Copal is a term for the sap, or resin, from the copal tree. (Protium Copal, Burseraceae).
The word ‘copal’ is derived from the Nahuatl word ‘copalli’, which means ‘incense’.
This aromatic compound has been used for ceremonies and religious intentions for thousands of years.
The Aztecs, the Mayas and other similar first people nations around the world have been using copal for a long time in the form of incense. This practice has been followed in the esoteric field since time immemorial as a form of offering to their deity. The practice of burning copal incense was considered so important that the people even shaped the substances by taking advantage of its easily flexible form. This substance is carved into the maize ears and other similar shapes which have been commonly considered as sacred by their culture and religion.
Most modern day practices of magic relate copal jewelry to its capacity of increasing the healing process and is even thought to balance chakras within the human body. It is widely used for virility or fertility and dispels negative energies. Some individuals follow the practice of lumping the copal with similar metaphysical properties such as amber which is also believed to offer healing, cleansing, and protection.
It is said the aroma which comes from burning copal resin will not only invigorate and fortify the physical body but also calm the mind.
However, essential oils from the distillation of the copal are not available. It is not commonplace to distill it’s essence. Therefore, incense is used as a substitute for copal essential oil in aromatherapy.
To use copal resins, ignite a tablet of charcoal and place this tablet in a fire-safe burning bowl. You can directly set one piece of the copal resin right above the hot burning charcoal table or grind to a fine powder one piece of the resin. After this, you can sprinkle the powder above the burning tablet.