The New York Times has a story by Julia Allison on The Progeny of Burning Man. There are other ways to get a transformational experience than going to Black Rock City, and not every EDM festival is like Coachella.
It was 3 a.m. in Bradley, Calif., in the middle of a dusty dry lake bed, and Carl Weiseth, 33, was shoeless, shirtless and regaling a gathering crowd about last night’s escapade. “I didn’t make it back from the dance floor until the sun was starting to rise,” he told his audience, adding that he “passed out to the gentle vibrations of thumping electronic music for three to four hours.”
A 1960s Volkswagen van was painted with the words “Give Peace a Chance,” surrounded by fresh-faced bohemians sporting flower crowns, acid-washed jean shorts, seapunk teal-dyed hair and psychedelic leggings. “It’s the feather-and-leather crew,” one festivalgoer said.
To the casual observer, this post-New Age convergence of monumental art, all-night dancing and “Kumbaya” spirituality could be mistaken for Burning Man, the weeklong arts festival in the Nevada desert. But unlike Burning Man, which marked its 28th year last month, this festival called Lightning in a Bottle offers paid lecturers, headlining music acts like Moby, and V.I.P. packages with deluxe tents and fresh linens for $2,500.
“L.I.B. is one of the pinnacle festivals of West Coast conscious culture,” said Mr. Weiseth, using shorthand for Lightning in a Bottle, among a new type of gathering called “transformational festivals.” They could be described as the slightly smaller, psychedelic-art-and-electronic-dance-music-centered, commercialized progeny of Burning Man.
“It is the ultimate convergence of visionary art, electronic music, yoga, spirituality, nutrition, fashion and dance-culture, where people gather who appreciate both nature and spiritual consciousness, and who want to co-create an unpretentious dance party in celebration of sacred art and community,”…Held over four days in May and billed as a “heart and mind expanding oasis,” Lightning in a Bottle, in its ninth year, drew 15,000 participants, one of the largest and more influential of these festivals.
Such festivals have spread beyond their West Coast stronghold and now take place year-round throughout the United States, as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America. They are an amalgamation of several cultural forces: the rise of electronic dance music, the maturing of the rave culture, the popularity of TED-like talks, the mainstreaming of yoga, and the YOLO spirit of festivalgoers who spread the word on social media.
Unlike more mainstream music gatherings like Coachella and Lollapalooza(with their focus on pop music, celebrities, alcohol and fashion brands), transformational festivals embrace feel-good values like ecological sustainability, organic food, community building and wisdom sharing. With names like Beloved and Wanderlust, Envision and Lucidity, these festivals seem like bastions of the nouveau hippie, grandchildren-of-the-Woodstock generation. And, to a certain extent, they are.
…“This is not a retro-nostalgic Woodstock,” said Jeet-Kei Leung, 44, a documentary filmmaker from Vancouver, British Columbia, who has chronicled this scene in a web series called “The Bloom,” as well as in a 2010 TEDx talk. “This is a forward-thinking culture that is embracing social entrepreneurship, permaculture, spirituality, self-actualization and conscious living.”
…“This is a safe space — a space free of judgment, criticism, punishment,” said the effervescent Dream Rockwell, a festival founder, who was standing backstage while a man played a didgeridoo, an ancient Australian instrument. “Creativity is accepted in all forms. ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service’ obviously does not apply here.”
…Maura Malini Hoffman, 49, a former Procter & Gamble executive who now gives spiritual talks at festivals, put it this way: “Transformation is about realizing there’s more to life than making money, having a good job, fame and fortune. People go to these and they’re never the same.
…This year, organizers offered a luxury EZ Camping option. The $2,500 packages, which included a prefab tent, plush bed, cooler, private restrooms, power outlets and a “skinny mirror,” were sold out.
One of the luxury tents went to Misty Meeler, 29, an interior design assistant from Houston, who came with her 37-year-old sister. Ms. Meeler wore a gold headdress, rainbow bikini, a leather utility belt and purple leg warmers. Speaking through a heart-shaped dust mask, she explained that Coachella was too “Hollywood see-and-be-seen” for her taste. This festival, she said, “has a hippie scene that makes the whole experience better, whether you’re looking to eat healthy, live clean, meditate, yoga or want to party the whole four days with no sleep.”
…The crowd included James Oroc, a writer from New Orleans, who was waxing philosophical. Best known for his psychedelic tome, “Tryptamine Palace,” he is an outspoken and sometimes cantankerous critic of festival culture…His verdict? The crowd was “very hip, very beautiful,” he said, though he was concerned that the festival had become too “fashion” and “very L.A.”
“You get a lot of Burners who haven’t actually been to Burning Man,” he said. “They just have the clothes.”
