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Author Topic: HEM Incense  (Read 5493 times)

Offline Biwimuti

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
HEM Incense
« on: April 16, 2015, 11:09:39 pm »
My conversion to Kemeticism was put on hold for almost a year due to mental health issues and hospitalization, along with family problems, so I've only just now gotten around to starting on the Prayerbook. I read that a lot of incense is impure due to dung and urea, and I was rather alarmed considering I just bought 120 sticks of HEM dragon's blood incense for offerings. I can't find anywhere that says if it's pure or not (even the thread dedicated to pure incense didn't help), and I was just wondering if anyone knew.

Thank you!
“My two mothers set a good example (for me).”

Child of Sekhmet-Hethert and Serqet-Aset.
Beloved of Khonsu, Set, and Wepwawet-Yinepu.

Offline Ha'autmuti

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 01:46:14 am »
A good rule of thumb is that Indian incense brands tend to be ritually impure for us, since Hindu purity rules are different and allow many ingredients that ours do not. Unfortunately, HEM is an Indian brand.

I recommend Nippon Kodo's Morning Star brand, personally. Japanese incense is almost always safe because conceptions of purity in Japan tend to be very similar to conceptions of purity in Kemetic religion. Morning Star in particular is usually pretty cheap, and the sticks are low-smoke and smell wonderful.

That said, what is and is not ritually pure only really matters for practices like Senut which have specific purity rules. I have a huge collection of incense from various brands, Indian and not, and I've presented it as an offering loads of times on my "casual" (i.e. non-Senut) shrine. It'd be inappropriate in a Senut context, but I've never had a problem with it in other situations.
- Ha'aut

"Joy of My Mothers"
Son of Serqet and Hethert-Nut, beloved of Mut and Nehebkau.

Teach me to speak with their voices
Show me the way and I'll try again

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 07:24:33 am »
Seconding Phoenix, Japanese incense is one of the best things you're going to find ready-made. Shoyeido ( ) is another fantastic brand of Japanese incense, and has a large selection of incenses and incense-related paraphernalia. They also list the ingredients they use in their various types of incense.

Greek Orthodox incenses (e.g. Athonite-style incense) are, generally speaking, also quality and safe choices, as the frankincense and myrrh resins and oils from fragrant woods held sacred within many Ancient Near Eastern religions are also employed heavily within the rituals of that form of Christianity. Greek Orthodox incenses are, like Japanese incense, among the least likely to be polluted by impure ingredients like cow dung as a binding agent. The same is true of a number of other Eastern Orthodox Christian sects and the incenses they use, though I would recommend never buying incense for which even a general list of ingredients is not provided by the maker/purveyor. There are a looooot of Greek Orthodox sites that sell incense, so do poke around Google sometime to find additional sources if you feel so inclined, but here's a decent place to start:

Additionally, you could always try your hand at making your own incense. There are Kemetic practitioners (usually of more Reconstructionist-oriented varieites) who make their own kapet/kyphi incense from scratch, most often based on ancient recipes from Edfu Temple and Philae Temple. Lise Manniche gives and discusses those and other recipes in "Sacred Luxuries," if you want to take a gander at them (there should be a preview of the text on Google Books; I own that text myself, but it's hard to come by nowadays. If you're lucky you might be able to buy it used on Amazon or something). Further, if you don't feel like making your own, I do know that such handmade Kemetic incense can be acquired through Per-Djeba's marketplace (, and the ingredients used in each item are listed. I used to know of some Kemetics (Orthodox and non-Orthodox) who made their own perfumes and incense, but most of them no longer have Etsy shops I can direct you to. Hopefully, if those persons are still active and are registered on the fora here, they will chime in on this thread.

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 07:32:12 am by Sarduriur »
"Endowed by Two Fathers"
𓁣 𓁠
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Herishef, Wesir-Narefy, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu

Offline Taqaisenu

  • Shemsu
  • Country: 00
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 07:33:10 am »
I wouldn't stress too much about if your incense contains ritually impure ingredients or not.  Your level of purity for your practices, and even for senut and other things, is really between you and your gods. 

I, like you, had stocked up on incense that I loved, loved, loved.  Then discovered it contained ritually impure ingredients around about the same time as the Beginner's Class, and I was like "oh no!"  But through meditation - and performing senut with that impure incense - I discovered that my gods really didn't care.  Not at that time, not in that situation.  I loved the incense, they appreciated it, too. 

