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How to burn incense sticks

Burning of Incense Sticks – An Age-Old Tradition

Incense burns in two different ways – direct burning and indirect burning

There are different ways of burning incense, depending on the type of incense used. There are two main types of incense – indirect burning and direct burning incense.

Indirect burning or non-combustible incense cannot burn on its own, requiring a separate heat source to burn. Non-combustible comes in the following forms:

  • Whole incense
  • Powder incense
  • Paste

Direct burning of combustible incense is lit using a flame and then blown out to leave a glowing ember that continues to smolder while releasing its smoky fragrance. Combustible burning incense is the most common type and comes in the following forms:

  • Cored stick (which is common)
  • Solid stick form or dhoop, which is best used for offering in temples
  • Cone
  • Coil
  • Powder
  • Paper
  • Rope

This blog will focus on the most common incense – the combustible stick form.

Table of Contents

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How to Burn Incense Sticks?

In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step process of how to burn incense sticks. We will cover the various types of incense available and offer advice on how to create your own unique scent for any environment. By following our tips and tricks, you’ll be able to appreciate and utilize the magical effects of burning incense.

Types of Incense and Where to Find Them 

Incense comes in many forms and varieties, from traditional sticks and cones to charcoal tabs with resins and herbs. Traditional sticks are the most popular type of incense, found in various scents at most local stores or online retailers.

Cones and pellets are also popular and require more effort to burn them properly. Charcoal tabs are becoming more popular as they offer a more accessible, mess-free way of burning incense without needing extra tools or accessories. 

Preparing Your Incense 

Once you’ve decided on the type of incense you want, it’s time to prepare the area. Place your incense in a fire-safe container and ensure no flammable objects are around it. Make sure you have something like sand or ash nearby in case of any errant sparks.

Lighting Your Incense 

Lighting your incense is relatively easy. If you’re using traditional sticks, light the tip with a lighter or match and wait for the flame to catch. Blow out any excess flames and move the incense stick away from yourself and heat sources. If you’re using charcoal tabs, lightly press them onto an appropriate surface and use a lighter to light up the edges as needed.

Enjoying Your Incense 

Now that your incense is lit, it’s time to enjoy the aroma and relax. If you’ve picked a stick with an intricate design or decorations like glitter, watch as they add their unique touch to your space. Move the incense around if necessary to help spread the scent. Once you’re done, remove the incense and clean up any ash or residue.

Incense Safety Tips 

Burning incense safely is of the utmost importance, so ensure you take all necessary safety precautions when lighting your incense. Keep an eye on it constantly, and never leave it unattended. Be aware of your surroundings, and ensure you’re not burning incense in an area with open flames or other heat sources. 

Most importantly, always listen to the instructions provided by the manufacturer and take all necessary safety precautions to ensure your experience remains enjoyable. With these tips, you can enjoy burning incense safely and responsibly! 

From picking out the perfect incense for your space to lighting it safely and enjoying its aroma, this guide will have you becoming a master of burning incense in no time! 

Burning incense in holder

How Many Incense Sticks to Burn for Good Luck?

The question of how many incense sticks to burn for good luck is complex, and there is no simple answer. Sometimes life can get tricky, and you get overwhelmed. When you are overwhelmed, you become discouraged, depressed, and ready to give up. This creates negative energy within and around you. Nothing seems right for you, and you blame it on bad luck.

Take Control of Your Luck: It’s Easier Than You Think!”

Luck isn’t some mythical force beyond your control. In fact, it’s a game of chance that’s directly affected by your energy. Negative energy can throw your luck off balance, but you have the power to turn things around.

Burning (3) three incense sticks for good luck is a customary practice that symbolizes the harmonious connection of the mind, body, and spirit. However, the precise quantity could vary based on cultural customs.

It would be best to consider the scent you will use when choosing your incense sticks. Certain incense scents can attract additional positive energy. Incense sticks with sweet scents are associated with good luck.

Best Incense Sticks for Good Luck

Incense is an ancient tool used for spiritual cleansing and good luck. It has been used for centuries to drive out negative energy, invite positive vibes, and attract good fortune. The best incense sticks for good luck are those with scents like Frankincense, Palo Santo, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Chamomile, Cinnamon, White Sage, and Frangipani. These fragrances have unique properties that can help you remove toxic energies from your environment or bring balance and relaxation to your body-mind-spirit connection.
  • Burning Frankincense incense is believed to bring good luck and blessings because of its powerful spiritual properties.

