In the tradition of Chinese incense, burning incense of Chinese deities is a ritual way to honor the divine. Chinese incense practices focus on animistic communication, cooperation, and mutual respect among deities and ancestors. However, they also emphasize the importance of avoiding offending the deities.
The jingxiang Chinese deity in-cense burner is an ancient Chinese ritual instrument used to burn fragrant incense. It is made of a combination of wood and other fragrant materials. It is coated with three or four layers of powdered incense material and is allowed to dry in the open air. Subsequent coatings of incense mixture can be added to achieve the desired thickness. During burning, the incense stick may have a thickness of two to four millimeters.
Incense is made from different types of resins, oils, and gums. These materials have different properties, and should be balanced for optimal burning. The ratio of gum-bound incense to the oxidizer is crucial. Too much oxidizer will cause the incense to burn too quickly and produce little fragrant smoke. The proper oxidizer is able to maintain a stable temperature and ensure the optimum burning of incense.
The jingxiang is topped with an image of Li Tieguai, one of the Eight Immortals and an important deity in the Complete Realization sect of Taoism. Legend has it that the soul of Li Tieguai once traveled to Laozi, where it was thought to be protected by his student. The student, however, was called away for a family emergency and was unable to keep watch over the body. Li Tieguai then returned to the burning body and took it over. However, his body was a crippled beggar who had recently died.
renao Re Nao
The Renao Re Nao Chinese deity Incense Burner combines two popular Chinese practices. The first involves burning incense sticks. These are made of bamboo and are coated in incense material. As the incense burns, it releases its pleasant, aromatic smoke.
The Zhenwu Chinese deity incence burner depicts the Taoist god Zhenwu. The god is painted around the cylindrical body of the incense burner, flanked by figures with animal heads and holding tablets of rank. On the other side of the burner, four figures depict the four cardinal directions. Originally from the 3rd century B.C., Zhenwu was a warrior god and symbol of the north. In later years, his popularity increased, gaining him titles such as the Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven, Primal Sage, and Benevolent Majesty during the Ming dynasty, beginning in 1304 or after.
In ancient times, Zhenwu served as a celestial protector, healer, and exorcizer. His worship continued through the Qing dynasty and into modern times. Today, Zhenwu is revered as a benevolent and wise deity.
Dark Warrior Xuanwu
This Chinese deity is one of the most important in China. His temple is located in the Wudang Mountains. He is depicted as a dark-robed warrior. His left hand holds a hand seal similar to Guan Yu’s and his right hand holds the sword of Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals.
Zhenwu is a powerful Taoist god. He is the patron of the North and is known as the True Warrior, True Valiant, and the Great Emperor. He is revered by martial artists and is the patron of the province of Hebei.
The Chinese deity incense burner censor has an intricate, yet simple, design, and its form is often a combination of Chinese and European styles. In its modern form, the Chinese censer is known by the Chinese term xianglu, a combination of xiang (“incense”) and lu (“brazier, stove, furnace”). This form of incense burner is also referred to as xunlu. The designs of these censors are thought to have been derived from earlier ritual bronzes.
Once the practice of burning incense was well established in China, the censers began taking on exotic forms. Many are shaped like mountains, depicting the belief that mountaintops were homes to immortals. Others may have been intended to represent imaginary islands in the eastern sea, which vanished when humans approached. In some cases, these isles were held up by creatures, which would explain why they had vanished.
Incense censers may also be found in other religious ceremonies. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, uses a censer suspended on chains at important mass services. In Russia, the Orthodox Church also uses the censer, although it is not commonly used. In these churches, the censer is a sacred tool. The incense burned in the censer is interpreted as prayers rising toward Heaven.
Cannabis has a long history in Chinese culture. The Chinese used it for a variety of purposes, including obtaining immortality and well-being. The herb is often burned in censers to please a deity. In the fifth century BCE, a Taoist priest wrote about the plant’s use in spiritual ceremonies. He believed that the smoke it emits could help ward off evil spirits. The use of cannabis in Chinese rituals is not new. Researchers from China and Germany recently described their findings in Science Advances.
Before the Bible was written, cannabis was already widely used. It was used for food and fiber, and also as an incense. The cannabis plant was also widely used in ancient Canaanite rituals, and the Lord was favored by cannabis. In the first centuries of the Bible, it was used to worship the Mother Goddess. The use of cannabis incense during worship was also considered a form of purification.
The ancient Chinese revered cannabis as a sacred plant. It was used in religious ceremonies and was also used in shamanistic practices. Cannabis, in combination with ginseng, was used to predict the future. It was believed that the smoke of cannabis could “set time forward.” Later, in the 1st century AD, cannabis was also added to the incense burners of Taoists. In Chinese mythology, marijuana was associated with immortality. In addition to the medicinal benefits of the plant, it also produced a heightened state of well-being and spiritual adulation.
A Chinese deity incense burner is an excellent way to pay tribute to a beloved figure in your life. These pieces are generally painted with an image of a deity. A popular example of such a piece is the Kuan Yin incense burner. Painted in clay, this image depicts the goddess of compassion. A popular figure in Chinese culture, Kuan Yin brings comfort to those in pain and watches over children.
Chinese incense rituals emphasize cooperative relationships, respect and animistic communication. A typical ritual involves lighting incense and observing prostration. This involves bending over to place one’s forehead on the hands. Westerners call this act ‘kowtow’, but it is referred to in China as ‘koutou kou tou’ or ‘knocking one’s head against the ground’.
Chinese deities incense burners are traditionally lit with the left hand. Ancient Chinese people used their right hands for killing animals or using the bathroom, so a practice of holding incense with your left hand was more respectful of the gods. Chinese incense is lit until it reaches the stopper, which is often covered. It is considered an offering, and it is often burned in front of the deity.