20220129PreparedService

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Contents

Preparation

You will need:

For services during the season of Genesis you will need the following:

  • One seed for each participant
  • A dish of soil
  • A small cup of water for each participant
  • 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 season of Genesis is the first Liturgical Season in the SolSeed Movement's Liturgical Calendar. It symbolises the deep past from the Big Bang to the invention of photosynthesis. During this season the Weekly Service Calls use the following Opening ceremony:

We gather to mark the passing of a week
To align our hearts as one.

Service Altar for Genesis

Nothing ... Still ... Nothing

And then ... <gasp> Something!!!!

Time, Space, Matter, Energy, Gravity.

Galaxies coalesce ... in the celestial nursery, stars are born. And for every star, there is a story.

Our story began with Sol, the sun, the fire that sparks life into being.

(Light the candles)

Next came the Earth, our first home, both the shaper of life and the clay from which life makes itself.

("Plant" a seed in the soil)

Then came the water, the sea where the first life swam, the sea that swims inside each of us.

(Drink some of the water and use the rest to "water" the seed)

Finally life made the air, turning sunlight into fuel, freely available to all breathing creatures.

(Take three deep breaths)

Fire, Earth, Water, Air.

From Nothing ... Something

The Reading

NARRATOR: Let us imagine

A young girl in dirty plain blue tights and a torn pale blue hoodie is sitting by the side of a cold asphalt road in the dark, ripping open instant win lottery tickets. Each ticket has a bright star on the back and a series of strips that tear off the front revealing the words ...

LOTTERY TICKETS: "try again"

NARRATOR: ... behind each strip. The strips each have a beautiful image of a planet on them.

As you try to ride your elephant past her, she looks up at you and you see the bright green eyes of Gaia peering through a plain blue lycra balaclava but there is a look of desperation in those eyes. There are no images on her clothing at all. The cloth shows no signs of animation, of clouds or swirls moving or still. She has a large plastic bag full of tickets but she is rapidly racing through them. Every strip says:

LOTTERY TICKETS: "try again", "try again", "try again".

YOU: "Gaia, why are you wasting your time playing lottery tickets?"

GAIA: "The universe keeps saying try again."

NARRATOR: She has a cup on the road in front of her. You notice spectral beings in heavy robes and hoods walking up and down the road. As they pass her, they look down at her cup and reach out with a spectral hand holding a handful of dice of various sizes. They flash out of existence and the dice drop into the cup. Gaia continues to tear at the lottery tickets. As she does you notice a gap between her glove and the sleeve of her hoodie; there is no skin underneath, through the gap you can see right down to the ground. You wonder where Terra is.

YOU: "They just want you to keep playing."

NARRATOR: Gaia is finishing up the last ticket in her bag,

GAIA: "Yes isn't it wonderful. They let you try again and again and again!".

NARRATOR: She picks up her empty plastic bag and her cup full of dice and walks into a store by the side of the road. The store is dark and seems to be being renovated with mostly used materials. It looks to be huge stretching back further than you can see but with hardly any goods or displays, just scaffolding and piles of debris and building materials and half constructed walls. A sign over the door says "Expanding!"

You ride your Elephant into the store after her; the store is so vast that it doesn’t feel tight at all to be riding an elephant in it. Gaia has approached a counter behind which stands one of the spectral agents with its face hidden deep inside its hood. The agent has taken her cup of dice and she is selecting instant lottery tickets from a display. After a while the spectral agent puts the display away behind the counter and she takes her empty cup and bag full of tickets back out onto the road.

You follow her back out.

She sits back down and the process starts again. Her bag starts to empty and her cup begins to fill as spectral beings drop dice in.

You dismount from your elephant and sit down beside her to watch her tear the strips off of her tickets. She tears the first strip off of a ticket with a yellow sun on the back.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again".

NARRATOR: Your elephant lowers its head to watch, fascinated and worried. You worry about the state of Gaia.

YOU: Is this her future? Her past?

NARRATOR: She grabs the second strip, with its picture of a pale blue ice giant planet and strips it back.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: If it's her future how did it come to this?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, a ringed gas giant.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: What kind of disaster would take away all of Gaia's accumulated wisdom and leave her destitute and addicted to gambling?

NARRATOR: You feel your elephant wanting to reach out and take the lottery ticket from her. But Gaia is a goddess and your elephant hesitates. Gaia grabs the next strip, a large gas giant with spots.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: If it is her past, how did she go from this state to the womanly goddess that I know?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, dotted with little planetoids and a single icy dwarf world.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: How can I help a goddess who is homeless and down on her luck?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, a red desert world.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Try again."

YOU: What would help her?

NARRATOR: She grabs the next strip, a grey black world with a thick grey atmosphere lit by volcanic glows.

LOTTERY TICKETS: "Your first home".

