Create Inspiring Aromatic Experiences for Your Craft
by Carl F. Neal
|Publisher:||Llewellyn Publications (March 8, 2012)|
Reviewed by Frater U.I.F.
Incense Magick by Carl F. Neal presents a full history and a modicum of general information on Incense and it's use and place in ceremony. Mr. Neal begins at the beginning and introduces the book with a cultural history of incense from around the world by describing ancient incense traditions of Asia, Europe, Rome, India, Tibet, Japan and the Americas. The author is extremely knowledgeable about the subject and is able provide some interesting information on the subject that would not be known by the uninitiated. One such example is the fact that incense had been used for timekeeping in Asia. The author provides interest throughout this work utilizing his extensive knowledge to enliven what could be a rather bland subject.
A lot of time is spent in this book describing various methods and tools for burning different types of incense. While much of this is of little interest to the common reader, it does give one a respect for the extent of ceremonial use of fumigation. The tools and process of Japanese incense ceremonies match and even may exceed the beauty and intricacy of their tea ceremonies. The description of the respect given to the burning and sharing of incense in other cultures does serve to increase respect for the subject and sanctity of incense in general.
Along with history, practice and a full accounting for the various types and styles of incense, the author provides a list of typical ingredients along with magical correspondence and understanding of the use of each. He does also occasionally provide some very unique and interesting notions on various ways that incense can be used in modern and western ceremonial Magick.
This is overall a concise and complete beginner's guide to incense. While it does not provide much to inform the reader on how to create homemade incense, it does provide a wide range of information on incense and variations in it's current and historical use.