The Cosmic Walk
As developed in Genesis farm, USA
A Celebration of the New Story
This ritual was designed to provide some sense of the awesomeness of the time / space of the universe. You can change and adapt it as you see it. It conveys a sense of sequence in the Earth’s unfolding process. It also dramatically conveys the brief history of humanity, as well as the uniqueness of each person’s life.
The events that have been chosen for this are arbitrary. We recommend that you look over the “time-line” in the Universe Story by Br. Swimme and Th. Berry. There may be other events that you would wish to highlight. It is very important to “know” the audience. Be inclusive of the events which shaped their continent and bio-regions as well as the cultural, ethnic and religious story.
What you Need:
- A length of thick yarn or robe to represent the timeline of the story of the universe. Total length is arbitrary. E.g. 1 billion years is 5 meters. Mark then the robe with intervals of 1 billion years. Put a piece of coloured yarn at the intervals .
Most of the events happen at the very end and can’t fit on the robe. Group them as close as possible.
- A tall candle to be placed at the center of the spiral.
- A small candle to be carried by the walker. If each participant is invited to walk the story, then provide a small light for every person. Make a protection at the candle to prevent wax drippings.
- 30 small vigil candles to be placed at the robe at the right
- 30 index cards. Each is marked with the event and the year.
- Use appropriate solemn/contemplative E.g. Fairy Ring, Mike Rowland
- The audience: sits in a circle in a large room, space around the rope that is laid on the floor in a spiral. The larger the feel of the spiral, the more effective the ceremony is.
- A narrator: S(he) tells the story of the Universe
- A walker: this person walks the spiral, slowly ,stops at each marked place ( index card) and lights the vigil light once the narrator stops talking.
- Begin the music.
- The narrator stands off side and reads the prologue to the Story. ( see text*)
- The walker stands in the center, close to the large candle. She waits till the reader is finished and light the large candle to mark the Beginning. Then the own candle is lit in the flame of the large candle. If it is a not a Christian setting then use another text to start the ceremony.
- After that the walker slowly begins to walk towards the first marked place on the robe. Stop at that place and wait till the narrator tells the story. Light the vigil light and continue to walk. Till the end.
Narrator at the beginning of the ceremony*
Now we enter into an enormous experience of space and time of the Universe. We celebrate the mystery of how all life came to be, how the Cosmos was created. We celebrate the story of all the humans that ever were, are and will be. We celebrate all the days of creation and how we have appeared at a certain time.
In the Beginning was the Dream The Dream was with God
The Dream was God
The Dream was with God in the beginning. Through the Dream all came into being
And nothing was created outside the Dream. Out of the Dream God created Light.
Now the candle is lit in the center.
The Universe Story, continuation of the text.
- You can adapt your own text to audience and circumstances
To be used by the Story teller in the Cosmic Walk ceremony
Big Bang free picture NASA
- About 13.7 billion years ago, in a great flash the Universe fared into being. In each drop of existence a primordial energy blazed with an intensity that has never happened since. The Universe billowed out in every direction. Elementary particles could stabilize and hydrogen and helium were formed. And in a million years time the fire ball dissolved.
- One billion years of uninterrupted night went by. In the depth of the great silence the universe prepared for the formation of galaxies and the primal stars. Our Milky Way galaxy was formed, among the many other galaxies. One hundred billion galaxies in all… Each galaxy brought forth from its own materials billions and billions of stars.
- In a process of ten billions years all primal stars were formed. The stars went through transformation and became supernova’s ; exploded and gave birth to new generation of stars. In the second generation of stars the element beings of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, calcium and other elements were formed. Five billion years ago, Tiamat our Mother star emerged and later went supernova. So she gave birth to our sun. The Sun is one of the ten thousand stars that were born out of Tiamat.
- The Sun in her self-organizing ability formed around her a system of planets, all circling around her. So our Earth came into being, the only planet with water and an atmosphere in which life is possible. 4.4 billion years ago the Earth came into existence.
- 4.1 billion years ago: the early Earth boiled as molten rocks and gaseous materials. She slowly developed a crust. Matter existed as solid, liquid and gas and created the chemical womb from which Aries, the first living cell arose. And the Earth brought forth an atmosphere, oceans and landmasses.