Is Burning Man the biggest magical ceremony in the world? For wicca magic, for Pagan religions, probably yes. Compared to religious festivals outside America, maybe not.
Yes, we know BMOrg deny that there’s any particular magical element. They deny a lot of things, take their word as gospel if you like. Many of their own statements over the years seem to contradict this position. There’s no magical element, but ritual’s important? People have a spiritual, life-changing experience? This is one of the biggest rituals there is, encapsulating many of the world’s movers and shakers, the best and brightest, laid out inside a series of circles and pentagons and pentagrams.
OK so it’s not as big as Kumbh Mela, India’s festival where worshippers bathe in the sacred Ganges river. That clocks in at 110 million people, if they had it in the bay area it would stretch from Silicon Valley to Sacramento, including the whole East Bay and most of Napa and Sonoma.
Kumbh Mela tents, 2013
Burning Man, at 5.5 square miles, about 8,000 acres of restricted land and just under 1,000 acres of residential city, is smaller even than San Francisco. It’s still the world’s biggest rave, at least in terms of land area. Biggest rave in population is Donauinselfest in Austria – weighing in at a whopping 3.2 million people.
Black Rock City in a Martian Crater
The type of magic described by the pentagon shape, the pentagrams and circles contained within it, and by a ritual burning of a giant, man-shaped wooden effigy, is known as wicca magic. Wicca as in “Wicker Man”, a Celtic ritual from the Druids. Humans and their dogs would be put inside a giant wooden statue of a man, and sacrificed to the god Ba’al on Labor Day, May 1, in a ritual known as The Feast of Beltane. This is also known as “black magick” or “fire magic”.
Druid magic is alive and strong in the Bay Area. All kinds of secret, often Satanic rituals go on in caves around the city – something Burning Man’s founders were well aware of, back in the Cacophony days.
The best example is Bohemian Grove, which is probably the closest party in the world to Burning Man in terms of thematic elements and ritualized structure and layout. They have theme camps, Playa (player) names, commerce is banned, they have workshops and musical performances put on for free by the camps and shared with everyone. They have a big ritual of druid-robed lamp lighters, drumming, chanting, ringing bells. Then they set fire to a massive wooden effigy – in their case an Owl named “Dull Care”, signifiying the cult of Moloch. They party through the night with howls and music and revelry, drinking and making merry, which is worship of the Pagan gods of Bacchus, Dionysos, Pan. These cults are associated with the Ancient Mystery Schools of Babylon. Music, drums, fire, technology, and often, orgiastic sex and hallucinogenic drugs, are all mixed together for those initiated into their secret sects.
devil in disguise
The Bohemian leaders of the world mix freely at the Grove with others of their level, from different fields. Generals mix it up with Internet billionaires, wine makers, thespians, and the Grateful Dead. They burn Care at the start of their ceremony, so they can party like they don’t have one. At the end, they go back to the Default World, and all the cares on their shoulders.
Richard Nixon called Bohemian Grove “the most faggy goddammed thing you can ever imagine”. We have girls at our party (and fags, and some of the girls are fags!), and you don’t have to be elite to go there – but it helps. You have to be rich enough to take a week or two off work, spend $400 for a ticket plus transport costs, and live self-sufficiently, so well in the extraordinarily harsh conditions that you actually have fun. Even to do that cheap, costs money.
We worship the Man at the end of our party. We party like we don’t have a care in the world, casting off the rules and shackles of The Man. We have a big ritual with druid robed lamp lighters, more of a Babylonian style dress perhaps, then they march to the Man, there are fire dancers, everyone sits, waiting. All the party is under the control of The Man at that moment, waiting for The Man to burn. Then, it does – the Fire God keeps everyone’s attention for at least another 20 minutes. And then? Chaos, mayhem, Yahoo!
And then we burn the “Temple”, in another, less structured fire magic ritual. Get rid of your messes. Then everyone returns, back to the real world. Back to working in slavery for The Man. Feeling like they exercised their inner rebel, and exorcised their old demons. Maybe picked up some new ones to take back with them…
This is BMOrg’s map of Black Rock City for 2013. The Pentagon is the trash fence. Note the orientation of North at the bottom. The proportions and dimensions between the trash fence and the circle are theirs, not mine. It looks to me the same proportions in the drawing as in the satellite photo above, where you can clearly see the trash fence and roads. The whole camp looks to me like it’s placed solely on the pentagram, with Center Camp aligned with the intersecting lower vertices. The city therefore grows out of the pentagon, to 2/3 of a circle 0.666%. Such an elegant and beautiful design is very unlikely to be there by coincidence.
