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Shadbhuja Mahakala, 19th century thangka from Mongolia

Mahakala Protector Incense

Mahakala is a notable deity in Tibetan Buddhism, where he is portrayed as a fierce and powerful figure adorned with a crown of five skulls.* Regarded as a protector deity, Mahakala guides practitioners against malevolent forces, obstacles, and distractions that hinder their spiritual progress. As a meditational deity (yidam), he embodies the powers of protection, transformation of obstacles, purification, and subjugation of ego. Mahakala is also associated with the removal of obstacles related to wealth, health, and other worldly concerns, and aids practitioners in their mundane pursuits as well as their spiritual ones.

Mahakala is often shown as dark blue or black, but his forms are numerous and his adornments, weapons, color, and number of arms and heads vary. A wrathful manifestation of Avalokiteshvara,** the bodhisattva of compassion, Mahakala is also revered in other tantric Buddhist traditions, as well as Hinduism and Jainism, albeit with variations in his attributes and symbolism.

Despite his wrathful appearance, Mahakala incense in bowlMahakala's essence embodies wisdom and compassion. His ferocity is directed towards negativities and hindrances that impede spiritual practitioners on their journey towards enlightenment. Mahakala devotees (like Aleia who crafted this incense to honor him) seek to channel and embody his compassionate yet fierce qualities, and gain his protection, guidance, and blessings as they navigate their spiritual path.

Although there are specific rituals and complicated visualizations that require formal initiation, Mahakala's energy is available to everyone. He offers protection and guidance to any spiritual practitioner who seeks to cultivate compassion and wisdom in their pursuit of true liberation.

Whether or not one has a pre-existing relationship with Mahakala, this loose incense can be used to invite his protection and foster his enlightened qualities. It is hand-compounded from guggul gum (bdellium), olibanum, red sage root, juniper leaf, black cardamom, mugwort, Indian gooseberry, rhododendron, precious agarwood, and more. Although there are many traditional incense blends crafted for formal Mahakala rituals, Aleia felt drawn to make this more "generalist" blend as part of her personal practice and is honored to offer it to the customers of Alchemy Works.


* Mahakala's skull crown represents the transmutation of the five skandas/klesas, which are the basis of suffering, into the five wisdoms, which are the activities of enlightenment. (Each wisdom is associated with a particular Buddha family, including an element, cardinal direction, season, color, etc.)

** Avalokiteshvara is sometimes referred to as the "Trans Bodhisattva" since their energy of compassion manifests in a variety of bodies, forms, and deities, including Chenrezig, Amoghapasa, Guanyin, various wisdom goddesses, ravens, etc.

Mahakala Protector Incense
1 oz in tin $17.25

 

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Honoring Mahakala
Protection
Removing Obstacles
Cultivating Wisdom
Wealth (monetary, physical, spiritual)

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