2017 Burning Man Theme Was Perfectly Synced With Our Times
First things first. If you do not know what Burning Man is, let’s start there. Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City, the temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles: “radical” inclusion, self-reliance, and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace. What that all means in the “oblivious definition” of Burning Man is coming to the desert for a weekend, making outrageous art, using no money for basic needs, (barter everything) partying till you drop, dressing in the most mind-altering outfits available from the Strippers union, having a spiritual experience you can never put into words and then not leaving a single trace that you were even there.
First held in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco as a small function organized by Larry Harvey and a group of friends, it has since been held annually, spanning from the last Sunday in August to the first Monday in September (the U.S. Labor Day). At Burning Man, the community explores various forms of artistic self-expression, created in celebration for the pleasure of all participants. Participation is a key precept for the community, selfless giving of one’s unique talents for the enjoyment of all is encouraged and actively reinforced. This year’s theme was based on the Native American approach to “Cultural Identification And Transformation.”
Because of the hate filled radical times we live in now, it is no surprise that a fire has been raging on social media regarding this year’s Burning Man Festival and the theme of Radical Ritual which was experienced there.
“I came to pray. It’s that simple. I didn’t bring out my chanupa (sacred pipe), there was no sweat-lodge. I came to pray. I don’t see anything wrong with praying along with my brothers and sisters around the world. I look forward to more of this. It is time now for this, people need to understand this. I look forward to the time when all people will come together to heal our Earth. Red Lightning has provided a bridge between many cultures. -Robert White Mountain, Present at Power of Prayer.” “Mending our relationship within the hoop is everybody’s business. It’s not just an Indian thing. My hope is to share with people how to get back into a right relationship with Mother Earth and the rhythm of the cosmos. Your cosmic identity has no bearing on the color of your eyes, your hair, or your skin. No more enemies, we must become allies.” -Mazatzin, Elder Present at Power of Prayer
“No single person or culture will lead the way, it will take a collaboration unlike anything we have ever seen before. It is an opportunity for all cultures and people to come together to innovate an inspired expression of diverse human culture.” The Power of Prayer” was an initiative by Red Lightning to bring this much-needed intention, awareness, and healing through the Burning Man experience.
Susan Z’s Conclusion:
Always being fascinated by the Burning Man in the last 20 years from my daughter’s experience of it. Hard core participants who showed up for the art, the partying, spiritual awakening, oneness, and youthful expression of human freedom without the money trappings that define our identities. Unfortunately, it has now been taken over by the wealthy as a Nevada version of the New Orleans Mardi Gras. To bring simplistic Native American spirituality to the event represents the original reason Burning Man came about…. appreciation!
The Fool: Inverted (Upside Down)
Trust, faith and optimism. Since inverted, it shows the energy of not caring what the theme is as long as it awakens your senses and always knowing it will be just right.
Harmony and balance of a life situation. Pulled inverted supports the theory that going to Burning Man will not give you a Spa experience of pampering and comfort but a life altering shake up, if you want.
Princess of Pentacles:
Young energy full of new plans and creativity. Perfect card for the definition of Burning Man.
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.