Incense has long been reserved to churches, but these days in the West, burning incense at home has almost become fashionable: people like to breathe the perfumed scents imagining that even if they are busy with prosaic activities, the air around them is sanctified. But it is best to know the symbolic meaning of incense and reserve it for spiritual practices.
Incense gives off a scent when it burns.
The burning is symbolic of sacrifice. All sacrifice is combustion: matter given to fire so that its fragrant emanations rise up to the Divine.
For us, the act of burning really only has meaning if we transpose it on another plane, that is to say, if the matter we sacrifice is our own matter – our psychic matter. Those who endeavour to overcome their weaknesses purify their psychic matter with the spiritual fire of divine wisdom and love.
Once purified, this matter emanates the most subtle fragrances.