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


Live-blogging the 2014 Burn

Live-blogging the Burning Man. See earlier post about the occult nature of this ritual, which has been well demonstrated by the video and audio feed of it tonight.

[8/30/14 9:50pm ] The Giant  is taking a long time to burn. Strangely, his face is not visible at all. The Burning headless Man is made all the eerier by Isis-related events on the outside world. Not that the Ancient Babylonian mysteries could have anything to do with the other events going on in Babylon right now. Right?

This it what they are doing. This is what they are broadcasting to the world, with words and music and fire – so the words are kind of important.

2014 kali head

First, the Luminferrous lamplighters bring the flame (photos from justburnus via Facebook, from earlier burns):

luminferrous 2014 2

luminferrous 2014

lighting luminferrous

The LUMINFERROUS is lit at 8pm on the playa by Crimson Rose, officially marking the beginning of the man burn festivities.



When The Man’s torso initially lit up, a face did appear. My photo’s not that great, but maybe you can see it too.


photo 2


photo 1

When the music ended, a quote was played. 17577 were watching with me on the live stream “Behold a white horse” – they are quoting the Book of Revelation.

“When the Man comes around”, was the song that then played. Johnny Cash. “It’s Alpha and Omega‘s kingdom come”.

The audio broadcast switched back to the book of Revelation again

And I looked, and behold a pale horse;

And his name that sat on him was Death.

And Hell followed with him.

They just had to get that in there, didn’t they. Hell. They’re always bringing it up.

The verse from the Bible’s Book of Revelations, its prophecy section, that they quote actually says:

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

– King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition


“I don’t want to set the world on fire. I just want to start a flame in your heart”, sings the next jazzy song.


What sounds like Nine Inch Nails or Tool.

And then the feed goes dark. “I am become death, destroyer of worlds”. Which is actually:

I am all-powerful Time which destroys all things, and I have come here to slay these men. Even if thou doest not fight, all the warriors facing thee shall die.

And now we have Joy Division. I love Joy Division. The name of the song is “Dead Souls”

The Man is still Burning, the entire structure is still in place and slowly burning. The stream audience has dropped in half already.

Someone take these dreams away
That point me to another day
A duel of personalities
They stretch all true realities

That keep calling me
They keep calling me
Keep on calling me
They keep calling me

Where figures from the past stand tall
And mocking voices ring the hall
Imperialistic house of prayer
Conquistadors who took their share

That keep calling me
They keep calling me

Read more: Joy Division – Dead Souls Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Now someone is shooting it with a laser. Perhpas trying to help light the face.

Pearl Jam

can’t find a Better Man…perhaps that’s why he’s not Burning much and looks kinda unimaginative this year.

[10:21pm] Now it looks like the Eiffel tower. Looks like some art cars are leaving

When’s Free Bird coming on?

In the meantime, check out the latest Rap News:

[10:31] I’ve had time to watch that brilliant Rap News episode twice. The Man is still not really Burning. Just a big pile of headless dead wood. Bits art starting to fall, so hopefully something soo.

Black Sabbath is playing: Iron Man

When he travelled time

For the future of Mankind

[10:35] Burning Man burns…”coming soon”

[10:37] They’ve put a clock on the feed now…what does that mean? This is a bit like watching paint dry right now. It was better when the lasers were on it.

[10:45] so strange to see a clock, when Burning Man is supposed to be about no clocks. Is there something scheduled for 11:11 maybe?

Commenters online have suggested that if they could get the Moon landing stream right, in 1968, with the Google brains trust on hand htey might have been able to get the stream and audio a little better for the 7000 or so viewers who are still hanging in there online.

[10:50] If I had to sum up last year’s Man and Burn, it would be “spectacular”. This one: “G-Rated”.

The Man was pronounced burned at 10:50pm.

Exodus has now officially opened, follow us on @burnersdotme because @burningman and @bmantraffic haven’t been updated for days. BMIR is playing “Blow the man down”, pirate drinking songs.

Here’s the man finally falling:


There’s 3836 people on the stream now.


[0:56am] 8/31/14

the song now is “we all die young” – thrash rock. Kind of inappropriate given the terrible tragedy that just happened.

2408 on the stream.

[0:58am] Snoop and Dre – that’s more like it!


Thanks to Masha for these screen caps:

2014 pre-burn

2014 man burns splitman goes down

man is gone 2014

[Update 9/1/14  10:16am] Justburnus has pointed out that the first 3 photos are his, posted to Facebook. He took them at previous burns.

