20221217PreparedService

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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

You are riding your elephant along a sidewalk as the traffic rushes by. You are tired, having worked hard all week at your job and you are frustrated by the lack of meaning in your job and you are looking to lash out. You stop at a crosswalk to wait for a break in the traffic. No one stops at crosswalks to allow pedestrians to cross so unless there is a break in the traffic you won’t be going further. The powerlessness you feel about being at the mercy of the numerous car drivers irks you.

To your surprise, cars going both directions stop. And the ones behind them stop without honking their horns. In fact, as you cross the street and the drivers in the cars wave at you in friendly way, you realize that you are not hearing the same number of horns honking as you would usually. The traffic is quiet and smooth. You glance at the selection of cars waiting and see that they are all hybrids and electric cars. No gas guzzlers are roaring their engines or buzzing their mufflers.

You turn and ride into your favorite tavern. It’s a rough place where fights break out regularly and everyone minds their own business to avoid being drawn into fights that are not theirs. Large TV’s play videos of rough sports, Mixed Martial Arts and other worse things.

But It feels different today. For one thing, the sport on the TV’s is hockey and not just the fight scenes. Twelve riders gliding around the ice on skating elephants, carefully stick handling the puck and passing it back and forth with tremendous skill. The atmosphere in the bar is more jovial and less tense. Maybe you are just projecting your own shock at the aberrant behaviour of the patient happy drivers at the crosswalk onto the world.

You ride up to your favorite table and your stomach knots as you see someone else has seated themselves at it. But your desire to lash out at someone is about to be satiated. “This is my seat buddy.” You snarl, “leave now.”

The man turns his elephant to face you pivoting it’s bottom on the chair. He is looking surprised, “You are being rude, sir.” He says, “There are plenty of other tables.”

“But this is my table, “ You say, “Now move or I will make you move.” You brace. The man is bound to throw the first punch any second and then you will be able to lash out without mercy.

“You would never get away with that.” The man says, “Don’t waste my time and please stop being so rude. Why don’t you just join me at this table and we can get to know each other.”

“Ha. Get away with it?” You laugh loudly and then yell, “You and what army will stop me.”

Suddenly you hear dozens of chairs push back from tables. You look around and every patron’s elephant is standing and facing you. Every rider is staring at you. The only person left sitting is the patron you were trying to bully. No one looks happy anymore. They all look annoyed and shocked at your behaviour. What ever happened to everyone minding their own business?

You glance at the nearest TV screen and every hockey player has stopped skating. Every elephant is facing the camera, it is as if they can see through it to you and are just as shocked and annoyed as you were.

“What is going on?” you ask, “Why is everyone standing together?”

Gaia appears from behind a table surrounded by elephants and riders and answers you, “Why wouldn’t they? We are all one. Why would we tolerate someone who works against the body of all life?”

“But that is not how the world is.” You reply, feeling as shocked as the faces staring at you from all sides.

“It is how the world could be, Little One,” Gaia replies with a gentle laugh, “if only humanity could see their participation in the greater being of the body of all Life as their primary allegiance.”

You turn your back on Gaia and walk out of the bar. There is no need for you to listen to this craziness. If this is just a hypothetical world then it isn’t realistic and there is nothing for you to learn from it.

But outside, you see an even stranger sight. Every car is stopped. Out of every car a group a elephants has emerged and they are all standing beside their open car doors staring in disbelief at you. A flock of geese have landed on the sidewalk and everyone is staring at you, as if they too understand. You glance down at the sidewalk and see a colony of ants, having emerged from its hole in a flower box at the edge of the road, each ant is craning its neck, staring up at you. All of the flowers in the flower box are facing you. Every leaf on every tree that lines the street seems to have turned to face you.

You find it hard to believe. You can’t walk through a world where everyone is focussed on you. It is too much. You turn and go back into the bar. Gaia is sitting at ‘your’ table with the patron you had tried to bully. On the TV, a news report is playing, “… and preparations continue for first contact with the biosphere of Tess 7538d. Multiple scientists have warned that contact may spell doom for our biosphere as diseases from which we have no immunity may …”

“How could any world be so united? Evolution is based on competition not cooperation.” You say to Gaia.

Gaia laughs gently, “Little One, cooperation is one of the greatest tools, which evolution invented, as a means of competition. To unite a world, a biosphere, all you need is another biosphere with which to compete.”

You turn your attention back to the TV screen. Images of huge living ships carrying a vast array of alien organisms, entering our solar system and converging on Earth stream by. Your elephant moves behind the elephant of the patron, whom earlier you were going to bully. Suddenly it feels safer standing with him than facing off against him.

The dream fades, and you are back in your regular life, but you know that somewhere out in the universe, either now or in the future, there is another biosphere. This fact feels like it changes you attitude toward you fellow living beings on Earth.

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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