Life Cube Gonna Burn in Vegas


2014 Life Cube in Vegas. Image: Aluminarium

Scott Cohen asked us to share this.

It’s official. The Life Cube Project will be coming back to Las Vegas. The metal and glass Life Cube will be coming from Reno if we can arrange transportation and then we will be creating a 24 foot Life Cube on Fremont Street between 8 & 9th. The Cube will be up and open to the public in mid-March and burn on April 2. The journey from Burning Man to the default world continues. We will be looking for artists, builders, people with positive energy to teach yoga, dance, spin fire, play music, DJ, and help assemble 200 satellite Cubes for schools throughout the Las Vegas valley. This is going to be epic. If interested in helping, please email and we will get you info. #lifecube #burningman — Please feel free to post your favorite Life Cube memories and photos. Documentary by H. Andrews Joven.



Founded On Fire Magick

Fest300 has just published a lengthy interview with Burning Man Founder Crimson Rose. Are they the new Voices of Burning Man?

The article is very interesting and I encourage you to read it in its entirety at Fest300. I want to highlight in particular the occult and marketing aspects of this. The emphasis is ours:

Every year, hundreds of accomplished fire performers throughout the world wipe sweat from their brows, cross their fingers and submit an audition reel for the experience of a lifetime. If accepted, these “conclaves” are granted exclusive access to the Holy of Holies at the godfather of transformational festivals: the Great Circle at Burning Man . They’ll be among the select few taking part in a ritualized fire dance as a gift to all the fest’s participants, and as tribute to the epic burning of “the Man.”

Out of all the myriad forms of artistic expression found at festivals today, many are grandiose achievements by incredible men. But the hearty warmth, nurturing, and acceptance that pervade these places are divinely feminine. Perhaps the archetype who best captures this quality is Crimson Rose , the fire performance community’s celebrated heroine and a founding board member at Burning Man.

Often hailed as “the godmother of fire arts” (she was the first-ever fire dancer on the playa), Crimson reviews conclave auditions with a panel of legends to select the crème de la crème for the ceremony. Year after year, fire performers strive just to be a part of her continued legacy by pouring their souls into their Burning Man performances so the tradition is passed with grace on to the next generation.

To learn more about this sacred art, we caught up with Crimson Rose, who graciously took some time with us to talk about the origins of fire performance, the history of fire dance at Burning Man and the future of man’s first invention in the festival community.

Before joining the Burning Man community in her current role, Crimson was a fine art model and dancer for 27 years. In the 80s, a good friend passed along the art of fire dancing. Coming from a background in theater and dance she took to it quickly and fostered an intimate relationship with flames.

And when they say “intimate relationship” in this puff piece glowing tribute, they’re not kidding:

“…to me, that was really the journey of magic that I discovered not only within myself, but in fire dance itself.”

In those days, everybody danced but nobody danced with fire. What Burners now enjoy out on the esplanade is an evolution of many ancient dancing-based traditions – which only became more tribal once flames were introduced. “I don’t do poi and I don’t do staff,” she said. “My dancing is really handling torches and a bowl of fire, dipping them into the fire and laying that on my body.

Sometimes called fleshing, this technique has been passed down through tribal civilizations for generations. It’s sensual and intimate, and sparks a very special rapport with fire, both for the viewer and the performer.

Righty-ho. Nothing too occult about that is there, worshipping fire so intimately that you want it laying on your body, “sensually”. Perfectly normal behavior, everyone does it, Marge Simpson‘ll be into next.

When we asked about her first-ever dance, she said, “I discovered things about myself because I felt like the fire was a sort of essence of all life. Although, it really is more a phenomena in some sense because there’s a magic to it…That magic, for a lot of fire performers, is the hottest part of the flame…“It was also as if the fire was sort of leading me on its own journey. Sort of provoking me to bring it to life.””

Burning Man Darren Keith Processional

In this photo by Darren Keith, note the Devil Horns on all the keepers of the sacred flame, who stride like giants above us in their Procession to The Man

Without question, this person believes that this is a magick ritual she is performing, in the much larger magick ritual of Burning Man. She was recruited into the Organization Project in 1990 – 7 years before Harry Potter came out – specifically to perform this magickal role.

