon (because I LOVE cinnamon). You can also use ground ginger, sandalwood, sage, clove, or any other powdered dried herb, spice or bark. Optionally, you can also gather other spices that pair well with your base. You will also need some water - I try to always use moon water, rain water, river water or ocean water, but any water will work.
The cones I made today had a base of cinnamon, and I added ginger, clove, black pepper and red brick dust, and used water that I collected from the Atlantic ocean. I chose this blend because, first of all, I love it. Also, it will offer grounding, protection and purification of my space, and open communication with other realms during divination throughout Samhain. Each ingredient has it's own properties, which I will outline in a later post.
You'll want to use a special bowl, if you have one, because this process is intended to be meaningful and even spiritual in nature. I use a pretty blue bowl that my daughters gifted me for Mother's Day, because it symbolizes (to me) the sacredness of the Unconditional Love we share, and holds a pure and joyful energy. If you don't keep sacred mixing bowls, don't fret - simply sprinkle some salt in any bowl, to clear any residual energies inside, then dump the salt outside. I use a tiny antique silver sugar spoon that my mother gave me to stir the incense powders, and mix in the water. You can just as easily mix your blend with your hands. Because making these incense is a part of my spiritual practice, I light a working candle, gather a few crystals, and make myself a cup of tea to enjoy. I like to play quiet instrumental music, and let my mind wander in a form of meditation while creating the cones. Follow your intuition and enjoy personalizing the process to make it more magickal for you, and suited to your unique practice.
Now, I don't measure my ingredients, because I follow my nose, so to speak. As always, I started with a hearty scoop or two of my base (cinnamon), using my small spoon (you can eyeball it, if you prefer). Next, I sprinkled on the ginger, clove, pepper and red brick dust until I was happy with the scent. Adding the water can get a bit tricky, because if too much spills in, you'll need to add more dry ingredients to make a solid "dough". I find it easier to use an eye-dropper to add small amounts at a time, mixing well as I go, and stopping when I get the right consistency, which is basically like a thick cookie dough that holds its shape when rolled into a ball.
Next comes the fun part. Take a small piece of the mix, and roll into a ball. Once smooth, begin
shaping it into a cone, with a pointy end ~ you'll need it to be about the same size as store-bought cone incense, otherwise it won't light or burn properly. Flatten the wider side (the base), and set the cone on a flat glass surface. Repeat this process until you've run out of the mixture.
Set the cones in a spot where they will not be bothered, and allow to dry 5-7 days, turning at least twice each day, which will make sure that they are thoroughly dry, all the way through.
Store in an airtight container, and use as you would any other cone incense.
Note: you may notice that the scent while burning is not as strong as store-bought cones, depending upon the ingredients you use. This is because you have not used any perfumes, preservatives or other chemicals in your incense (which is a good thing!).