NARRATOR: She yelps in celebration. A limousine rolls to a stop beside her. She stands up, all smiles, and her dirty and torn clothing repairs itself and becomes clean. A few bacterial images appear on her tights. Images of clouds and swirls appear all over her clothing and begin to drift and spin around her body. A chauffeur opens the rear door of the limousine and motions her in. She takes your hand and draws you into the limousine. You and your elephant settle into the cushy seats of the limousine. She pulls a bottle of champagne out of an ice bucket and pops the cork, laughing. Frothy liquid overflows the bottle and splashes on her legs and the floor of the car. As you proffer a pair of flutes for her to fill, you ask,

YOU: "What's happening?"

GAIA: "I won the stellar lottery, Little One! Look at the stars little one."

NARRATOR: She is laughing, pointing toward the windshield. You look and you can see that ahead there are billions of galaxies, stretched out in strings across the vast sky.

YOU: "The stars, theDestiny, they are your future. But this is obviously your past. I don't understand."

GAIA: "The stars are also my past, Little One. That massive number of stars gave birth to me."

NARRATOR: The view ahead stretches and turns blue, almost blindingly so, before the windshield goes protectively black.

GAIA: "The universe was so generous to give me that many chances to come into existence. Even though each chance was so tiny, the number of them virtually guaranteed that I would win."

NARRATOR: The windshield returns to clear and the image ahead is un-stretching and becoming less blue until you recognize the yellow sun from the back of the lottery ticket and the grey-orange planet from the front of it.

YOU: "So Terra was the ticket you won on, but you needed all the other stars and planets in the universe in order to be certain there would be a winning ticket?"

NARRATOR: The limousine dives into the grey atmosphere and water droplets streak across the windshield. The wipers start up.

GAIA: "That is certainly one way to look at it, Little One."

NARRATOR: Gaia laughs as the limousine lands and comes to a stop on a black beach under a heavy sky dripping with rain beside a pond of red brown water.

She opens the door and steps from the limousine. You follow her, mounting your elephant and riding it along the beach behind her. You notice Terra, also a little girl, is standing on the beach watching Gaia take her first steps on Earth.

TERRA: "Who are you?"

NARRATOR: Terra asks, flames flickering around her hot mouth.

Gaia puffs out the chest of her hoodie,

GAIA: "I am moving in. I am a Life goddess and my Destiny is to cover you in a rich layer of Life."

TERRA: "Your Destiny, We'll see about that. I have more important things to deal with than you. I have volcanoes to arrange. You are nothing to me. I don't owe you a welcome. I don't owe you any favours. If you manage to survive on me, then good for you. But, rich layers of Life! Good luck!"

NARRATOR: Terra waves her hand dismissively and a strong wind blows and Gaia, still only a thin layer of clothing surrounding her spectral form is lifted from the beach. The wind becomes so strong that it lifts you and your elephant from the beach also. A tornado forms and you are spun about with dizzying speed. The tornado picks up sand and pebbles and small rocks and you are pelted with the sand so that you wonder if only metaphorium is keeping your skin from being ripped right off. You shield your eyes and squint through the storm even as you fly about. You see Gaia for a moment and then she is shredded by the power of the tornado and the blasting sand and pebbles.

YOU: 'Gaia!'

NARRATOR: you cry.

Ahead in the gloom of the storm and flying debris you see Terra's ankle loom like a vast mountain range. The fact that she is so big and that you and the remains of Gaia are so small by comparison must be a trick of the metaphorium. You have only a moment to brace yourself before the wind slams you into the surface of Terra's ankle. Your breath is knocked out of you and you lie stunned for a time.

Then you realize that the winds have died down and that you are lying on the same beach that you were before. Only you also know that it is a tiny beach on the side of Terra huge ankle. Her ankle is so huge compared to you that the curvature of its surface is not apparent to you. Its surface appears to be a flat landscape around you.

YOU: 'Gaia? Oh Gaia I am so sorry, what happened to your future? Will I and all my fellow living beings ever even come into existence now?"

NARRATOR: Your elephant trumpets in dismay.

GAIA: 'Little One, everything is fine and as it should be.'

NARRATOR: You glance over at the surface of the dirty pond and see the shreds of Gaia's clothing floating on the surface of the putrid water. As the dirt in the water stains her ripped clothing, you see that the images of bacteria on the clothing multiply and dance through the swirls and clouds.

YOU: 'Gaia, I will collect your clothing and sew them back together and clean them.'

NARRATOR: Gaia's balaclava floats into view and you see her bright green eyes looking up at you from the water's surface.

GAIA: 'Don't, Little One. The dirt, as you call it, is Terra, I am combining with her, intermingling with her. She spread me over her whole surface. Little bits of me everywhere. Those bits will grow together and rejoin until I cover her entire surface. Terra thought she could destroy me with her power, but I won the lottery and I am more resilient than that. I will cover her.'

YOU: 'You will beat her, Gaia. I know you can.'

GAIA: 'This is not a game of winning or losing, Little One. This is a game of peace making. I will become one with her. Her interests will become my interests and vice versa.'

YOU: 'Peace is emergent.'

NARRATOR: Fade back to reality with me. Our time imagining is done. Contemplate the gratitude you have for the abundance of stars in the universe and how that abundance gave Gaia her chance. Life has always been always going to be precious.

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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