Incense Pot of a Taoist Magic Altar Explained

Incense pots are often called the cauldron in English search terms, but you can just call it “pots” to be exact. We call them Heung Lo 香爐 in Cantonese, and they are also our 丹爐 Daan Lo, the alchemy pot. In this article you will find out what this incense pot is all about and how to pick the right pot for the right purpose.


What is it For?

Incense pots are for stabbing incense into, no doubt, that’s the basic purpose. Most people who started an altar will start burning incense daily. The incense cannot just be burning in mid-air; therefore you need a pot with sand inside to “stab” your incense into.

The second purpose of the pot is to be used as the “alchemy pot” for Taoist. As we have talked about in the Alchemy Practice article, the altar is used for cultivating the golden pill. Read up on that if you have not yet done so!

The pot is not just filled up with sand, there are goodies buried inside the sand too, which sets the whole pot of “soup” a different flavor.

Imagine the “pot” is a pot with liquid, cooking up a pot of soup. What is buried inside is going to change the whole soup. You put some health booster medicine inside it will boost your health when you drink the soup. You put poison in there you can cook up poison and use it on your enemy. Who knows what this pot you got is about! Every lineage has their own way of setting up the pot to create their own powers, and there could be limitless combination and setups as long as you know what the whole theory is about and how the energy work.


How to Choose

The material of the pot will give the pot a different property because of the idea being represented. For example, a golden color (brass) pot is used for the altar most of the time, because it represents the heart, the golden color is the color of the heart. It’s a pot to gather up heart energy and bounce off that power to the people praying. (Brass is yellow but reflects the light when bounces, yellow light!)

Why not use silver or steel? Yes, you can, they bounce of white light, which is the light of wisdom, potentials, and so on. Not saying that it cannot be used, just that it is not common, so people won’t accept it much if they see it being sold.

Ceramic pots are considered “earth” element, and so they represent the 5 elements earth phase, which is to collect and accumulate. These pots are used for the ground altar to “accumulate” wealth, which is the preheaven energies for the place. Landlord altar is usually paired up with a ceramic pot, but the guardian type of landlord (those that fight) will be ok with a brass pot too.

What if we cannot find a proper pot? Anything works, even a tin can or a salad bowl or a paper box will work too, as long as you can put something it in that allows you to stab your incense into. It’s just better to have the right tool because they look better and are much more formal and durable. You don’t want to show your friends your altar looking like a dollar-store-level thing, right?

The incense pot is one of the most important essential items on your altar supply list, and a small pot is not enough for most people. You would at least need like a 6 inch or bigger pot to start with for NORMAL use. Some might think it is fine with a tiny one since I can clear up the sticks and keep stabbing my incense anyway.  Wrong, very wrong.


Warning About Pot Clearing

Never be so clean and keep cleaning and clearing out the pot! Incense sticks stabbed there has a red part remaining in the pot that doesn’t burn, that’s call the Heung Gai 香繼, which is like the second half of the ticket.

Imagine you go to my place and burnt incense to talk to my god and ask my god to help you. Now the incense is burnt, and the red stick is left on the pot. You are gone, but my god can track you down with that stick part because it contains your energy. (You held it!)

Once you cleared the pot out, everything resets, and the connections to everything is cleared too. Imagine all the connects are constantly active and the god is beaming out his power to bless and protect these people or you.  What’s even worse is that you have done some FUs, and they are empowered with the incense too. Once you clear the pot, the FU also lost connection and will all be cut off from the altar’s power!

You want to clear the pot only at the end of the month, or when you are very in need to clean up. Accumulating those red sticks allow the connections to stay and the more sticks you got the more powerful your god will be because they are constantly pumped and doing things, fueling the others who are connected.

Preheaven energy is different from postheaven matter like electricity. Postheaven energy, you lose as you use. Preheaven is like your memory, the more you use it the stronger it gets!  By leaving the pot full, you are letting the energy be hyped and pumped, it is not a bad thing.

Read more about yellow vs red incense!

Pot on Fire

When you see the pot catches on fire and burnt up the sticks from the inside out and such. No need to be panicking, that’s normal too. This is called 旺爐 (boosted pot), which means your god has a lot of work to do and he is outputting all he must deal with it and clear the whole to-do list.  You can just let it burn out and finish then clean up the pot to reset it afterwards. Or, you can quickly pull out the sticks that are being burnt, and put them into a container, then put out the fire using water or sand, then your pot is saved and can be reset back to zero. NEVER pour water into your pot, this will kill your god’s heart power and basically shut down your altar. The pot is ok even on huge flames, it’s made of brass or ceramic, and with all that sand, there is no way it will burst or explode. We have seen very crazy fire on the pots like its cooking a steak, no worry, it’s fine.

Ordain today to learn more about these cool things, or start building your altar.