Making Your Own Spirit Summoning Incense

Originally published on the blog of my brick & mortar site, The Kindred Cauldron, on October 27, 2021.

Necromancy is a scary word for those who don't understand it. It conjures visions of the dead rising from their graves and corpses reanimated, sent on malefic undertakings of dark means.

But the necromancy most Witches practice is much more common and far less grim. Speaking with the Spirits, for example. Anytime we speak to our Ancestors, Beloved or Mighty Dead, we act as a necromancer. We don't need to raise the body to summon or communicate with the deceased. Nor do we need their physical form to carry our spells, provide protection, or lay down baneful works against another. Their Spiritual form and presence is often more than sufficient to establish a connection, communication and a working relationship.

Calling on Spirits can be tricky. It's best to treat Spirit-work the same way you would a guest in your home. You probably (hopefully) wouldn't invite a stranger inside unless they were accompanied by a known and trusted acquaintance, friend or family member. At the very least you would have friends-in-common. Calling in unknown Spirits is risky just like it is with strangers on the physical plane. It's best to stick to Spirits you knew in life when starting out. A parent, grandparent, close friend or relative, for example.

The reasons you would want to summon a Spirit are many and varied. Your reasons are your own and need no justification. It could simply be to visit with a dear loved one, or it could be to assist you in a scheme of vengeance against an enemy. Whatever your reasons, be sure you know how to banish anything you decide to summon before you get started. While there's no need to fear Spirits, you want the ability to make them leave if or when they wear out their welcome. A dependable stand-by is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or the LBRP.

Here's a Spirit Summoning incense I like to make. You can modify it as you see fit. I make it a little different each time because I tend to go with what feels right at the time. You do you. Be clear who or what you want to summon as you burn the incense. A general or open invitation is not what we're going for here. This is an exclusive, VIP, invite only gig.

This is a good base and can be burned on its own. Equal parts:

  • Benzoin Resin or Mastic Gum

  • Dittany of Crete

  • Dandelion Root

  • Mullein (or a small pinch of graveyard dirt)

  • Yarrow or Mugwort

  • Poplar Bud (optional but I really like it in my Spirit blends- they can be burned fresh or dried, so can be wildcrafted the same day you make this blend)

I prefer a more rustic, course grind for most of my loose incense. You can also ground this to a powder if you like that better. Both work just fine. The powder will throw up more smoke and burn more quickly. The more course the grind the longer the resins will have to diffuse. Store unused blend in a lidded glass jar and label with the contents and date.

To this blend, you can also add one or more of the following to customize and enhance it further. These do not need to be equal parts- experiment and adjust to your preferences.

  • Copal (especially if your people are Indigenous or are culturally connected to the Southern US, Mexico or South America)

  • Honey**

  • Red Wine*

  • Rose Petals

  • Tobbaco

  • Wormwood

  • Rosemary

*When adding honey or wine, or any 'wet' ingredient to an incense, it will need time to 'cure' if your goal is to burn the incense over a charcoal disc and/or indoors. Any liquids like wine will need time to evaporate. Add just a small amount- if your dry blend gets too soggy it may mold or go bad before it has time to dry out. Start with just a drop or two and add more if needed.

Wine is largely still water, and doesn't have enough alcohol content to burn well as a liquid incense.

Honey can be added a little at a time until the mixture becomes crumbly when mixed while still maintaining dry parts. When it's cured, the honey will have dried and turned hard(ish) and can be broken off into small pieces for burning.

A wet incense can take a week or more to be ready. Plan ahead.

**A honey incense blend can actually be burned right away if you don't want to wait, however I have found sometimes the smell of burnt sugar overpowers the other scents and notes of the incense and detracts from the energy I am trying to achieve.

Play with your ingredients and ratios, especially the add-ons. Let yourself be guided by intuition and Spirit. Make very small batches to start with- try them and adjust until you find what you like. 1-part can be any unit of measure- it can be a pinch, it can be a teaspoon, it can be a cup. Equal parts means use the same unit of measure for all the ingredients, however this is not at all an exact science, so feel free to modify as desired. When you're happy with what you made, write down the exact ratios and ingredients used in your BOS, grimoire or magickal journal for future reference and so you can duplicate it the next time you wish to make it.

When ready, sprinkle over a ritual fire or add a pinch to a pre-heated charcoal disc. As the smoke rises and moves in the space, call for the Spirit you wish to see or contact by name or title if you don't know or feel comfortable using their proper name.

Samhain is an auspicious time for Spirit Summoning, but keep in mind this work can be done anytime during the year.



New to Witchcraft?

Sign up for my FREE

Journey Into Witchcraft course!