The Man looked a little different back in 1986

The Man looked a little different back in the early days

We asked how she got involved with this desert social experiment in the first place. She thought for a bit, and took us back to a time before that first dance, to an email and a phone call with the man often accredited with launching Burning Man, Larry Harvey himself. “In 1990, I had a conversation with Larry Harvey and he talked about a thing they were doing. He had sent me a video of what they did the year before. It was really dark. It was a lot of fire and I couldn’t figure out what the hell they were doing.”

…she said to herself sarcastically. “I’m gonna be really cool because I don’t know what the hell these people are doing. They started pulling and a man raised up, and something clicked in me.” Crimson explained. “I didn’t know what it was. But I knew that I had to go to the desert.” Footage from the prior year continued to beckon her to visit. Seeing a man in the film breath the fire that ignited the effigy was enough to inspire the trip.

Igniting the effigy, from the magickal cauldron called El Diabla. Inside the pentagram and the 0.666% circle.

“I always felt like I was sort of a freak. You know, that I never fit in. Not with my family. Not with the school. And all of a sudden I felt like I was among my family in the desert.”

Yep, that’s the marketing pitch. Play to the social element, give the reason why all the freaks should buy tickets to this transformational festival. They don’t have to look beautiful and glamorous and cool like the people at other festivals. But maybe once they spend $400 and brainwash themselves at the self-service cult, they will walk away feeling Burnier-Than-Those People.

Back to the occult bits:

At the center of her magnetic attraction this new subculture was this effigy, over which Crimson grew protective. In one of her first encounters with it, “one of the very first things I did is I had these 16-foot-wide silk wings that I wore as I climbed the Man.” People were astonished to look up and see what looked like a fairy climbing to the top of the figure’s shoulder. “I felt like that at that point, I was the protector for the Man. If the man was going to be released we had to do it in the best way that we could, so that year I got a chance to actually help set him on fire.” For the first time, the magic of dance kicked off the legendary ceremony.

Dance, magic dance.

We must all worship the fire. Like Druids.

Despite an urge to push the envelope every year, rules now exist with a sort of informal reverence for the Great Circle. The fire is hallowed and respected

…Fire dancing at Burning Man spawned greater mysticism and creative energy, along with an appreciation for the accompanying rituals and traditions from which fire dancing came.

The flame that Burns the man is lit in a magickal cauldron named El Diabla. Image: Dust to Ashes/Flickr

The flame that Burns the man is lit in a magickal cauldron named El Diabla. Image: Dust to Ashes/Flickr

Image: Blip.TV documentary on Helco

Image: Blip.TV documentary on Helco

“Spawning greater mysticism” is presented here as a positive. Is this black magick, or white magick? It happens at night in a pentagram with people wearing devil horns and a fire lit from a cauldron named El Diabla; the corporation they started around it chose to launch with Helco parties where they got a lawyer to draw up contracts for people to sell their souls to the Devil. It seems pretty obvious to me which side we’re talking about, but your mileage may vary.

The suggestion that Crimson Rose invented incorporating  fire dancing in sacred rituals at Burning Man in 1991 is ridiculous, as anyone who has been to a South Pacific island could tell you.  

Back to the sales pitch:

One of the great joys of Burning Man is that it provides a space for us to go and learn about one another and ourselves through such rituals. Those who travel to the playa often report feeling more distant from what is familiar. Many, like Crimson Rose, find deeper connection. This will be her 24th Burn on the playa, and she told me, “Every time I go I feel I’m coming back to a place I’ve always been. You know, it sort of reminds me of home.” [Source: Fest300]


Image: Geek Times

Even in the sales pitch there are quite strong occult and psychological elements.

I’m not sure how things could be made more clear to you, people. This is one of the Founders of Burning Man laying out for you specifically what goes on, what she was recruited into the organization to add to their Project.

An occult black magick ritual ceremony of fire dance. It’s more than just a rave in the desert…


We have published quite a few articles on the spiritual and occult side of Burning Man in the past. We have a lot of new readers now who probably have never seen some of our earlier work, I would encourage you to check these out: and think for yourself.


