Smoke permeates the air. You can see its path and how it spreads. There can be no place that is missed in a place where there is smoke. In so many ways, the smoke takes our hopes and desires and carries them away to be spread across the world. Given this, it’s not surprising that it has been used in spiritual and religious ceremonies around the world and across virtually all cultures. The first recorded use was with incense used by Egyptians as far back as 2500 BC, but it was also being developed in practices in China at the same time. Religious use of incense is prominent in Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto shrines. These practices saw the burning of incense to be a way of purifying the surroundings and bringing forth Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Gods.
You see it in Newsweek, CNN, and other news websites that report on spirituality and esoteric culture like Quartz and Gaia. You see it through phenomena such as Instagram’s 300k+ subscriber feed to Hoodwitch, Youtube’s explosive growth of tarot readers, and gray or shamanic witches offering online tutorials and looks into their family traditions of Celtic witchcraft, and Wiccan seasonal ceremonies. Wicca, witchcraft, and paganism have long had an important perch within Crazy Wisdom Bookstore’s book sections, and local Wiccans, witches, and pagans have long been written about in The Crazy Community Wisdom Journal, but all these related areas are experiencing exponential growth, both locally in earth-religion-friendly Ann Arbor and on the national scale.