20201114PreparedService

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Contents

Preparation

You will need:

  • A set of 9 candles in addition to the Sol Candle including one which floats (a tea light works).
  • A galaxy-shaped indentation in a clay plate, with powdered boric acid
  • Some pure ethyl alcohol
  • An eye dropper
  • A large flat dish filled with water
  • a candle
  • matches
  • a bell or signing bowl
  • a candle snuff

Check-in

Leader: Who would like to share?

The participants briefly update each other on how they're doing and what's going on in their lives.

Opening Ritual

The eighth and final Liturgical Season, Viventibus Galaxia (Living Galaxies), stretches from mid-fall to the Winter Solstice. It covers the far future. When life spreads from planet to planet and then star to star. Humanity may be left behind. Humanity may adaptively radiate. Life from Earth will probably encounter other biospheres, and hopefully embrace them in communion. Life may become such a powerful force that it controls the paths of stars, slingshotting them around each other so that entire systems are thrust toward other galaxies. The four great advances of this time are colonies, interstellar life, contact between biospheres, and intergalactic life. This version of the ceremony is designed to work with Repartum as the previous season. If you are still using Viventibus Mundos as the previous season then check the history tab for a version of this season which works with that.

Here is the opening ceremony for the Weekly Service Calls during this season:

Nothing ... still ... Nothing.
And then ... <gasp> ... Something!
Space! Time! Energy! Matter! Gravity!
Galaxies coalesce.
In one celestial nursery, Sol is born.
(Light a candle for Sol)
Sol's story has begun, but it is only the beginning.
The story continues with life taking the next great leap,
Spreading to nearby stars to clothe their naked worlds with blue-green biospheres
Where Life's upward spiral supports all starfaring creatures.

<light second candle the first week and one more each week through the season.>

Through practice, starflight becomes nature.
Now it is in the nature of Life to proliferate across the stars,
Green fire flowering as it flows across our immense galaxy!
(Light some alcohol in a galaxy-shaped indentation in a clay plate, with powdered boric acid to make a green flame)
In our journeys, Earthlings encounter other life.
Beings and biospheres as precious as we,
Joining us as fellow travelers on the great upward spiral.
(After the green fire dies down, do an upward-spiral gesture starting with your finger over the galactic center)
Then comes intergalactic life!
Shaping entire star systems.
Sailing them across the great gulfs between the galaxies,
Bringing those galaxies fully alive!
(Set a candle drifting from one side of a large water-filled container to the other)
Colonies, starflight, contact, living galaxies
From something ... Something else!

The Reading

Let us imagine ...

Gaia is sitting on a wet bare rock by the ocean. She is a young girl, her skin a fresh young grey-blue with only a dot of green here and there. She is bald, her tattoos are all of bacteria. She is looking up into the sky fascinated by the lights she does not understand. She reaches for them but they are beyond her grasp.

One light grows slowly bigger and she watches it with interest. Suddenly it grows much brighter and then flares across the sky. For a moment she can see that it is a giant rock burning in the sky and then it crashes down into the sea before her and punches a hole in the Earth's young crust underneath the sea. The sea erupts with lava and steam and broken bits of the Earth's rocky crust are thrown skyward.

Gaia moves her hands evoking some kind of magic and time slows to an almost stop. The eruption in the sea almost stops. Gaia swims out through the ocean to the explosion curiously examining the fire and steam and lava and flying boulders. She scoops a long strand of bacteria out of the water and strokes it gently. The bacteria encyst in response. Gaia slips the tiny bacterial strand into a crack in one of the flying rocks.

Then she snaps the end off her own finger. She holds the broken tip of her finger in the open palm of her hand as she treads water. The tip slowly transforms into a tiny blue-grey baby with green freckles. Behind the baby, Gaia's finger tip has regrown. She slips the tiny baby into the same crevice as the bacteria. "Watch over them for me." she whispers into the baby's ear.

She begins to swim back toward shore. Before she has gone very far she undoes her magic and time returns to its normal speed, and the erupting ocean continues its violent eruption. As she rides a tsunami back to shore, Gaia watches the boulder leap into the sky and carry her baby and her bacteria off to another world. Over the ages she keeps watch on the boulder as it circles about the sky until it meets up with a distant red light. She is disappointed to see that her bacteria, still watched over by her tiny baby, slowly get buried in the red sands of the distant world and amount to nothing much.


An adolescent Gaia sits in a patch of short ferns and club mosses. Her body is much greener now. Her leg tattoos are of all sorts of fish and sea creatures. Her hair is long and contains so many different kinds of leaves and fronds. But there are no flowers in her hair. No vertebrates crawl through her hair. No tattoos of tall trees on her arms. It is night time and she is again watching the lights in the sky and wishing she could find her way among them. A tiny six legged arthropod hops from plant to plant around her. She picks it up and looks at the tiny pedal like wings that the six-legger is using to extend its hops. She stretches them into wide flat wings and lets the little creature go.

