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Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 4,461
Last seen: 8 years, 26 days
How to make your own Cone and Stick Incense (Using Entheogens)
    #3971634 - 03/26/05 08:54 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

(I will update this with pictures soon)
Here I will introduce the art of incense making to you. I just started doing this and am still perfecting my method but I think you will get the basic idea from what I present here. Using this method and a few basic ingredients you can create your own Stick and Cone incense. Making powdered combustable incense for use in charcoal tablets is pretty elementary so I will not cover that area here.

Basic ingredients used in this example:

1 - Dried datura metel leaves
2 - Gum Arabic Powder
3 - Potassium Nitrate (Hi-Yield brand Stump Remover)
4 - Clary Sage and Lavender Essential Oils
5 - Water

You may also benefit from the following Tools and items:

1 - mortar and Pestle
2 - Tablespoon
3 - Eye Dropper (For adding the water)

Additional or Alternate ingredients you may use:

- Any herbs.
:Herbs I use singularly are Datura metel foliage and flowers, D. stramonium foliage and seeds, Powdered Salvia divinorum leaf, Henbane foliage, Datura innoxia flowers, etc etc
:Combinations of herbs that I use are Datura innoxia flowers and Nicotiana rustica leaves, Wild Dagga - Motherwort - and Wormwood, Datura metel(stramonium) leaves - Henbane Foliage - Atropa belladonna foliage and Nicotiana tobaccum... etc

(I'm sure you are all very familiar with herbcraft and are completely capable of choosing and using your plant allies in incense making so i'm not going to get into much more detail here.)

- Aromatic Herbs, Gums, and Resins: There are many to choose from that are readily available such as Benzoin, Dragon's Blood (One of my favorites), Frank and Myrh, Copal (many types to choose from), Sandlewood, Holywood, Mints, Pinion Pine, Etc... There are lists available online... A fun and simple thing to do is take a resin like Dragons Blood , Burn it untill it liquifies then drip into powdered herb combination. As it solidifies roll it into a ball (be careful not to burn yourself..) you can make fun little incense balls very easily by doing this.

- Gum Tragacanth: Another Fixative Gum you may use instead of Gum Arabic. By what I understand, many prefer to use this instead of Arabic so if you can find it, go for it.

- Oil Paint Fixative Solution (Aka Spirit Gum): This was the only stuff I could find at first. It is a liquid solution of Gum Arabic and is sold in Art Supply stores as an additive to Oil Paints. A small bottle cost me $12 (which is the price for a pound of gum arabic powder) and it took about 1/2 bottle for each set of incense... so I quickly switched to Arabic powder.

-Charcoal Tablets: If you cant find Potassium Nitrate (Available as Salt Peter (Pharmacy) or stump remover (nursery) you can use Charcoal Tablets.. I started off using Charcoal Tablets and Spirit Gum to make my incense. You can powder the charcoal tablet and mix it with the other ingredients in place of P.N.

-Coffee Bean Grinder for powdering material

-Wax Paper for laying out and rolling incense into shape.

Now for the method. The way I do it differs from what I was taught to do. I originally learned to mix the Gum Arabic with water, then later add that to the incense mixture. However, i've found that adding all the dry material together first works best for me.

-I first rip the main vein or spine out of the leaves (assuming that you are using whole leaves), Then I powder the herb in the mortar and pestle.
-Next I measure out 3 tablespoons of this powder and set it aside. You may wish to use more though.
-The potassium nitrate is sort of hard to powder all the way, so take plenty of time grinding it up. Measure out one tablespoon finely powdered potassium nitrate and mix it with the 3 tblspoons of deveined, powdered leaves (or powdered herb).
-Now I add an equal amount (to the Pot. Nit./1tblspoon) of Gum Arabic Powder.
Make sure this is powdered as finely as possible and blended up nicely in the mortar or a bowl. You may add a few drops of the essential oil at this time. Only add a couple though because that will go a long way.
-After the ingredients are mixed up all nice its time to add the water. You only want to add a few drops of water at a time. In my experience it really only takes a couple drops with this quantity, if you use to much it usually wont dry right.. If you accidentally add too much, Add a bit more Gum Arabic. You can always add a few extra drops if it doesn't seem sticky enough. In this case I used about 6 small droppers full.
-I form them into cones by pinching them together very tightly, to keep them from crumbling, then rolling them against a flat surface to form the cones.

My signiture is to place Pinion Pine needles into the tops of the cones to make them look like little Tipi's. It gives them a nice starting point for being lit and is a fun characteristic that I like my cones to have.

Thats pretty much it, so light and enjoy.