I’m watching it live on the UStream feed, listening to it live on the radio stream, reading about it on social media, and blogging about it as it happens. If “live-blogging” is not the right word for this then please suggest some alternatives.



The Magickal Symbols Have Been Displayed. The Occult Ritual Can Commence [Update]

photo: Eric Zumstein/Flickr

photo: Eric Zumstein/Flickr

Embrace went up yesterday in a ceremony rich with transhumanist symbolism. Humanity got to witness fire start in their eyes, explode into their brains, then blow a hole through the top of their heads before the two figures – man, woman, trans, whatever Alpha and Omega symbolized to you – were gone completely in about 20 minutes. More than a quarter of a million dollars, 170,000 lbs of timber, just incinerated. Sacrificed, in the name of Big Art.

Today’s a new day. The big one. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 8, with a ritual procession. Then, at 8:45 Fire Conclave will present a spellbinding performance of twirling fire, hot dancers, and thumping primal drums. At 9:15, the Man burns.

The video feed this year is being brought to us in mobile HD by the Desert Wizards of Mars. Yes, really.

2013 final web

The whole concept of Burning Man is modelled on Ancient Babylonian Magick called the Rites of Eleusis. Using a combination of magic mushrooms and LSD, which was synthesized from a bread fungus, the wealthy elites of olden times were able to control the entire population of their cities. This stuff has worked for thousands of years, and Burning Man is the latest and greatest incantation and incarnation of it.

Don’t believe me? Read below for some of Larry Harvey’s writing about all of this.

From CEO Maid Marian’s public profile:

Her first love and escape from work is her two sweet-tempered kitties, and her second is her level 80 fire-specced Blood Elf Mage.

Familiars and avatars. Fire and blood are the elements of her Mage.

The producer of this bewitching event loves cats. Her art car is a cat.

marian cat-car

This Skull and Bones tree has been on display all week in front of First Camp:

bone tree burning manIt spends the rest of the year at their work ranch, next to a giant occult mask.

bone tree skull ranch-burning_man4

Here the Magickal Symbols are today, all wheeled out and symbolically presented for the world on the HD UStream feed. This is what we get to see before darkness falls and the warm-up starts.

familiar tree wand

The Familiar (L, art car), the Witching Tree (C, white sculpture), and the Magic Wand (R, Control Tower)


The camera pulls back just wide enough to get all 3 symbols in. The Control Tower to the right, much loved last year, has been all gussied up this year. People are climbing in it and looking out from the platform at the top. It looks like a Shake Weight with a rapier stuck on the end, but it also looks like a magic wand.

The symbols have been displayed, the ritual can commence, the ceremonies can begin.

Remember, good people. Harmony is stronger. Black magic thrives on chaos, it loves to breed discord and mistrust. White magic is unity, truth, love. Connection to source, Universal Infinite Love is our power. We don’t need no magic ritual connection to artificially intelligent False Idols in a re-creation of ancient rites of death, rebirth, and control.






The Cremation of the Crop


“By the power of your fellowship…Dull Care is SLAIN!” – from the Bohemian Grove Cremation of Care ceremonial effigy burn. The crowd cheers “Murder! Murder! Bring fire!”


In the Year 2000, Internet counter-culture personality Alex Jones, who broadcasts his show with the tag line “if you are receiving this transmission, you ARE the resistance” – crashed Bohemian Grove. After doing some on-site reconnaissance, he decided to just walk through the gates and bluff his way past any security. In conjunction with UK filmmaker Jon Ronson, he got some never before seen footage of the Bohemian Grove’s Cremation of Care ceremony.

His associate was quite disturbed after the experience. “When you’re in the patriot movement, you hear rumors about stuff like this going around. You don’t know whether it is true, well it is. I saw it.”

Jones broke it down in his usual succinct manner: “you’ve got death on this black boat bringing a pallet with a papier mache person, they take it over and they burn it for some idol, some Owl god, it looks more like a demon, it’s got horns up there and they just call it an Owl… We’re not supposed to worship Jesus or anything…it’s worship the Owl God”.

