Sunday, January 15, 2012

Smoke - As A Symbol
(Mythology and Mysticism)

"When the mind is enlightened,
the spirit is free
and the body matters not."

- Oma Desala, Stargate SG-1, Episode, "Meridian"

We gaze into a fire and watch the wood as it burns. We then
notice that from the burning wood Smoke is created. We watch
this Smoke as it leaves the fire and ascends toward the sky
above. As we watch, we notice that the Smoke begins to
dissipate as it ascends until it is finally becomes invisible; as
if swallowed up by the heavens above.

This is the essence of Smoke. It begins as a thick mass which
dissipates as it ascends until it finally becomes undetectable
somewhere above us. From this characteristic is where we obtain
the Symbolism, along with the Rituals, which is associated with

Smoke symbolizes the transition of matter into spirit. Therefore,
Smoke represents the ascension of the immortal soul as it leaves
the mortal body.

Smoke represents the release of the soul, or spirit, from its visible
and physical form and its sublime ascent back into the invisible
and spiritual realm from whence it originally came: the realm in
which it existed prior to its imprisonment in matter.

This metaphor is a Lesson which reminds us that Spirit, in its
natural state, is free. It also reminds us that Spirit can exist
without matter, but matter cannot exist without Spirit.

Smoke is also used as a method of communication.

In addition to sending secret and sacred messages between other
persons, tribes or communities here on earth by way of smoke
signals, the sacred fires of indigenous cultures use Smoke to
communicate their Prayers and requests to the Deities and the
Spirits of their ancestors who reside in the heavens above.

As a Symbol of ascension and communication, Smoke is also
used in sacred religious Ceremonies in conjunction with Prayers
and Blessings. It is also used in Rituals that both invoke and
honor Divinity and acknowledge the Spirit which resides within
each one of us.

The Smoke rising from funeral pyres symbolizes the final release
and ascent of Spirit from the material remains of the deceased.

The Smoke rising from the peace pipe Symbolizes the Prayers
and Promises of the participants as it Travels upward, in a united
vision and bond of friendship, toward the spiritual realm of the
gods and forefathers of those participating in the Ceremony.
In this manner Smoke carries the vows, oaths, and Promises of
the participants of the Ceremony into the Spiritual Realm where
they are recognized, accepted, recorded and Blessed.

Incense, resins and herbs are placed within Censers and burned
in order to create the scented and aromatic Smoke used in
religious Ceremonies which is pleasing and Harmonious to both
people and Spirits.

The Censer is then swung in the direction of the participants
in order to Bless them, cleanse them, and unite in Prayer.

The pleasant aromas from the Censer help set the mood for the
Ceremony and make the participants Aware that Divinity is
among them and is also participating in the Ceremony along
with them.

See also: "Spirit and Matter" and
"Dust (Mythology, Mysticism and Symbolism)"

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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2012
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Dear Joseph, I love your thoughts and the wondrous sharing of symbolism which is close to my heart. Thank you so much. There is a tribe in the pacific that does not use the words Thank you; instead they say: "It is good!".

It is good,