This article will get you started on the simplest way to understand which color of incense should you use for your altar and why you should be choosing this or that color. This article is made for our disciples but also meant to be for the believers who got a Taoist Altar setup by us.
Introduction to Incense
Incense stores in different energies, thoughts, and the non-physical elements, then when the incense is being burnt, the elements releases out of the container (which is the physical incense) and out to the other party. It delivers the “package” for you, and also help to transmit energies across.
For example, when we want to tell the alter something, we will burn incense too. We burn incense with the first heart spells, and input the message, then put it into the pot, so a message will be delivered as the incense burns. It’s simple, isn’t it?
Yellow VS Red Incense
The color of the incense holds to the energy property. (refer to the nine-star theory article).
In short, yellow energy is for communicating, feeling, sensing, processing commands, just like what your heart does. You can also channel energies from the pre-heaven too.
Red energy is for outputting powers, to energize, to give, to add on, etc. It’s like our physical power, which can “add” our energies to things.
When burning incense, we must know what we are trying to do with this incense. Who is the “Tao” of the incense (who is the main person doing this incense). The incense pot is just a place to gather up incense, but incense is all hooked up to a “Tao” (which is the person who gives resources and will keep on giving resources to the incense).
For example, you hold the incense and do work to it, you are the Tao of it, because you started it.
If John hold the incense and do his things on it, he is the Tao of it. Even the incense is stabbed into the pot, it will keep drawing energies from John and releases it to the altar.
Let’s make it simple. If we are all talking about ourselves burning incense, with our own hands. We are then thinking about are we trying to communicate with the altar, or are we trying to empower and charge the altar by adding more energy to it. Are you trying to input your heart to connect to the altar, to make a call, give a command, tell the altar to do a work, etc.. or are you trying to just give help, add things into the altar, or boosting it?
Yellow Incense – you are trying to communicate with the other side, making a command for things to be done, connecting the heart between you and the other side, telling the altar something, making changes, inputting a processing command for the altar to do work etc. Using the heart energy to tell the altar to do something for you. It’s all about the heart property. (d5)
Red Incense – you are trying to give something to the altar, add something onto it which it doesn’t have before, helping, boosting, empowering, enhancing, and all the “plus” or “add on top” kind of things. It’s like pumping more blood and battery to the altar, it doesn’t tell the altar anything, it only put things on top and the altar will accept it. It’s sort of like “feeding” your altar.
Every day, you will burn incense with your heart spells as “Ching Incense” 清香. What it does is basically to use your heart energy to channel and connect the Tao’s power into yourself, and from yourself to the incense. Now the incense holds these powers and delivers it to the altar.
If you are using yellow incense for this, you will transfer your heart energy to the altar along with those powers that you channeled in. At the same time, you are also making the altar’s heart energy pump and channel in the Tao’s power on its own.
If you are using red incense for this, you will be just giving your contribution to the altar, which is the power that you have channeled in during your heart spells pumping. It adds real “food” to the altar like that, but your altar didn’t channel in things on its own.
Both works, but usually we use the yellow type to do Ching Incense to cultivate the heart power of our altar so it can get stronger.
I will leave it simple and stop giving examples. Disciples, ask questions on line to learn more and get things cleared up. I don’t want to make this post a 3k word essay!
Burn Incense as Others
Burning incense, yourself draws the resources and things out of you and delivers it to the altar or whatever you are giving the incense to. So the question is, how can you burn incense as someone else or as the Tao, drawing resources out of them instead?
Another way of saying this is like – whoever is saying “I will give $50 out to the altar” will be giving the $50. You say it, you pay it. So how can you be saying this for someone else or as the “Tao”, to make them give the $50 instead of pulling the $50 out of your pocket?
In this case, you will need a tool. For example, the “dragon hand pot”. If we have to burn incense “for someone”, we can make a representative paper for this person, and wrap It around the handle of the incense stick. Now the incense is channeling things from the person that is connected to the paper, and not you.
Representative paper 替身紙 can be simply made by using a piece of paper, and writing their name on it, while doing the magical spells and such. Now consecrate the paper and connect it up, then it is ready to be used. What color to use for this is paper is the tricky part.
To connect the heart of others, use yellow paper, black text. – This is common for burning incense FOR the person. After the paper is made, stamp it in the center with the Ling Sum stamp 靈心印 and chick it (consecrate it), then wrap it around the incense handle (with the front face facing inside, touching the incense stick, and wrap it CW. You can tie it up with some red strings or even just use a small piece of tape to help you tape it together.
Do your bowing and such for the person, and then stab it into the pot. After incense is done burning, you can wait for the next day, and then pull out the incense stick bundle, and then burn it all up. That way everything is concluded and the work is completed. You can also leave this at the end of the month to be burnt away with the other things you need to burn.
To “give/output” to others for helping them, use red paper, black text. Usually, if we need to send some energy to people, or to help them by sending them some help, we can use this method. Stamped in the center with the Ling Sum stamp, consecrate it, and use as above.
Remember to buy the incense from your Dai Sifu in the lineage, stock up yellow and red ones, they are super useful! Daily, you burn the yellow for most things, but sometimes you will want to also use red depending on your intention and need.
When will you be using red incense? A great example is when you are giving some “food offerings” for the altar and you want the altar to enjoy it, that’s a good time to use red incense, fully “give” to the altar to accept. Yes, you can do so with yellow to just relay your message too, but red is better which makes the altar “accepts it fully”.
There are endless numbers of examples we can give, but nothing is better than learning it directly from me when you get ordained. We will see you in the LINE chatroom later, bye kids!