Robed lamplighters conduct a ceremony, leading up to the lighting of the effigy. It is the high point of the Bohemian Grove’s midsummer encampment, occuring half way between its “Low Jinks” opening and “Hi Jinks” afterparty. Jinx is a word from witchcraft, a jinx is a spell. To “jinx” something is normally interpreted to mean to put a curse on it that will make it radiate bad luck. A fundamental principle of magic that is agreed upon by both sides, light and dark, is karma – if you curse something, you curse yourself. That is why white magicians say prayers and cast positive spells – the only consequence of their goodwill is more luck and happiness and goodwill in their own lives. White magic leans more toward the acquisition of wisdom and a general feeling of faith and trust in the universe. The Black form is concerned more with the acquisition of power and is reflective of a basic faith in oneself. Black magicians revel in pain, and torment, and suffering. In evil. That is why their occult rituals always happen in secret, and why they organize themselves in secret societies, often quite literally under ground in caves.

Everything is permitted, and nothing is true, said the Magicians of Chaos.

The lamplighters are commanded, “Bring fire! “

 The Owl Moloch responds, in a voice recorded for the event by famous broadcaster Walter Cronkite:

BohemianGrove5 buddha

I prefer Buddha to Molech. The Grove has both

 Fools! Fools! Fools!

When will ye learn..

That me ye cannot slay?

Year after year ye burn me in this Grove

Lifting your puny shouts of triumph to the stars

But when again ye turn your faces to the marketplace

Do ye not find me waiting as of old?

Fools. Fools. Fools to dream ye conquer Care 

Year after year within this happy grove. Our fellowshiop bans thee for a space,. So shall we burn thee once again this night,

And with the flames that eat thine effigy, we shall read the sign

Midsummer sets us free!

Ye shall burn me once again? Laughter

Not with these flames

Begone dull care. Fire shall have its will of thee!

Once again, mid summer sets us free!


Midsummer is the ancient Druidic term for the Summer Solstice, the same Pagan and astrological event that Burning Man was started to celebrate.

The use of wording is interesting. “Fellowship” has Masonic overtones, and brings to mind Lord of the Rings, a book most certainly based on knowledge of the inner workings of The Man, the secret society networks of the Round Table groups. Larry Harvey’s father was a Freemason, and his brother was in their DeMolay youth lodge.

“Ban” means to cast out, to forbid; but there is another sense of the word. “bann”, like Banner, is a flag that would be used on the battlefield by Celtic soldiers of the Robert the Bruce Braveheart type.

“The banns” is a term for a proclamation of an alliance, a partnership such as marriage. It is seen as a celebration in Pagan culture.

a notice read out on three successive Sundays in a parish church, announcing an intended marriage and giving the opportunity for objections

“Care”, the effigy of Molech, their god of wisdom and blood sacrifice, calls out three times that they are FOOLS. No-one objects. This is the bann, between the Grovers and The Man. Their effigy, their giant statute.

So “our fellowship banns thee for a space” is saying “our fraternity is proclaiming our partnership with you for this event, we will be joined together in this celebration”. When they burn Care, they are becoming one with it.

When you burn The Man, you don’t become one with it, anymore than burning an Owl at Bohemian Grove removes care from the world – or from these participants. It’s an excuse for a party, but it’s also a mass ceremonial ritual, symbolizing The Man as being between the people suffering physically in the dust, and The Gods, towering above them with the power of shock and awe. We look up to it on a pedestal, with a fire so hot capturing all our energies, that if we get too close to it we could burn. The power to kill, and we are powerless against that. The only thing we can do is respect its power, and be humbled by how great The Man is. Before everyone goes back to their lives, working for The Man. Obeying all the rules of The Man.

Why can they burn Care at the Grove? Because they are the owners of The Man. The ones building the hives to control us like to go to Burning Man. Bohemian Grove is for the owners of the hives like Google and Facebook and Apple that we’re all glued into – and the ancient bloodline families that own them. Many Grovers also attend Burning Man, and have from very early on in the event’s history.

satan man 1986 baker beach

The first Burning Man effigy on Baker Beach, 1986. Note the horns and the flared hips, giving it the appearance of Cernunnos, Baphomet, or Pan.

The conceptual structure of the Burning Man is ritual. Rather than “Dull Care”, their idol is called “The Man”. When they burn the Man at Burning Man, they are celebrating their freedom and independence. Free to be who they want to be and do what they want, without the expectations and pressures and responsibilities of “The Default World”. In fact, The Man is reprogramming their minds with lessons and impressions that it wants them to return to the Default World with, and spread out to those around them.

