Lighting Charcoal Disks

If you are interested in burning resin incense, or making your own granulated incense, then you will need charcoal disks to burn these on. These round disks can be obtained through new age stores as well as Greek or Middle Eastern supermarkets. You can also find these disks at markets and online through stores such as LunaNoire Creations.

What is Resin Incense?
Resin incense has been used since ancient times.  It is the purest form of incense: natural gums, resins, wood chips and herbs from aromatic plants, used either in pure pellets or in a pre-mixed blend, and warmed with heat (usually charcoal disks) to emit their fragrance through aromatic smoke.  

How to Light a Charcoal Disk
:: Hold charcoal disk with a pair of old tweezers or small BBQ tongs.
:: Using long burning matches or a lighter, apply the flame to the edges of the disk until it begins to glow red and begin to spark.
:: After a minute or so sparks should begin to consistently dance over the top and sides of the disk.
:: Once the heat is catching, place the charcoal disk in an appropriate censer/ burner or bowl of sand/gravel.  Leave the entire disk glows red.
:: Some charcoal disks may give off a slight odour during the lighting process which usually settles down once the disk is completely alight and ready for use.

Burning Resin Incense
:: Once the charcoal disk is burning red hot, add resin incense a few pellets at a time to the indentation on the top of the disk.  As resin incense is strong and it does not take much to scent a room with aromatic smoke.
:: As the resin heats and melts, the natural scents will be released through the fragrant smoke. Top up your incense as necessary – each charcoal disk lasts around 20-30 minutes when fully lit, and then falls to ash when spent.

:: Never touch a charcoal disk once it has been lit.
:: Ensure the burning charcoal is in a safe place, in a heatproof container or burner, away from children or pets as it will be very hot.
:: The charcoal disk should be left to burn out and cool in the censer.  If you need to extinguish it before it is fully cooled then place it in a container of cool water (the tablet will not be able to be re-used).
:: Always allow ash to completely cool before disposing and never leave a lit charcoal disk unattended.

Be mindful of smoke detectors when lighting charcoal disks and using resin or granulated incenses. Light charcoal in a well ventilated space or even outside.

The Temple of the Dark Moon handcrafts and imports quality resins that are available through LunaNoire Creations etsy store. The following is a short video that I prepared a while back demonstrating how to light charcoal disks:

Hints and Tips
* Try blending several different types of resin together to create your own unique fragrance.
* Always store your charcoal disks in an airtight jar or bag after opening to maintain freshness or they may become difficult to light, such as a small ziplock bag or recycled Moccona coffee jar.
* Place the charcoal disk on a small bed of sand or gravel to assist in dispersing the heat evenly.
* Place your censer or fire proof container on a tile or wooden disk to protect the surface beneath.

Learn how to make your own granulated incense in the Sacred Scents Incense Making workshop.

During this informative workshop you will learn:
:: The history of the use of incense
:: Types of incense and their uses (eg meditation, healing and space clearing etc).
:: Ritual and Ceremony.
:: Making blended incense.
:: Create your own individual incense to take away with you.