Incense smoke ash meaning

What Can the Smoke and Ashes of Incense Tell Us?

Burning incense is a that has been around for centuries and serves many purposes for magic and spiritual practitioners of all faiths and religions. The burning of incense helps cleanse a space, set the right atmosphere for a ritual, and lifts up prayers and workings to higher powers. Whether burning powder, sticks, cones or resins, incense smoke and ashes can give help more than you know.

Incense Can Read The Energy Of The Room

Some practitioners swear by using the shape of smoke to tell when a space needs to be cleansed. To do this, hold a lit stick, cone, or coil in a draft-free room. The smoke will form a thin stream towards the ceiling if the energy in the room needs clearing. If the energy is positive and fresh, the smoke will form billows and clouds.

Incense Can Answer Yes Or No Questions

Libanomancy (also known as livanomancy and knissomancy) is the practice of using incense for divination. One of the easiest ways to get started with divination is with simple "yes" or "no" questions. Incense blends that contain seeds will produce a small popping sound as the seeds heat up and burst. Decide on a good number of pops for "yes" or "no," light the mixture, and ask your question. If you don't hear anything, the answer is unclear right now.

You can also read the smoke, by saying a few words and watching to see if it moves toward you or away from you. A simple spell for this might be:

"If my answer is yes, Rise toward me.
If my answer is no, Rise away."

Incense Can Show Whether You'll Succeed

Sometimes, a simple "yes" or "no" is not a good enough answer. In the past, smoke and ashes were used to predict everything from monetary gain to the outcome of a battle. Some ways to read the smoke of incense are:

  • If the smoke goes to the right and does not go to its left, you will prevail over your adversary.
  • If the smoke goes to its left and does not go to its right, your adversary will prevail over you.
  • If the smoke clusters: success. The man will enjoy profit wherever he goes.
  • If the top of the smoke is cut off: the man will experience hard times…
  • If the top of the smoke gathers like a date-palm and is thin (down) at its base: hardship will seize the man.
  • If the smoke after a while pushes through and gets out: the man will pull through hard times.

One of the easiest ways to divine using smoke is to look at the smoke as a sign of good things to come. If it moves toward the diviner, it is a sign of success, triumph, and luck. If it moves away, it is a sign of loss. The same can be done by seeing if it goes to the right or left -- if it's to the right ("dexter" in Latin), all will be well. If it goes to the left ("sinister" in Latin), there will be trouble.

Incense Can Predict Love

One of the most popular uses for divination with ashes was for romance. A young, unmarried person might draw lines in the ashes where they were sitting. If another unmarried person sits where the lines point, they are likely to be their future lover or spouse. In some areas of England, this was used on St. Valentine's Day to see who the diviner should woo.

Incense Can Warn of Good Or Bad Omens

Ashes can also be read by looking at the shapes they make when they fall. You can write out or say a question, light the powder and resins, allow them to burn, then examine the ashes afterward. If a breeze disturbs the ashes, look for any letters, numbers, or symbols that form. Some diviners spread the ashes out, write their question in them with a stick or finger, then leave them where a breeze can stir them. The next morning, they see what shapes remain.

It's important to have a clear question and open mind when using libanomancy. Reading smoke and ashes is often like seeing shapes in clouds -- signs and symbols aren't as clear as words printed in a book. With practice and a willingness to see, you can use incense smoke or ashes to answer any question you can think of.


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