PSA: You don’t need charcoal to burn resin and loose incense.
For that matter, you don’t need a charcoal burner, tongs, sand, or the willingness to handle something that sparks and burns dangerously hot. You don’t need any of the things that every website insists you need to burn resin, herbs, or loose/granular incense mixes.
All you need is a tea light, aluminium foil, and a shallow (fire safe) dish.
Drape the aluminium foil over part of the dish and pinch around the rim so it stays securely in place. Turn up the inner edge or dent it a bit if you’re working with resins that liquefy when they heat up. Put the resin/herbs on the foil. Light a tealight and set it so the flame touches the foil (it doesn’t have to be completely underneath). Done!
My setup looks like this:
If you want, keep delicate herbs further away from the flame so they don’t burn until they’re acrid. Try to avoid touching the foil because it conducts a lot of heat, though I’ve never gotten an actual burn from it. Most herbs you can just brush off when you’re done and reuse the foil. If you’re using resin, some residue will probably remain after several uses and you might want to replace it if you don’t want a slight undercurrent of frankincense or whatever next time (or keep that piece of foil reserved for that specific resin).
This cost me nothing. It’s sturdy and I can’t knock it over accidentally. It’s not as smoky as charcoal methods because it doesn’t burn as hot, and if you arrange things right you can get scent with no smoke which is great if you’re concerned about smoke inhalation. I can just blow it out when I’m done. It doesn’t get the nasty smell that people complain about with self-igniting charcoal. Resins last a long time because they are heated gently and just ooze, solidify, and ooze again when reheated. It’s not as pretty as fancy burners but it’s safe, fast, and functional.
I never see methods recommended that don’t use charcoal, and charcoal burning just isn’t accessible for me. Hope this helps others having similar issues.
Most of the witchy pictures I see on my dashboard are the super beautiful, artfully arranged still lifes (lives?) that we know and love. But not all witchy aesthetics are photogenic! I think most of us, in some way or another, fit the Messy Witch type. These may or may not include:
Leaving the ashy remnants of incense in whatever it was burned in, until such a time as the incense burner needs to be used again
Half-empty teapots left out overnight
Unused “official” grimoire; “real” grimoire is a janky old notebook with notes and recipes scribbled hastily and almost illegibly
Seedlings growing in plastic solo cups
A fairly large tree branch sitting awkwardly in your closet, because you swear you’re going to make a broom one day
Notes, underlining, and sometimes scribbles in your favorite books
There’s no shame in not having a super photogenic, artsy brand of witchcraft! I want to start seeing photos of Messy Witch Aesthetic on my dashboard, too.
So reblog if you’re a Messy Witch, and add your own mess!
Keep your fortunes from fortune cookies!
-put them on your alter as either prayers or offerings.
-burn them as spells
-turn them into Sigils.
-Sit them with an incense burner, so when the smoke flows throughout the room, the intent of the fortune goes with it.
So today I went to 5 or 6 thrift shops looking for an essence burner in order to use it with resin incense (still don’y know if it would work). I was at the 4th shop looking at jars and the owner comes from behind me and tells me “if you’re looking for incense burners they are this way”.
I’m gonna start posting Witch tips for people who don’t have a whole lot of money if anyone has suggestions, let me know.
So tip #1: making your own incense
I don’t always have enough money to buy incense, the only shop in town that sells it is a smoke shop that you can’t enter unless 19+ and they sell it for ten bucks for like 3 sticks. Plus, the incense is loaded with perfumes and chemicals which just aren’t my thing. So I’ve started making my own. It’s sooooo easy and most online tutorials are super expensive and complex.
*Crushing your herbs is optional
In a bowl, mix together the following ingredients
•dry (crushed) herbs of your choice (you can Google what kind of herbs to burn) I chose lavender, chamomile, and rosemary.
•honey (keep mixing in more honey until herbs create a thick paste)
After mixing, form into balls or cones and create a flat base.
Leave balls/cones to dry out for a few days.
Then once dry, place in incense burner and burn.
(Bonus, these last longer than the sticks and once it’s fully burned you can make incense with the ashes)