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Fragrances for the Gods

"Pure essential oils became available  through the invention of distillation.  In ancient times, however, our forefathers simply burned dried herbs.  The word perfume comes
from the Latin 'per fumam' - through burning.  Dried herbs and resins released their fra-
grances when burned on hot coals and rocks.  People watched smoke rise to the sky,
where some imagined gods resided.  This rising smoke became a kind of communication.
With the smoke, people sent prayers, offerings, and wishes.  The most precious and fra-
grant herbs were chosen as gifts for the gods.  Frankincense was often dedicated to them.
...It would seem that the gods love fragrances.  In the Gilgamesh epic, one of the oldest literary works, God is thanked by burning cedarwood and myrhh.  "...and God received the fragrances with great pleasure."  In Babylon, it was recorded that every year, 57,200
pounds of frankincense was burned.  In Assyria at the annual feast of the god Baal, nearly 60 tons of frankincense were used...Asian religions and philosphies observed that sandal-wood awakens energy sources within people.  These inner channels are connec- ted to the outer environment through the nose.  Fragrances influence and strengthen this process.  They increase vital energies and intensify the exchange of cosmic energies.
...Some ready-made herb combinations favored throughout history are still in use today.
'Kyphi' is one.  The recipe for this incense mixture was written on the Egyptian papyrus
of Ebers (1550 BC).  The mixture contains sixteen different herbs, like frankincense, myrhh, sweet flag, and many more.  This incense was burned in the evening hours to
honor the god RA...{It was recorded by Plutarch in 'Isis and Osiris'}... This incense mixture became so famous that when Greeks and Romans later created and marketed the first commercial perfume, they named it Kyphi..."

6 Comments to Fragrances for the Gods:

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