For thousands of years incense has been used in rites, incantations and acts of magic that change beings from ignorant to enlightened. Incense purifies a room, transforming it into a sacred space, a replica of life at the primordial beginning, fresh from creation at the center of the world.
Incense also stimulates liberation of the subtle body. What might that be? First, let us light the aromatic embers and purify our minds. Many of us are most accustomed to incense sticks, which are inexpensive and burn for a long time. The wood, however, affects the potency of the incense, which becomes like a mere drop of eau-de-parfum diluted in an atomizer of alcohol. Cones burn more purely, but are held together by binders and fillers that reduce their potency like Samson after a haircut.
Only as resin does incense begin to resemble the form used by the ancients, but burning it requires wafers of charcoal and a censer to carefully contain the heat. In its purest form, incense comes as a powder that is costly to thy purse, but a fair fare for passage to the beyond. A teaspoon of powder burns with little smoke, and inhaling it is like breathing in the very ether itself, perfumed with secrets of the invisible world. Here one slips into pranayama, the ancient Hindu science of the breath, completely relaxed with just a quivering stimulation of the nerves at the tip of the nose. This is a subtle breath that works not upon the physical body, but rather upon a secret channel connecting the nostrils to the invisible energy field of the astral body. To experience this manner of breathing is to develop direct knowledge of one’s true essence as a spiritual being animating a bodily form.
Where does one find such precious powder? Get thyself to San Francisco, and be sure to wear flowers in thy hair. There, at the city’s supreme center, resides a metaphysical shop known as The Sword And Rose, where sacred knowledge is protected in an age of darkness and ignorance. As with all purveyors to witches and wizards, mages and sages, the shop is located in a spot that is inaccessible to the profane but not the wise. Begin in the park and proceed to the Valley Of Four Letters. Following in Carl’s footsteps, the seeker will find the gateway to a White Palace opening upon a secret garden, beside which stands a door. Knock and it shall be opened.
And if the guardians of the sacred powder ask what brought you there, tell them it was the breath of the Spirit.