How to Burn Copal
Copal is a resin fromBuresatrees, typically found in Mexico, as well as Central and South America. The Mayan people have burned this resin for thousands of years for spiritual and health reasons. In your own home, try burning copal resin on a charcoal disc or use a number of other methods, such as an incense burner or a pan on your stove.
Burning Copal on a Charcoal Disc
Buy charcoal discs.Charcoal discs are little round tablets that you can buy at incense stores. You can also find them at Asian markets or online. Typically, they come in a tube-like pack.
- Charcoal discs make it easy to burn your copal resin.
Set up a safe area to burn your charcoal and copal.The whole charcoal disc will get hot, so you need a heat-safe plate or bowl underneath it. You can also use a stone or a small stone slate. Keep tongs or a metal spoon and some water nearby just in case.
- Some people put sand in a bowl to sink the disc into.
Light the charcoal disc.It's best to hold the charcoal with tongs if you can. If not, just hold it by one edge and light the other side.Use a match or lighter to catch the edge on fire. You should see a light spark. Set it down on the heat-safe surface.
- You can also use a burner to catch the charcoal on fire.
Wait for the charcoal to turn white.The charcoal will be black when you set it on fire. Leave it to burn for 5 to 10 minutes, and it will turn white and ashy all over. Do not touch the disc with your fingers at this point!
- At this point, some people pour a small pile of salt in the indention on top of the disc. The salt acts as a buffer between the heat of the charcoal and the resin, so it doesn't burn quite as hot. You won't get as much smoke this way, but you can experiment to see what works best for you.
Set a small piece of copal resin in the indention in the top of the disc.A peanut-sized piece of copal is a good size to begin with. You can always add more later if the charcoal hasn't burned out.
- This method of burning copal will produce a lot of smoke, so you can use it for smudging your house. However, if you get too much smoke, use tongs or a spoon to knock the resin off for a while.
Extinguish the charcoal with water when you're finished burning your copal.Don't leave a burning charcoal disc unattended, as accidents can happen, catching other things on fire. Pour water on the charcoal to make sure it's completely out.
- The charcoal disc will stay hot for at least an hour.
- It can be messy, so try extinguishing it in the kitchen sink.
Burning Copal without Charcoal
Try a resin burner for ease of use.Put a small amount of copal into the cup of the resin burner. Find a socket for the plug and connect it to an electrical outlet. If it has a temperature setting, turn it to 235 °F (113 °C). Put the lid on if it has one, and let the burner heat the resin. The lid will get very warm, so use tongs to move it once the burner gets hot.
- If your chunks are too large to heat easily, crush them a bit with a mortar and pestle.
- To keep the bowl inside clean, try adding a foil cup before putting in the resin.
Use an oil warmer for less smoke.Place a small piece of resin in the top of the oil warmer. Turn the warmer on, or if it has a candle instead, light the candle and set it underneath the warmer. Let the resin warm up, and it will produce fragrance.
- These warmers can be electric or have a small candle underneath, and they're typically used for aromatherapy oils.
- Because you're not burning the copal directly, you won't get much smoke. However, you can warm the same resin over several days. Just leave it in the warmer to cool, then turn the warmer back on when you want to heat it up again.
Place the resin on an electric stove burner for a quick way to burn copal.Put down a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. You may even want to double up. Turn the stove burner on to medium-high, and then set a piece of resin on the foil. Keep an eye on it the whole time it's burning.
- If the copal is burning too hot for your liking, turn the burner down.
Use a pan to burn the copal on your stove for another quick solution.Pick a small pan that you don't mind dedicating to resin burning, though you can line it with foil if you'd like. Turn the stove burner to medium-high, and put the pan on top. Set a small amount of copal resin in the pan, and let it start burning. Leave it on until the copal burns out. You can always add more copal as needed.
- Don't use a pan that has a nonstick coating, as those can put off chemicals if you don't have much in them.
Place a copal resin incense stick in a holder or sand.Sometimes, copal is formed around a stick. In that case, light the bigger end. Set the smaller end in a bowl filled with sand or in an incense holder built for stick incense.
- Don't leave stick incense unattended.
Enjoying the Benefits of Burning Copal
Use copal before meditation to provide peace of mind.Many people burn copal before they meditate or while meditating. They believe that it assists with removing negative energy from your mind, body, and space.
Smudge a space with copal smoke to clear bad energy.Some people also use copal to "smudge" an area, meaning to cleanse it of negative energy. To smudge an area, use a high-smoke method of burning your copal, and let the smoke fill up the room.
- You can lightly fan the smoke around the room with a feather or hand fan. Try to get it in every area of the room.
Try burning copal for inflammation problems.Traditionally, people burned copal to help with inflammatory ailments, such as arthritis and even toothaches. While it still needs to be studied more, it does contain compounds that reduce inflammation in mice, so it may be helpful to you to burn it for this purpose.
- Try burning copal once a day and stay nearby so you can inhale the scent.
Video: Crystal Clearing with Copal
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