If Freedom Exists…


I was there last night.
I watched the burning man take flight.
Go up in fire and fall.

I watched the crowds and all.
The fireworks as the burners rejoiced.
Feeling the connectivity and one voice

Heard over the desert.
If freedom exists it is in the twist
Of the match that sparked the man.

Created him in the sand.
Thousands gather yearly for this tower.
Dancing and reflecting on life at his feet.

The Burning Man does not retreat.
With hands held high in the air
Pushes his body towards despair.

Like a virgin sacrifice he dies.
While birthing so many new lives.
As their sins are wiped away.

A new, New Years day has come.
In the middle of the desert for some.
Who prepare for this day with vigor.

To feel this energy with rigor.
And embrace their place
In this universe, in this space.

I watched as the man burned.
He sat on my laptop being streamed.
2000 miles away he gleamed.

I watched the sunrise this morning.
Felt connected to this new dawning.
Of an age where I am part of

Some invisible cosmic plan.
Feeling the burners are my friends.
Knowing deeply that I am one of them.


The Principles

Like George Orwell’s Animal Farm, there are ten principles around which Burning Man Festival is based.

Radical Inclusion: A veritable ‘celebration of the stranger’, anyone with a ticket is gladly welcomed. Forget stereotypes and prejudices – they don’t play a role here.

Gifting: Leave wallets at home because gifting is the economy of Burning Man. Remember, this is not an exchange – the giving of a gift is considered to be unconditional.

Decommodification: To preserve the spirit of giving and protect from the banes of consumption, no cash transactions are allowed. While there are one or two exceptions to this rule, it’s best to steer clear of dollars and cents.

Radical Self-reliance: Considering the event’s harsh environment, individuals must be prepared to rely on inner resources and be responsible for their own subsistence.

Radical Self-expression: Whether it be through artistic installations, community projects, radical outfits or nudity, participants are encouraged to express themselves and explore their unique talents in any number of ways.

Communal Effort: Cooperation and collaboration are key components, with all working together in their quest for artistic freedom.

Civic Responsibility: Burning Man values civil society, and encourages participants to act in accordance with federal, state and local laws.

Leaving No Trace: Come 7 September, there is to be ‘no trace’ left of Burning Man. In a demonstrated commitment to the environment, participants aim to leave Black Rock in a better state than it was when they came.

Participation: Radical participation is non-negotiable. Forget rocking up in jeans and a T-shirt, getting intimately involved in the artistic expression is a requirement for all.

Immediacy: Participants aim to be forever in the moment, overcoming barriers that stand between their everyday persona and the exploration of their inner souls. This is perhaps the most essential tenet of the Burning Man Festival.