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Spring Purification Ritual with Incense

Spring Purification Ritual with Incense

Many indigenous people know the power of natural incense as a means of purification, prayer, and transformation. As we watch incense smoke rise up to the realm of clouds, birds, stars, and sky, we canít help but be uplifted as we envision our intentions and prayers rising up as well. Here is a simple incense purification ritual based on native ways:

1. Choose 1/8 cup or so of any of the following, or use a combination:

Dried needles of–

Dried flowers or leaves of–

If no dried natural material is available, use an all-natural incense stick in a scent that is pleasing to you.

2. Find a flameproof container, such as an ashtray, and take it, some matches, and your incense to a place with adequate ventilation and a container of water nearby (just in case your flame gets out of hand).

3. Heap the dried materials you have chosen in the middle of your container, knowing that the ritual you are about to perform has been used by people for millennia. When you do this, you are making a connection to your ancestors, and to the traditional earth-based ways that have comforted and connected humans since before the dawn of history.

4. Make a clear intention, silently or aloud, for purification, a fresh beginning for this new growing season. Light the incense materials until they flame, then gently blow out the flame so that the incense smokes.

5. Visualize placing your deep desire for a clean start into the smoke. Watch it for a time as it curls upward. Imagine that the smoke is carrying your prayer to the sky, to the great Above.

6. When the incense has burned out (you may need to relight it a few times to accomplish this), give thanks, and use the ashes to fertilize your houseplants.

Read more: Guidance, Self-Help, Spirit, ,

By Cait Johnson, author of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air (SkyLight Paths, 2003).

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.

Go to the Source

Earth, Water, Fire, and Air

Essential ways of connecting to now


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1:17AM PST on Dec 28, 2013

I'm asthmatic, I can't have anything smoking near me.

1:16AM PST on Dec 28, 2013

I'm asthmatic, I can't have anything smoking near me.

1:02AM PST on Dec 28, 2013


12:57AM PST on Dec 28, 2013

Incense was the First perfume!

6:41AM PDT on Apr 12, 2013

Thank you for sharing

1:06AM PST on Feb 26, 2010


8:12PM PST on Feb 19, 2010

Thank you. Looking forward to this. I think we all need more rituals to bring the meaning of the cycles of life into our concious being.

10:18PM PDT on Oct 5, 2007

I am native american and we use dried sage.
It is easy. All you have to do is fing some wild sage, string it, and let it dry.

Pick a few leaves off the stem and roll it into a ball.

Place sage into an ashtray, or we use freshwater oyster shells, and light.

Walk around room or rooms and bless or pray out loud or to yourself.

When done use your hands to sweep the smoke over yourself.

Presto! You are done.

10:34PM PDT on May 19, 2007


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