At Bohemian Grove, when they burn Care, the captains of industry and government and academia and the arts, the Generals of The Man, can forget about their responsibilities and just party for a bit. This occult ritual goes back to the Cult of Dionysus, also known as Bacchus. The Dionysian mysteries combined ritual, costume, repetition of phrases, rhythmic beats and music, smoke, lighting effects, fire, intoxication, hallucination. The whole society were expected to participate in the Mysteries at some point, even slaves. Over time, as religious oppression pushed the so-called “Pagan” religions underground into secret societies, the selection of candidates to indoctrinate became more strategic. Over time, the ancient orders became more exclusive and powerful. Their focus on being male-only removed them from the need to deal with issues of primogeniture – hereditary title. A Man would be chosen based on the judgement of other men. The Society would hold the wealth and continue the man’s power after he died, because by replacing a Man’s place within the secret society, replacing his larger position in the outside world became a fait accompli.

At Burning Man, when they burn The Man, the elements are all the same as Bohemian Grove, because they are the same as the Dionysian Mysteries. Fire and darkness. Lamplighters, costumes, masks, symbols, robes, ritual. Rhythms, dancing, lights, drugs…an entrancing and intoxicating spectacle. The feeling of being part of something exclusive and special, not available to “regular” people in the outside world. At Bohemian Grove, The Man gets to burn Care, then party without it; at Burning Man, We The Burners get to burn The Man: for one night, anyway.

There is only one remotely similar event to Bohemian Grove and Burning Man in the US, the Pagan ritual burn called Zozobra. It started shortly after Bohemian Grove. The idol they burn is called Anxiety rather than Care. Almost all the other pagan effigy burns in the country are related to Burning Man as regional events, or spun out from Burning Man’s networks. It is only Burning Man and Bohemian Grove that share so closely the concepts of theme camps, alternate names, a ban on commerce, emphasis on theater and lectures, ritualizing of the effigy burn, and extreme decadence.

Both events were modeled on, and inspired by, the Rites of Eleusis. Gordon Wasson was Vice President of Public Relations for JP Morgan. In the official story, he “discovered” magic mushrooms, and got them on the cover of Life magazine through a chance meeting at the Century Club, the East coast version of Bohemian Grove. In the less widely publicized version, which comes with FOIA-requests and other evidence, Wasson’s expeditions were financed by the CIA’s MKULTRA program. Wasson wrote a book with Albert Hoffman, the “inventor” of LSD, called The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries.

Thomas Hardy wrote in The Cutting Edge Magazine:

“Burning Man offers a no-holds-barred “Woodstock” style festival where neo-pagans, wiccans, transvestite entertainers, curiosity seekers, and old hippies can go to trance, perform rituals, burn sacrifices to deities, fornicate, and otherwise ‘express’ themselves freely.”

Brian Doherty is a historian who has studied Burning Man for a long time, and wrote a book on it, “This is Burning Man”. Writing in Reason magazine in 2000, he said:

outhtere in here
To many long-time attendees, the festival has turned away from its promise as what underground social theorist Hakim Bey calls a “temporary autonomous zone”-a place where a chosen few could create a new, free social order outside the purview of dominant authority… The agencies that sign off on Burning Man’s permits have come to see the festival more as an opportunity than as a problem and have thus forged a relatively easygoing relationship with the openly danger- and drug-filled event.

To Harvey, Burning Man is more than just a party. But he’s vague about exactly what it represents. Harvey talks a lot about the meaning of the event – the word sacred comes up often-and he once wrote an article in the neo-mystic magazine Gnosis in which he compared Burning Man to Rome’s ancient mystery religions. But it’s hard to be sure what he wants to come out of the event. In fact, he’s proud that the event’s central symbol-the Man-is enigmatic. “We never say what the Man means,” he points out. “He’s just there to provide a unified focus for the community. It could become a wonderfully coercive tool politically-like, ‘The Man doesn’t like that, the Man says …… We could make The Man The Man, right? But he stands beyond the social circle, like a god or the prospect of war, something that unifies everyone.”

The mystery religions are linked to the Cult of Dionysus, and can be traced back to the even more ancient rituals of Mithras. Bacchanalian revelry outdoors is a big part of it.