 The Magickal Symbols Are Displayed, The Occult Ritual Can Commence

Brainwashing: the New Billionaire Obsession

Creating God in the Digital Age

Satanists With Guns


Magic On A Grand Scale


Seeking Divine Truth at Burning Man

Finding Jesus at Burning Man – a Christian perspective

“Theater in a Crowded Fire” – Spirituality, Burning Man, and the Apocalypse – Neo-Paganism

Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow – Paganism, Wicca, Druids, Lucifer

Ghost Trancing on Sacred Lands – Native American

Burner Principles vs the 10 Native American Commandments – Native American

Burner Fundamentalism – Burning Man’s own religion

Looking for the Next Evolutionary Step – Buddhism and consciousness



Caravansary – First Impressions

Burners are trickling back from the Playa, and reporting on some of the shenanigans.

Marsea:   Just spoke to my friends who are fresh off the playa. An amazing burning time was had by all. They didn’t notice any difference in participation. They had full on fun, meaningful experience and expression and celebration of creativity. Burning Man is NOT over!!!!!

Burner Stephen: Just returned from the playa after a three year break and could see changes in just that short time period. Our theme camp ran an open bar, so we got to meet and talk with many people; seemed like there were many more virgins and college aged kids than previous years. Feels much more like a Vegas experience to me than it used to with the increased focus on the blinky lights, bigger and better art cars with private parties requiring wrist-bands and flying in famous EDM DJs. Still an event with all forms of human expression, however, I can feel the invocation of a class system of high-rollers versus everyone else that “walk the strip”.

Veteran Pam: Best burn ever. Our neighbors were the nicest. Loved the rain! Kept things nice and cool, low dust, a little disappointed by the art. (6 year burner camped with a 12 year burner started in 96. His best ever too

Burner Regina: Very beautiful year. Was a bit crowded but had lots of fun!

Veteran Brian: 12th year, possibly the best. I’m convinced the vibe you give is the vibe you get. Doesn’t matter if it’s your first year or 20th, Burning Man was once an event and now it’s becoming a movement. Most people who make it out there “get it” by the weeks end. I was afraid of the growth, but all this new energy is adding new elements to the event, like more live music, bigger productions and just people having a much better concept of what the event really is.

Veteran Stephen Brooks, master of Permaculture from Punta Mona, Costa Rica said:

Wow wow wow!! Burning man once again was BEYOND all I could have imagined. Thanks to all who I crossed paths with. The magic ended with an invite on a private plane direct to Oakland airport. I feel so grateful for all the magic and clearer and more focused than ever!

The private plane wasn’t the first luxury of this year’s burn. He elaborates further:

A glimpse of the week….. I married my dear friends Edward Zaydelman and Brooke Coleman at the temple. Gave two talks out and about and a Burning man radio interview and I served as the bridge between our controversial “fancy camp” and the rest of Burning Man. It may have been ultra fancy and there was lots of talk about it… I had the opportunity to orient each of the 120 guests to the ethos and philosophy of Burning man and truly helped guide their experience and make sure that our camp fully embraced gifting and was as welcoming as a camp could possibly be. It felt like a true success.

Congratulations Ed and Brooke. We wish you all the best for a happy and successful life together. And congratulations Stephen for pulling off a successful “fancy camp” for 120 people, and acculturating them.

Burner Tatianna:

To the fuck head dude bro that chased and tackled my boyfriend off of his bike on burn night after he heckled you and your friends for not having lights: FUCK YOU! He yelled at you for not having lights because we both almost ran y’all over. Physical agression for heckling is not part of the game. I hope you get run over by a fucking art car and get pulled over on your way out and caught with drugs. You’re an embarassment to the community.

Too soon for art car jokes, Tatianna. Too soon. We do hate darkwads, though, they are a danger to all of us as well as to themselves. They deserve to be heckled. Or at least sent straight to the Blinky Lights camp to re-up.

Burner Tenbears got told off for nudity:

So apparently you’re not allowed to be naked near the Man early Thursday morning because someone else brought a baby to Burning Man? What the F&^^$ has happened to Burning Man? You can’t be naked because there is a baby at the event? Leave the kids at home folks if you can’t handle your kids seeing naked people.

