Teomati is currently in allegiance with Ayotuxco, a Hñathö (Otomí) traditional community part of the “Holy Water Forest” that actively promotes ecological regeneration and cultural preservation. “We are creating projects that support the regeneration of our ecosystem, the conservation of our mother tongue, and our offerings to the mountains by being resilient against the monster disguised as progress.”
Ingredients: Mayan copal resin, charcoal (to keep the resin burning), and alcohol as a binder.
Use white copal smoke to relax, cleanse, and create sacred space, or as support for your contemplative practice. Each one of these unique artisanal incense sticks can last more than 90 min,* burn it all or in stages.
* Burn time of each incense stick varies due to their artisanal nature
History of Copal
Copal is the name given to the aromatic resin derived from the sap or “blood” of certain trees from the Torchwood family that hardens when in contact with the air. A process of tree selection is done by “copaleros” or experts on discriminating whether the tree is robust and healthy enough for it to “flow well” for the season. Traditionally, cuts are done on the bark of the copal tree and a maguey stalk is placed underneath to receive the resin that will turn into the aromatic copal.
Throughout Mesoamerica, and especially in Mexico, copal has a long history of use. Similar to how palo santo and palo santo incense is used in South and Central American cultures and how white sage is used in North American indigenous traditions, recent research found evidence of the use of copalli, Náhuatl term from which the Spanish “copal” derives from, in different prehispanic sites such as the Templo Mayor of the capital city of Tenochtitlan, the Cenote Sagrado in Chichen Itza, and the Laguna de la Luna in Toluca, Mexico.
Mayan copal incense was highly valued and was used in different rituals, celebrations, and offerings throughout the year. This incense was essential given the belief that it enabled communication with deities and several natural forces. Copal’s importance was such that not only survived the arrival of the Spaniards, but was adopted by them, becoming a common element in Church services.
These incense sticks, when burned, produce a white smoke that Native Mesoamericans associate with Iztacteteo or “White Gods.” These gods, in turn, are believed to aid in the communication between humans and the Great Mystery. The column of white smoke created by copal burning represents the cosmic axis out of which the universe and all its creatures emerged and acts as the connecting thread between the worlds, between heaven and earth. The burning of copal calls upon the wisdom of the heart of all things and symbolizes the Mysterious center ever pulsating toward greater consciousness and connection.
Mayan copal was also associated with the god Tlaloc (“He who Makes Things Grow”) and the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue (“She of the Jade Skirt”) both rulers of water and associated with fertility and creation. Small copal figurines representing these deities have been found in the ancient city of Tenochtitlan. This incense as an offering is related to the activation of the waters of life and the processes of creation that allow us to further explore the Great Mystery of existence. The primordial waters within us are acknowledged and honored by copal burning.
Copal’s resin was well known for its therapeutic and medicinal uses and reports suggest that it was also used as glue. Lore has it that copal’s white smoke helps with headaches and relieves diseases associated with cold and humidity. Given its positive effects on the limbic system, copal oil is used in aromatherapy to treat a number of diseases. In some cases, the resin is used in tea to treat bronchitis and applied locally for coughs and rheumatism. With many contemporary uses, copal is a true ally for body and mind.