The Bear-ings of Truth

There is something about looking up at a night sky that swiftly kills thoughts and moves one into a place that feels familiar yet mysterious, peaceful yet bubbling – where nothing and everything merge into one.

It took me years to realize this is somewhere I have visited many times – as a child in play, in listening to music, in making art, in nature, in contemplation of spiritual teachings, in meditation… And it took me many more years to understand that I am not a visitor to this place. I am this “place”. And somehow, gazing into the vastness of the universe, I am reflected back to my Self. As Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj once said:

There is a vastness beyond the farthest reaches of the mind. That vastness is my home; that vastness is myself. And that vastness is also love. 

It is easy to say this with hindsight of course, but when the willingness to awaken increases to a certain level, all of a sudden you recognize the whole universe as a pointer to Truth, a mirror for the Self. And you realize that every song you ever heard was talking of God, every word spoken to you was pointing to back to your Self, every event in your life was simply a garden gate to your home waiting to be walked through, and every being you ever encountered was the Friend.

The most popular constellation we teach our children in the Northern Hemisphere is Ursa Major, the Great Bear – or in its decreased form, the Big Dipper. I ran a small survey on Twitter and 75% of people said this was the first group of stars they ever got to know. (Although very few of us could name the brightest stars individually).

It was with such joy that I discovered recently that this constellation, and its partnering constellation (Ursa Minor, the Little Bear or Little Dipper) – are a symbol for the Mind as it seeks to awaken. The teaching was there above us all along.

Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the Big and the Small Dipper

Polaris (our current Pole Star) has long represented The Unchanging Self, the Divine Self, the Beloved, God, Truth. And Ursa Major and Ursa Minor rotate around the Pole Star throughout the year.

According to author Oral E. Scott, the mother/father bear represents the objective mind.  With maturity and mind control training and purification comes understanding and wisdom – represented by the large stature of the bear. But while this mature bear/refined mind points to Truth (as its stars point to the Pole Star), this mind/bear will never touch Truth/the Pole Star. We have to move beyond reasoning and the mind…

So when we are mature enough, our minds are then ready to become like the baby bear – open to not knowing, “being” rather than doing, and shifting into the subjective mind of intuition and being guided from within.  For it is Ursa Minor that indeed touches the Pole Star – it is at the very tip of its tail. By turning our awareness back upon itself we have the opportunity to finally behold the Truth that lies within.

And eventually, to stop spinning, to dissolve into Truth alone and become the Pole Star, we have to let go of even the child like one that is searching within.

Receiving Part 1

“The sun is the wine, the moon is the cup. Pour the sun into the moon if you want to be filled.” – Sufi poet Hafiz

The Sufis and the yogis have a long and connected history. It’s no coincidence that yoga teachers quote Sufi poets Rumi and Hafiz in classes. The two mystical paths share the same passion for devotion and surrender on the path to awakening. They also both recognize the importance of balance, of giving and receiving, of the sun and the moon.

In Sufism, there are 99 names or qualities of the Beloved (well 100 with Allah as zero), and each represents a facet for us to explore and experience in order to become united with this Beloved. The second of these “pathways of the heart” as Neil Douglas-Klotz calls them, is Ar-Rahim, The Moon of Love, and when called to it, we are asked to deeply consider our capacity to receive, and to look to the moon.

I love this pathway. How many of us find it uncomfortable to receive? A gift? A compliment? A friend offering to pay? I know I do. We can practice gratitude for the things that come our way, but that doesn’t always help us feel less overwhelmed or less awkward in that moment of receiving. Yet here are the Sufis telling us that if we want to live a life of love, it’s imperative that we get to know what it means to receive—to stop resisting.

The Good of Giving

Our greater emphasis on giving is understandable. We are genetically wired to give—scientific studies show that when we give, the brain releases the pleasure hormone dopamine. We also are reminded to give much more often—especially if following a spiritual path. In the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita we are reminded that service is a path to self-realization. Generosity, dana paramita, is the first of Buddha’s six perfections. In Kabbalah, giving is vital to overcoming self-centeredness. And in Judeo-Christian religions we are told that “it is in giving that we receive.”

Ar-Rahim, the Moon of Love, teaches us that when we allow ourselves to receive, the world gets our moonbeams.

