How To Light Loose Incense: 5 Steps to Creating an Incense Ritual

How To Light Loose Incense. Lighting loose incense is one of the most ancient magic rituals which spans every country and culture across the world.

Burning loose incense is one of the most ancient magic rituals which spans every country and culture across the world. Unlike incense sticks, which most of us have used before, if you are new to the practice, it may be hard to work out how to light loose incense safely and with the ceremony.

In truth, burning loose incense is one of the most wonderful rituals to create transformation, clear energies and anchor your mind in meditation.

How To Light Loose Incense. Lighting loose incense is one of the most ancient magic rituals which spans every country and culture across the world.

What is loose incense?

Let’s start with the basics. What is loose incense?

Loose incense can be made from a variety of plants – combining resins. Leaves, barks, flowers, and roots. These plants are either kept individually in their dried form or ground together to create aromatic incense for ceremonial burning.

Ground incense can be made into a paste and stuck on bamboo to create incense sticks, or moulded into cones to burn. However, many loose incense blends are kept as whole as possible so that your burning ritual can connect directly with the plants.

Benefits of Burning Incense

Benefits of Burning Incense

Physical benefits

Many herbs have antibacterial and anti-viral properties that, when burned, can purify the air leaving it clean and fresh. Loose incense can remove bad smells, bacteria and mould spores, and dehumidify a room.

Mental health

The effect of good aromas has been shown to raise serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is considered a natural mood stabilizer and helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. It also helps reduce depression, regulates anxiety, and reduce headaches. I know it’s a stressful time for so many people right now. Using incense can help you maintain a balanced mindset and encourage stress release and relaxation.

Plant connection

Burning incense in ritual actively connects us back to the divine feminine energy of Mother Earth and her plant medicines. By directly engaging with the loose incense and each plant ingredient, we forge a better understanding and respect for the spirit of the incense.


Loose incense can be used in many spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, spell work, ceremonies, rituals, and healing work. It can clear negative energies, bring about positive manifestations and create a bridge between our meditations and desired reality.

Loose incense accessories

You don’t need much to burn loose incense in your magic rituals. The key is making sure you’re prepared and not going to set fire to your house! Loose incense burns hot and fast – so getting everything ready on your altar in advance makes your incense ritual mindful.

You will need:· Fireproof charcoal incense burner dish (ceramic, cast iron, etc.)· Charcoal disk· Charcoal tongs· Loose incense of your choosing (dried herbs, resin, powder, or blend)· Lighter or match

How to Light loose incense

1. Set up Altar
Whether you want to do a full loose incense ritual or simply make your home smell nice, we always recommend creating an altar. This is simply a sacred space anywhere in your home where you can add items that create magic in your life. Think crystals, plants, artwork, essential oils and talismans.

2. Burn the charcoal
When your dish is ready, take a charcoal disk and light the edge until you see the firelighter inside sparkle. Place your charcoal in the centre of the dish and wait for the edges to turn grey. If you place your loose incense on the charcoal too early, it will be too hot and your incense will burn too quickly. Make sure to keep a safe distance and use charcoal tongs to protect your hands.

3. Sprinkle your loose incense

When the charcoal is burning grey, pinch a small amount of loose incense between your fingers – taking time to get a selection of each of the incense ingredients. As part of your incense ritual, you may like to observe and smell the incense ingredients to connect to the plant medicines and spiritual attributes. Sprinkle your loose incense into the centre of the charcoal, being mindful to start small as it can get quite Smokey if you add too much! Keep your incense in a well-ventilated area to prevent smoking yourself out!

Tip: if you learning how to burn loose incense for the first time, try adding singular incense ingredients to the coal to understand which burn faster, smokier and more aromatic. For example, resins take longer and burn smokier but have a stronger aroma. The joy of burning loose incense is the power of alchemy you have with each blend.

4. Ceremonial Smoke Rituals

Now that your loose incense is burning, it’s time for the magic to begin! In magic spells, rituals, and meditations the element of fire is about passion, change, transformation and clearing space for the new. You can create a simple incense ritual by deciding what intention you have and what mantra (words) you would like to say to imagine this new reality.

By burning your incense in a mindful way, visualising your intention and saying a few words to welcome this change you are well on your way to creating a ceremonial smoke ritual!

A few examples of how you can use the loose incense smoke include:- Cleansing the room, crystals or yourself with the smoke- Burning healing plants and sending intentions of health and happiness to others- Gazing into the smoke and asking a question for guidance- Closing your eyes and focusing your senses on the scents of the plants- Capturing the incense smoke in a jar and placing a crystal or image for protection

5. Continue burning loose incense

You will not how loose incense burns quickly – with bigger chunks of resin burning a little slower. Each charcoal disk burns for about 45 minutes so that’s plenty of time to burn multiple loose incense blends. Have fun with it!

Test out which incense blends smell the nicest and the spiritual elements of each plant. Making sure to dispose of incense entails safety – never throw it into a bin when still burning hot as it could set fire to your bin!

Ready to give it a go? Our Loose Incense blends are mindfully handmade in Cornwall using high vibration plants for ceremonial incense rituals.

All our incense come with instructions on how to burn loose incense, and we also provide loose incense kits with everything you need to get started.

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