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Article: Smoking with local herbs around us

Räuchern mit heimischen Kräutern

Smoking with local herbs around us

Prayers, wishes and requests for protection to the gods

Smoking with local herbs and tree resins has a long tradition all over the world. From Egypt to Tibet, from North America to Europe, there is no culture or religion that does not practice it in some form. Depending on what is used to produce the fragrant white smoke, burning it is said to release essential oils with a variety of effects. As part of spiritual and religious celebrations, the human mind is opened and freed from negative thoughts. Relaxation and cleansing of the senses as well as the release of blockages and negative energy are other desirable side effects. The indigenous peoples of North America and Canada in particular also used this practice to dance or sweat themselves into a trance, as some herbs have psychogenic effects.

Smoking with local herbs and plants

Smoke: Message upwards for all senses

It is no longer possible to determine who originally invented smoking. But we can find out why:

Herbs are medicinal

Every resin and herb traditionally used for incense has at least one healing property for the body or soul . They are therefore particularly valuable offerings that people have lit in exchange for the protection of the gods and nature spirits .

With me you can find sage incense bundles or mixed incense bundles . The herbs for these come from my garden or the surrounding area.

Smoking with local herbs and plants

Smoke is visible over long distances and rises steeply upwards

Despite all the spiritual grounding, the external effect of such rituals should not be underestimated. The beliefs of all our ancestors about the afterlife and beliefs have always seen the divine in heaven . So anyone who wants to speak to it, ask for something or appease it must orient themselves upwards. The white smoke produced by the burnt herbs rises vertically when there is no wind and takes all prayers and wishes with it to its destination.

The scent exudes magic and opens all senses

Whether it's fragrant tree resin, frankincense or bundled and dried herbs: once lit, the essential oils they contain do not fail to have their effect. Some herbs have a calming and relaxing effect, while others can sharpen our senses and help us think clearly. Some trigger visions and even hallucinations, which in earlier times was a popular way to look into the future or to give warriors the courage they needed before a battle.

Smoking with local herbs

From the womb of Mother Nature into the hands of the gods

By burning incense we also close the circle of life . By taking medicinal herbs and other natural essences from the primordial mother earth and feeding them to the purifying power of fire , we are not only making a valuable sacrifice. As the column of smoke rises upwards, we close the divine circle of all life on this earth. What ritual could be more powerful to appease the higher spirits or to make specific requests to them?

Why the smoke of dried leaves still works

Here in Europe, according to Roman sources, the Germanic and Celtic tribes already practiced incense rituals. However, since these peoples had no written language and the Druids, as the Celtic shamans were called, passed on their knowledge exclusively orally, little is known about it. The fact that cleansing with incense and dried herb bundles is still practiced with great seriousness in some areas of Austria and Germany today speaks for its enormous importance in popular belief. Not even the Catholic Church has succeeded in its attempt to banish incense from people's homes and to secure the church's exclusive right to it. Anyone who does not want to deny themselves and their loved ones the protection of the gods or the one God should at least observe the 12 Raunächte.

The 12 Raunächte: Time that falls outside the norm

Fortunately, smoking has not lost any of its popularity in Austria and the entire German-speaking region. Even people with little spiritual or religious inclinations still practice this custom. Originally, in our latitudes, it served to put an end to winter and its demons. Over time, the purpose of smoking was broadened to cleanse the house, yard and stable of bad energies and evil spirits of all kinds. This also included those of the deceased who simply wouldn't give up as revenants. 12 fixed days a year have been established for this, which were once out of the ordinary in the truest sense of the word.

Smoking with local herbs and plants around us

With the power of living leaves against dead days

Originally, the year consisted of 12 lunar months, which, however, only included 354 days. With the change to the Gregorian calendar, which is still in use today, 11 days and 12 nights suddenly remained. According to tradition, such loose days brought bad luck. In popular parlance, they were even known as "dead days", on which the laws of nature were suspended and the dead could mingle with the living just as easily as evil spirits. To prevent this from happening, incense was burned on 12 selected days. These were usually the days from December 25th to January 6th. However, there are regional differences and deviations here. The originally pagan ritual was skilfully combined with the Catholic festival calendar, which both sides could live with. The most important rule on these days: do not leave laundry hanging on the line! The evil spirits of the dead use them to make shrouds for the living. And the demons and negative energies could get caught in it, making it impossible for them to leave the house.

Smoking with local herbs

Not all incense bundles are the same

Basically, almost all of our local herbs are suitable for smoking. Dried and tied into handy bundles, most of them give off a distinctive aroma and the desired smoke is also inevitable. However, one herb has established itself over the centuries as the king of smoking herbs: sage.

Smoking with herbs - sage


It has a strong aromatic and unmistakable scent when fresh or dried. Its smoke cleanses the mind and body, but also the atmosphere of rooms. It removes ballast from every human aura and can unravel stubborn feelings. It drives evil thoughts and spirits out of the body in an instant, which is why it was also used in the past for exorcisms. The perfect beauty of its leaves shows, leaf by leaf, the artistry of nature, which I try to capture in the form of leaf jewelry. In this way, handmade jewelry builds a solid bridge between spirituality and everyday life.

Smoking with local herbs | Mugwort


It makes us feel connected to Mother Earth and its bittersweet, earthy aroma provides a calming effect. Effective against demons, it also offers protection by strengthening one's own intuition and directing consciousness to the essential things. It is the ideal herb for women against many ailments, but also strengthens the feminine sensuality.

Smoking with local herbs | Lavender


Its scent is intoxicating and has always had a reputation for attracting good and keeping evil away. It calms the mind and provides clarity. Where there is conflict, its smoke brings peace and harmony. It has a cooling and calming effect on heated tempers.

Smoking with local herbs | Lemon balm

Lemon balm

Its lemony scent provides confidence, promotes friendships and helps against heartbreak. Lemon balm is particularly recommended as a protective herb on the solstice days.

Smoking with local herbs | Mint


If negative energies have manifested themselves in rooms or in people's hearts, the smoke of aromatic mint is the effective remedy against it. Its typically fresh scent also has a special effect when used as incense. This provides clarity and allows barriers in the mind to disappear. Its protection is particularly effective against demons that play on people's fears about the future.

Jewelry made from herbs and leaves

Leaf decoration as a year-round talisman

For those who want to integrate the beauty of nature, the healing power of its herbs and the magic of botany into their everyday lives, handmade jewelry is the ideal solution. The beautiful leaves with their sensual veins are artfully crafted into exceptional pieces that stylishly combine the vitality of the leaves with their mystical charm.

Read more about jewelry and nature

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