The custom of incense

The rituals of incense have their origins with the Celts. In the mysterious time around Christmas and New Year, when the old has not yet completely said goodbye and the new has not yet really arrived, the tradition of incense supports our connection to the original and natural. Smoking has a cleansing effect on space, body and soul.

To give you an initial overview, I have summarized a few of the usual incenses with the corresponding instructions on how to smoke them. More information about the RauhnächteYou can find n and its meaning in my Rauhnächte Guide. Incense, protective and cleansing incense used to be an integral part of normal everyday life. The house and stable were disinfected in this way and the living environment was supposed to be improved by smoking.

This custom was called "Rachn go". It looked like this: The head of the family, usually the father, went ahead with a censer. The mother with the children followed him and together the protective custom for the house, the stable and the well-being of the animals was cultivated. When smoking in the Rauhnächten above all, the right incense is crucial.

Over the centuries, the tradition has been lost more and more, but it is experiencing a kind of renaissance in our modern and digitized world. It is the human longing for connection with the elemental power of nature and to arrive in the moment. Smoking is also about the right incense in the Rauhnächten. In this article I will introduce you to a few classics as well as more exotic variants.

Incense & the right incense in the Rauhnächten

Incense & the right incense in the Rauhnächten – How does smoking work?

The beauty of smoking at the Rauhnächten is that there are no fixed rules and you can intuitively decide how you want to smoke. Maybe you want to create your own ritual with your family and in this way the magic of the Rauhnächte create together. The Christmas season in particular can be challenging and stressful for many people.

An individual incense ritual can have a decelerating and calming effect. Whether together with the family or just for yourself - smoking can help you to consciously perceive the time between the years and to arrive in the moment.

Smoking with cast iron skillet

Of course you can also think about the traditional incense rituals. Clay or metal incense burners are commonly used for incense. Traditionally, you can also use a cast iron pan with a pan handle so you can carry the pan. The pan is filled with quartz sand. The incense charcoal is then placed on the sand and as soon as it starts to glow, you can place the incense of your choice. In addition to the right fireproof incense bowls, you need a pair of coal tongs. Alternatively, you can also use a simple incense burner with the appropriate incense sieve and tea lights.

According to old traditions, it is advisable to open at least one door when smoking, so that the "negative" energy can escape from the room. But what does "negative energy" mean in this context? The negative energy is not about something bad, it is simply the energy in the house or in us that no longer serves us and is therefore allowed to leave our own living spaces. Energy is like dry, broken ends of hair that we regularly cut off. Just as our hair shines in new splendor after a fresh cut, we and our living spaces can also be refreshed. For more modern rituals, it is advisable to also open the windows, but then the scent of the herbs does not unfold too intensively. That's why the motto applies here too: try it out, because every nose reacts differently to certain scents.

Find the right incense

Incenses that are good for you are best suited! Which scents and herbs do you feel particularly comfortable with? You can collect your own incense all year round or simply order an incense mixture of your choice. If you have put together your own herb bush, you can pick small leaves and twigs from them and use them for incense. For orientation, I would like to introduce a few incense substances and their individual characteristics.

Incense & the right incense in the Rauhnächten


Frankincense is said to have a strengthening and energizing effect. Frankincense is also said to bring blessings, which is why it is usually used on many occasions in the church. The frankincense can have a supportive effect, especially when you want more clarity in life. It can help to formulate your own wishes, goals and dreams.


Myrrh has a clarifying, disinfecting effect and gives inner peace. The traditional combination of myrrh and frankincense is said to bring balance to the soul and bless objects, rooms and gifts.


Sage is said to have a cleansing and soothing effect, which primarily takes place on a subtle level. Sage can therefore both balance your own energy balance and free rooms and buildings from unwanted vibrations. Sage can also have a supportive effect against mental blockages.


Angelica, also known as angelica, has a grounding, immune-boosting and calming effect as an incense. It promotes concentration and attention. When you feel lost in a murky haze of fuzzy goals and desires, an angelica incense can help you sort and articulate your thoughts and emotions. In rooms that cause an oppressive feeling, this incense can be used for energetic purification.


Juniper can also be used for cleaning fumigation in rooms. In the past, fumigation with juniper was primarily carried out to disinfect rooms and thus kill pathogens. You can combine juniper with sage, copal and spruce resin.


Thyme as an incense has a stabilizing and strengthening effect. If you long for more inner stability, then feel free to try incense with thyme. When incense with this medicinal plant, imagine a strong, stable back or a large, sturdy tree trunk that weathers all of life's storms with ease.


Styrax is often used as an incense in meditation. The spicy-sweet, balm-like intensive scent has a beguiling and relaxing effect. It is therefore ideal for evening smoking. Due to the relaxing effect on the nervous system, mental tension and blockages are gently released and nervousness reduced.

Palo Santo

Those who like it a little more exotic can also go to the holy Palo Santo in the Rauhnächten grab. Palo Santo are incense sticks made from wood found mainly in Mexico and South America. It contains a resin that smells sweet and warm woody when burned. Indigenous peoples have been using it for thousands of years and swear by the cleansing effect when fumigation. In addition, Palo Santo is said to give new strength and have a healing effect.  

Incense & the right incense in the Rauhnächten

There are many other medicinal plants and herbs that are used as incenserwendet can become. When smoking, it is important to be fully informed about the respective plants, their effects and side effects. Some incenses can be toxic, and in some cases mind-altering or hallucinogenic. Contact and/or inhalation may cause adverse health effects. The use of incense plants or incense substances is therefore always at your own risk.