The rebbi has some good suggestions:

This Thread is a Positive Discussion on how to change Burning Man, before it Dies…

I think the Whole Event needs to Rethink its “Chi”, and make Changes Accordingly…

For me 1.: No Weapons within the City’s Boundaries. Disarm the Police at the Event.

What the fuck are these guys armed for? Every goddamn body is Naked? It’s a Murder waiting to Happen. Are you fucking Morons not watching the Goddamn News? Get rid of the Fucking Storm Trooper attire, and make all on duty officers were Keystone Kop Uniforms. And all those intimidating fucking Nazi Mega-Whips, and make them drive Clown Cars with 10 Cops per Car…

2. Bus Stops. Not more fucking Cops. 

The reasons why are self-explanatory. Why is it, People never Stop to really think out the Problem. When you let the “Entitled Mindset” make decisions for you, generally they start with Brute Force, and heavy handed Tactics, rather than non-evasive Diplomacy, yeah…

3. If you are not going to open the Wireless Cell Towers to anybody but the Rich and the LEO’s, they all must be Removed. The main reason we are here is to escape that bullshit. No, not Technology Asshat… People who think their shit don’t stink, the arrogant, entitled trappings that come with the “haves” as they mill through the Crowed in gauze covered carriages by their team of paid Slaves, eh er Sherpas…

4. Tickets. Ok this Fiasco has to be fixed. Everything you guys did only acerbated the problem, and gave scalpers, who do this shit for a living, got a monster edge. And running around pissing on craigslist posts, was beyond sophomoric. You can’t sell people Paint, then wonder why they’re Painting everything…WTF…

Christopher, our cartoonist, had a run-in with a Burnier-Than-Thou.

soul-trainI wanna share. I guess because I love reading the occasional debate in this group and love hearing both sides of an opinion, even if I disagree with them.

So every year at Burn night I play a specific playlist from the Soul Train. When the fireworks start, the Star Spangled Banner, followed by the 1812 Overture. By that time the fireworks are done and the man is simply burning… then I play “Disco Inferno”, “Fire” and “Burning Down the House”. Then I just play music as usual until The Man falls. I’ve been doing this enough years to know most (if not all) folks really appreciate this.

All the really big art cars got out there early, so I had to drive to the 12:15 side to find an open spot. I found one, pulled in and parked, told my passengers “We’re parking here”. The driver of a nearby art car walked over and said “Do you play during the burn?” I said “Yeah, I play the whole time.”. He said “Dammit…” and walked away. Then a ranger came over (presumably after being complained to) and asked me to turn down my speakers a bit. I never argue with anyone, so I complied…. although considering how noisy burn night is, I thought it was an odd request. I also remember thinking “If I didn’t show up here, a louder art car would simply park here and do the same thing.” But he moved his car several yards further from me, so I thought everything was cool.

Then the fireworks started, and I started playing my burn set. Then a woman came from that other art car, stood in front of me, flipping me off and was literally yelling and screaming at me. She was clearly NOT LIKING what I was doing. I think she even kicked my art car. I say “I think….” because I felt like I was doing nothing wrong and was ignoring her, but she certainly kicked her leg AT my car, not sure if she made actual contact. At that moment I felt I had to actually pay attention to her, because then she was looking underneath my car, as if she was looking for something to unplug. Finally she walked away.

I’ve been on the planet long enough to know that one has to have a thick skin around certain people…. and of course, you can’t please everyone. So I pretty much let it go, but the experience did weird me out a bit.


black rock roller discoIt’s Freebird all over again, this time without the Temple. I guess this is what constitutes “Art Car Road Rage” at Burning Man. They didn’t think his cartoons, his art car giving tons of free rides for years, or his amazing contribution to the city through the Black Rock Roller Disco meant anything, compared to their requirement for Burning Man to be a quiet place.

