20221203PreparedService

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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

Theá Me Plokámia floats in space, her tentacles spread out like a web lashing together a trillion trillion trillion worlds. Most of her worlds are little balls of ice but the sheer number of them means that the number of living beings which are part of her approaches 10 to the 60th power. She is LifeSeed. She spans most of the Galaxies which she can see and her tentacles are always growing, her web spreading.

You are riding your elephant along one of Theá's tentacles. You are a spec who should not be able to see even a tiny fraction of Theá's extensive form or sophisticated plan. Yet because of the metaphorium in your ocular implants, you can see her whole form.

Behind you Gaia is a bulge near the base of one Theá's biggest tentacles. "Go, Little One, contribute to your fullest in this Great Communion of World Mothers!"

Your Elephant trumpets in response and begins to stampede along the tentacle. You can feel, hear and know that about 10 to the fifteenth power other elephants are stampeding with you and yet the whole heard together is so thinly spread out along this tentacle that with normal eye sight you cannot see the next elephant over.

Theá is facing a massive black storm, dwarfing her in the same way that she dwarfs you. This black storm crackles with energy and hidden gravity, and seethes with destructive power. Where the cloud touches a galaxy, the galaxy is destroyed, sometimes blasted apart with a bolt of black lightening, sometimes frozen by a ray of cold time, it's stars fading away to black.

Theá cries out and sends tentacles forth into the cloud, spawning a green fire which spreads through the cloud and burns it. The cloud being writhes but the fire dies before long and the cloud responds with more blasting and freezing of galaxies.

Theá yells, "I will defeat you Fate! Nothing is certain, not even you!"

Fate, the black storm cloud responds, "You are nothing Theá! A blip, a passing fad, a minor quantum fluctuation. I am irresistible. I am implacable. I will eat you for a little snack and continue as if you never existed."

But Theá watches and sees that Fate is trying to draw her attention one way, while worrying about something that lies in another direction. Not an up/down or left/right or back/forth or even past/future direction. A new direction and she sees it; a dark glass wall in that new direction. She sends forth your tentacle and suddenly you are standing on the glass wall which extends for cosmic distances in all directions. It is not a two dimensional surface but has more complexity than that. It hurts your brain to picture it.

Beside you is an ethereal equipment chest with a carousel that brings one tool into view at a time. Instinctively, and quickly your elephant advances the carousel to the tool you need. You grab it. A sledge hammer covered in little lights and LED displays, even on the head. It makes no sense. You assume it is almost entirely made of metaphorium and swing it down upon the glass wall.

The wall cracks beneath your elephant's feet. The cracks spread like a web, each crack glowing with the blue-green of life thriving. The cracks spread ever faster until the whole cosmic wall shatters. Instantly a number so large as to defy expression perhaps a Google to the power of a Google to the power of a Google, of tentacles reaches through the spinning fragments, past you as you spin helplessly in cold vacuum. But as you watch, the tentacles engulf the black cloud, Fate, and devour it and lift Theá to new heights.

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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