Cosmic Walk

An appropriate way to pray the Spirit of the Universe Story is called the "Cosmic Walk." First devised by Miriam McGillis, O.P. cofounder of Genesis Farm, it has helped many understand the immensity and sacredness of the New Cosmology. She has given her permission to use it here. I am grateful to Marion Honors, CSJ, Story of the Universe, Copyright 2003, for letting us reproduce her illustrations relating to some of the great moments in the Universe Story. Miriam McGillis, OP, has written a narrative to accompany this ritual for use with groups and explains how to set up the ritual materials. This cooperation among “green sisters,” those whose mission is “telling the great story” of our universe, is evidence of a movement among women religious to live in a sustainable manner with Mother Earth. It is a flowering of the work of many people including Dorothy Olinger, SSND.


Below you will find thumbnail images of Marion Honors illustrations. To view, download and save the full-size copy to your computer for printing, select the image and the 300dpi PDF will open.

The Universe begins, flaring forth out of Ultimate Mystery. Fifteen billion years ago. Hydrogen and helium form and all Creation unfolds from them.
The first stars appear, expanding and collapsing into themselves, forming elements necessary for life. One billion years later. This process continues, creating a trillion galaxies each with billions of stars.
4.6 billion years ago - Our Mother Star explodes producing calcium, silver, copper, tungsten, which will one day become part of the elephants, tabby cats, butterflies, Mozart, Ourselves!
100 million years later: Our star, the Sun, is born.
Earth and the other planets in our solar system form. 100 million years later: Earth is full of fire and creativity.
Earth awakens, Life begins! Four billion years ago.
An oxygen crisi on Earth - too much oxygen in the atmosphere from bacteria in the sea threatens Life. So, Earth invents an oxygen-using microbe! Two billion years ago.
About a billion years ago: Cells join together for survival and development. Sexual reproduction begins; animals start eating each other.
Six hundred million years ago: Worms and jellyfish appear wih the first nervous systems.
Fish emerge. Five hundred millions years ago: Now the nervous system is protected by bone - a key development for further complexity.
Life moves onto the land. Four hundred and twenty-five million years ago.
Insects come. Three hundred and ninty-five million years ago.
Wings for the insects! Three hundred and thirty million years ago.
The first trees and amphibians appear. Three hundred and seventy million years ago.
Dinosaurs, and flowers! Two hundred and thirty-three million years ago.
Birds come! One hundred and fifty million years ago.
The first mammals emerge. One hundred and sixteen million years ago.
Whales, the largest marine animals of all time, emerge. Twenty-five million years ago. Grass spreads across the land. Twenty-four million years ago.
A little over two and a half million years ago: The first humans appear on Earth!
Clothing, Shelter, and fire used. Five hundred thousand years ago. Ritual burials. One hundred thousand years ago. Human language begins. Forty thousand years ago.
The first musical instruments. Thirty-two thousand years ago. Bows and arrows first used. Twenty thousand years ago. Farming begins. Ten thousand years ago.
The rise of the Great Civilizations. Thirty-five hundred years ago. Jesus is born! Two thousand years ago. The Modern Nations arise. Four hundred years ago. Earth is seen from space. Thirty years ago.


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