Cosmogenesis Dance for Winter Solstice Ceremony
By Glenys Livingstone Ph.D.
In traditional PaGaian Winter Solstice ceremony, after anointing each other with oil and invoking and recognising the sacred in each other around the circle, the celebrant invites: "Let us celebrate this sacredness, Her eternal Cosmogenesis, in the Dance". This dance is one of our favourite things to do. The sacredness that we celebrate is imagined by the story told as of Old: that on this night "the Great Mother gives birth to the Divine Child", and that "the Divine Child is the new being in you, in me ... is the bringer of hope, the evergreen tree, the return of warmth and light, the centre which is also the circumference - all of manifestation. The Divine Child being born is the miracle of being, and the Unimaginable More that we are becoming." And with the invocation then, we the celebrants, recognise that we are each “Goddess Mother” and also each the “Divine Child”: each is Creator and Created – as one cannot birth without being birthed at the same time.
We recognise in the invocation that each participates in Her eternal Cosmogenesis: “Thou art Goddess Mother – Tia-mat, Thou art the Divine Child - Thou art all of That … a whole Universe” is the blessing each gives to another around the circle. Then we dance this eternal Creativity in the “Cosmogenesis Dance” as I have named it.
The dance has three layers, which is understood to represent the three aspects of Goddess, the Creative Triplicate Dynamic that the ancients were aware of - imagined in so many different ways around the globe. As Triple Spiral She is a dynamic that was apparently understood as essential to on-going Cosmic Creativity, as it is the ancient motif lit up by the Winter Solstice dawn at Bru-na-Boinne (known as Newgrange) in Ireland.
[IMAGE#1] The three aspects poetically understood as Goddess celebrate Virgin/Young One - Urge to Be as I have named this quality – the ever new differentiated being, Mother – the deeply related interwoven web -Dynamic Place of Being as I have named this quality - the communion that this place is, and Crone – the eternal creative return to All-That-Is - She who Creates the Space to Be as I have named this quality. The three layers of the dance may be understood to embody these. The Dance represents the flow and balance of these three – a flow and balance of Self, Other and All-That-Is. It may be experienced like a breath, that we breathe together – as we do co-create the Cosmos: at Winter Solstice we each specifically light a candle for the new being coming forth in us this year, and we join together in expressing the "flame in our hearts" with which we may re-generate the world, as the Sun has always done.
The Cosmogenesis Dance that we do in the ceremony expresses the whole Creative Process we are in. It is one of complete reciprocity, a flow of Creator and Created, like a breath. There is dynamic exchange in every moment - that is the nature of the Place we inhabit. The dance may help us to get it, and to invoke it. Every year when we do this Dance, we want to do it again soon!
Livingstone, Glenys. PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. NE: iUniverse, 2005.
Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess. NY: Harper and Row, 1999.
Swimme, Brian and Berry, Thomas. The Universe Story. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
Glenys Livingstone Ph.D. is the author of PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion, which fuses the indigenous traditions of Old Europe with scientific theory, feminism and a poetic relationship with place. She lives in Australia where Winter Solstice occurs and is celebrated in June. Glenys’ website is http://pagaian.org