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Incense Papers Incense papers are a delightful variation of combustible incense. Here, rather than using charcoal and gum tragacanth, tinctures and paper are the basic ingredients. When finished you'll have produced severalstrips of richly scented paper that can be smoldered with a minimum of fuss.

To make incense papers, take a piece of white blotter paper and cut it into six-inch strips about an inch wide.

Next, add one and one-half teaspoons potassium nitrate to one half cup very warm water. Stir until the saltpeter is completely dissolved.

Soak the paper strips in the saltpeter solution until thoroughly saturated. Hang them up to dry.

You now have paper versions of the charcoal blocks used to burn incense. The obstacle in scenting them is to overcome the normal smell of burning paper. For this reason, heavy fragrances should be used, such astinctures.

Tinctures compounded from gums and resins seem to produce the best results. I've tried using true essential oils with incense papers but without much success.

Empower the tincture(s) with your magical need, then pour a few drops of the tincture onto one strip of paper. Smear this over the paper and add more drops until it is completely coated on one side.

Hang the strip up to dry and store in labelled, airtight containers until needed.

To speed drying, turn on the oven to a low temperature, leave the door open, and place the soaked incense papers on the rack. Remove them when dry.

Generally speaking, incense papers should be made with one tincture rather than mixtures. But, once again, try various formulas until you come up with positive results.

To use incense papers, simply remove one paper and hold it above your censer. Light one tip with a match, and after it is completely involved in flame, quickly blow it out. Place the glowing paper in your censer and let it smolder, visualizing or working your magical ritual.

Incense papers should burn slowly and emit a pleasant scent, but again your results will vary according to the strength of the the tincture and the type of paper used.

Plain unscented incense papers can be used in place of charcoal blocks. For this purpose soak the papers in the potassium nitrate solution and let dry, then set one alight in the censer. Sprinkle a thin layer of the incense over the paper. As it burns the paper will also smolder your incense.

You may have difficulty in keeping incense paper lit. The secret here is to allow air to circulate below the papers. You can ensure this by either placing the paper on some heat-proof object in the censer, or by filling the censer with salt or sand and thrusting one end of the paper into this, much as you might with incense sticks. The paper should burn all the way to its end.

Incense papers are a simple and enjoyable alternative to normal combustible incense. Try them!

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