The little creature struggles with its huge wings, flapping its way higher and higher into the sky. It is headed straight toward the largest light in the night sky, the silvery white of the Moon. It keeps flapping but soon it is unable to climb any higher. The air is too thin. It becomes exhausted and returns to Gaia and the ferns. She welcomes it back but there is a sadness in her eyes. She looks back up at the lights in the sky and yearns.


Gaia is an adult woman now. She is sitting in the high branches of an oak tree. She is entirely blue green now but not yet the pregnant woman we know. Her hair has golden representations of vertebrates adorning it throughout. She is watching a pair of soaring eagles. Below her the strange apes that have recently appeared are poking at the remains of a camp fire. The eagles slowly circle and circle but can`t seem to climb any higher. She is so totally focused on them that she doesn't notice the apes planting seeds in rows. She is so totally focused on the eagles that she doesn`t notice the apes suddenly build a city. She is so totally focused on the eagles that she doesn't notice the apes build a great temple to a false god in the center of their city. Only when they suddenly build great smoke belching machines is her attention drawn to the quick moving apes.

The speed with which the apes have changed the landscape astonishes her. She becomes alarmed. Are they going to ruin everything? She wonders whether to put an end to them and their destructive behaviour. In a flash they have cost her so much. But then they wheel out a tall shiny machine. It belches fire and lifts into the sky. It zips right past the eagles and arks toward the silvery white moon. But it doesn't stop and turn back like the moth. It reaches up to the Moon and for a brief moment the apes walk about on the Moon's surface. They don't just stay in a cocoon like the bacteria. They walk about and poke at the dirt, they explore.

Gaia looks down at her belly. She has suddenly become immensely pregnant. She looks back up at the lights in the sky. "I am coming for you." she whispers with glee.


Gaia sits on a chair on a stage in the center of a massive auditorium. The auditorium is filled with blue-green women, their children and their glowing stellar husbands. Gaia herself is now an old woman. The life forms tattooed on her skin are strange and new. Sol is sitting beside her. He is old also, bloated and red. In the center of the stage, several adult green women of various ages, all with intricate and complicated tattoos, many with complex and elaborate machines working through their hair and over the skin, are speaking in turn to the audience.

One says, "Today we honour Gaia, one of the first mothers. She was among the first shoots in the forest that the galaxy has become. But we also commit to continuing the dream. We must find a way to cross the immensity of intergalactic space and take root amongst the galaxies. We will try. We will fail. We will try again. We will not give up. For it is in our nature to flower and spread."

Silent contemplation

Leader: Please join me for seven minutes of silence while we contemplate ...

(Service Leader rings the bell)

(silence)

(Service Leader rings the bell again at the end of the seven minutes)

Discussion

Leader: Who would like to share?

The participants take turns talking about what they were thinking about during the contemplation.

Reading of the SolSeed Creed

Please respond to the portions of the Creed highlighted in bold in unison:

Life is precious.
It has always been precious,
it will always be precious.
Life exuberant
bursting through boundaries
to flower and spread
creates the conditions for more Life,
in an Upward Spiral
of ever-growing possibilities.
As you are alive, and I am alive,
and in kinship with all other beings
who call Terra home,
we are Gaia --
the body of all Life.
Gaia's bursting through boundaries is a painful and joyful process.
It is the pain of Earth giving rebirth to herself.
It is the joy of a myriad new possibilities emerging.
The Destiny of Gaia
is to take root and flower amongst the stars --
to give birth to a family of living worlds.
As intelligent sparks of Gaia,
we are called to express her excellent nature,
we are called to attend the Rebirthing and the Great Birthing.
We who answer this call
dedicate ourselves to Gaia,
We join together
in a community of practice
to align our words and actions
with our highest aspirations.
Through awesome experiences
of cosmic, biological, and cultural creativity,
we awaken within ourselves and others
the Cosmic Religious Feeling
that ignites wonder,
fosters compassion, and
inspires invention.
Our three sacred duties are to
embrace Passion,
cultivate Empathy, and
pursue Wisdom,
So that our being honors Gaia
and our striving hastens the Great Birthing.
Passion drives us.
Without Passion
Empathy and Wisdom are lethargic.
I pledge to stoke the fire in my belly,
to compassionately care for my inner elephant ---
to really be me, Happy in the Sun!
Empathy is transcendent.
Without Empathy,
Passion and Wisdom are evil.
I pledge to love others as I love myself,
to consider their needs as if they were my own --
to Grow Ours, not just Get Mine!
Wisdom is effective.
Without Wisdom,
Passion and Empathy are reckless.
I pledge to train my elephant through regular practice,
to stand ready to transform my worldview in the face of new evidence --
to cultivate sound instincts.
Through Passion, Empathy, and Wisdom
we have come to know that:
We are Gaia's People --
children of the Earth and Sun,
awakened by starlight,
growing,
nurturing,
discovering --
We Bring Life!

Closing Words

Leader: We extinguish this flame, but not the light of truth, the warmth of community or the fires of commitment ... these we carry in our hearts until we are together again.

Leader extinguishes the candle with the Candle Snuff

Leader: May your week be blessed with life and love. Blessed be.

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