"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Frankincense began meaning "whiteness" and is the origin of our word incense. As Pliny writes, frankincense is "brilliant white and gathered at dawn in drops of tears in the shape of pearls." The pearls he refers to are the sap from a leafy tree that grows in Arabia and Northern Africa known as the Boswellia Thurifera. This sap is harvested and dried and is what we call frankincense.
Frankincense, along with myrrh and gold were the gift of the three magi. These wise men, of which we know so little, brought these gifts as love offerings. They brought these gifts to worship and pay homage to the Christ child.
From what we know about biblical times and the life of Christ it can be can speculated that Jesus kept the precious gifts of the magi in remembrance his entire life. This might have been his only communion between these wise men and Christ, then only an infant. It's noted in the bible that myrrh was used in preparing his body for the tomb.
Gold represents kingship. Its value is so well acknowledged that it has been the benchmark of currency for the past two millennium. Frankincense represents divinity. Throughout history frankincense has been used for communion with the divine. Myrrh represents mankind and mortality. The Greek word for myrrh is "smurna" and is the same as the city and church that received a letter from the Apostle John. This is the second church of Asia in the book of Revelation. The providence of God was in this trinity of gifts.
Myrrh is the principle ingredient for the holy anointing oil explained to Moses by God in Exodus 30:23-32. Directly after this, in Exodus 30:35-38, God explains to Moses how to make the divine perfume, with its main ingredient being Frankincense; God also explains its proper and improper use. People who are exposed to frankincense and myrrh on a regular basis have noticed a dramatic increase in coincidences and unexplained experiences.
Gold, frankincense and myrrh were all very important fixtures in the holiest sanctuaries of the temple in Jerusalem. We still recognize gold was having almost supernatural qualities in bringing us luck and wealth. It seems that the more you have the more you get. Still, there are more precious things in life than mere earthly glories. All the great cultures have also prized frankincense and myrrh. The Egyptians used myrrh to embalm their dead pharaohs; some was even found in TutankhamunÕs tomb. Frankincense was sacrificed to Baal in Babylon and is called ru xiang by the Chinese and used for various medicinal purposes.
Mankind is so small and we know so little about the divine. The greatest guide for our lives is the Bible. The Bible clearly sings the praises, if not the necessity, of having frankincense and myrrh in our lives on a daily basis. Throughout history men have known of the spiritual and meditative properties of these spices. As long ago as the building of the pyramids it was noted that the embalmers, who were using myrrh, never caught the diseases of the dead. It was also noted during the Black Death that perfumers were immune to the plague and the reason speculated was that their shops were among the few places in Europe where one could find frankincense.
Frankincense has long been used as a tool for meditation and communion with God. It's known to accentuate the experience of the divine and is also used to repel evil. It can be a powerful ingredient in exorcisms. Psychologically, itÕs been known to aid in memory, but is more recognized for itÕs calming effects which eases stress and sooth depression. Medicinally frankincense has been considered such a "miracle drug" that itÕs hard to separate fact from fiction. Claims have been made that it cures everything from aging to headaches. What we do know for sure is that frankincense was valued so highly by the three magi that they included it as one of only three gifts to be presented to the king of kings.
Myrrh also has a myriad of medicinal uses from skin conditions to leprosy and is still used in numerous ointments and medicines. In Bible times it was commonly used as a stimulant. Jesus was offered wine mingled with myrrh on the cross to relieve his suffering, but he refused it. Today both frankincense and myrrh are usually burned as incense or cherished as objects of meditation. They can also be made into oils or perfumes as directed in the book of Exodus.
We here at Three Magi are devoted to bringing you the purest frankincense and myrrh available.