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The Ancient Egyptians had a plethora of uses for herbs, including medicinal, cosmetic, and religious. The most of use to us today, as modern Kemetics, is the use of incense. When I mention incense, I mean the loose ingredients found in most local New Age stores, or organic food stores, I don't mean go out and buy stick incense and break them up as ingredients in a mixture. ::grins::

The Ancient Egyptians believed that the Neteru's scent came from the land of Punt; A land to be considered both in Arabia and Africa, so its not unusual to see that these places are where we moderns get most of our incense from. Those wily Egyptians! A few Nisuts, most notably Hatshepsut and Ramses III, brought back trees and plants from Punt at great expense to try and grow them locally in Egypt. So expensive were the trees of Myrrh, Frankincense, Sandalwood, and others, that the common people had almost no means of getting their hands on them. Of course, unless you were a temple! Which makes us moderns considerably luckier in finding cheaper ways of getting them, since all these scents are quite the staple currently.

There are many ways in which to use incense in a ritual context. In Ancient times, and on a daily basis, the ritualized burning of incense consisted of frankincense in the morning, myrrh in the middle of the day and Kapet (Kyphi) in the evening. Other incenses, including but in no way limited to; Amber, Almond, Cypress, and Sandalwood would have been used for specialty purposes and for specific Neteru, though frankincense, Myrrh and Kapet, were fairly universal in application.

Kapet as the Greek "Kyphi" is one of the most famous Ancient Egyptian incenses to have survived through history. Herbalists in modern Egypt still use a version of it. In the Late Period it was used as a remedy for snake bites to bad breath to asthma, but in previous times it was used primarily in temple fumigation.

Now as Frankincense, Sandalwood, Myrrh and others listed here are quite easily attainable, and so are the ingredients for Kapet, I totally suggest buying Kapet already made then trying to make it yourself. One reason for this is that the various ingredients needed to make Kapet, can take a toll on your coffers, not to mention the amount this will make. Sure, if you use Kapet daily, as some of us do, this might be perfectly acceptable, but another reason for buying, rather then making it yourself, is the messiness of the situation. If you're like me, and have to pick up a baby every 10 minutes, its hard to get the resin off of your hands!

But still, if you insist on making your own Kapet, like I once did, here are some recipes for you:

Kyphi (from Susanne Fischer-Rizzi)

- 4 parts Frankincense
- 2 parts Mastic
- 1/2 part Juniper berries
- 1/4 part Calamus
- 1/4 part Galangal
- 1/2 part Cardamom
- 1 part Cinnamon bark or flower
- 1 part Myrrh
- 1 part Lemon grass
- 1/2 part Rose leaves (dried rose buds)
- 1 part Benzoin Siam
- 1 1/2 part Sandalwood
- a pinch of Aquillaria wood
- 1/2 part Forest honey, liquid
- 1 tablespoon as needed Red wine, full bodied
- 8 parts Sultana raisins, unsulfured

Soak the raisins overnight in the wine. Grind the frankincense, mastic, myrrh, and benzoin with a mortar and pestle. Individually grind the cinnamon, juniper berries, calamus, galangal, cardamom and sandalwood. Mix the ground ingredients together, crumble in the rose buds and lemon grass. If you can get aquillaria wood, use 1/2 teaspoon to 1 cup of the other mixture; otherwise, it can be left out.)

Take the raisins out of the wine and blend them into the mixture and add the honey. Kneed the mixture well and crumble with your hands. Spread it out on a clean cloth to dry in a warm place away from oven heat and direct sunlight. Dry for seven to 14 days, turning often. Once it has dried, it can still be formed into the traditional pea-sized pellets for burning.

Kyphi (from Scott Cunningham) - 4 parts Frankincense
- 2 parts Benzoin
- 2 parts Gum Mastic
- 2 parts Myrrh
- 1 part Cedar
- 1 part Galangal (or Ginger)
- 1/2 part Calamus (or Vetivert)
- 1/2 part Cardamom
- 1/2 part Cinnamon
- 1/2 part Cassia
- 1/2 part Juniper berries
- 1/2 part Orris
- 1/2 part Cypress
- a few drops Lotus oil blend
- a few drops Wine
- a few drops Honey
- 7 raisins

Grind and mix the dry ingredients thoroughly and store them in an airtight container for two weeks. Separately mix the oil, wine, honey and raisins. Add the wet mixture to the dry and blend with your hands. Store airtight for two more weeks. The resulting substance can be ground finer or formed into small pea-sized pallets.

Alternately, an easier recipe is as follows:

Kyphi #2 (also from Scott Cunningham)

- 3 parts Frankincense
- 2 parts Benzoin
- 2 parts Myrrh
- 1 part Juniper berries
- 1/2 part Galangal
- 1/2 part Cinnamon
- 1/2 part Cedar
- 2 drops Lotus oil blend
- 2 drops Wine
- 2 drops Honey
- a few raisins

Mix as above.

Remember, we're to burn these on Swift Lite charcoal, not BBQ charcoal. Unless, of course, you want to kill yourself and your household pets.

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