- 3.9 billion years ago; the first life emerged in the oceans. Aries and her descendants, the Prokaryotes – Eukaryotes, learned to catch pockets of energy from the Sun and the Earth invented photosynthesis. This shaped the future of all life on Earth.
- 2 billion years ago: after the atmosphere was filled with too much oxygen for eons of time, now there came a balanced atmosphere as we know it. Now every living being can breathe and live.
- 1 billion years ago: the Eukaryote cells invented meiotic sex. Sexual bonding entered the Universe as two genetically different beings united and fashioned out of their genetic endowment a radically new being. The foundation for creativity and bio- diversity is laid. The Eukaryotes invented the habit of eating living beings; predator- prey relationships were formed.
- 600 million years ago: The Eukaryotes dared to submerge themselves into a larger mind: trillions of them gathered and evoked Argos, the first multi- cellular animal. The jelly fish reminds us of this event. Multi-cellular animals arose in great variety: corals, worms, insects, starfish.
- 550 million years ago; the first fishes emerged. They have a nervous system and for the first time the Earth sees herself through the eyes of fishes. Early consciousness in animals makes that the Earth begins to think.
- 425 million years ago; ocean seas left plants stranded. They developed wood cells and land plants began to cover the continents. Life that had until now only developed in the waters of the seas, now was landed.
- 395 million years ago: the Earth’s mantle, lifeless for two billion years now heaved with amphibians, reptiles, insects, and dinosaurs. Insects live in communion with the bees help the Earth in her nourishing task through pollination.
- 370 million years ago: the first trees appear.
- 216 million years ago: the mammals entered Earth’s life. They developed emotional sensitivity, a new capacity of the nervous system to feel the Universe. Mother-infant bond entered the universe.
- 210 million years ago: the Earth up to this moment just one landmass, called Pangaea, now broke in pieces and the continents are formed.
- 150 million years ago: the birds appeared and the Earth broke out in song.
- 120 million years ago: flowers emerged and covered the Earth. Because of the flowers food became plentiful. The last 67 million years the Earth has moved into its lyrical period. Beauty and diversity developed as never before.
- 4 million years ago: in Africa, humans stood on their two feet. From there on they have spread all over the Earth.
- 2. 6 million years ago: humans engage in gathering and hunting. They developed stone materials and discovered the fire.
20. 110.000 years ago. Homo Sapiens emerged, our direct Ancestor. Languages developed. Humans begin to populate other parts of the world: e.g. Australia.
21. 100.000 years ago: humans developed their first rituals and began to bury their dead. Humans began to express their wonder about the Earth in the first cave paintings.
- 20. 000 years ago: in the human flourishes awareness about Earth: patterns of seeds, seasons, primordial rhythms of the Universe are discovered. Humans began to domesticate plants and animals. The Mother God deity was worshipped, strongly connected with the fertility of the Earth.
- 12.000 years ago: Neolithic villages arise and gathering and hunting are left. This was the most radical transformation ever to occur in the human history. Humans settled down in villages. Pottery and weaving are developed.
24. 5000 years ago: urban civilization started. It brought many developments like trade, advanced irrigation systems, pyramids, military establishments. Warfare started.
24. 2500 years ago: universal religions emerged, like Buddhism, Christianity. Indigenous people were overwhelmed by these strong movements. Ethical and moral consciousness arose through the works of Buddha, Confucius and other sacred Scripture writers.
26.More than 2000 years ago: Jesus of Nazareth is born and lived among us.
27. 400 years ago: the modern European Scientific Age begins. Europeans colonized peoples all around the planet and destroyed indigenous cultures. The nation state was developed which was later overruled by the multinational corporations. The worldview of this period has brought us in the present global ecological crisis.
28. 100 years ago: the entire modern scientific enterprise, esp. through A. Einstein, has brought forth a radical new understanding of the Universe. The cosmos is a developing and expanding process, a community with the human who has a role and a place in the midst of it. The future of the Earth community rests in a significant way on the role of the human.
29. We connect ourselves to the dynamic process of the story of all life. Card with name, date of birth and eventually a word, sentence is put on the line. Each participant in the circle partakes in it.
30. NOW: all humans can know their common origin story as the story of the entire Earth community in a single sacred Universe.
text Miriam Therese Mac Gilles
Genesis Farm 1998