Copal resin has a rich incense history with the Mayan, Inca and Aztec civilizations, each of which called the tree Copalquahuitl. The tree is closely related to the frankincense and myrrh trees. The resin was considered a gift from the "god of lightning," who passed his power on to the tree. The Mayans burned the resin at sunrise to honor the Sun. The holy book of the Mayans says the divine god of the earth extracted copal resin from the tree of life and gave it to humans as a gift, making it a heavenly sacred resin.
As part of my ancestral rite each Halloween, I reflect on those who have come before me and I draw strength from the collective wisdom and experiences of my ancestors. I incorporate the burning of copal resin during the ritual, and while doing so, I say the following to honor the sacred resin and the ancestors:
I make this offering in the name of inspiration.
- Aroma: bright, light, citrusy, fruity
- Emotional Attributes: refreshing, cleansing/purifying, relaxing, creativity, love
- Element: Fire
- Astrological: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
- Planetary: Sun
- Seasonal: Summer
- Cleansing and purifying
- Strengthening – this resin is very hard, taking something which is existing and making it more firm, the power of your conviction, strength. This is about hardening the conviction, building strength. The truth rising up and strengthens the power of conviction, making firm.
- Prosperity – being aware of opportunity, keeps you from missing opportunity
- Courage – the power that rises up, righteousness, truth
- Happiness and celebration – just being happy for the sake of happiness, joy that is already there, just realized
- Invocation – what is already within and then rising up, the calling up and out, the faith in deity that answers will come