What is Incense Magic in Taoism

Incense Magic, Faat Heung 法香 (Saamlawnese: Whua Hieong), is a type of Taoist magic in our lineage which uses incense to relay a message to the gods. Using incense as a magical tool is not exclusive to our lineage; many other Taoism sects also do it because incense is so handy and easy to find in a temple or at your altar.

Incense 101

Incense is used as a timer in Taoist magic and Taoism. When we burn incense, it sets the beginning of time for something, such as the session for you and the gods to communicate. Just like when we need to talk to people who are not locally reachable, we would have to call them first. The phone call started; the timer began.

The incense has no magical powers; it’s only magical because we use it with our magical powers. Some people believe incense is sacred and has special energies, but I can tell you that it is not true; we can do magic using other tools as a timer, such as an hourglass or a cellphone as a timer. We kept using incense because it is a traditional tool accepted for Taoist practice for many generations; the impression is etched into the culture. That would sound very weird if we said Taoists don’t burn incense.

The Magic Injection

Incense is a timer, but to whom is this timer directed? Just like an envelope, if you write a name on it first, then put the letter inside, and then ship it, the letter will reach a specific person. The same goes for incense magic. Let’s say I want the Elder Lord’s help; then I would write his FU HEAD on the incense to connect to him. After the FU HEAD was written, I lit the incense and began talking to inject my words into the incense. In the end, I put the incense into the incense pot, which allows the incense to continue burning. The timer between you and the Elder Lord will start ticking as the incense burns down. This is the first step to any incense magic: to put down the information for where and to whom this incense is connected. It will usually be a god’s name or their symbol, the FU HEADs.

After lighting the incense, the communication channel begins and sparks; it is time to talk or relay your message. On the burning heads, we would use the sword finger handsign to draw things and scribble magical words. This is like writing down a message for the gods to know what we want them to do for us. Usually, we would draw a set of symbols coded in the system, which makes the job much more efficient than having you think of what to write every time.

Some disciples asked, “Why do we have to draw and scribble words over things and not just say them with the mouth?”

Good question! The theory relates to the three dimensions as explained in the article “Daai Law Tin” and elaborated in “Why We Dream.” When drawing, it can be seen and witnessed; the results go into D1, the PreHeaven. When said, the words are like the wind; they go into D6, the spiritual dimension.  If you want the gods to know of something, you must write. You must speak if you want the gods to understand something they know already.  For example, if you show me a picture of a tiger, I know there is one. Then you tell me about the tiger, and I would understand its character and behaviours or the reason for showing the picture. If you want something to be “recorded” in nature, like writing in a book, you write. Words spoken can only help to add more details and “data” to the recorded elements.

After writing the words over the incense's burning heads, we get something to grab the power from the gods through the incense.  For example, we have requested protection for an exorcism case. Then we can take a FU or a jacket of that person and circle it over the incense 3x CW and 5x CCW to get empowerment from the gods—the circling signals to the gods about what we want to do with this item. Circling CW to incense means connecting to the project, and circling CCW means taking power from the gods. Some people mistook this and thought the incense smoke and smell had magical powers, so they put something over the smoke to smoke it for hours, which is hilarious but useless. It only makes things smell like incense, but no more power is given.

Just doing the incense magic alone doesn’t help you because you need a medium to contain the powers of the gods for it to benefit you. It could be the FU or other objects you will take.

Sometimes, for a more powerful effect, a disciple could do a corresponding scripture or rite to chant and channel down more powers for the magic. For example, this disciple was fighting back a magic attack, doing the Judge Bao scripture after the exorcism incense. After the incense, he got the powers with a FU and burnt the FU into the representative paper for the enemy. After burning the paper, the whole package of powers went through the lineage system and beams to the person by distance, as explained in Sun Lung Jo SI article. This huge bomb of powers will be deployed on the person, and their evil magic attack will be busted and backfire.

Extending Incense

What happens if the incense is out before you are done with the chanting and magic work? It’s very simple; all we need to do is burn new ones and continue the meeting! We can also burn an incense coil and connect it to the straight ones used for the incense magic. One coil is at least 2-4 hours; you will have more than enough time.

Remember to treat it like a real communication session; if you and someone is talking on zoom and the timer is up, you get kicked out of the room; what do you do? Open a new room and continue talking!  Your magic will not vanish just because the incense is burnt out. Just like the person who got cut from the zoom call won’t forget everything you said before the cut. You just need to continue from where you left off!

Ordain today to become a Taoist and learn how to do incense magic at your altar! Learning in our lineage is fun and easy, as you can see from our blog posts!