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a container for burning incense, esp one swung at religious ceremonies
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Censer ; Thurible

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

As its name implies, the censer holds incense and dispenses smoke during rituals. The ecclesiastical name for it is thurible. It is equated with the element of Air. Frequently the censer is hung on the end of a chains, or chains, so that it might be swung to promote the burning of the charcoal on which the incense rests. It is usually a metal vessel, perforated with holes, into which glowing charcoal is placed and incense is sprinkled onto the charcoal.

Ancient Egyptian censers were small bowls with a handle. Those used by the Greeks and the Romans were more like braziers. They were not swung, being much heavier than today's censers and were often made of bronze or iron. Early Jewish censers were like the Egyptian ones, and were shaped like ladles.

In Wicca the censing of the Circle is part of its consecration at the start of every coven ritual. Each person in the circle is similarly censed, as a cleansing. Any object—amulet, talisman, working tool—is censed when consecrated.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
'One tradition has it that the use of a swinging censer in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral began in the 11th century.
On 2nd June 2010, a judgment was handed down by the Court to the effect that the three Phrygian bowls and two Byzantine censers which had been secured by order of 16th December 2009 had to be handed over to the claimant.
Another recent sale saw quite a few pieces of Oriental works of art come in, an antique Chinese bronze censer, pictured, of archaic form, on a stand realised PS2,200.
Edinburg's collection includes four superb, three-legged Southern celadon censers. These jewels, one not more than one inch tall (fig.
The ingredients in the sacred incense (ktoret) are the matter of much debate and endless speculation as with the mentioned theoretical linking of cannabis (Benet 1976) to various "aromatics." (2) The anthropologist Margaret Joyce Field speculated that Moses might have inhaled crude nitrous oxide, by placing crystals of ammonium nitrate on hot metal dishes or censers (Luck 2006), in an intriguing theory in view of the Chinese sources discussed below.
(4) Similar details surface in 'The Visionary', which mentions letters written in 'Tyrian fire' and 'strange Arabesque censers'.
The trinkets section contains various pieces of jewelry, censers, rings, and silver trinkets, in addition to a golden censor and an inkwell dating back to 150 years.
It is worth mentioning is that another joint Yemeni-Belgian mission has already announced finding a mountainous cave lengthens 3 km and contains some ancient buildings and temples besides clay pots, censers and other tools related to performing some kind of rituals inside those temples dating back to the third century AD, according to the initial analysis.
Dim lighting is appropriate here and the lamps and censers do at least give a sense of the physicality of Orthodox worship, but one wants candlelight, incense smoke, and glittering gold to set them off properly.
On this particular Sunday, perfumed smoke floated from silver censers toward the cathedral's vaulted ceilings while parishioners recited the Lord's Prayer and took Communion.