Hmmm, yes, that makes sense, I want somewhere quiet so I go to literally the world’s largest rave with the largest number of sound systems and stages over the most area. And then I really want it to be quiet at the climactic moment of the entire week long event. Sounds fair to everyone else who also chose to spend their vacation time there! [/sarcasm]

Christopher’s playlist was not exactly to my taste, but then neither was BMIR’s selection of dark gothic death-rock. To each their own, though. Surely, if there is one event in the whole world where you’re allowed to play your music without getting told to turn it down, it’s Burning Man, right? An event featuring many of the world’s best DJs for free with your ticket price, which happens in a remote desert powered by ten thousand or more generators and  a thousand or more 10kW+ sound systems. In which the many large music stages are packed with people, because of how popular they are with the residents of the city.

The solution’s simple to me: if you don’t like the music next to you at Burning Man, turn your own music up! If your stereo isn’t loud enough, go somewhere else in the 1000 acres to do whatever your trip is at the time.

It seems not everyone agrees. Burner Karen says: Reflective question on Burningman – why do the art cars have to play loud music by every burning art piece. I have heard enough dub step for my ears to bleed (and I actually like it), but what I don’t get to hear in life is the incredible sound of the raw power of a fire burning a structure. I would love to have heard that sound.

….Burner Nick: This was especially annoying by the large art piece made up of many white cubes / speakers that was playing classical music with choreographed visuals. I stopped by to show a friend and an art car was parked right next to it blasting its own music. Rude.

Burner Jill: I think having everyone wear headphones is the best way, then they can listen to whatever they want. silence is something that ANYone can break for EVERYONE. but choosing what you listen to privately? that breaks no ones silence and silence is WAY harder to come by. That said, and I hat dubstep too, I do like stumbling upon a dance party. I just don’t like having the value of silence taken for granted so much.

Burner Marsea: Interestingly, a few years ago there was a Giant Bass on the playa and it actually played, but the bMORG wouldn’t let them turn it on because it was “too loud” for the other art pieces in the vicinity. I thought that was hilarious given the noise level of art cars and everything in general. And I thought it was tragic that they were trying to put that much control over the art. Safety, yes…but noise? Ridiculous. If you don’t like the sound somewhere, walk away and come back later.

Alex: the silence is not a right or a rule, and at no point during the rest of BRC’s week long existence are you ever even given the option. Sound is everywhere. Therefore, why expect it somewhere and force the stifling of someone’s expression of tribute to a person who helped build the damn city.

We’ll let Reg have the last word:

You do realize, don’t you, that if Burning Man were tailored to just your likes and dislikes …you’d be the only one there.

TTITD is chaotic by intent, design, and execution. It assaults all the known senses …and some you didn’t know about. And this is exactly what it should do. I came home fried, burnt, exhausted, 4 pounds lighter, sore, badly in need of sleep, ready to kill for a cold glass of milk, and will probably blow playa clay pebbles out of my nose for the next week.

To you whiners, let me quote the words of an unknown sage: “You’re doin’ it wrong.”

Next year, try the entertainment section of your local paper. It will list any number of structured, orderly, properly loud, PC events at which you can lean over to the person next to you and whisper, “Gawd I’m glad at not at Burning Man.” …and you know what? The rest of us will be glad too.

…and people wonder why I often say I’m glad to be old. Too many of the current gens are largely self-entitled, self-involved twits.

(Now ask me how I really feel)

Here are some photos from Burners:

Limor Ness - "first time Burners turned die hard Burners"

Limor Ness – “first time Burners turned die hard Burners”

2014 playa and temple




photo: Peter Wardlaw

photo: Peter Wardlaw

motorbike embrace

Shagadelica art car to the left. Embrace was a $266,000 structure made with 170,000 lbs of would that they burned Photo: Frank Sindermann

photo: Peter Wardlaw

photo: Peter Wardlaw

Dennis Kucinich gives a talk. Photo: Stephen Brooks

Dennis Kucinich gives a talk. Photo: Stephen Brooks

templ 2014

photo by Eli

embrace reflection

mebrace at embrace

2014 playa reflection girl

2014 crowd robot heart

2014 skrillex robot heart

photo: Eleanor Preger

photo: Eleanor Preger

2014 baby

2014 flowers2014 pyramid

2014 embrace burn side2014 man gold