The path of paganism goes back to the same theology that the ruling elites have been following, worshipping, in secret rituals for centuries.  “Man is God” is the occult belief behind the New Age movement, Paganism, Luciferianism and Satanism. The Church of Satan was founded in San Francisco, next to the Presidio Military Base – just like Burning Man. Satanists do not worship the Devil as a separate being that gives them orders. Rather, They themselves are the God. Satanism is the true essence of the Mystery Religion, the religion of no religion. There’s nothing at its core, just an Abyss. An empty void of nothingness, in which nothing is real and everything is one.  Similarly, Pagans and Burners do not directly worship the devil as their Lord and savior. “The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing us he doesn’t exist”, says Kaiser Soze in the movie The Usual Suspects. That is the Devil’s goal, to make man believe that neither god nor the devil exist. The core belief of the New Age, that you will find to be widely held at Burning Man, is Self is God. The belief that Man is God transforms people into a vehicle by which They can drive humans into perpetual conflict under the guise of “saving the world”.

In 2014 Burning Man published a “book club” cultural discussion series on their official blog. The entire basis of the series was “The Death of God”.

If Burning Man is more than just a party, like Larry says, then what is it exactly? What experiments are going on, socially and spiritually, within this pentagon-shaped petri dish?

In the summer of 1995, as the tenth effigy burn was approaching, Larry Harvey reflected on the rituals in the magazine Gnosis. He published the story under the name of Darrel van Rhey, but later admitted on his own web site that he wrote the article. In the past Burning Man have always denied having any awareness of the movie “The Wicker Man”, but that is not the same as denying any awareness of Druids and their rituals. This article clearly exposes that not only were the founders aware of the occult, it is a fundamental element in this fire magic event which takes place inside a Pentagon, with a .666% circle touching the edges of the pentagram within it.

Although Darryl van Rhey is beleived to be a pseudonym for Larry Harvey, he interviewed Darryl in 1999 and 2000 – according to official Burning Man blog. He was photographed with him in 2004  – again, according to Burning Man, since this photo is from Danger Ranger’s Flickr. In 1995, he wrote in Gnosis magazine. If this didn’t come straight from Harvey himself using DVR as a pseudonym, then it was certainly straight from the horse’s mouth to Darryl’s pen. Rearrange the letters of “Darryl Van Rhey” and you get “ND Larry Harvey” (ND presumably stands for nom de’plume). In his 2000 Reason article, Doherty attributes Larry Harvey as the author. Erik Davis also attributes the article to Harvey.

Larry Harvey himself, writing on his own web site, claimed he was the author of the story – obviously oblivious to the other articles there where he had therefore interviewed himself:

We concentrated on the desert, instead. We no longer needed to publicize ourselves in San Francisco and could now rely on ticket revenue from the Burning Man event. The title of our performance that year was Mysterium. It was subtitled The Secret Rites of Burning Man. This was accompanied by a memorable motto: “Let’s put the cult back into culture!” It focused on the idea of fertility…I had been reading literature about the many Mystery religions of the ancient Greco-Roman world. The participatory character of these ancient religious movements intrigued me. Earlier in the year, I’d written an article for Gnosis, a San Francisco-based magazine.

The Revelation of the Method serves to make the magic more powerful. The true meaning of the event has been deliberately obscured from those who willingly participate in its rituals – which is the way of the dark wizard. Harvey tells us that this amibguity is not by accident, but rather has been very carefully calculated. A smoke screen, smoke and mirrors. A glamor.



In the following story from Gnosis Magazine 20 years ago, the emphasis is our commentary. The article is presented in its entirety, so that no-one can claim the author is being quoted out of context. On the contrary, Mr Harvey references this piece in his own writings on his company web site.


The Burning Man: A Modern Mystery

by Darryl van Rhey [aka Larry Harvey]

Gnosis Magazine Summer 1995

On Labor Day weekend in early September, thousands of people will converge in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Somewhere near the center of this awesome space – reputedly the largest flat expanse of land in North America – they will erect a giant effigy. The Burning Man, as it is called, will tower over a spontaneous community, a miniature civilization complete with clubs and cabarets, several radio stations, and a daily newspaper, The Black Rock Gazette. The masthead motto of this journal sets the tone of the ensuing weekend. “Welcome to Nowhere”, it reads, “Its name is whatever you name it. Its wealth is whatever you bring it. Next week it will be gone, but next week might as well be never. You are here now”.

Throughout the festival that follows, people indulge their whims and creative impulses. However they choose to express themselves – through costumes, dance, sculpture, or the construction of elaborate theme camps – they are encouraged to do so in an environment where distinctions like “professional” and “amateur” or “audience” and “spectator” soon become meaningless. By day the campground is a colorful community of tents and fantastic shelters with flags and banners flying in the wind. By night it is transformed into a dreamscape as artists craft light, sound, neon, and the primal element of fire into luminous spectacles.

