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Making Cone Incense


thevioletsunflower

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I will be doing this and am reading up on it as well as watching some YouTube videos. I am curious as to how others make there's. Most places I am looking suggest using Makko. Do you use this?

 

Thought I would share one of the videos I have watched about it. Love Mountain Rose Herbs. I am addicted to their YouTube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Eql9UV3EY

 

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That is so cool! I will have to order sOme benzoin from them and start making my own cones, so awesome. I make incensed to burn on charcoal disks often, but this cuts out the charcoal.

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Its so damn easy if your herb is pre-ground to such a fine powder. lol I make my own incense but grind all my herbs myself in a mortar and pestle and with some of the bark or wood ones, getting it that fine is a dream. I may get a coffee grinder for them sometime, but the grinding is meditative for me so I like doing it, although it doesn't give you that nice easy-to-work-with- powder. I think it was LdyShallot awhile back that suggested using honey to hold the herbs together, which worked nicely. Normally I just grind my herbs till I've reached the state I want, then burn the loose mixture on the charcoal, or steam them, depending on what I'm doing.

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Hi all :)

 

I make my own cone incense and use the process of making it to charge my incense with intention. Although I do buy a lot of my herbs pre-ground, I also enjoy using my mortar and pestle to grind down certain types of herbs and resins.

 

It is a very easy process. Makko is a good binder, although I don't use it too much...I haven't used benzoin as a binder-will have to try that. I tend to use guar gum as a binder...let's see...you can also use tragacanth for cone incense.

 

To make successful cone incense, you need to be sure you have the following in your formula-a base, binder, liquid, and at least one aromatic.

 

A great starter book I recommend, is the one I used to teach myself- "Incense, Crafting & Use of Magickal Scents" by Carl Neal. The book is very thorough, has tons of recipes to start you off <this is where I got my great mugwort cone incense recipe which I love to burn> and has a great list in the index of possible ingredients complete with correspondences.

 

Have fun with it, it's a great hobby!

 

~Anara

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Thanks for the book rec! I am looking to make mugwort incense, actually, which is why I am researching. I have this push to mix lavender in with it. I just really want to try it out, I guess.

 

What do you use in place of Makko? I could be mistaken but if I am understanding correctly Makko is not just a binder but also what helps it to burn (a combustible incense vs. a non-combustible like loose incense is). That's where I am lost. I can get Makko it's just a bit pricy so I was wondering if there were alternatives out there.

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Thanks for the book rec! I am looking to make mugwort incense, actually, which is why I am researching. I have this push to mix lavender in with it. I just really want to try it out, I guess.

 

What do you use in place of Makko? I could be mistaken but if I am understanding correctly Makko is not just a binder but also what helps it to burn (a combustible incense vs. a non-combustible like loose incense is). That's where I am lost. I can get Makko it's just a bit pricy so I was wondering if there were alternatives out there.

 

here is a basic mugwort cone incense recipe to get your mind going with this...taken directly from the book and this is the one I make for personal use! Have fun!

 

Mugwort

 

Base 2 tsp sandalwood

Binder 1/8 tsp guar gum or tragacanth

Liquid 1 tbsp water <add just a bit at a time...add more or less until you get to the desired consistency>

Aromatic 1 tsp ground/powdered mugwort

 

^^^ then just follow the directions as stated in the video

 

I prefer burning mugwort this way because it's less smoke...I'm sure you could add a bit of lavender or whatever you want..just remember that adding more herbs will increase the binder and liquid amounts... as with anything else, trial & error will get you to success eventually once you start playing around with recipes and creating your own :)

 

 

~Anara

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Different mirrors and pestles can grind to different fineness. I only have my one and it is very time consuming to get a small amount if herb fine. But my friend has one that isn't so good for breaking up big bits bit grinds things to a fine powder quickly. So maybe you would prefer another mortar and pestle to a coffee grinder?

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oops! didn't see the part in your question regarding makko... no, using makko is not a must to making cone incense, but it is a good binder. I use makko in a few recipes & they burn the same as the recipes using guar gum/trag.

 

Whether or not a mixture burns depends on a few things...herbs/resin combos. used and how much of each...size of the cones, whether or not you allowed enough drying time before attempting to burn...ect...

 

When I first started out, I found pretty quickly that if you use too much resin in a recipe, it won't burn properly...it will just bubble and melt...lol

 

There is a bit of an art to incense making-but once you learn the basics, it's fun. Not too long ago, I made some discs instead of cones and carved some symbols into them and set them to dry. It was an interesting way to get some intentions into dough for magic use. It didn't want to burn on its own, but I found that breaking pieces off of the disc and burning it on charcoal was still nice. Point is, you can get creative with the dough too :)

 

Have a good one

 

~Anara

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Anara, thanks so much for answering my questions! How many cones does the above recipe make roughly?

 

Sure thing!

 

That particular recipe usually makes about 6 cones for me-but, of course, it depends on the size of your cones...I'd say, anywhere from 4-6 normal sized cones can be made using the amounts stated above.

 

~Anara

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Jut my 2p on the topic:

 

You can use gum arabic as a thickener, too - from what I've seen, it's more readily-available than gum traganth. As with gum traganth, a little goes a long way.

 

Making cones you need something that will easily burn. Sandalwood is a "standard" base for cone/stick incense because of its combustibility. If you don't want the sandalwood aroma or don't have any makko on hand, though, try sawdust! I didn't want to buy makko just to experiment, was afraid of what would happen if I used too much saltpetre and didn't want the sandalwood aroma to color the other herbs I was using. A wee bit of sawdust from underneath the table saw worked just fine.

 

One other point: the cones/sticks must be completely dry or they won't burn properly. Especially if you live in a humid climate, use as little water as you can to make the dough (it will vary depending on the other ingredients) and allow plenty of drying time - it can take up to a month. If the cones/sticks feel dry to the touch, give it another week or more after that before trying to burn.

 

And I admit to cheating & using a coffee grinder. I don't have enough "oomph" to grind everything down that fine in a mortar & pestle.

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Thanks again, Anara!

 

MW, I was thinking about sawdust. When I first started making loose incense we lived next to a eucalyptus tree. I would use dried bits of its bark that I would grind until it was a powder. It worked great though I don't know if using it was technically a "no-no" or not. It's just what I had on hand so I went with it after reading someone mention sawdust in their incense making. Dorothy Morrison in her book Everyday Magic, maybe.

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Great thread! I ordered that book and will give this a try. I hate buying incense as the chemical fumes that some emit really bother me so I either use hand crafted incense from occult shops or I go without. Thanks for all the great info.

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