  • Burning Palo Santo incense sticks is believed to bring about luck due, to their positive energy characteristics. Simply light three incense sticks scented with Palo Santo to welcome fortune and cultivate a sense of peace in your life.

  • You can choose a variety of incense scents. Scents like Rosemary and Sandalwood have cleansing properties that help eliminate negative energy.

  • Chamomile has healing and relaxing properties that can help eliminate toxic, negative energy. Light three incense sticks in chamomile scent to enjoy its benefits.

  • Cinnamon attracts good emotional well-being. It helps combat your depressive state caused by the presence of negative energy. The sweet cinnamon scent will not be too overpowering when you light three incense sticks in this fragrance.

  • White sage is known for its cleansing and purifying properties. Native Americans have been burning white sage to drive away negative energy. If you light three white sage-scented incense sticks, you will lose all the negative energy surrounding you.

  • Frangipani is another incense scent that brings in good luck. Lighting three frangipani-scented incense sticks can bring calm, balance, and good cheer. It can also help balance and relax your body, mind, and spirit.

How to Use Incense Sticks for Good Luck?

If you’re looking to add some extra luck to your life, incense sticks might be the perfect addition to your routine. Using incense sticks for good luck is easy, but there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind for the best results. First, choose an incense scent that resonates with you and your desire for luck. Then, light the incense stick and let it burn for a few seconds before blowing it out.

Visualize the positive outcomes you hope to achieve as the smoke drifts upward. You can also recite a mantra or affirmation to focus your intention further. Whether you’re seeking good fortune in your career, relationships, or personal endeavors, incorporating incense sticks into your routine can be a powerful way to attract positive energy and increase your chances of success

Burning three incense sticks for good luck

How Many Incense Sticks to Burn a Day?

Stepping into the world of fragrant incense, you’ll find yourself immersed in a sensory journey like no other. A common question that often arises in this aromatic adventure is, ‘How many incense sticks should I burn a day?’ The answer to this query not only caters to personal preference but also plays a significant role in shaping the ambiance of your space. In this exploration, we uncover the secrets to striking the perfect balance between captivating scents and a tranquil atmosphere.

The average length of an incense stick is 21 centimeters and burns down for up to an hour. The scent emitted by the incense lasts for 24 hours. If you are burning the incense stick for relaxation and for no specific purpose, 1 (one) incense stick a day is ideal. This is if you are burning the incense stick inside your room. The bigger your room is, the more incense you need. A house would need 2 (two) incense sticks, and a large studio (like a yoga studio) would require 3 (three) incense sticks.

If you are using a strong fragrance, it is advisable to place the incense sticks scattered around your house or studio. Do not mix different scents simultaneously. If you want to switch to a new smell, clear the place of the old scent first for at least a week before introducing a different incense scent.

How Many Incense Sticks to Burn at Once?

The number of incense sticks you burn at once may seem trivial in your ritual or meditation practice. Still, it can significantly impact the energy and atmosphere you create. While there’s no universally correct amount, understanding the symbolic significance behind the number of incense sticks burned can add layers of depth and intentionality to your practice. 

Burning too many sticks at once may result in an overpowering aroma that could cause discomfort, especially in smaller, enclosed spaces. Generally, 1 (one) to 3 (three) sticks are enough to fill a room with a subtle, pleasing aroma. Always ensure you’re in a well-ventilated space when burning incense, and never leave burning incense unattended. As with everything, use your intuition and judgment when deciding how many incense sticks to burn simultaneously.

What Does the Number of Incense Sticks Mean?

In the world of spirituality and rituals, the burning of incense sticks holds a special place. But have you ever pondered over the significance of the number of incense sticks you light? It’s more than just fragrant smoke filling up your space; each stick carries a symbolic meaning that transcends the physical world. 

Whether it’s one, three, five, seven, or nine sticks, each number has a unique spiritual significance. Unravel the intriguing world of these numbers and the profound meanings they hold in the realm of incense burning.

1 (one) Incense Sticks Meaning

Burning one incense stick is often associated with individual meditation or personal offerings to deities or ancestors. It signifies a direct connection between the individual and the divine.

