Last Sunday evening I watched a programme on BBC called Stardust, an episode in the science series Wonders of the Universe.
In it, Prof Brian Cox talked about how all the elements that make up our bodies - and all the elements that make up everything on Earth - were formed in ancient stars. "Every piece of you and me was forged in the furnaces of space," he said.
Yes, we are stardust; we are all made of stars; and every man and every woman is a star - to quote two songs, one album and one well-known occult text.
Stardust was a fascinating documentary - and very pagan considering it was about hard science. It started with Brian Cox attending a Hindu cremation on the banks of the Ganges and explaining that everything that dies is reborn. Every element that makes up our bodies has in the past been part of other bodies - people, animals, plants and the very rocks that make up our planet. After we die those elements will return to the earth to become new plants, animals and human beings.
Of course, he was talking about this in a physical sense - although he was also touching on questions of metaphysics such as what are we and where do we come from?
I found that this helped me come to terms with the death of my mother last week.
Her name was Stella. And she was a star.
The BBC series is shown on Sunday evenings on BBC2 at 9pm and in it Prof Brian Cox tells the epic story of our universe and shows how its story is also our story. Programmes on BBC TV Channels are usually available to watch on iPlayer for at least a week after they are shown: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/
Based on the series, the hardback book Wonders of the Universeis available through Amazon as is the Wonders of the Universe [DVD] 
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