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.

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


Nimue Pendragon
Nimue Michelle P4 years ago

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

Nimue Pendragon
Nimue Michelle P4 years ago

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

Krish S
Krish Away4 years ago


Sean Goldberg
Tonya lee4 years ago

Incense was the First perfume!

Marcel Elschot
Marcel E4 years ago

Thank you for sharing

gail d.
gail dair8 years ago


Carlotta F.
Past Member 8 years ago

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.

megan pinkerton
megan pinkerton10 years ago

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.

Alisha Thompson
Alisha Thompson10 years ago