An Earthseed Memorial: Octavia Butler (1947-2006)

In memory of Octavia Butler, who died 10 years ago tomorrow, I want to share with you the following Earthseed funeral, which comes from Parable of the Talents.  The central act of the ritual is the planting of tree seedings

I invite you all to join me tomorrow in remembering Octavia Butler.  If it is too early in the year to plant trees where you live, then perhaps you can do something similar.  The following ritual can be performed in a group or individually.

Leader: God is Change.

Response: God is Change. Shape God.

Leader:

We give our dead
To the orchards
And the groves.
We give our dead
To life.

[Pause]

Death
Is a great Change—
Is life’s greatest Change.
We honor our beloved dead.
As we mix their essence with the earth,
We remember them,
And within us,
They live.

Response: We remember. They live.

Leader:

Darkness
Gives shape to the light
As light
Shapes the darkness.
Death
Gives shape to life
As life
Shapes death.
The universe
And God
Share this wholeness,
Each
Defining the other.
God
Gives shape to the universe
As the universe
Shapes God.

[Pause]

We have lived before.
We will live again.
We will be silk,
Stone,
Mind,
Star.
We will be scattered,
Gathered,
Molded,
Probed.
We will live
And we will serve life.
We will shape God
And God will shape us
Again,
Always again,
Forevermore.

Response: Forevermore.

Leader:

God is Change,
And in the end
God prevails.

 ∞ = Δ

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