The force behind all magick is intent and visualization. Intent is when you want something to manifest and are willing to put all of yourself into it.
Visualization, simply put, is seeing the results you desire as happening right now.
You, your energy, ability and desire are what make your magick work. Period.
To help focus your energies, you can use helpers in the form of tools, herbs, stones, etc. Each has a unique energy of its own that can be used to strengthen your magick. This energy must be aligned with yours to make your magick work.
To empower an incense it is best to focus on your goal throughout the process of creating the mixture. Chanting is nice, it helps you focus. The ideal situation is to grow, harvest and dry your own herbs, then grind and blend your own incense. This is seldom possible for most of us. Therefore, the next step - empowerment - is the most important and should always be done whether you buy or make your own incense.
Methods vary. This is the one I use and it works well for me: I build my energy, and focusing on my goal, I hold my hands over/around the incense. Depending on the purpose of the incense, I may call upon the aid of guides, power animals, deities or any being of white light. I let the energy flow from me and through me and into the herbs until they glow. I usually state aloud or chant the purpose of the incense. When I feel the herbs have absorbed enough energy, I end my rite with "harming none, for the good of all, so mote it be" (this is kind of an insurance policy so I don't inadvertantly harm anyone.) I then thank those who helped me in this rite. Done.
Empowerment is a very important part in the use of any magickal *helper*. Without it, the energies of all involved are somewhat scattered. For magick to be successful, all involved energies must be focused on the goal. Be sure to empower your incenses; you'll feel the difference.
In any operation, magickal or mundane, intuition plays a very important roll. If you are making an incense for, say, protection and you see that Patchouli is used for this; don't just automatically add it. Think about it for a little. You may find that for you, Patchouli is better suited as a prosperity herb and not for protection. Find another that works better for you.
We are all different. Even though an herb has worked well for many over the centuries and has built up strong energy due to the beliefs of many, doesn't mean it will *fit* you or your purpose at this time. When you make a magickal herbal mixture, it must fit you to work well.
This goes for any of the attributes, such as gender, planet, element, origin. If you feel a certain herb should be added to your incense, add it. You're probably right.
Don't be afraid to substitute if you don't have the right ingredients for your recipe. When you empower your mixture, you will be aligning the various energies to your will.
A very old and wise herbalist once said *if you don't have the proper herb, any herb will do.*
It is your intent that makes your magick work, much more so than the ingredients used.
©1999 Ambrosia. All Rights Reserved. You may copy this text for your own personal use or for your personal web pages; however, you may not sell or otherwise use part or all for commercial or monetary gain without written consent from the author. This copyright notice must remain attached to any copy of this text. http://members.spree.com/sip/ambrosia
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