3 (three) Incense Sticks Meaning

Burning three incense sticks is common in many Buddhist practices. The three sticks often represent the Three Jewels or Triple Gem: the Buddha (the enlightened one), the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community of believers).

5 (five) Incense Sticks Meaning

Burning five incense sticks is less common but might be used in certain rituals or ceremonies. In some interpretations, five sticks could symbolize the Five Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space) or the Five Virtues (kindness, righteousness, decorum, wisdom, and fidelity).

7 (seven) Incense Sticks Meaning

Burning seven incense sticks is not commonly practised. If it is done, it might be related to the Seven Factors of Enlightenment in Buddhism (mindfulness, investigation of the dhamma, energy, joy or rapture, tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity).

9 (nine) Incense Sticks Meaning

Burning nine incense sticks is rare and may be reserved for specific rituals or ceremonies. The number nine is considered sacred in many cultures and religions, representing completion and fulfilment.

Burning incense is an age-old tradition that many believe connects them to the universe and beyond. The number of incense sticks to burn varies, depending on the purpose and traditional beliefs of each religion and culture. One thing is clear, the smoke emitted by the incense stick is a silent message sent to heaven.

Burn odd number of incense sticks during the day

How Many Incense Sticks to Burn for Cleansing?

If you believe in the power of energies and spiritual work, the chances are that you have dipped into the basics of this practice. Therefore, you know how much energy we carry around and how it can get heavy and “contaminated” over time. Many people wear crystals and other charms to keep these bad energies away from them.

However, we aren’t the only beings that carry energy. Our surroundings, clothes, objects, crystals, etc., can also bring stuck energy that needs to be cleansed so that new energy can flow.

That’s when cleansing comes in. There are several ways of cleansing a space, an object, or ourselves. Some people do it with water, others with sound, but today we will talk about how many incense sticks to burn for cleansing and how they can help cleanse your spaces.

Related Article: Best Incense Sticks for Cleansing & Purifying

Incense sticks work with the elements of fire and wind, so they’re a fantastic way to get rid of old stuck energies. To cleanse with incense sticks, burning 1 (one) or 2 (two) incense sticks is often sufficient. The choice between one or two sticks depends on personal preference and the size of the space you wish to cleanse. Start with one and adjust as needed to achieve the desired level of purification. You can do this by picturing a bright light coming from your solar plexus chakra or repeating a short prayer before lighting it up.

Then, you will take the stick and pass it around the place or thing you want to cleanse. It’s recommended to cleanse yourself first, then the objects you use the most, and finally, the rest of your home. You can rotate the stick counterclockwise to eliminate negative energies, clockwise to attract positive energies, and in a pentagram shape to protect yourself.

Now, all that’s left to do is to light your favorite incense stick with ingredients that have the properties of what you want to attract into your life and cleanse everything you want with it.

How many incense sticks to burn for cleansing

How Many Incense Sticks to Burn for the Dead?

The practice is lighting 1 (one) incense stick to honor the dead, but lighting 3 (three) incense sticks are more appropriate during funeral ceremonies. The smoke coming from the incense is believed to send an emotional message to heaven when you burn incense sticks. This shows reverence and respect for the departed ones.

Traditionally, Frankincense and Myrrh are the usual incense scents used during funerals. The Catholic Church considers these incense scents as both sanctifying and purifying. The incense is used during the final blessing of the coffin. The Catholic Church usually uses powder incense instead of sticks.

In Buddhist funerals, burning incense sticks has two functions – to purify the surrounding areas and the funeral attendees and to calm the spirit of the person who died. Attendees are encouraged to light incense sticks.

  • Most Buddhist funerals have the scent of sandalwood. Lighting incense sticks with sandalwood scents can help calm your mind while keeping it alert. Buddha was cremated in sandalwood. This is probably why Buddhists prefer using sandalwood during funerals.

  • Another popular incense scent is copal. Copal has a sweet, piney, citrusy, crisp scent. Traditionally, copal incense help in spiritual cleansing; to purify, protect, and help clear negative energy. Lighting copal incense helps create a connection to the spiritual realm. Lighting one incense stick with a copal scent during the day of the dead is an ancient tradition in Mesoamerica that is still in practice now.