On the final evening of the festival, participants join in a grand promenade. Dancers bearing torches lead them to the Burning Man along a pathway flanked by monumental spires. Clamor, cries, and high pitched ululations are succeeded by a hush as the four-story figure is ignited. Then a wild pandemonium ensues as lapping flames engulf the torso in a solid sheath of fire. Mounting upward, they ignite a fuse: fountains of fireworks spew out of the giant’s head. Most animate now, at the moment of his demise, he soon shudders, and the three-quarter ton figure comes crashing to the ground.

Organizers shroud the meaning of this celebration in a cloud of calculated ambiguity.

Pressed to explain their intentions, they cite a simple doctrine. “The Project never interferes with anyone’s immediate experience”. Participants are urged to create their own interpretations.

The weekend might be described as an avant-garde art festival, a ritual enactment of creation and destruction, or an exotic free-wheeling party.

Yet, to the student of religion, these rites suggest a time, a place, and a social setting that has precedents in ancient history.

Throughout the classic period of Western civilization, there existed a diverse spiritual movement that is known as mystery religion. The mystery cults, as they were called, arose within a new world order. The conquests of Alexander and the subsequent spread of Roman rule throughout the Mediterranean world had greatly expanded the scope of classical civilization. Stretching from the shores of the Atlantic to the Caspioan Sea, it occupied a vast cosmopolitan domain, teeming with commerce and hosting the ideas of many cultures . Immense allocations of men and monies had displaced entire populations. The citizenry of the empire, uprooted and heterogeneous, now congregated in large urban centers. Within this sophisticated and self-conscious milieu, huge societal gaps separated rich from poor and urban from rural populations, and intense economic specialization further divided the classes. It was a world, in other worlds, remarkably like our own.

Arising from this complex milieu, the mysteries derived from diverse sources. Traditions drawn from many cultures flowed like tributary streams into the great Mediterranean basin, bringing with them the worship of Isis and Osiris of Egypt, Mithra of Persia, and the Anatolian Great Mother. Yet the mystery cults had much in common. All were grafted onto the stock of agrarian fertility festivals – relics of a prehistoric past – yet were essentially urban in character. They typically employed theatrical parades and pageants to attract a pool of individuals who might share little else in common, and they were organized as lodges. Membership within a cult implied broad equality with fellow mystai or initiates.

Ceremonies often took the form of pilgrimages. Participants removed themselves to sacred sites. Mystai sang and danced to flutes and cymbals, others wore masks and sported strange attire. Such celebrations might take many days, and while they lasted, class distinctions were dissolved. “Persons who are being initiated into the mysteries throng together at the outset amid tumult and shouting”, wrote Plutarch of the Eleusinian mysteries celebrated near Athens, “but when the holy rites are being disclosed and performed, the people are immediately attentive in awe and silence.

Such initiations were performed by firelight at night in enactment of a central myth of death and rebirth. They were often highly theatrical performances, and, unlike the tribal traditions from which they sprang, placed a unique emphasis on personal choice.

Many people probably attended the festivals simply to have fun. Intense, ecstatic and immediate, the rites did not stress doctrinal belief, but valued toward show and inward feeling. Artistotle states the mysteries weren’t about a teaching, they were initiations focused on direct experience.

The mystery cults, long a dominant form of idol worship in the late classical world, perished with the fall of Greco-Roman civilization. Yet the modern immolation of the Burning Man, surrounded by impromptu rites of celebration, forms an arresting analogy. The parallels are striking, fire, sacrifice, pilgrimage, visionary spectacle, egalitarianism, revelry, recruitment from an urban population, direct experience opposed to doctrinal belief, and central to it all, a myth of death and rebirth.

Organizers of this modern mystery disclaim any conscious plan to reproduce the past. Yet it might be that culture itself, is responding to the changing needs of our society. As students of ritual understand, the past and present rotate on a single wheel of time.


See Live-Blogging the Burn for all the occult references that happened at this year’s re-enactment of the Magickal Mystery Rituals.

[Update 8/31/14 2:22pm]

Thanks to Curt.Net for sharing these images he created.

virtuvius curt

the man pentagram curt


The description of Bohemian Grove ceremonies is from the recording in this documentary, filmed secretly at their annual event.