Smudging Sticks Vs. Resin Incense
The practice of smudging herbs and resin as incense has been around for thousands of years. Nearly every region and culture understand that plants are powerful, and one can derive different benefits from the different parts of plants. That goes for smudging plants, brewing teas, or massaging oils.
Have you ever found yourself lost between using a smudging stick or resin incense as a cosmic enhancer? Don't worry! We've all been there in the beginning. We read so many nice things about everything we cannot decide which to try first. It is not uncommon at all.
To understand which is better, you must know that the answer is different for different people.
This article aims to help you understand the differences so you can choose for yourself based on your priorities. So, without further ado, let's get into the differences.
When it comes to cost, resin incense is far more expensive than herbal smudging sticks. That is because the harvesting process of resin incense is time-consuming and requires manual labor. The resin is drawn out from the tree through hand-made incisions in the bark. The workers must ensure the trees are not too badly hurt and continue to thrive. Trees that produce true frankincense, myrrh, or dragon's blood are endangered or protected species. Their use and sale are regulated, which drives up the price.
Of course, the results and effects of burning resin incense more than make up for the money spent. In fact, a little goes a long way, so they last you a while. On the other hand, smudge sticks are more accessible to source, which is why they are more budget-friendly.
However, smudging sticks come in different grades, which can wildly affect their impact and power. There is no comparison between a smudge stick made in a plant with local herbs harvested by a mechanical chopper and a hand-crafted smudge stick made from sustainably harvested genuine herbs from their native land. So don't waste money on cheap sticks that lack any essence or soul.
Method of Burning
You can hold burning smudge sticks in your hand or a smudge bowl. On the other hand, resin incense requires a proper smudge bowl with a grill or filled with gravel to allow oxygen to flow from all directions. Resin incense also needs charcoal to burn correctly. So you can say that burning smudge sticks are less effort and resin is more high maintenance.
The act of meticulously preparing the space for smudging and the tools is also a meditation in itself. Some people are fond of the extra steps it takes to burn resin incense.
Both smudge sticks and resin incense produce fragrant smoke. However, the smoke does different jobs. A smudge stick affects specific things you smudge with its smoke with full intention. While resin incense spreads its impact universally, amplified by the user's intention.
For example, smudge sticks are like targeted heat lamps, while resin incense is like a star radiating heat everywhere.
Part of the Plant
Smudging sticks are usually made of the leaves or bark of a tree or plant. They may or may not include part of its flowers or fruit. While at the same time, resin incense is the dried sap of threes, their lifeblood.
Smudging sticks are centered in the present, while resin incense focuses on lingering effects and the future. How so? Since the leaves of trees and plants fall once a year. Even evergreen leaves fall eventually. That means that the effect of their smudge sticks reflects their transient nature. In comparison, the trunk of a tree stays even when leaves fall. It is reliable, and the sap never stops flowing so long as there is no other obstruction.
The sap of plants carries nourishment and energy, while the leaves create that food and energy. Both parts deal with the circulation and transfer of energy and sustenance of the plant.
Some people choose to use smudge sticks and resin incense interchangeably. They both have different uses since they have separate properties. You could try using both for the same practice on different occasions and notice the difference in the result.
Even individual smudging sticks and resins have uses that are different than one another. Resin incenses set and guide your meditation and practices while smudging sticks act on their purpose alongside your meditation.
While resin incense merges its power with yours, smudging sticks use their power beside you.
You Can Use Them Together
If you are still confused about which to use, you can take advantage of both together. There is nothing wrong with using herbs and resins together that have similar purposes. For example, white sage and frankincense can be used together to cleanse a space of intense negativity. At the same time, myrrh and rosemary can calm the mind of a troubled sleeper.
Cedar leaf smudge sticks and dragon blood can help increase your confidence and strengthen your intentions to pursue your beloved. The power and passion of cedar thrives with the deep sensuality of dragon's blood. This mix is practically a love potion.
Using herbs and resin incenses creates a powerful smoke blend that is often as effective as either alone. Be careful not to use contradicting herbs and resins together. They would cancel each other's benefits. For example, using gold copal and blue sage together. While gold copal is meant for divination and blue sage is a healing cleanser, they will not act in conjunction well.
Resin incense and smudging sticks have different benefits and work in different ways. They are valued at different price points, but the way you use either can economize your investments. Choosing the one you need depends on your goals and the intentions of using them. You can even use them both together for a super-powered concoction of smoke. Both are rich with benefits and have a deep history and mythology. The choice comes down to what you like more. Feel free to experiment with both!