Yule Incense (Alban Arthan Incense Recipes)
Yule, Christmas, Alban Arthan, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa…. this beautiful time of the year is filled to the brim with celebration. For most people, the aromas and spices of the season trigger childhood memories of time spent with family and rituals passed down from generations passed.
From the nutmegs and cinnamons that warm us by the hearth, the sages and the all-spice that are added to holiday meals, the Frankincense and Myrrh that are a part of so many worship rituals, and the brisk scent of pine that pierces the winter air; the season is alive with aromas and scents that can be used to deepen our connection to spirit.
For me, Yule incense tends to send me right back to my childhood, when I was being toted to Catholic mass on Christmas Eve in my best winter cape and with the excitement of Santa Claus’s arrival in my mind. Christmas mass was always very much alive for me. I loved to watch the children at the altar who were dressed as kings, shepherds and mother Mary, and I loved the Chritmas carols that we sang. What I remember most about Christmas Eve masses were those few moments at the beginning and middle of mass when the priest would walk back and forth swinging that ornate and ancient-looking incense censer, as thick cream-coloured smoke billowed out from the sides and filled my mind with the intoxicating blend of song and incense. I loved those three kings for bringing that gift to mass every year.
The dots I love to connect for myself today, is that my childhood memories are based on the ancient story of Yule – when the goddess gives birth to the Sun King every year on the solstice. (Sidebar: did you know that decorating Christmas trees, gift giving, Yule logs and carol singing are all rooted in pagan tradition?)
So I lovingly delve into my own memories and pull out the sweetest ones as I rustle up my incense recipes for the coming Yule.
There are so many wonderful ingredients that can work for Yule incense, that one almost needs to make a few different batches to really take advantage of season’s aromas.
Pine and cedar as evergreen tree scents to remind us of the strength of nature’s magick, as she survives the harsh winter. The warmth of celebration, of friends family that can be smelled in cinnamon and vanilla. The sweet and musky scent of worship in olibanum, salt and frankincense.
Yule is rife with sweet-scented traditions, so I am going to log some of my recipes and ingredients here. (List will be on-going!)
Incense Recipes for Yule
The Yule Incense I used tonight at our solstice ritual:
- 1 part benzoin (I used half powder and half resin, although I think either way would work!)
- 1 part frankincense resin
- ¼ part palo Santo (broken into tiny wood chips)
- ¼ part myrrh resin
- 3 pinches of cinnamon
- pinch of dried mistletoe
- pinch of sweet grass
This incense was everything I hoped it would be. Subtle, magical, and with the sweet scent of Yule from my childhood. It felt soft and peaceful, and it was well received by everyone. It isn’t as strong as some of the other blends I do, which is perfect for indoors on a winter’s night. I put the ingredients in the mortar and pestle and ground them up before burning them using the charcoal method.
The next recipe I have on the go:
Yule Incense I have loved in the past:
(This one comes from Scott Cunningham’s book of Incense, Oils and Brews)
- 2 parts frankincense
- 1 part benzoin
- 1 part myrrh
- 1 part juniper berries
I’d love to hear your favourite recipes!
Enjoy your solstice aromas 🙂