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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

                                     The Men's Circle 
                                Copyright 1987 by R.M.P.J. 
              Those  of  you who  attended the  "Opening  the Sky"  ritual at
      Dragonfest this  year probably realized that  a large part of  it was a
      Creation Myth.  At the Manhood  Ritual on Friday night, Thomas's Circle
      Invocation  was  also  a Creation  Myth,  although  a  very brief  one.
      Perhaps it is in the stars, but I have been 
      thinking about a Pagan Creation Myth for several months now and perhaps
      this  is  as  good a  time  as  any  to publish  it.    The  basic idea
      originally  came when some  people complained that  science didn't have
      any mystery  or poetic power in  its formulations.  That  is not really
      true, it is just that not  enough scientists are trained to write well,
      or encouraged  to present new knowledge  in a form that  will appeal to
      all levels of our  minds.  Well, I decided to have a  go at it, and the
      following  myth  is  based  pretty  closely  on  modern  cosmology  and
      evolutionary theory. 
              In the beginning therewas neither matter nor energy,neither was
      there  space nor  time,  force  and  form  were not.    Yet  there  was
      Something.   Poised between Spirit and Void, without form or qualities,
      pure potentiality,  the  first physical  manifestation  had  existence.
      Scientists call it the  Primordial Singularity, occultists call  it the
      Cosmic Egg.   
              It changed, and the first moment of time came to be.  It       
      expanded, and space was born.   Not the space we know, but  one of many
      dimensions, and that space was filled with the first Force.  So intense
      was that Force  that space  itself altered. Dimensions  folded back  on
      themselves, while others expanded mightily.  The first Form came to be.
      As the infant  universe expanded it changed subtly, and as naturally as
      snowflakes  forming  in  the  air,  the  first  material  manifestation
      precipitated out of nothingness.  Neither matter nor 
      energy as we know  them, but yet both.  The Element Fire was born.  The
      universe continued to expand, and the one Force became two forces, then
      three  and finally four.  Matter and energy became distinguishable, and
      the Element  Earth was born from  Fire.  A hundred  thousand years went
      by,  and the  universe  continued  to  expand  and  cool  until,  quite
      suddenly, the fire died,  space became transparent to light,  and there
      were great clouds of cool gas, moving freely.  
      The  Element Air  was born.   The clouds  began to  draw together, then
      break apart into smaller clouds, and  smaller still, until a limit  was
      reached,  and   a  hundred   thousand  clouds  collapsed   inward  upon
      themselves, swirling and twisting,  flattening and smoothing, rippling,
      and organizing themselves.  The Element Water was born. 
              One cloud, like many of its siblings, took on astructure like a
      great pinwheel, with  spiral arms stretching out  from its center.   It
      was  Galaxias, our Milky Way.   Within its  turbulent swirling, smaller
      eddies formed and contracted,  tighter and tighter.   At the center  of
      one a spark grew bright then another and another.  The first stars were
      lighted,  and shown  in a  universe grown  dark.   Many of  them burned
      prodigally for  a time and  then exploded,  hurling the ashes  of their
      burning outward, ashes such as oxygen and carbon and 
      nitrogen; star  stuff, life stuff.  Generations  of stars came and went
      over the billions of years, and  out in one of the spiral arms  a cloud
      of  gas and  dust began  to collapse like  so many  others before.   It
      contracted, and  a  new star  lighted,  with a  disc  of dust  and  gas
      circling it.  The disc became lumpy  as grains of dust and crystals  of
      ice collided  and stuck together.   The lumps touched  and merged, ever
      growing in the light of  the young star.  Finally, nine  bodies circled
      the new star,  which would one day be  called Sol, or simply,  the Sun.
      Third out from the  sun a rare event  had happened.  Two young  planets
      had collided  and merged violently,  forming a  single planet.   In the
      violence of  that  collision, part  of the  surfaces of  both had  been
      ripped off and hurled  out to form a ring of  molten rock which quickly
      drew together  to form a giant satellite.   The Earth and  the Moon had
      been born in a passionate joining.   
              Asthe young Earth cooled,great volcanos belchedforth gases from
      its still  hot interior.   An atmosphere  of steam  and carbon  dioxide
      formed and then  clouds appeared.  The first  rains began, pouring down
      on the rocks and  washing down into  the low places.   The oceans  were
      born.    Water  evaporated from  the  oceans  and fell  again  as rain,
      dissolving minerals from the rocks and carrying them into the sea.  The
      early ocean became richer  and richer in dissolved minerals  and gases.
      Lightning in the young atmosphere formed new substances 
      which added to the complexity of  the mix.  The dissolved substances in
      the  oceans became  more and  more  complex, until  one  day a  complex
      molecule attracted simpler  compounds to  itself, and  then there  were
      two, then four.  Life was born.    
      From its simple origins, Life grew in complexity, until one day a patch
      of green appeared,  drawing energy  from the Sun,  and exuding  oxygen.
      Within  a short time the atmosphere changed  radically.  The sky became
      blue, the air  clear and rich in oxygen.  As the Earth had shaped Life,
      so  Life began  to shape  the Earth.     Delicately balancing  and ever
      re-balancing between the furnace heat of her sister Venus, and  the icy
      cold of her brother Mars, Gaia, the Living Earth, had come to be. 
              The  first animals  appeared  and swam  in  the oceans.    Then
      venturesome  ones  crawled onto  the  land.   The forms  taken  by life
      changed.   Fish appeared, and  dragons walked  the land.   Tiny  furred
      creatures  supplanted the  great  dragons, whose  descendants now  flew
      through the skies, clothed in  feathers.  By and by some  of the furred
      creatures came  down from the  trees and began  to walk about  on their
      hind legs, and then they started picking things up.  Soon they were 
      using the things  they picked up.   Then they  started talking to  each
      other.  After they had been talking for a while, they started thinking.
      Some of them even started  thinking about where they had come  from and
      where they were  going.  And  they began to  wonder how everything  had
      come to be - and why. 
              Well, there it is. Now thatit's written I'mwondering what itall
      means.  You who  read this have  as much right to  interpret it as  the
      author,  who after all is mostly gathering the thoughts and conclusions
      of  other men and  women and putting  them into a  hopefully attractive
      package.   Creation myths are supposed  to tell us  something about the
      world we  live in  and our  relationship with  that world, and  perhaps
      about ourselves.  This one seems to be telling us that the 
      world in which  we live was not  made, like a  clock, it grew, like  an
      embryo in an egg.  We humans are as much a part of our world as the eye
      of an embryo is part of the embryo.  We are the part of the world  that
      "sees".   And what about  the Gods?   Where do they fit  into all this?
      Well, eggs  generally have a  mother and  a father, and  newborn chicks
      aren't aware of either until they open  their eyes.  We are the eyes of
      our world, and one of our functions is to see the Mother and Father. 

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