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Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 277
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Re: How to make your own Cone and Stick Incense (Using Entheogens) [Re: Aneglakya]
    #3971965 - 03/26/05 12:20 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

This is great man. This is a new area of venture for both aromatherapy and ethnobotanical work . We have been working on some new resin blends but this brings a whole new catagory into play .
Good job man thanks for posting this up !!
I like the little Tipi's out of Pinion pine needles . Ill have to try that myself. :smile:
So literally you could use any ethnobotanical available, Though one would have to be careful when burning the herbs that are toxic and could cause impared judgement . BE SAFE !! BURN ON !! SP

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Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 4,461
Last seen: 8 years, 26 days
PICUPDATE: How to make your own Cone and Stick Incense (Using Entheogens) [Re: Aneglakya]
    #3971994 - 03/26/05 12:30 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Here are some pictures to help you better understand the method. I should also note that an easy way to make Stick Incense is to simply take a "Punk" Used to ignite fireworks, and add diluted essential oil to it, let it soak up the smell and light it. The Mixture made above to form into cones can be rolled into long "snakes" and an incense stick/shishkabob stick/very small dowel rod pressed into the center, or you can work the mix around the stick. My wife is a fan of the Squares. She enjoys making Sacred Sage Squares from Salvia divinorum and officinalis. She presses them onto Wax Paper and takes a small plastic box and cuts the squares (like using a cookie cutter).
Enjoy The Pictures

-> Stump Remover

-Ahah! Potassium nitrate. Nice

-> Ready to grind into Very Fine Powder.

-> Nice and Fine.. If you don't powder it enough chunks of it will end up in your incense..

->Gum Arabic Powder

-> Arabic + Pot. Nit. thoroughly mixed and ready to add Essential oils.

->Another Shot.

->Destemmed Dhutra leaves ready to powder and add.

->Adding water with a dropper.. Slowly adding one dropper full at a time, stirring, then adding more if nessessary.

->Ahh Very nice. Perfect consistancy. At first it didn't seem sticky enough, but after working with it, it seems to be perfect for making cones. Be sure to press the cones together as tightly as possible.

->Now Pinch this doughy green shit into triangles, then gently (using the palm of your hand), roll them into smooth cones on a hard surface like a tabletop with wax paper on it. Flatten the bottom and make sure there are no cracks in the side. You should be able to drop it on the tabletop and it not fall apart or crack in two.. The same is true for when it is completely dried and finished.

-> Here are my signiture Tipi's. I like to imagine a little family sitting inside the tipi, around their fire and the smoke escaping from the top. I'm working on a sort of "Brand" or Symbol to carve/engrave/or press into the finished Tipi's to signify that they where constructed by me... I hope that the pictures help you better understand the process..

Make sure that you thoroughly mix and powder the ingredients. If you don't it will not burn evenly. Its okay to have to relight it occasionally, but its nice not to have to.

->Here is an example of what happens when you don't powder the ingredients finely enough. Notice the little white chunks of potassium nitrate in the squares.


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Registered: 03/17/02
Posts: 4,461
Last seen: 8 years, 26 days
Re: PICUPDATE: How to make your own Cone and Stick Incense (Using Entheogens) [Re: Aneglakya]
    #3972038 - 03/26/05 12:41 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for that post ShamansPalace.. That is precisely what I am working on, expanding the realm of possibility for entheogen entheusiasts by applying other fields of interest to it like Art and practical objects.. I have recently began Making Glass Beads and have many interesting idea's for sets of beads to make. I am still perfecting my skills (and will be for many years to come) at making Beads and Incense but I will be sure to keep you all updated as I progress and answer any questions that I have to the best of my knowledge.

One thing that I ask and have been wanting for awhile... is to learn a few skills including Making Instruments such as Shamanic Drums and Rattles, dulcimers, Didgeridoo's(made some cool ones of various sizes from PVC) etc.. so if anyone can share some links or techniques to making instruments from natural products (or even not...) please share. I've found complex methods of making them but I would like to explore with more simpler methods. Crafts and Entheogens belong together. I like to listen to the amazing Tuva Throat singer Gendos Chamzyryn Aka GEN DOS (GENDOS).. I highly recommend this music to all of you. Please please please explore this music as he is a shaman, as was his grandfather, and a very respectable musician. Enjoy.


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Registered: 09/07/02
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Re: PICUPDATE: How to make your own Cone and Stick Incense (Using Entheogens) [Re: Aneglakya]
    #3972142 - 03/26/05 01:10 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Welcome back.

btw nice entrance.

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Registered: 08/02/04
Posts: 2,326
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Re: PICUPDATE: How to make your own Cone and Stick Incense (Using Entheogens) [Re: Aneglakya]
    #3974552 - 03/27/05 12:38 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

WOot!  This is an awesome post! Thank you Aneglayka for sharing your knowledge with this community. My friend was making her own incense some years ago, I wish she had some better resources to rely upon. Now I think I may have to try to make my own cones. :peace:

"This whole idea that different is bad, that a change in consciousness is in itself harmful, is really one of the fundamental problems inherent in the drug war.” - Rick Doblin
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- [Re: ToolTroll]
    #3980076 - 03/28/05 02:02 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)


Edited by pod3 (10/26/06 01:36 PM)

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Amazon Shop: Herb Grinder, Incense, Salvia

Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> The Ethnobotanical Garden

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