To make a pentagram, connect the inner vertices of the Pentagon to each other. This shape makes another pentagon inside the pentagram, inverted. The pentagon and pentagram fit perfectly inside circles, which is why they are very popular in occult rituals.
My drawing might be crappy, but the lines sure do seem to line up pretty magically. The 0.666 of a circle touches the lines of the pentagram, and multiple lines cross together through center camp. The entrance to Center Camp seems to be entirely defined by the inner, reverse pentagram. The man is smack bang in the middle of one pentagon, inside an inverted pentagon that encompasses the inner playa, inside another pentagon that encompasses the entire event. The horizontal, left-right line goes straight through the Temple. This is also the top of the circle of the inner Playa. Deep Playa therefore becomes everything above that line, an uninhabited outer triangle zone.
Also note that this map is twisted 45 degrees, or 1/8 of a revolution, away from true north. The significance of this is unclear, probably to line up with the sun…although this site believes that it is to link up to a pilgrimage destination church in Europe, and a Guggenheim/Rothschild Temple in Central Park in New York.
Is Burning Man a massive occult ritual, that we’re participating in whether we’re conscious of it or not?
Maybe the pentagrams are innocent, or just coincidental. But then what about the lamp lighter ceremony with the monks, the drumming, the fire dancing, the raising of the hands of the Man, the controlled burn; thousands of people dancing around a bon(e)fire, burning a Wicker man, burning a giant effigy and sacred Temple – these are all ritualistic elements. Just because you don’t see a statue of Jesus, doesn’t mean it’s not religious. That ain’t no Solid Gold Dancers out there. These are all the elements of fire magic, as it has been practiced for thousands of years. At some point you have to say, OK, maybe this can’t ALL be coincidence, that maybe some of the people involved in putting this together had an interest in the occult, and chose to build the ceremony modelled on other occult ceremonies throughout history.
Open Scroll blog has just written a lengthy, 3-part series delving into this much deeper. An important point to consider, is that whatever the individual participants think about the ritual, doesn’t really change the nature of the ritual. The nature, elements, and sheer scale of the ritual are what gives it its power. In fact, the magic is stronger if it’s so subtle that those within the spell don’t even notice it being cast on them, and with them.
This is Labor Day weekend, and once again a mass ritual known as Burning Man is taking place in Nevada with many thousands of participants. Tonight, as I post this to the blog, the burning man will be lit and wildly celebrated. Beyond the obvious “Pagan celebration” label that may be applied, when the symbol language is read and understood we see in this the intent for the ritual raising of energy within an enormous magic circle. It’s a large scale harvesting of energy as a ritual sacrifice. What I’ve just described is according to the practice of ceremonial magick, and those conclusions would be drawn by anyone who is familiar with the working of such sorcery. More may be inferred about what is being accomplished because of the consistency and redundancy of the symbolism present.
Who is the lucky target of our Burner worhsip? The Egyptian god Horus. Well, I guess we have Osiris, we had an Anubis a couple of years back, the lamp lighters are Egyptian styled, the Temple was 3 pyramids, in fact there are a lot of pyramids and Egyptian symbolism…yeah, I think it’s safe to say there is a LOT of Egyptian magick going on at Burning Man. I haven’t ever met too many actual Egyptians out there!
photo by Curious Josh
Certainly, participants may decide what Burning Man is to them, but it is what it is, despite what some might choose to believe. The organizers refuse to define it openly and media descriptions of Burning Man as an “art, music and everything-else festival” are merely superficial. The point of the ritual gathering may be derived from the symbols present and some knowledge of history. These things “decide” what the festival really is. It’s not really open to the subjective interpretations of individual participants. Their opinions do nothing to change what their participation means and accomplishes. They are involved in the worship of Horus and are actively paving the way for his return. This ritual is for the empowering of all his worshipers for engagement in spiritual warfare against the saints.
He also feels that the Illuminati could be involved. Unfortunately, Illuminati seem to be all the rage amongst the kiddies these days, with Kim Kardashian having to recently deny she’s in their gang. Rock-n-Roll has been the devil’s music for 50 years, I don’t think dubstep will bring Satan in if the Rolling Stones couldn’t.
A point of the ritual is to raise more demonic energy, harvesting it from the Burning Man participants and further from all those who give energy to it through the spawned events and even the Internet coverage on regular sites, forums, social media and video sites. There’s lots of mind-control programming going on with corrupting influences of many kinds. Here is the typical weaving together of beast and Illuminati programming symbolism, and reality. Folks role-play in their playa name alter identities.
