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                                    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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