This encouragement is wonderful, and there are clear practices we can follow to cultivate our giving nature: being of service to others, performing random acts of kindness, volunteering, donating, saying kind words….

But by comparison receiving can feel far less noble an action. There aren’t really any clear guidelines for practice as it is almost assumed we receive by default. As such, we’re not very adept at it. We confuse receiving with “taking.” We can judge receiving as selfish, or only suitable for certain people who we deem “needy” enough. How many of us do not practice the art of receiving, but simply regard it as something to fit it in “between” giving? “OK, I’ll accept your help,” we might acknowledge with defeat, while we figure out how we’re going to pay them back.

But the Sufis ask us to rethink how we view receiving, and to reflect upon the moon to help us do so.

The Moon of Love

When the moon is full, the light that bounces off it is enough to illuminate streets, yards, forests, lakes, and oceans. How many of us have enjoyed a night bathed in moonlight? Yet, upon exploration, we find that the moon isn’t really “giving” us any light—it’s receiving light from the sun. We simply benefit from the reflection. Ar-Rahim, The Moon of Love, teaches us that when we allow ourselves to receive, the world gets our moonbeams.

As we look at receiving through this new lens, we can begin to imagine… What if the moon could grow and receive even more sunlight? How many more moonbeams would the world get? While the moon can’t get any bigger, there is no end to the love we can receive if we practice opening our hearts and letting love in. Receiving is essentially surrender.

This requires giving up our judgments, and exploring the moments when we feel uncomfortable receiving. Why is it we find it hard to receive gifts? Do we feel obligated to give back? Why are some compliments hard to accept? Do we think we’re not worthy? Why don’t we let others pay? Do we judge those with less money as weak? These are all just pointers to what Sufi poet Rumi would call our “barriers to love”:

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

Practicing Receiving

Practicing receiving helps us uncover these barriers. It also helps us recognize that if we think giving is “better” than receiving, we are mistaken. They are one action, as the sun and moon teach us. To resist receiving is to resist giving.

I learned this beautiful lesson not under the moon, but in a checkout line at a New York City supermarket. The woman in front of me, a stranger, was gathering her food stamps and coupons to pay when I felt an internal nudge to offer to buy her groceries. But I hesitated. I started thinking about whether she would be offended—or what if she said no?

It was at that very moment the woman turned to the teller and said: “And I would like to pay for the groceries of this lady behind me.” I was shocked. It was like we both heard the giving/receiving voice at the same time, but her mind did not get in the way. Her heartfelt capacity to give was far greater than mine.

It was not easy to receive, although I did so with great thanks. My mind had several opinions about what it meant to accept such a gift from someone who appeared to have less money than myself. I would have been much more comfortable being the one to pay. But if we want to unite with the Beloved, then it’s not the comfortable path we take. As Rumi says: “Run from what’s comfortable.” If receiving is your barrier to love, then it’s worth making receiving your practice. And if we need a reminder, we need only look out the window at night.

The Need for Dark Skies

Sark, a small island between England and France, is the world’s first “Dark Sky” island. It has no vehicles—the 650 people who live there travel by bike or foot—and there are no street lamps. When night falls the only thing to illuminate the island of Sark is starlight.

Intrigued as to how living under the light of the stars impacts health and behavior, psychotherapist Ada Blair decided to interview Sark’s residents. She uncovered that the people who lived on Sark truly felt that being in touch with the night sky benefited their well-being. Writing of her findings for The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), Blair says that the shared night sky gave Sark’s residents a deep sense of community. That residents made comments such as:

“last summer we were lying on the field outside the Island Hall with everybody looking up during the meteor shower … people had sleeping bags, thermoses, and hot chocolate.”

And while small talk elsewhere may involve the weather, Blair says on Sark it those casual back-and-forths start with the sky: “Did you see the Milky Way above the Seignurie last night. Wasn’t it amazing?”

Not only do the stars bring Sark’s community together, but the residents observing the night sky results in positive (and sometimes transformative) feelings. 

Sadly the experience of turning our gaze to look up at the skies is one that is increasingly lost on our generation. While Sark may have dark skies, much of the world has become illuminated by unnatural light. Journalist, Ron Judd, in an article for The Seattle Times, says that 99% of Americans never routinely see a true dark sky – and that’s if they even step outside…

It’s a stark contrast to how humanity used to interact with the stars, where constellations were our guides, our friends, our gods.