  • Marigold flowers are also called flowers of the dead. It is believed that the scent of marigolds helps attract the souls of the dead to your altar. To honor the dead, you can light one incense stick with a marigold scent and place it on your altar offering.

  • Other scents like lavender, cedar, peppermint, and thyme are also popular scents associated with incense sticks. The Egyptian mummification process used oils in these scents to preserve the dead.
Praying with incense sticks during funeral

How Many Incense Sticks to Burn for Money?

Prosperity is everyone’s desire and having a lot of money is one of the best signs of wealth and prosperity. However, money does not come from good luck but from having positive energy around you.

Surrounding yourself with positive energy will attract positive vibes and thus give you a good life. A good life includes prosperity and money. To attract positive energy, you need to light 3 (three) incense sticks. The smoke coming from the incense sticks will attract positive energy that can translate into money.

Certain incense scents can help you attract money even more.

  • Clove incense scent helps remove your abundance blocks. It helps release your fears about money or the fear of losing money. Lighting three incense sticks with this scent will help make you feel that the universe is behind you.

  • Cinnamon is one of the most favorite incense scents because of its sweet fragrance. It attunes your consciousness to the frequency of abundance and plenty. Lighting three incense sticks with a cinnamon scent will remind you that you are deserving of the great things in life, including money.

  • Another scent that can attract money is patchouli. Light 3 (three) incense sticks in patchouli scent to ground yourself and align you with all of the earth’s richness. Patchouli will remove all blocks to allow all blessings to flow continuously.
  • Vanilla is another sweet scent that helps align you with the positive energy of money. Light 3 (three) vanilla-scented incense sticks to make you feel at home and safe in the power of the universe.

  • Light three pine-scented incense sticks to awaken your intuitive nature so that you instinctively know what to do to increase the flow of your wealth. Pine scent provides an infusion of luck and lasting affluence.

  • Vetiver is a perennial grass plant whose root contains the oil used in perfume. Vetiver-scented incense helps long-standing blocks related to abundance and money. Past traumas can make you feel disconnected. Burn 3 (three) incense sticks in vetiver scent to help bring back your feeling of being grounded. You can change your past and help you get over the cycle of deprivation, self-sabotage, and struggle that keeps you from tapping your prosperous flow.
Burning Incense for make more money

How Many Incense Sticks to Burn for Ancestors?

In many cultures worldwide, burning incense sticks for ancestors is a sign of respect and a meaningful ritual to honor their spiritual presence. But, the question often arises, “how many incense sticks to burn for ancestor?”.

To honor your ancestors, it is customary to burn 3 (three) incense sticks. This practice symbolizes balance, stability, and the eternal connection with your ancestors.

The act is a symbolic gesture of your reverence and gratitude towards your ancestors. The intention behind the act holds more value than the act itself. Hence, whether you burn one, two, or three sticks is secondary to the heartfelt respect and remembrance you demonstrate toward your ancestors. So, remember that when it comes to such rituals, the sincerity and sentiment behind our actions genuinely connect us to our ancestors.


Incense burning has been used for centuries to honor gods and goddesses, mark special occasions, and even cleanse the air of bad energy. Understanding how and when to burn incense sticks for the desired result is essential.

Everyone has different beliefs regarding incense-burning rituals, so you must find your own methods of using fragrant items pleasing to your spiritual needs. The number of incense sticks will depend on the situation – for cleansing, luck, money, ancestors, or the dead. Although there is no set answer to how many incense sticks should be burned at once, use caution and respect when utilizing these tools.

Be mindful of open flames or smoking incense in a place with little airflow or near fabrics. Overall, consider incorporating the traditions of burning incense into your life if it aligns with your spiritual needs with reverence – it can offer countless benefits beyond what most consider!

Did You Know? - Incense is typically made of plant-based materials that include a variety of bark, resins, flowers, seeds, and roots.

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  1. Hello. Where do you place the incense inside your house when you do your ritual? Is it east or west part of the house?

  2. James kigathi ndegwa

    how do I burn incense to attract money and good luck and remove bad luck?

    1. Nancy Sizemore

      I remember being at a small market in Thailand years ago, where I met an old incense maker. We chatted for a while, and I brought up a similar question. With a chuckle, he told me that it’s not the incense alone that attracts good fortune, but the intention and belief behind it. That said, burning incense can certainly create a calming ambiance and can act as a focus point for setting positive intentions.

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