Many people have asked why we offer Shoyeido Traditional Japanese Incense on a Wiccan website. Why not use the "traditional" Wiccan incense that is found at several of the larger shops? Why use Japanese incense for ritual?
It might be surprising to some that traditional Japanese incense includes a number of ingredients generally associated with Wicca. For example, Sandalwood, Star Anise, Benzoin, Patchouli, Cloves, Myrrh, Frankincense, and Camphor are all ingredients found in Wicca, as well as in Japanese incense. All of these ingredients have been used for centuries by the Japanese, as well as by other cultures for their religious and other ceremonies.
It might also be surprising to find that of the general types of incense that are widely available, most are made with artificial fillers, chemical binders, bamboo cores, etc. Anything you add to incense, whether it be a bamboo stick used to dip the incense, salt peter to help it light, or chemical binders to hold your stick or cone together, changes the scent. It stands to reason that the more artificial ingredients one adds, the less "pure" the actual fragrance.
You may have noticed black smoke, strong smells, etc. coming from some types of incense. That does not occur with Shoyeido Japanese incense. The subtle but light and pure fragrance from the all natural ingredients used to create the joss sticks, the cones, and the powdered incense from Shoyeido make for an utterly delicious scent throughout the room.
We all have tales of walking into your favorite Pagan emporium and being literally bowled over by the smell of heavy (and often stale) Nag Champa clinging to every molecule of air. The sheer weight of the scent can cause headaches, nausea, or people desiring a rapid exit from the facility. This is not the kind of atmosphere most of us wish to create in ritual or in our living areas.
Traditional Japanese incense can be used even by those who may have sensitivities to other incense because it is all natural, containing no fillers, no artificial binders, and no bamboo cores. As the most common irritants do not exist in this incense, it can often be used where other types would cause difficulty.
Shoyeido's Zen incense line (Morning Zen, Sitting Zen and Evening Zen) consist of oversized 13 inch long sticks that burn for approximately 2 hours. They are the perfect way to ensure coverage for your entire ritual. Shoyeido's "Moon" series (New Moon, Crescent Moon, and Full Moon) are shorter and thinner sticks, that last about 1/2 an hour. The sticks can be used to correspond to the moon phases, or whenever the mood hits you. They truly are remarkable fragrances.
The granulated incense (Koh in Japanese) comes in three basic types that are each made from ancient recipes. They are meant to be used with charcoal, which releases the scent, rather than "burns the incense." Their pure and magickal flavor can truly transform a room from the mundane to the magickal in short order.
We hope that you'll decide to try our Japanese traditional incense. Let us know if you have any questions, or if there is any other flavor of incense you would like us to procure for you. You can see the Enchanted Works offerings of Shoyeido Japanese Incense at our incense link.