The history of incense dates back to as early as the ancient times. People held incense with great value, and it was used as gifts during special occasions. The word “incense” is derived from the Latin word “incendere” meaning “to burn”. Incense plays several different roles in various religions including Buddhism and Catholicism. The Old Testament in the Bible speaks of God asking for the burning of the incense as a form of worship to Him.
The burning of the incense is believed to originate as a result of the different types of materials that were chosen by people for cooking and heat. When certain types of woods and roots were burned by the people, it created a beautiful and favorable waft of aroma from the fire, giving birth to the earliest types of incense for the first time in their lives. Frankincense resin was of high value in the Middle East and the Far East and was valued even more than the precious metal gold in certain cases.
It is also believed that the gifts of the biblical Magi also included frankincense and gold to the new born Jesus Christ. For over hundreds of years, people of different cultures and regions traded myrrh and frankincense. During the ancient times, the Egyptians worship their gods by using incense, and they also burned it all the time in their holy temples. Specific incense types were assigned to the worship of specific god types. Till date, it is also recorded that incense remnants were also found in many tombs belonging to the Egyptian pharaohs buried during the ancient times.
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Use Of Incense In Rituals
The study of the history of Incense will show several practices of burning incense to trigger the olfactory sensations in a powerful way because the strong smell of a scent has the capacity to fill an entire room. The rituals involve the burning of incense in order to achieve certain purposes. Smudging and smoking ceremonies are common to the Native Americans, and it is similar to incense burning. Till date, people still burn different types of incense to assist them in their meditation and achieve focus and calm.
Uses Of Incense For Spiritual Purposes
The history of Incense has a very close connection with the realm of spirituality. People burn incense during a mass along with preparation of a congregation during prayer sessions. Incense is used as an offering and devotion to God by the Catholics.
Uses Of Incense For Healing
The history of Incense is also closely connected with healing. Different blends of incense can make a positive impact on those people who are suffering from suicidal tendencies, anxiety and depression. Frankincense is also thought to bring about feelings of relaxation and peace.
Burning Of Incense
There are different incense burning methods depending on the type that is used. Incense cones and sticks are very popularly used these days. Ground resins are also found in the form of loose incense or incense powders that can be burnt in certain containers. Popularly used loose incense include cinnamon, cloves, sandalwood, etc. Burning is not required for incense oils.
It is very important to supervise the entire process of incense burning.