When that stock of incense ran out, I did replace it with the ritually pure Japanese Nippon Kodo incense (of which I have a huge stock of which never seems to deplete no matter how often I burn a stick. I swear, it's like rabbits, multiplying in the cabinet when the doors are closed).   By this time, I had been in the House for some time, was practiced in senut and other rituals, and the gods decided I was ready for the next level of purity requirements.

So I say, even in senut, go ahead and use your HEM Dragon's Blood incense, if you enjoy it.  If the gods don't like it or want it, they will nudge you in another direction at that time. But I suspect that They will just be happy to see you and happy for the attention that They wont really give a fig about the potential impurity of your incense.
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
 - Groucho Marx

Sat Set her Hethert-Sekhmet, meryt Heru-Wer, Djehuty her Amun.
Fedw Diviner

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Offline Cin

  • Remetj
  • Country: us
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 08:25:35 am »
I will add another vote for Japanese brand incense, but for me it is because of my allergies. I find it doesn't tend to bother myself or my husband as much as other commercial brands. Less filler and junk in it I am told. Then I don't feel as bad when I am burning it in the house which is nice. Its hard to feel super spiritual when my eyes are burning and I can't stop sneezing. :)

Offline Maretemheqat

  • Rev Shauna - Ordained Clergy
  • Country: ca
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2015, 09:47:26 am »
Em Hotep,

Google is your friend. I was able to find the brand you are talking about, There is also their Facebook page too,

They make mention of using saw dust as a binder, rather than dung. If you are really that concerned, email them and ask. If you happen to find their ingredient list, look for things like Urea or animal based products.

I've also found a cached version of the forums,;wap2, where Niankhsekhmet explains the quality of HEM, with the caveat of "use what you can afford and obtain".

I second the idea of using it during non-formal meditation, or not during senut if you are concerned, but I don't think you'll be penalized for not having ritually pure incense at the moment.

I do second the recommendations for Morning Star and Shoyeido brands, and you can find them at the Nippon Kodo store:
They actually have a few brads I am pleased with: Kayuragi and Ka-Fuh, and I recommend Aloeswood and Hinoki (Japanese cypress, which goes really well with Wesir)  are two that I have and the quality is superb.

Hope this helps!

Rev. Mesetibes
Sat Heqat, meryt Djehuti her Ptah her Heru-wer
Fedw Diviner
2011 Wep Ronpet Frog Princess/
W'abet Nekhen Sha'a Sha'at Imef

Offline Bestekeni

  • Semer-Wati
  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2015, 10:02:51 am »
I'm seconding Taqai's sentiment.  Use the incense you have for now.  It is better to do senut with imperfect tools than not to do senut at all.  I know my gods don't have any issue with cheap incense.  Though they prefer it when I use the better kind, if all I have is suboptimal incense, they'd prefer senut be performed with it than no senut at all.
Fedw diviner for Bes
Sat Bes her Hekatawy Alexandros (AUS)
Meryt Heru-wer her Amun-Ra her Bast

Offline Arienihethert

  • Tawy Bak
  • W'ab Priest - Lay Clergy
  • Country: us
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2015, 12:00:19 pm »
It is better to do senut with imperfect tools than not to do senut at all.

True, true, true. I rarely get "yelled at" but when I do it's because I put off face time with the gods because I didn't have the "right thing." Worrying about purity to this extent when you aren't a priest and you're just starting out is, IMO, more generating of impurity than the incense is likely to be.
Look out the window. And doesn't this remind you of when you were in the boat, and then later that night you were lying looking up at the ceiling, and the water in your head was not dissimilar from the landscape, and you think to yourself Why is it that the landscape is moving but the boat is still?

Offline Katbast

  • Shemsu
  • Country: 00
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2015, 09:31:03 am »
I actually like the HEM incense. To be honest I hadn't actually thought about purity in my incense though maybe I should have. I say use up what you bought unless the Netjer themselves object and carry on from there.
Daughter of Bast, beloved of Sekhmet-Hethert and Wepwawet-Yinepu

(Bast's plan or Bast's device)


Offline Semaira

  • Shemsu
  • Country: de
Re: HEM Incense
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2015, 01:01:40 am »
Personally, I do use Indian incense. As far as I can tell, Ra is okay with that. I do have some Japanese incense as well, though. But it depends on you and your Gods, really.
Sat Ra,
Meryt Bast, Aset-Serqet, her Heruakhety

"Ra puts me in order"

The Sandalwood Hotel


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