By failing to look up above, we miss the prompt to ask ourselves deep questions. David Ingram, who heads a Seattle-based group of dedicated dark-sky advocates underscores what we miss when we stop looking up: “The sad truth is that the current bunch of us will be the first in the history of the planet to go most or all the way through life failing to grasp our place in the universe. Because we simply have never seen it. You can put anybody—I don’t care who they are—out under the stars for 30 minutes, and they start asking the big questions. Where else does that happen? You don’t ask big questions in a restaurant.”


Orion, Betelgeuse and a Dwarf go up a Mountain

In one of the many tales regarding Orion, I just love this one, and it puts a whole new spin on Betelgeuse in my mind…

Orion had inherited a few things from his fathers Zeus, Hermes and Poseidon. He was handsome, athletic, could walk on water, and was the size of a giant. But he also inherited a few less welcoming traits … he was something of a brute, and believed he could get whatever he wanted. And what he wanted as he became a young man, was Merope – the daughter of the King of Chios – who we know better as one of the Pleiades.

In order to win her hand, Orion, with his trusty hunting dogs, hunted and killed every wild animal in the kingdom of Chios, but still the King was still not prepared to hand over his daughter. So one night, Orion, lustful after several flagons of wine, climbed up into Merope’s bedroom and raped her.

The King was furious, and called on the gods to take revenge – and one heard – the God of Darkness, Erebus, who crept up on Orion while he was sleeping and slashed his eyes – blinding him.

When Orion woke to find himself blind he was mortified – not because he realized his terrible deeds, but because he was furious at the King for having punished him, and he needed his eyes back to seek revenge.

So he sought out Hephaestus, the god of fire and masonry to help him. Hephaestus gave Orion his son, the dwarf Cedalion, to carry on his shoulder to act as his eyes, and told them to head to the highest mountain on Earth to wait for the Goddess of dawn, Aurora, who would return his sight.

I love this picture depicting Orion, his loyal sidekick, Sirius the dog, and Cedalion the dwarf on his shoulder from the 1971 book “Stories of the Stars” by Denise Vale. This story and image now make me reconsider Betelgeuse as the shoulder of Orion – what if, instead, Betelgeuse is the head of Cedalion, aloft Orion’s shoulder, bathed in the bright orange glow of dawn?

Part of the Never-Ending Story

This image of Orion and its Cloud Complex by Rogelio Bernal Andreo has got me transfixed this week. Orion the mighty Hunter and his belt is such a familiar constellation to us that we often don’t even pause to wonder what secrets it may be holding, and yet here in this mosaic, stitched together so beautifully, we can see just how wondrous Orion really is.

There is Barnard’s Loop – that red gaseous crescent moon shape on the left. There’s the Witch’s Head Nebula down in the lower right that I’m still not quite certain isn’t Falkor the Luck Dragon flying our hero Atreyu through the universe.

Just above the left-hand star of Orion’s Belt (Alnitak) we find the Flame Nebula, and just under it, the eerie Horsehead Nebula emerging out of the dark. And then in the lower centre, the incredible Great Orion Nebula we can even see with our naked eye.

But this is just scratching the surface. There’s an open cluster of stars, three of which are perfectly aligned north to south, Collinder 69, that lie in the face of Orion  – when was the last time we even gazed upon our Hunter’s face? And then the Reflection Nebula… The list goes on and on.

It is the myth of these constellations that really lights a fire in my heart, and Orion, seen the world over, has birthed thousands of tales and legends. Looking at this image one can’t possibly help but think of Orion as mythic. And it raises the question, what is myth? Does it have to be an ancient tale of a great Hunter who, in his pride, was stung by a scorpion? Or a tale of a Belt that in the South Pacific is instead a canoe taking fishermen heroes out to sea?

What if a myth is also a story of an exploding star (did you know Betelgeuse, that red star on the left shoulder of Orion may explode as a supernova in the relatively near future and that humans on Earth will see it?), or a tale of how humans saw an eerie horse or witch’s head in the sky above? Or, of a face that is rarely looked at yet wears three distinguished stars across a cheek… Where does the myth end and where does it begin? Or perhaps, what we discover is that it is all a myth. Life throughout space and across time is simply a beautiful, fantastical, unimaginable, rich mosaic of a story, and how lucky we are to be part of it.

