Tuesday 9 December 2008

(Not) burning the witch

No, I'm not talking about persecutions, I'm talking about unfortunate incidents.

I have a fear of incense burners. They contain lumps of burning charcoal and red-hot resin and during pagan rituals get wafted around in dark rooms full of people wearing floaty flammable robes or stark naked with their tender bits exposed. The potential for accidents is high.

A friend told me about something that happened one Yule at her coven. She was carrying an incense burner around the circle. The metal bowl was suspended on metals chains and she was waving it to and fro to purify everyone with fragrant smoke. She approached the High Priest, who leaned forward as she swing the burner enthusiastically. A burning coal jumped from the dish and landed on his private parts. The scent of rich incense was replaced with the sulfurous aroma of burning pubic hair and the gentle words of the ritual were drowned out with the High Priest's screams of pain.

The Yule ceremony quickly came to an end with calls for cold water and the first aid box.

Ever since hearing that tale I have been very wary of incense burners and also on the lookout for the perfect one. It needs to not only look good on an altar but should be safe when carried around. Something with a good cover and heat-proof legs and handle would be ideal.

Sadly, those I've seen for sale seem to be either the kind suspended on chains, like the example in my cautionary tale, or really just designed to stand on an altar and not be carried about at all.

If anyone knows where I can buy the perfect incense burner, let me know by leaving a comment below. I'll certainly add it to my wish list.

The example in the picture above, which is one of the best I've found even if it isn't perfect is a Two Tone Incense Burner, available through Amazon for £16.95.


Anonymous said...

Good post (and funny, too--or not, if you were the High Priest). No need to harm yourself for the sake of any ritual!

Badwitch said...

Indeed! I'm all in favour of "...an it harm none."