black cast iron cauldron with a lit charcoal disc inside,  sitting on a wooden table in front of a white candle

How To Use Charcoal Discs For Loose Incense & Resins

Have you ever seen little bags of woods/resins and dried herbs in shops labelled "wealth" or "love" and wondered what exactly they were for? Chances are, if you have found us here, you already have an idea what these ritual incenses are, but maybe you are not quite confident to use them. Sure, many of them you can use as magickal herb blends and add them to sachet pillows or use them as a dressing in your candle spells when performing magick, however if you would like to know how to use them as an incense with charcoal, read on.. 

Why Use Loose Incense?

So, why should you consider trying loose incense blendsLoose incense has certain benefits that incense sticks do not have.
When using loose incense, you can get creative and make your own blends. Loose incense enables you to create your own incense scents using a range of readily available ingredients from your garden/ kitchen/ apothecary. You can find plenty of information online and in books that will tell you which herbs you can burn as incense and their properties. 
Loose incense allows you to create blends for a specific purpose. Incense sticks are very general and although they are a fantastic tool, they do not cover every situation. If you want to create a cleansing blend for flu season for example, you may want to make an incense with lemon myrtle and eucalyptus leaves (not something that usually comes in stick form). 

small cast iron cauldron with grey smoke billowing out of it, sitting on a wooden table next to a roll of charcoal discs, a white, lit, pillar church candle and frankincense granules scattered in front of the cauldron.

Burning loose incense looks cool! Whether you make your own loose incense or you purchase ready made incense blends, there is nothing quite as mystical & witchy looking than a tiny cauldron/ censer with smoke billowing out of the top of it.

How To Use Loose Incense - Burning Incense On Charcoal Discs

If you would like to use loose incense, all you need is some basic ingredients. First of all, you need the incense blend that you will be using. You can use herbs or resins that you already have or you can purchase prepared blends. Other ingredients you will need include:
    • a heat proof dish such as a censer, cauldron etc.
    • sand/ white ash for censers or some dirt
    • lighter/matches
    • charcoal discs
    • charcoal tongs (optional but very handy)
    • spoon/tweezers (again optional but handy)

How To Use Charcoal Discs To Burn Loose Incense

1. Hold the tablet with charcoal tongs to avoid burning fingers.
2. Light the tablet with a lighter or match

stainless steel tongs holding a charcoal disc

3. Slowly fan or blow on the tablet.
4. Using your charcoal tongs, place the tablet in an incense burner/ cauldron on a bed of sand/ dirt or white ash specifically designed for censers.
small cast iron cauldron with a lit charcoal tablet inside on a bed of dirt. Sitting next to a silver roll of charcoal discs and stainless steel charcoal tongs
5. When the charcoal tablet is fully ignited i.e.after the charcoal is aglow and stops crackling, you are ready to burn your incense.
6. Using a spoon or tweezers, place your resin/ wood/ herbs or loose incense blend on top of the charcoal disc, but do not smother it.
small cauldron sitting on a wooden table with frankincense burning in it, emitting grey smoke

Important Notes On Burning Loose Incense/ Resins On Charcoal 

There are a few extra steps to take when you are burning loose incense, than with regular incense, however if you like the ritual of burning the incense and creating your own spiritual/ magickal blends, it can be very well worth it, especially when you open yourself up to the realisation that many of your kitchen pantry ingredients can actually be used as incenses. Some of the key points to keep in mind are:
  • Make sure to store the charcoal discs in a dry place.
  • Always burn your incense/ charcoal in a well ventilated area free from draughts.
  • When selecting a location to burn your incense, make sure there are no combustible objects nearby.
  • Do not put too much loose incense on your charcoal disc- do not smother it (you can always add a bit extra later).
  • Do not leave burning incense or charcoal unattended.
Let us know in the comments section which type of incense you prefer. Do you have any tips on burning loose incense or favourite blends?
If you are looking to purchase charcoal discs, click here.
If you are looking for loose incense and magickal herb blends, check out our collection here.
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