This beautiful image is from @thuleheals on Instagram. I'm reposting it here as an example of smoke in ritual. I think of smoke from incense as an offering to the Divine, to our Ancestors and to the Unseen Realms. It also represents the our spiritual fire. During the ritual burning of incense, prayers/intentions ride on wisps of smoke. When those wisps disappear, I think of my prayer as having transitioned too, into a place in the beyond, an invisible place, the place where ancestors, guides and helpers dwell. Smoke is the embodiment of magic itself. Like fire, it can destroy, purify and transform. Here's what @thuleheals says about the image of themselves and a friend on their knees in prayer and check out this sangoma priestess' website - https://campsite.bio/gogothule :
We enter codes into the ancestral realm on our knees...talk to our ancestors and our creator clapping our hands to create the beat of a drum. ⠀⠀ sa•ngoma / people of the drum; those who hear the secret songs of the cosmos. ⠀⠀ We create the vibrations needed to connect with spirit. A form of sound healing or a form of ringing the bell of spirit to pay us attention. This is what our lineages have done over and over again. ⠀⠀ Have you heard your song? That vibration in your heart...the music in your dreams...the swaying back and forth when you meditate... ⠀⠀ I know you have... ⠀⠀ How do your people pray?
I answered the question like this: With smoke and tongues and spinning and spinning and spinning and sometimes flying.
What's your answer?