Beliefs Behind Incensing

Centuries ago before Christianity, incense was regarded as something valuable even more precious than silver or gold. These were made out of several herbs as well as spices. For almost all beliefs, these herbal incense, aromatic oils, leaves, as well as powders were said to be gifts from the gods. For instance, frankincense was used in great amounts by the early Persians, Egyptians, Assyrians, and ultimately by the Romans.

Historic proof indicates that the burning of incense was intended for sanctified or healing reasons. It was deemed that by burning these aromatic or scented elements could be considered as an offering to the gods. Moreover, they also believed that this would bring their wishes and petitions to the divinities as well.

Smudging as a Religious Belief

One practice used by several various beliefs is known as “smudging.” Smudging is purification or cleansing through smoke. North American Indians, for example, during rituals would burn a combination of herbs to purify, cleanse and heal.  Bundles of the herbs would be secured together and burned, these are termed as smudge sticks. Burning this consecrated herbs would chase off undesirable energy and rebuild balance. Popular herbs used for smudging are cedar, sweet grass, sage, and tobacco. Today in Native American ceremonies, smudging is still made use of.

In several Christian religions today, incense is still utilized. The Roman Catholic Church still uses it during particular rites and ceremonies. But, for some time the Western Church ceased the utilization of incense for the reason that it is linked with pagan worship.

In the novel, The Kingdom of This World, Soliman recommends Pauline fumigation to safeguard against Yellow Fever.  In addition to prayers, it included the use of incense, indigo, lemon peel. In the novel, this was noteworthy since Pauline distrusts the European doctors who she alleged could do nothing.  It reveals that she trusted Soliman and his Voodoo way of curing. This is by means of incense and prayer which would have been principal to his Voodoo beliefs and daily life.

To this day, incense is still used to cleanse the atmosphere, speed up healing, ease insomnia, kindle and restore energy, and make the mind and body ready for prayer.