Why do incense bowls at temples have circular incense holders, but it is forbidden at home? What are the benefits of using circular incense holders?

Footed incense burner is an iron object with a protruding end to hold the incense. However, spiritual experts advise against placing the footed incense burner in the incense bowl at home.


The incense foot ring is a tool commonly used to secure incense sticks. It is inserted into the middle of the incense bowl to hold the incense. Incense rings are manufactured in the form of multi-layered conical rings to ensure a longer burning time compared to incense cards or incense cones. When a longer burning time is needed, incense rings are usually lit.

In temples and shrines, incense rings are placed on the incense holder on the incense bowl or hung on the top of the altar, depending on the size of the incense ring.

Why are incense rings not allowed on the family altar?

According to feng shui and spiritual beliefs, incense rings should not be inserted into the incense bowl for burning on the family altar. We still see iron incense rings on incense holders in temples and shrines.

However, this is considered a major taboo at the family altar. This is because the family altar has a different meaning compared to the altars in temples and shrines. From a feng shui and spiritual standpoint, the spiritual significance of the family altar is different from that of the altars in temples and shrines. Therefore, the incense bowl on the family altar cannot be compared to the incense bowl in temples and shrines. The family altar is a place where the souls of ancestors reside, and it represents the yin energy in the house. Therefore, placing iron incense rings on the family altar is considered a major taboo. According to many spiritual experts, metal objects should not be used on the family altar as they have a yang energy, which is not compatible with the yin energy of the family altar.

Furthermore, the incense bowl represents the head of the household. Inserting incense rings into the incense bowl is considered a spiritual taboo, as it disrupts the yin energy and creates instability in the yin part. Moreover, inserting sharp iron objects into the head is believed to cause illness, headaches, and constant pain.

If the incense bowl has been tightly packed with ashes for a long time, inserting incense rings will disturb the ashes and cause unrest in the family, making the ancestral spirits feel uncomfortable, and the yin energy will be passive. This may result in the head of the household experiencing frequent headaches, difficulties in business, and financial loss. The family altar needs to be calm and solemn. Therefore, it is absolutely forbidden to insert incense rings, as it may bring bad luck, illness, and misfortune.

How to burn incense rings in the family?

Incense rings are a type of incense that burns for a long time, maintaining a fragrant and purified atmosphere. Many homeowners want to use incense rings. In your home, you can still use incense rings, but it is recommended to place the incense rings on a separate incense dish outside the incense bowl, rather than inserting them into the altar incense bowl.

Currently, there are many manufacturers that produce special incense dishes for burning incense rings without inserting them into the incense bowl.

According to feng shui principles, the family altar should also have a balance of the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth). However, it is important to note that there should not be too many metal objects such as bronze incense bowls, bronze censers, bronze incense holders, bronze cranes, or candlestick bases. These objects are not beneficial for the head of the household. Therefore, it is advisable to reduce metal objects on the family altar.

This information is for reference and personal experience.

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