The Copal tree produces a resin used for its sacred qualities to cleanse, purify, and disperse old, negative, or stagnant energies. The Copal trees are endemic to Mexico and Central America. Burning Copal is essential to sacred ceremonies in Mexican culture like the Day of the Dead when ancestors are honored.
I first came across fresh copal at a Pow Wow here in New York, and I was impressed by the clarity of the aroma, light, airy, and distinctive. Smoke made from this kind of source is also an excellent way to rid the atmosphere of pathogens. My second experience was Copal Blanco was when I had a four-handed Kukulkan massage in Mexico. I dream of one day having that experience again.
My wonderful supplier shared with me that she, and her family participate in harvesting the copal in the following way. “A leaf of maguey plant is hung with strings next to the copal tree. Every other day someone has to go out and make cuts to the tress so the tree “bleeds” its resin, and falls onto the leaf. Once the leaf is almost full, it is removed from the strings and then from the leaf.”
“People who gather copal have to walk to the hills and mountains to make the cuts every other day and then collect. Some camp out for weeks taking care of this process because believe it or not, these are copal thieves!! Yes, sadly, some are too lazy to do harvest themselves, instead they will steal the copal when they see the leaves are almost full. Families now (including wives and children) camp out until its time to collect from trees. It’s hard, consistent work. You care for the copal on the leaves like a baby. It’s ritualistic.”
“Fresh Copal Blanco is white only, not yellow or yellow or gold. When Copal Blanco is yellow and not sticky at all, it means it is not fresh, not gathered within the year. There are high-grade Copal Blanco, which is what I offer, then there is Copal Blanco that contains lots of residue from the tree, and copal that is bundled up with insects. Then there is the copal that comes out naturally so it has bits of wood within it.”
Copal comes in thick and thin pieces. With thick, fresh copal Blanco, you will still find some stickiness somewhere, on the outer part or in the middle. If it’s older than a year, it will not be sticky anywhere. If you buy copal Blanco during any time of the year, know that it is not as fresh as it would be in November. The fresher, the stickier on the outer part even though, it is still hard like candy. With stickiness, the copal burns faster, actually evaporating as it burns. When copal is not sticky it will melt instead of evaporating. This melting causes the heat of the charcoal to extinguish. For best results, burn small pieces at a time, similar to the size of your pinky nail.
In these troubled time, it is more vital than ever, to have the air your breathe charged with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. This is what fresh Copal Blanco offers. Enjoy our fresh Copal Blanco.