I recently made a new batch of kyphi style incense from ingredients that I gathered all year long in my bioregion. Kyphi is a type of incense, originating in ancient Egypt, that is made with honey, mead, or some other sweet liquid that is usually alcohol based. There are many Kyphi recipes and, the incense I make is simply derived from this general style that I adapted to my local plants and the consistency I prefer. I have posted my Kyphi recipe in the past, but on recently referring to it for my current batch, I realized that I have changed some things. I also didn't think it was "user friendly" enough. When I cook or concoct, I have a habit of not really measuring; a quality that drives my students crazy and I have been sincerely trying to change how I convey my recipes so that anyone can use them. This is one such attempt, however, I truly believe that, once you get the hang of any recipe, there is room for artful intuitiveness and I encourage everyone to find a comfortable balance between proper proportions and how they personally would like the incense to end up.
Many of us think of the Japanese tradition when we hear “Tea Ceremony” and they definitely have one of the worlds most beautiful and sacred ways of making tea a healing practice. Tea ceremonies have been done in different ways in many other cultures also. The English are famous for their afternoon teatime and a tea culture exists in many other countries where tea making is sometimes ritualized and sometimes just a part of daily life as is our American coffee culture. Many ‘hip’ communities in the United States now have “tea rooms” where people can gather and drink tea together while relaxing and visiting. There is even an “American Tea Ceremony” now that has been adapted from the Japanese version.