Copal - Latin names: Bursera bipinnata, Bursera fagaroides, Bursera ororata et alia
word "copal" derives from the Spanish / Aztec Nahuatl word "copalli"
which means incense. Copal is an aromatic tree resin used by
Meso-Americans (i.e., the Aztec, Maya, Olmec, and Teotihuacan) for the
purification of meat, chewing, pigment binding, medicinal purposes,
worship, and as a gluing and varnishing agent. Copal is not an herb in
the typical sense but is a crystallized resin (the solidified portions
of tree or plant sap). When burned, copal is very fragrant and aromatic.
Copal comes from various species of the Bursera species of trees found
in Mexico and South America. The three varieties of copal are black,
white, and gold in color, each with its own subtle, sweet scent. Copal
resin has been used and burned, as an incense, atop Aztec and Mayan
pyramids by Meso-American Indians (the Mayan and Aztec peoples) for many
centuries for spiritual and ritual purposes.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Two common varieties
of copal are the amber-like yellow and the white versions. Please keep
in mind that you should only burn a small portion of the copal resin at a
time because resins tend to produce a lot of thick smoke.
copal in a mixture of water and ethyl alcohol will produce an aromatic
tincture; the ethyl alcohol helps in the extraction of copal's active
components while concentrating and preserving them. Copal can be ground
into a fine powder, with a mortar and pestle, and then sprinkled over a
charcoal disc to be used as incense.
a "holy incense", can be can used for consecration and anointing of
pentacles, athames, wands, etc. by passing these objects through its
smoke. It can be burned when one is seeking "divine favors". Like most
resins, copal is burned or smoldered as an incense during spellwork
and/or rituals and needs to be burned on charcoal tablets or discs along
with some Japanese Ash (Fraxinus hubeiensis, Fraxinus japonica,
Fraxinus manchurica et al) for an aromatic experience. As an example,
the Lacandón Maya of the northern lowland Chiapas, in southern Mexico,
used copal incense or "pom" as a common offering to their deities on a
regular basis. Pom is made from the resin of the Pitch or Pitchy Pine
tree (Pinus pseudostrobus, Pinus rigida), a conifer. Copal can be used
during protection, divination, cleansing / purification, banishment,
exorcism, hex-breaking, love spells, meditation, and other rituals or
spiritual ceremonies. It can be used to ward off negative energy by
placing small pieces of copal in with your crystals and then kept in a
special place of your choice or wearing around your neck as a magickal
sachet; for example, a "sachet of protection" can be made with a
combination of copal, frankincense, and myrrh. Copal makes for an
excellent smudge and is commonly used in sweat lodge ceremonial
gatherings. This is a wonderful resin to work with and for creating a
mellow, magickal atmosphere to work in.
- Planet: Sun
- Elemental: Fire
- Gender: Masculine
- Power: Purification, Love
centuries, traditional Indian, Meso-American, and Native American
healers have known about, used, and taken advantage of the
anti-inflammatory properties of the tree bark's gummy resin known as
salai guggal. Modern day herbal preparations are made from a purified
extract of salai guggal, packaged in a pill or cream form, then used to
reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid
arthritis. Frankincense, in comparison, makes for a fine substitution if
you are unable to find any copal. Frankincense derives from the
Boswellia serrata species of tree also known as Boswellin or Indian
Frankincense that grow in the dry hills of India.
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 16 August, 2010.