Copal is a sacred and spiritual gum, native to areas of South America and a huge cultural symbol in the 'Día De Los Muertos' celebrations in Mexico. But there is a whole lot more to this magical scent than this. In this article we will dive into our 4 most favourite copal incense benefits... and how they may help you!
Indigenous populations, such as Mayans and Aztecs, used Copal to contact the spirit world, however nowadays, Copal is commonly used in meditation practices and for spiritual cleansing
. From ancient times till today, Copal makes for a popular feature in many rituals, spiritual practices, and religious ceremonies, as well as becoming a popular home fragrance scent, perfect for promoting a calming and relaxing environment. This makes it a popular choice with spas and yoga studios.
What is Copal Incense?
Copal is an aromatic resin derived from trees such as Protium copal (Burseraceae), which
can be found in North and South America, Asia, and Australasia. Though Copal is commonly burnt in its true resin form (similar to Frankincense and Myrrh), Copal incense can come in other forms, including coils, sticks, and cones
Copal incense was made famous by ancient Mexicans and Central American tribes, where these communities burned copal as part of their ceremonies and spiritual offerings. It is still burned by the indigenous people of Mexico and South America during sacred ceremonies, some ceremonies including 'Sweat Lodge
' and 'Sacred Mushroom'.
This is a testament to its cleansing and spiritual properties, and also a great indicator of why copal is still widely used today.
What is Copal Incense Used For?
Copal incense can help enhance a spiritual atmosphere whilst allowing true connection with the divine. It comes with a wildly refreshing, uplifting scent, which purifies the air whilst removing negative energy. Additionally, copal incense is commonly used as a source of protection, to guard the soul, body, and heart from negativity.
What Does Copal Incense Smell Like?
Copal incense produces an aromatic, light smoke, making it popular with people who find stronger fragrances overpowering and harsh. This also makes it a great choice of incense for regular use.
Perhaps because Copal resin comes from trees is why it has a distinctly woodsy aroma, however, when burnt its subtly sweet and musky notes begin to come to light.
How to Burn Copal Incense
How to Burn Copal Incense Resin
You will need:
Match or lighter
Using Charcoal Discs
This method produces a lot of smoke. Great for smudging and energy cleansing!
Light the charcoal.
Pick up the charcoal disc with the tongs and light it until it produces smoke.
Place on a heatproof surface.
Once the disc s smoking, place it in a heatproof dish or plate.
Wait for the charcoal to get hot.
Leave the disc to heat up for 5 - 10 minutes, or until it turns white. Do not leave it unattended.
Burn the resin.
Using the tongs, gently place the Copal resin on the top of the charcoal disc. You will only need a small piece - roughly the size of a kidney bean.
You can repeat this step for as long as the charcoal remains hot.
Put it out.
Extinguish using cool water. Ideally, in a sink to avoid mess.
Allow the disc to cool and dispose of it safely.
Using an Oil Warmer
This method produces minimal smoke, but lots of fragrance! Perfect for yoga or aromatherapy.
You will need:
Match or lighter
Load the warmer.
Place the resins on the top of the oil warmer.
Light the candle and place it in the chamber beneath the copal resin.
The resin will heat up and produce a beautiful fragrance.
You can reuse the resins by repeating this method. Just leave the resin to cool and warm it up again when you are ready.
We recommend safely disposing of the resin after the third use.
How to Burn Copal Incense Sticks
You will need:
Heat-proof incense burner
Match or lighter
How to burn copal incense sticks
Set up the incense stick.
Place the incense stick on the incense burner with the tip pointing upwards.
Light the tip.
Gently ignite the tip, allowing it to flame for a few seconds.
Carefully blow out the flame, leaving a smouldering ember.
Allow the stick to burn. This could take 50 - 90 minutes.
Remove the ash carefully once it has cooled.
Tip: we love to burn Copal incense sticks with the windows open. We find the mixture of the fresh, natural air with the aroma of copal to be very grounding.
What are the benefits of copal incense?
We've narrowed the many, many benefits of copal down into 4 of the best.
1. Promotes spiritual connection
This is the element of Copal
incense that made it so popular with various ancient cultures. It was used as a messenger between the spiritual realm and our physical world, somewhat a vessel used to deliver prayers and offerings to the gods.
Today, it is a common feature of 'The Day of The Dead' celebrations in Mexico, known locally as 'El Día De Los Muertos'. During these celebrations, an altar called an 'Ofrenda' honours the life of a relative that has passed on. The families will burn Copal incense on the Ofrenda to create a connection with the spirit world.
2. Cleanses the Root Chakra
The Root Chakra resides at the base of the spine and is responsible for our sense of security, appreciation, and resilience. If this powerful energy centre has a blockage, it can lead to feelings of hopelessness, a lack of gratitude, and feelings of anxiety or stress.
The good news is that Copal is great for clearing the Root Chakra, thanks to its earthly, grounding properties
. By burning Copal incense, resins, or sticks along with some mindful meditation, and the repetition of Root Chakra affirmations, it is possible to unblock the Root Chakra in no time.
3. Calms and relaxes
The scent of burning Copal has a powerful impact on the central nervous system. When its smoke contacts the brain, the incense triggers a chain reaction within the neurons, which may lead to feelings of calm and serenity.
It is for this reason that Copal incense was frequently used as a form of natural medicine, and muscle and mind relaxation was at the forefront of its medicinal properties.
4. Great for meditation
Copal is an excellent tool to use during prayer or meditation as its soothing aroma can help to calm the mind and relax the body's muscles, however, its true meditational powers lie in its profound ability to assist full focus on the moment at hand, allowing you to dive deeper into a trance-like state.
In addition, copal incense plays a big part in allowing us to tune into our intuition.
The Bottom Line
Copal is a great incense to use if you are looking to practice deep spiritual meditation. Also if you want to connect with those who have passed on, or make an offering to the spiritual realm, however, we haven't tried this ourselves, so maybe more research into this is needed.
It is also a great tool to re-balance your energy if you have been feeling insecure or pessimistic lately, and not to mention, it smells divine so it is great to burn in your home regularly.
People Also Ask...
Why do you need copal incense for an Ofrenda?
In traditional Mesoamerican cosmology, the world is divided into three planes. These are the Material World, the Spiritual World, and the Underworld. Copal incense helps to bridge these planes and create a connection between them.
The Spiritual World is a realm of energies and spiritual beings that exist beyond our everyday reality. The underworld is often thought of as a place where departed souls go after they die. It's also a place of great power and mystery, where natural laws do not always apply.
Copal incense can help open up communication with spirits on all three of these planes.
What is copal incense good for?
Copal incense is good for filling a room with a refreshing, uplifting scent. It's also said to help purify the air and remove negative energy. Additionally, copal incense can be used as a spiritual offering or to celebrate special occasions.
Some people also believe that it can also help increase fertility. As well as promote peace, and even protect against natural disasters.