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Author Topic: Scented Candles/incense for those who cant smell  (Read 963 times)

MoetChandon

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Scented Candles/incense for those who cant smell
« on: June 24, 2013, 11:56:52 pm »
So, I have a sort of issue. I have something called anosmia, which means that I dont have a sense of smell. I cant smell anything, anything at all. Ive never been able to and almost certainly never will be able to.
This makes using scented candles/oils/incense really confusing. Because, really, the lavender candle in front of me could smell like burnt diapers and I wouldn't even notice the difference.
I guess my biggest question is that, is it really important to have certain scents in a ritual? Like, are those scents there to put the person into the right frame of mind to perform whatever ritual or meditation they are aiming to do? Or, are these things vital in summoning/contacting/aligning with whatever spirit or energy that you are working with?
If its to get the person in the right frame of mind...well then having a special fragrant candle isnt going to make me feel any different than a normal candle by scent alone so it would be kind of pointless. If its appealing to some outside force, then I could understand that they wouldn't solely be for me, but as a tool.
I would love to hear some opinions on this, its probably a pretty personalized issue, but I definitely thing its a relevant topic. It would be great not to have to go out and buy specially scented candles (and also have to ask someone what each candle smells like if they aren't labeled :(). So yea, I would really love some input on this!
Thank you!

Leanan Sidhe

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Re: Scented Candles/incense for those who cant smell
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 02:18:33 am »
Quote from: MoetChandon;113581

I guess my biggest question is that, is it really important to have certain scents in a ritual? Like, are those scents there to put the person into the right frame of mind to perform whatever ritual or meditation they are aiming to do? Or, are these things vital in summoning/contacting/aligning with whatever spirit or energy that you are working with?

 
Well, I do it for both reasons. I'll use candles or incense with specific scents to get me in the right frame of mind. I also use them if the scent or the thing is scented with is pertinent to the ritual I'm doing -- or associated with a deity I'm working with.

If you're doing it for the first reason, it doesn't matter so much. It's whatever helps you get into the right frame of mind.

If you're doing it for the latter reason, there are other options. You could use a candle that's the color associated with specific purposes/energies/deities. Or you could use herbs with those associations instead of candles or incense. Or you could even replace the candles with something else entirely, like gemstones.

IMO, and in my UPG, my deities would usually rather me do something that has meaning for me as well as them.
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Jenett

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Re: Scented Candles/incense for those who cant smell
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 07:53:05 am »
Quote from: MoetChandon;113581

If its to get the person in the right frame of mind...well then having a special fragrant candle isnt going to make me feel any different than a normal candle by scent alone so it would be kind of pointless. If its appealing to some outside force, then I could understand that they wouldn't solely be for me, but as a tool!

 
This is something where I'd see a difference between scented candles and say, incense, or using specific oils for annointing (you, a candle, an object.)

Frankly, scented candles have no part of my practice at all: many of the commercial ones rely heavily on artificial scents (which I don't care for anyway), and they're more likely to cause allergic issues, so I don't care to use them in group work, either. (And I usually want one, or maybe two, scented things in ritual, and that's going to be incense and maybe an oil for annointing something: I do not need to add candles to that.)

I usually use beeswax candles because I like the faint natural scent, but mostly because all the symbology of the materials is also lovely. (I tend to get them from small producers.)

However, incense has a scent, but it also does things in my ritual structure that are not solely about scent. (It is the mingling of air and fire in the blessing portion of the ritual, the smoke helps spread the blessing through the ritual space, and then we use it for one more specific piece just before the quarter calls where 'fire on the end of this stick' is a relevant focal point.)

It's also possible that - again, using natural incense bases, not artificial ones- that the incense would have a physical effect on you that might be appropriate for a given ritual, even if you can't smell it. (For example, some people use incense with herbs that help encourage divination or trance states.) That'd depend a lot on your ritual practice, etc.

The same thing goes for oils: if the main purpose is scent, I'd agree, find some other method of offering. But if the purpose has something else - there are magical or functional associations in the oil, then maybe you want to use it anyway, even though smell will not be a useful piece of it for you.
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Re: Scented Candles/incense for those who cant smell
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 08:09:54 am »
Quote from: MoetChandon;113581
I guess my biggest question is that, is it really important to have certain scents in a ritual? Like, are those scents there to put the person into the right frame of mind to perform whatever ritual or meditation they are aiming to do? Or, are these things vital in summoning/contacting/aligning with whatever spirit or energy that you are working with?


If it makes no difference to your perception, it will make no difference in the ritual. As far as candles are concerned, you can focus on colours instead of scents. Incense, on the other hand, is not all about smell; the smoke itself is important in some traditions (including mine), or it may be considered a necessary offering. I don't know if something that you can't smell can still irritate your eyes and/or throat, though I suspect it can, so you might want to consider that as well, if you choose to use incense at all.
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