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Books By Brook Blander.

Incense, Sage, and Good Vibes

 

I arrived.

I made it to Barcelona, Spain.

And now, there are things that must be done.

 

If this was going to be home for me, it had to be cleansed. The cleaning service had taken care of the dishes, the floors, the dusting. But somethings, I have to do and only I can do.

 

One of the very first, and most important, questions I asked the property manager before she left the apartment:

 

Which way to the nearest shop where I can purchase sage and incense?

 

 

She had a few ideas, one of which was not an incense shop but instead a shop that sold a lot of shirts and sandals and candles, etc. They were made from all “natural” (don’t ask me naturally what…I was focused on my own business) material. It was a cute store, but not what I was looking for.

 

I passed what would later become my quick grocery market. I headed out of the clothing/candle shop towards the nearest intersection and decided to just go left for no real reason other than it being one of two directions I could walk. It was at that point I jumped into the crowds of people I would later come to know as a separate world from inside my apartment when the doors are closed and refer to it as “outside”.  The direction I chose to “excuse me, excuse me” (which later, and quickly, turned into “perdóneme”) led to what would come to be the expensive grocery store I would occasionally visit for items that were a tiny bit more “American” and situated adjacent to small eateries I could visit before heading home with two to three bags of groceries. Not knowing what that place was on that first day, I turned right before I was completely in front of it. I chose to turn right simply because at my last big decision of direction shift, I chose left. There was so much absorb in those first few hours of that first day, I needed to keep things as simple as possible.

 

 

I was on a mission.

I needed to find incense and sage.

And once I turned right, I found them.

 

Natura | http://www.naturaselection.com/en

 

Low and behold, (why do we say that?) I walked right into this wonderful store and found all the sage and incense my little newly Spanish heart could handle. Natura was basically a bizarre of good goodness. Prayer beads, candles, buddha statues, jewelry, crystals, incense, and of course, sage. That’s the short list. For me…a little piece of comfortablehappyjoypeace. One word.

Burning incense and sage both have been a part of spiritual practices for thousands of years in several cultures. Aside from replacing foul odors with the pleasant smells of incense and sage, the smoke has been known to be a cleansing agent for negative and unfavorable energy. It actually, in new spaces for a person, such as moving into a new apartment, removes any residual energy of the previous occupants and welcomes the new person’s energy. For me personally, in my spaces, my own energy can often vibrate. Not good or bad, just unsteady. At times like these, I burn incense to settle the vibrations around and within me.

The smoke produced by burning sage and incense is said to be symbolic of the faith of prayers rising to heaven. Some people burn incense for many reasons: air purification, aroma, meditation, stimulate creativity, ignite sexual arousal…all of that. And more. Everyone has their reasons. For me, its meditative, cleansing, relaxing and other reasons based on the individual properties of the  incense itself. Oftentimes, I use sage and incense interchangeably based on what’s available to me at the time. I grew up by the curve of incense smoke. My love of incense originated in watching my grandma burn them for different reasons. There were incense for cleaning the house on weekends. There were incense for house parties. There were also incense for rainy days with windows and doors open. As a child, I did not know their meanings and depths, and though my grandma never explained those meanings to me in great detail because they were her own, she opened a path for me to discover my own reasons for lighting, waiting for the ember to catch, and then giving them my gentle breath.

 

So, I found my sage, my incense, and even a few sage incenses. From there, I was ready to begin my life in Spain…with cleared energy.

 

Favorite Incense: Mulberry, Sage, and Nag Champa

Sticks or Cones: Sticks

 

Do you burn incense? Sage? How often? Why? Is it family tradition/ritual? What’s your favorite scent? Sticks or cones?

 

 

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