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purification: pine, frankinscence and myrhh

February 24, 2008

Following our smudging ourselves and the house with white sage on the eve of the lunar eclipse and embracing our house with a circle of protection (a smudged string we encircled out house with), the following day I burned pine incense and Tibetan Purging Incense Powder, then, on the advice of Lucy in the Sky, I learned how and why to burn frankinscence and myrhh on the third day.


I knew frankinscense and myrhh were biblical–that the Three Wise Men or Kings had brought gold, frankinscence and myrhh to the baby Jesus when he was born but I had no idea what they were or what they looked like or what to look for. As a child I thought they were some rare exotic magical substance. Now I know that both are resins made from saps of trees–incisions are made into the cambion layer, the living layer between bark and hardwood (deadwood) which encircles the tree. Sap, the tree’s blood, oozes out to harden into a resin, a hard substance that will melt when heated, and in melting, releases scents which go directly through our nostrils into our body, our lungs, our hearts, our bloodstreams, and which we eventually breathe out through the pores of our skin.

It is a long and amazing story but it worked out that Lucy happened to have the keys to a store which carried what I needed. She let herself in, found what I needed, figured out the price and the tax, found a blue velvet bag to put the resin in, and away I went. The nuggets are small, about the size of you littlest fingernail. But what to do with it?

On an abalone shell which had belonged to the grandfather of one of closest friends and former housemate here, I put Three Kings charcoal and resin on top, then I lit the charcoal. (You can also light the charcoal and then put the resin on top). I put a few nuggets of each on top, and as they burned down, I added a few more. (Side note: the charcoal powder created by the resin was used to make kohl eyeliner! I haven’t tried this yet.) I smudged the outside of the house first, from bottom to top, with extra care on all the windows and doorways, then the inside. Before we went to bed last night, I burned a bit more.

Since burning, cleansing and purifying with the sage, the pine, the frankinscence, and the myrhh, my bouts of sleeplessness, my dreamless stressful nights have been transformed…I am tired, sleepy when I should be, and my mind my body relaxes into a dreamful, restful, problem solving sleep.

and then this morning (Sunday) we went to church!

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