Yesterday, I felt drawn to do the Cosmic Walk, aka the Stations of the Cosmos, at a retreat centre near where I live. This spiral walking pattern contains stops where one reflects on moments of the unfolding of creation, from the Primal Flaring Forth (the Big Bang) to the present moment of grace and choice in which we live, rooted in the universe story as articulated by Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. The Cosmic Walk was created by Sr. Miriam Therese McGillis several years ago to help us enter this story ritually and there are many ways to do it.
Before going, I wanted to clarify my desire to carry out ceremony in this way, so I asked questions and drew cards at random from the Voyager Tarot to respond to them:
- What is calling me to the Cosmic Walk today? 3 of WANDS (Compassion). My soul’s compassion for all of life and a desire for a spiritual experience that is connective and healing.
- What is appropriate for me to offer there? SAGE of CUPS (Regenerator). An intention for the regeneration/restoration of our world and anything that makes me feel regenerated in my daily life. Tea regenerates me, so I’ll offer loose leaves of tea that I’ll bless first.
- What benefit(s) can I receive by performing ritual in the Stations of the Cosmos? 7 of CRYSTALS (Dullness). A relaxed mind and a deeper appreciation for the ordinary/quotidian.
I packed some tea into a sandwich baggie, got out my umbrella, and by bus and by foot I made my way to the retreat centre. Before entering the Cosmic Walk, I blessed the tea and asked the Infinite Will to Good to use my time on the ritual path to contribute to the restoration of our world. Each time I reached a station, I paused, spoke the words “For the regeneration and restoration of our world”, sprinkled a few tea leaves on the earth as an offering, and reflected on the mystery or moment of nature’s unfolding that was depicted. At the end, I declared, “This ritual is ended, but its benefits continue,” then trekked home.
As I made my way to the house, I wondered, “What might the ceremony have accomplished?” My answer to myself was, “Well, I was engaged in something for an hour or so that kept me from doing any harm to the planet. Maybe if enough people did their own version of that more often, humans would contribute less problems to the world.” Food for thought. I felt calm, alive, and grateful.
Have you ever felt a nudge to do something sacred? What was it? For what reason? How did you clarify what it was about? What happened? What questions did it bring up for you? What responses to those questions have presented themselves so far? Please tell us here; we’re listening…