1st Edition

The Incense Bible
Plant Scents That Transcend World Culture, Medicine, and Spirituality

ISBN 9780789021700
Published April 12, 2007 by Routledge
240 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Make a spiritual connection to nature with real, raw, natural incense

The Incense Bible is a comprehensive guide to the spiritual meaning of real, raw, natural incense and how to use it in prayer, meditation, or simply in creating a home environment to “reconnect” with divinity and nature. This unique book examines the spiritual and ritual uses of “pure” incense (not sticks, cones, or synthetic mixtures), explores our attraction to it, and explains how we can use it at home to increase wellness. Filled with easy-to-use references and easy-to-understand technical information, the book also looks at the use of incense in health and medicine, a history of its use in a variety of countries and cultures, and various types of raw incense, including eucalyptus, sandalwood, sweet grass, agarwood, frankincense, and myrrh.

The Incense Bible examines aspects of spirituality and religion, health and medicine, botanical medicines, ethnobotany, and history of real incense—not the low-quality, processed, synthetic fragrances most people think of as “incense.” This enlightening and entertaining book, written in everyday language and filled with photgraphs, examines why incense appeals to our sense of smell, of adventure, and of spiritual and physical well-being—and has for centuries. The book looks at the use of incense for purifications and cleansings, creative inspiration, meditation, worship and prayer, for inducing dreams and sleep, to improve learning and problem solving, and as a perfume for clothes, hair, and body.

Topics examined in The Incense Bible include:

  • types of raw incense, including balsam, cedar, mugwort and moxa, and white sage
  • safety
  • how the sense of smell works
  • the link between taste and scent
  • scent and memory
  • allergies and sensitivities
  • oils and flower essences for healing
  • how to make incense
  • incense materials and symbols
  • the use of incense in Egyptian, Greek, and Roman times, in Buddhism and Shamanism, in Israel, in the Catholic Church, in Native American sweat lodges, and in the African rainforest
  • and much more!
The Incense Bible is an essential resource for anyone interested in health and natural medicine, botanical medicines, and ethnobotany, and for anyone seeking to express their spirituality by reconnecting to nature

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. The Most Spiritual Use of Plants
  • A Worldwide Ritual
  • Honoring the Divinity in Nature
  • Unification of Mind, Body, and Spirit
  • What is Incense?
  • A Quick Tour of Incense History
  • Is Incense Safe?
  • Types of Raw Incense
  • How Can I Use Incense?
  • Chapter 2. The Sacred Sense
  • Scent Through Time
  • Scents in Ancient and Classical Times
  • Christianity and the Odor of Sanctity
  • The “Olfactory Revolution”
  • The Essence of Culture, Class, and Gender Differences
  • Seduction and Scents
  • Scents in Non-Western Cultures
  • Synthetic versus Natural Scents
  • How the Sense of Smell Works
  • The Link between Taste and Scent
  • Scent and Memory
  • Scent as a Direct Path to the Soul
  • Perfume and Fragrance Allergies and Sensitivities
  • Essential Oils and Flower Essences for Healing
  • Incense for Keeping Time
  • The Divinity of Scents
  • Chapter 3. The Pervasiveness of Incense
  • The Early Incense Trail in Egyptian, Greek, and Roman Times
  • Arabian Secrets
  • India’s Bridges to Inner Awareness
  • Following the Buddhist Path to China
  • Israel: Incense Arising From the Holy Land
  • The Catholic Church and Christianity
  • North America: The New World’s Indigenous Incense Traditions
  • Europe: The Old World of Incense
  • From the High Andes to Deep in the Rainforest: Incense Use in South America
  • Africa: The Origin of Man and Incense?
  • Chapter 4. Types of Raw Incense
  • Agarwood (Aloeswood/Jinkoh/Eaglewood): Promoting the Soul’s Development to its Highest Levels
  • Balsam of Peru/Balsam of Tolu: Two Soothing Incenses with Similar Names
  • Benzoin: A Sweet, Fast-Burning Fragrance
  • Camphor: Cool and Camphorous
  • Cedar: Helps You to Find Your Vision
  • Copal: Latin American Food of the Gods
  • Dragon’s Blood: Smoke from the Dragon
  • Eucalyptus: Beats the Toxins Out of You
  • Frankincense: The Choice Incense
  • Mugwort and Moxa: Protection and Medicine Worldwide
  • Myrrh: The Female Quality of Incense
  • Sandalwood: Sweet Sensuousness
  • Sweet Grass: A Braid to Attract Good Spirits
  • Vetiver: A Cool Relaxing Scent
  • White Sage: Big Medicine
  • Chapter 5. Bringing it Home
  • Making Incense
  • Forms of Incense
  • Some Incense Materials and Symbols
  • Chapter 6. Nature’s Divinity Awaits Us
  • Different Uses of Incense
  • Becoming More Alive
  • Appendix A. Resource Directory
  • Appendix B. Selected Experts
  • References
  • Index

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