…When folks revel in burning such as the mock Wall Street block in effegy, smashing, burning and destroying everything, it’s not just a carthitic experience. Some of the constructions go up in smoke as prayers with incense to their god, but others go up more particularly as a curse. That’s what the magick circle is for, with the release of the demonic energy carrying the curse into the universe. These destruction rituals are attended with directed anger. These rehearse and role play in symbol but there is in this a vital supernaturalism…
Or, it might not be just Devil Worship. It might be Catholics versus Protestants…hmmm, I think his argument is stretching a bit here…
The Black Awakening is appointed to facilitate the new order by bring this order to ashes, preparing the way for their king Horus to rise. In type, every year the idol is burned to ashes. Every year, he rises again. Sun up. Sun down. Sun up. Sun down.
I note how the August 24th marks the anniversary of the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, and this is when many travel and preparations for Burning Man are completed. St. Bartholomew’s Day is observed on some Satanic and SRA calendars as a Great Sabbat and Fire festival, and noted as a large herb gathering. Burning Man is very much a fire festival. There is a metaphor biblically and otherwise where herbs represent people. Connect those dots. “The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants), during the French Wars of Religion.” (Wikipedia) One or more of those groups worshiped the sun god and acted in his service. What do you know about Catholic assassins – Jesuits, Knights Templar, Knights of Malta, Knights of Columbus
In terms of Wicca magic, Burning Man is surely the largest. Glastonbury is a bigger festival than Burning Man, but they tried to mass 1800 for their ritual magic ceremony against fracking. They billed it as “The Biggest Magical Operation Ever Carried Out on Earth“, but only 300 people showed up, Burning Man gets ten times that just girls celebrating that they can ride bikes and show their boobs at the same time!
Stephanie and I drove to Glastonbury to participate in the Warrior’s Call Pagan Anti-Fracking ritual that was scheduled for Saturday. I had been a little concerned because 1800 people had said they were coming and I was aware of the irony of having people using fossil fuels to get to Glastonbury to work a ritual designed to protect the Earth from pollution. However, sometimes it is necessary to make a strong statement, and perhaps to do powerful magic, and this Glastonbury initiative felt important. We combined it with a long overdue visit to OBOD’s Touchstone editor Penny Billington and its inimitable illustrator Arthur ZZ Birmingham/Billington.
How many of the 1800 people would actually turn up, especially when the forecast was for rain? Damh the Bard had spotted members in Australia clicking the ‘I’m coming!’ button on Facebook, so we knew some would be coming astrally, and in fact astral travel made up the bulk of participants. About 1500 flew on the wings of thought and intention, and only about 300 were there on the lower field of the Tor, just above Dion Fortune’s (now Geoffrey Ashe’s) house. But this was a good number – enough to give a real sense of solidarity and energy, without so many no-one would hear what was being said – which I had feared if 1800 had come. The police had been worried about numbers too, and had phoned us and appeared before the ritual began. But they were reassured and went away.
Some previous coverage from Burners.Me about the spiritual and occult elements of Burning Man:
Let me ask you a rhetorical question. What would you rather be: blindly following the 10 Principles and all the other rules of The Man as if you were a sheep? Or, this guy…
#nailedit! In this case, quite literally.
If I told you all the best quotes I know, you’d probably gain too much power. Since the purpose of my social engineering is to repress Burners and make it so that they can create nothing of value for themselves (only we the B.ME-Org can profit!), then I’m only going to share one morsel of a quote with you today. To succor you in, it’s a good one. [“</sarcasm>”] …although, gotta say…Be – More – G – I’m liking it!
My favorite quote, which I’ll gladly share with you for free, for the purposes of enriching everyone with enlightened wisdom…comes from one of your “Dead Presidents’…
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
– Calvin Coolidge
You think that’s the first time this monk ever threw that needle?
We’re not the BMOrg here, people. We represent for Burners, from our hood of BRC and beyond. We don’t make cyber-warfare ad-hominem attacks, on BMOrg or anyone else. We don’t have “talking points” that we use to tear others down on online forums. We just write this blog to share our opinions with you about Burning Man. Got your own opinions? Please come here and share them, comment. We welcome healthy debate. Got “talking points” from the BMOrg, that add nothing to the discussion, that you read on JRS or ePlayer? Ummm, get fucked, go back there. Burning Man existed before BMOrg, and it will live LONG after BMOrg too. You think Black Rock City, LLC were the world’s first Burners? Yeah right. We were rocking it out in way more extreme conditions than that, before then. As were others. The Playa ain’t nothing on the Outback.
This has nothing to do with BMOrg, but everything to do with Burner culture.
Purity. Practice. Concentration and letting go. At the same time. Mastery. The mind of no mind.
If you can’t understand this post, don’t worry, you weren’t one of the ones meant to get it. If you’re confused, watch the video again. Keep watching, until you get it. Is he a monk, because of some gimmick with the needle? No, of course not. There’s magic out there. Just ask these sheep!