Copal is one colorful incense. This spiritual scent is a huge part of the Día De Los Muertos celebrations in Mexico. But there is a whole lot more to this incense than just that. Our incense experts have pored over the data and found 4 of the most amazing copal incense benefits.
Copal is an aromatic resin derived from certain trees from Central and South America. The Indigenous populations, such as Mayans and Aztecs, used copal to contact the spirit world. However, it was also used for spiritual cleansing. Thus, it was a popular feature of many rituals and ceremonies.
Today, we usually use copal incense during moments of meditation and prayer. As well as for home fragrances and to promote a calming and relaxing environment. This makes it a popular choice with spas and yoga studios.
Copal incense comes in many forms, including coils, sticks, and cones. However, its natural form is a gummy resin, similar to frankincense.
What is Copal Incense?
Copal is derived from the sap of the ‘Burseraceae’ tree, also known as incense trees. These trees can be found in North and South America, Asia, and Australasia.
However, copal incense was made famous by ancient Mexican and Central American tribes. These communities burned copal as part of their ceremonies and spiritual offerings.
Copal incense can be burned on many occasions, which we will go into below. In fact, it is still burned by the indigenous people of Mexico and South America during sacred ceremonies. These rituals include ‘Sweat Lodge‘ and ‘Sacred Mushroom’ ceremonies.
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 creates a spiritual atmosphere and allows connection with the divine. It is also used for purification, protection, and dispelling negativity. Copal incense fills a room with a refreshing, uplifting scent.
It purifies the air and removes negative energy. Additionally, copal incense can be a spiritual offering or used during special occasions.
What Does Copal Incense Smell Like?
Copal incense produces an aromatic, light smoke. This makes it popular with people who find stronger fragrances overpowering. This also makes it a great choice of incense for regular use.
Because copal resin comes from the sap of trees, it has a distinctly woody aroma, with sweet, musky notes.
The smoke produced by copal incense varies depending on the burning method. For example, copal incense burned in the form of sticks will produce more smoke. Whereas burning the resin in an oil warmer will produce no smoke.
Read on to read about the best ways to burn copal resin and copal incense sticks or cones.
How to Burn Copal Incense
How to Burn Copal Incense Resin
Using Charcoal Discs
This method produces a lot of smoke. Great for smudging and energy cleansing!
You will need:
Match or lighter
- 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 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 smoldering 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 ancient cultures. It was used as a messenger between the spiritual realm and our physical world. 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’ honors 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. It is responsible for our sense of security and resilience. If this powerful energy center has a blockage, it can lead to feelings of hopelessness.
The good news is that copal is great for clearing the root chakra. This is thanks to its earthy, 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 incense has a powerful impact on the central nervous system. When it contacts the brain, the incense triggers a chain reaction within the neurons. This chain reaction leads to feelings of calm and relaxation.
It is for this reason that copal incense was frequently used in the past as a form of medicine. Muscle and mind relaxation were at the forefront of its medicinal properties.
4. Great for meditation
Today, copal is an excellent tool to use during prayer or meditation. The light, soothing aromas of copal relax the body and mind. Yet they also promote concentration and focus. This makes it the perfect partner for pursuing spirituality.
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 deeply spiritual meditation. Also if you want to connect with those who have passed on, or make an offering to the spiritual realm.
It is also a great tool to re-balance your energy if you have been feeling insecure or pessimistic lately. Not to mention, it smells divine so it is great to burn in your home regularly.
People Also Ask
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.
Copal incense is good for filling a room with a refreshing, uplifting scent. It’s also said to be helpful in purifying the air and removing 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.