Moon Rituals

Author’s note: This article was written for

The moon is such a powerful presence in our lives — pulling on the ocean’s tides, and creating a rhythm for all life on our planet. Whereas the phases of the moon used to be honored by people across the globe, defining our farming calendars and our own fertility, and determining celebrations and events, today much of our modern culture ignores our deep and ancient relationship with this celestial object.

A moon ritual therefore can be a great way to reconnect to the rhythms that we share with all life on Earth. It can also be a powerful tool to align with the ebb and flow of energy as we seek to foster a life of our dreams, and release the things holding us back.

The two most popular moon rituals are carried out on new moons and full moons — although three days on either side also works.

The New Moon

The new moon brings with her the opportunity for creativity — appearing dark, or empty, like fertile ground. Over the following 14 to 15 nights the moon appears to gather more light from the sun, becoming a crescent and eventually a full moon, and so brings with her the power of growth and potential. It’s a time to plant intentions for the things we want in life, and to align with the moon’s energy to help us grow those seeds. Quite literally, gardeners that work with moon phases will sow seeds of leafy and short-root plants during a new moon. As the moon waxes, its tidal pull draws water up to the top of the soil nurturing the seed.

The Full Moon

While the new moon is a time to sow seeds, the full moon is a time to pull weeds—a time to release the things that no longer serve us. As the moon brims with the sun’s energy, we offer her the things we would like her to take with her as she starts to wane over the next 14 to 15 days, emptying out back toward a new moon.

A ritual created using our own intuition is always the most powerful, and once we become more in tune with the rhythm of waxing and waning energy, that intuition will grow. Here, however, are some ideas to include in any moon ritual.

Opening Sacred Space

Ideally for a moon ritual, you would be outside under the moon, but if that’s not possible then being near a window, or even setting an intention in an indoor space will work. Whether alone or with friends, smudge yourself and the area you are going to be working in with palo santo or sage, call in the Four Directions, the Four Elements, or any angels and guides you feel would positively support your ritual, intending to share the benefits of your ritual with all beings.

Making an Offering

I like to collect fallen leaves, feathers, branches, or stones leading up to a ritual and create a mandala on the ground or on a table for the moon. Similarly, you could lay out petals or crystals (under a full moon, crystals will also have the added benefit of being charged). To represent the elements of water and fire, a glass of water and a safely-lit candle can be added to an altar — although try to let the candle burn out by itself or gently snuff it rather than blowing it out. We can also offer our thanks during our preparation, pondering the many ways the moon brings joy into our lives.

Sharing our Intentions

Take a moment if you haven’t already to write a short letter to the moon asking clearly for what you want help with. At the time of a new moon you will be asking for things to come into, or to grow in, your life. This could be a job, a baby, a new friend or partner. It could also be greater clarity around an issue, or creative energy or stamina for a specific project. You could also ask for more playfulness, joy, or laughter to blossom in your world.

During a full moon, the same letter would ask for help releasing something from your life. That could be a relationship, a thought pattern, a grudge, a physical ailment, or feelings of anger or envy. I like to release blocks that are holding me back from my dreams—so that the full moon and new moon become part of a month-long ritual. Then place your letter somewhere on your altar, where you will leave it to be received by the moon overnight, before clearing away the next day when the sun has risen.

Celebration and Closing

A ritual, while serious, is something to be celebrated. Together, or alone, you could sing, chant, read a poem, dance, or even roll through some moon salutations in honor of yourself and the moon. When you feel like your ritual is ending, close the space and give thanks to the Moon and all those that joined you in the circle.

Finally, observe how you feel for the next few days. Rituals are very powerful. After a new moon you may have insights as to how to take action toward your dreams that you won’t want to miss, and after a full moon you may be guided to rest or drink lots of water. As the moon rules the water element, a bath can also be a great post-ritual addition — and a moon phases calendar so you can plan for your next ritual.

Tiny Crab, Big Story…


It’s amazing how a small crab with a walk-on role in Greek mythology is such a fixture in our daily life today…

The constellation Cancer (Latin for crab) is one of the most modest in the sky. It has no particularly bright stars, and its only claim to fame is that it belongs to the zodiac, and contains the beautiful M44 open cluster — The Beehive. But back 2000-odd years ago it was a different story.

