What Are Resins and Where Do They Come From?
Let's talk about resins! Resins (natural incense) were used historically in temples, ancient rituals, churches, and within daily home life. Resins are produced by trees and plants as sap, bark, or wood extractions that harden into the small chunks we see in the picture below. Resin smoke is used as a purifier of negative vibrations within a space, a messenger of prayers, a tool to access higher consciousness and ritual consciousness, as well as a physical medicine.
We can connect the use of resins to ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. We see them in tribal and indigenous cultures and as a major trade product in North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, bringing great wealth to Arabia. We see them smoked in the Hopi tribes and extracted in Thailand. fWe hear of frankincense and myrrh in the story of the three wisemen in the Bible. Egyptians used frankincense and myrrh as perfume, insect repellant, for open wounds, and for embalming. As Christianity rose, resins were banned throughout times of history and deemed as a pagan and unacceptable practice, though the Catholic Church continued to use them for sacred ceremony. The Vatican in fact stockpiled frankincense and myrrh.
Frankincense and Myrrh
Frankincense and myrrh are both revered as antiseptic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. This is why we see them used on wounds and inhaled. We see myrrh within natural toothpastes, as it has traditionally been known for its positive impact on oral health. Despite the influence of Western medicine, resins are still medically used within Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and aromatherapy.
"Recent studies suggest that frankincense may be beneficial to sufferers of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, osteoarthritis and collagenous colitis. Researchers have also discovered possible benefits of myrrh in the treatment of gastric ulcers, tumors and parasites," says A Brief History of Frankincense and Myrrh, a 2018 article.
In order to extract these resins, a long cut is made in a tree trunk and into the gum resin containers within the bark, where sap oozes out from and dries. The small balls/drops are then collected after approximately two weeks.
Using Resins in Sacred Ceremony
I believe resins are extremely relevant right now, as we are raising our consciousness, conducting sacred ceremony and clearing, and tending to our respiratory health. Magickal potential exists within these resins and I hope for this blog series to become a point of exploration for many of us to promote higher consciousness and health.
Earth Magick also carries other resins like arabic gum, benzoin of Sumatra, dragon's blood, and copal which I will discuss further in the upcoming weeks. For now, continue exploring by shopping online for resins, charcoal, and a variety of beautiful burners.
Source: Header Photo