When the Sun reached its summer solstice (its most Northern position in the sky), the constellation it happened to be in front of was none other than Cancer. It was a big deal… For Mesopotamians, it marked the gateway for the descent of souls into incarnation.

That positioning of Cancer also gave rise to what we know today to be the Tropic of Cancer — the imaginary line we draw to depict latitude, also known as the Northern Tropic.

Even though, as a result of precession, the Sun’s most northerly position has now moved westwards between Gemini and Taurus, the name has stuck.But how did such a tiny crab find its way up into the sky in the first place?

In Greek mythology, Hera, the wife of Zeus, vowed to kill Heracles — the son of a mortal woman, and sadly also the son of philandering Zeus.  In a fit of jealous rage she made Heracles insane, and in his insanity he killed wife and children. Guilt-ridden, poor Heracles consulted the oracle of Delphi for advice on how he could make up for his actions. The penance it was determined would be set by Heracles own cousin, Eurystheus. And so Eurystheus set Heracles 12 impossible tasks to complete called the 12 Labors of Heracles — the second of which was to slay Hydra, a serpentine water monster.

Still full of jealousy, Hera sought to distract Heracles during his battle by sending a crab to nip on his toe. But the tiny crab was no match for Heracles who crushed it beneath his foot. While it may have been just a brief appearance for our crab, Hera rewarded him for his efforts by placing him among the stars and he’s been there ever since.

The Eternal Lion in the Sky

Thousands of years ago, before Egypt became the arid place we now know it as, it was once lush and green, and lions roamed its jungles. They were feared and revered by tribesmen, and seen as a symbol of power, and strength — the king of the jungle. To be caught in a tussle with a lion and to win was an incredible feat, and the skin would be given to kings as a gift.

As the climate changed and deserts overtook the country, however, the lions drew further back, and living on the edges of the desert they became known as the guardians of the eastern and western horizons, where the sun rose and set. But when the heat increased during the summer months, the lions would leave their posts to travel to the Nile in search of water. Can you imagine what a sight that must have been for the very earliest of the Ancient Egyptians to see these beasts come in their prides of as many as 40 lions to drink and feed at the river?  Little wonder so many of the ancient statues and tombs in Egypt are flanked by stone lions. The sphinx itself has the body of a lion.

At those times, when constellations were being named, there was a collection of stars, including one particularly bright star, that would rise before dawn during the hottest period of the year when the Nile would flood and the lions were making their journey to the river. The Ancient Egyptians named that bright star, ‘the heart of the lion’ — in Arabic,”Qalb al-Asad — one of the four royal stars — and the stars that surrounded the heart formed the body of a lion, which is the zodiacal constellation, Leo. Today we refer to the brightest star in the constellation as Regulus (the king).

Now, however, there are no more lions in Egypt, and it is saddening to think that one day if humanity doesn’t act quickly to conserve the great cats, there may be no more lions left in Africa at all. In 2015, only 20,000 lions remained on Earth. Imagine in a few hundred years from now when people look skywards to Leo, and tell tales of this mighty creature that once roamed Africa weighing in at some 500 pounds with three-inch claws and a golden mane, how those listening might shake their head and call the lion simply a mythological creature — that it never existed.

Gazing up at Leo reminds us how animals are part of our human story and that we need to help preserve them, lest they be only be seen by future generations in the stars above. It also makes us wonder… Draco (the dragon) is immortalized in our night sky. Can it be possible dragons once existed, and aren’t just stuff of legend..?

The Royal Family in the Sky

They are called the Royal Family, and they revolve in the heavens around the pole — Cepheus, Cassiopeia and Andromeda. Their tale is a tragic one (naturally), but one with many lessons…

Queen Cassiopeia was the wife of King Cepheus, and together they had a daughter called Andromeda. Both mother and daughter were a beautiful pair — and Queen Cassiopeia made no bones about declaring their physical attributes.One day in a fit of vanity, she boasted that both her and Andromeda were far more lovely that the sea-nymphs, the Nereids — the 50 daughters of Nereus, the old man of the sea.

But the Nereids did not take kindly to the comparison, and complained to their protector, Poseidon, who became so enraged that he struck the waters with his giant trident flooding the lands all along the coast, and calling up from the depths of the sea, the sea-monster Cetus.

King Cepheus was at his wits’ end. Thanks to his wife’s conceited ways, his kingdom was flooded, and now a monster lurked off-shore, and so he went to consult the Oracle to see what could be done. But only more bad news met King Cepheus. He was told that, in order to save his people, he had to sacrifice his daughter Andromeda to Cetus, and succumbing to the pressure, this is exactly what Cepheus decided to do.

Poor Andromeda was chained to the rocks along the coastline to be fed to the monster…But, as luck would have it, hero Perseus happened to be passing overhead on his horse Pegasus (although some say Perseus had no horse and was flying with magic winged-sandals).

Recently back from beheading Medusa, Perseus pledged to save Andromeda in return for her hand in marriage, and King Cepheus (who it was clear would give his daughter to anyone who asked) agreed. And so Perseus went out onto the rocks to wait for the sea-monster to attack. And attack it did… But brave Perseus prevailed, stabbing Cetus finally in the heart (although some say he used Medusa’s head to turn the monster to stone), and saving princess Andromeda.

Depending on who you ask, Andromeda and Perseus had a glorious celebration of marriage, but Poseidon did not forget… As punishment for her vanity, Poseidon put Cassiopeia up into the night sky placing her in such a position that she would have to revolve around the Pole, therefore being left hanging upside down in an undignified position for much of eternity. King Cepheus is next to her, and you’ll find Andromeda, Perseus and Pegasus not too far away.

Lyra and the Music of the Gods


The constellation Lyra represents a lyre, or harp, and has within it the very bright star Vega. Its story is a beautiful, albeit a sad one…

One day Mercury was resting by the banks of the River Nile when he found an empty tortoise shell. As he peered into it, he noticed that sounds echoed from within it, and he had the idea to add some strings and create an instrument. This beautiful lyre played sounds so ethereal and beautiful that only immortals could hear it, and Mercury took it to Olympus, the home of the Gods.

All the gods were enamored with the enchanting sounds of lyre — particularly Apollo, who offered Mercury his magic staff, said to contain the power to bring great prosperity to its owner, in exchange for the instrument. Mercury agreed, but before taking to the air in his winged sandals and leaving, he taught Apollo how to play the lyre. But this is just the introduction to the real story of the lyre, because Apollo gave the lyre to his son Orpheus…

Orpheus was in love with Eurydice, but on the day of their wedding Eurydice was bitten by a viper and died instantly. Devastated, Orpheus travelled to the Underworld to ask Pluto, the god of Death, if Eurydice could come be let free — a request Pluto was often asked, but almost never agreed to. In order to convince Pluto, Orpheus played his lyre — a melancholy melody so touching that it moved Pluto’s wife Persephone and all the spirits of the dead to tears.

Pluto agreed: Orpheus could indeed take Eurydice with him back up to the land of the living, but he offered one warning — that as they made their way out of the Underworld, they should not look back…

So Orpheus guided Eurydice through the Underworld until the gates that marked the exit back to Earth came into sight. As the tunnel became narrower, Orpheus let go of Eurydice’s hand and led the way, but, concerned she was not behind him, he turned at the last moment as he walked through the gates to check that she was still there…

The warning had been ignored, and Eurydice was cast back down into the Underworld leaving poor Orpheus once again alone with his lyre to wander the Earth.

If you thought this was tragic, I’m afraid it only gets worse. As Orpheus traversed through hills and dales playing his sad songs on his lyre, trees and animals came to hear him, and they weren’t the only ones… His magic song drew many maidens to him — all of whom fell madly in love with him, but Orpheus refused their advances, thinking only of his love for Eurydice.

In the end he had rejected so many women that they came together in their anger and formed a small army to set upon Orpheus and kill him. And one night, they did just that. Their crazed screams drowned out poor Orpheus’ lyre and the band of women stabbed him in the heart.

As he lay dying, they cast the lyre into the river where it sank to the bottom. But Jupiter, having seen all this from above, sent a vulture down to Earth to pluck the lyre from the water and bring it back to the gods, and place it in the heavens for eternity for the immortals to always hear.

As you look up maybe hoping to catch bright star Vega or the Ring Nebula that sit within Lyra, listen very carefully… maybe you’ll hear its song filling the universe.