I've been away from my blog for a while. I've been on an adventure with many chapters. It took me across the country and put 6000 extra miles on my small car. Leaving Chicago, I went west across the green plains, through the dry hot deserts and to the wet and misty Oregon coastline. From there I went south, along sacred mountains and through thick forests, before I again entered the desert as I watched in wonder how the landscape changed.
I ended up in the bed of dried lake. It's now called Black Rock Desert, since it hasn't seen water for a long time. Nevertheless, 50.000 enthusiastic souls came to this place for the Burning Man Festival. They brought their own water, along with a tireless desire to create something new. Thousands of tents and RV's came up, and they all disappered again, leaving no trace that there had once been a whole city there existing for only a week. A city with a post office, three clinics, a fire department, a central town square, bars and dancehalls, several temples and an effigy representing mankind visible for miles.
Some wanted to experience the freedom to have the biggest party in history. Bless their hearts, they got it. Some came to express their creativity in ways that would be hard to explain in the city. How do you tell your neighbors that you just have this urge to make your car look like a snail? Or that today you need to wear nylon furred boots, your best bikini and a utility belt? Well, at Burning Man, that outfit was almost common.
Some people came to show their artwork. Sculptures arrived on the flatbed of trucks and needed a crane to lift them off and place them carefully on the playa.
Some people came to create new solutions for the problems that ail our world. Burners without Borders were there, telling us where they'd been and where they were needed next. Entheon Village were making living spaces out of containers for trucks, experimenting with immediate housing for catastrophic situations. Temples were created to honor the many religions of our planet, and to welcome a New Day where we all could come to the same Temple in reverence.
I was part of the crew creating Pantheogenesis Temple. It was dedicated to the Male and Female side of creation, and ultimately to their Unification as One Deity. It consisted of seven different structures: two yurts, a tent garage, a tall dome, a small circus tent and a geodesic dome. The interior Male of a hundred people constructed the spaces. The interior Female of the same people gave the spaces different purpose and character. I watched, as these good people evolved from an expression of our society's conflicted interpretation of male and female, and turned into a new interpretation filled with respect and cooperation that could only be divinely inspired. The temple went through its stages as it created the different spaces starting with the Earth entrance, going through the Heart space before dividing into the Male and Female yurts, all decorated as people brought donated items. My favorite was the God and Godess dome with an elaborate throne for each aspect and chacra colored fabrics cascading down along its inside walls. I had the honor of sitting on the throne for the Goddess as I did my lecture on Mary Magdalene.
But I spent most of my time in the Unity Dome. Both because I was asked to help do textile draperies there, which is my other artform, and because it became my favorite place to be.
If you try to visualize the unity between the God and the Goddess of creation, what would it look like? I don't know if I really had any preconceived ideas, I just knew that the color theme was white, with gold and silver accents, and that I would get fabrics to work with.
I had been given eight small structures to drape. They were small tents attached to square bases intended for meditation, and were circling a large sculpture in white and small mirrors resembling a lotus. I started with some white sheers and placed it over the flexible poles creating the igloo shaped domes. Soon they had white sheer with golden swirls, and golden ties resembling the head gear of Arabian royalty. I got inspired, and hung white buntings along the walls hiding the ropelights. Lovely banners were placed, hanging down from the ceiling together with a large white balloon covered in shimmering tulle. One woman came in and said, "I wondered how we would bring in the Eye of God. See, there is the eyeball." I nodded.
For two days I placed safetypins through fabric, fastening fine silks to the rough metals holding up the geodesic dome and it's white plastic cover. White parachutes covered the sandy floor, in a futile attempt to keep the playa dust out. The more I worked, the more I felt that the space resembled a wedding reception. I giggled to myself. What were we creating? This was supposed to be the most serious space of the whole temple complex!
The answer collected itself through a day, when several people came and visited the dome. The first one was a rabbi, looking older than Metusalah, or rather like Santa Claus in tie-dye, who sat down in a meditation dome and read from a small ancient leather book. He explained to me that it was psalms from the Thalmud, and I invited him to bless the space. He walked between each of the eight units and sang his psalms. I listened in awe as I continued my work.
The next one was Soma from the Krishna camp. I had talked to him before, and invited him to bless the space from his tradition. The Buddhist songs sounded interstingly similar to the Jewish. A Tibetan singing bowl was carried into the dome, and I asked the young man to make it sing and give its frequency to the dome. A woman calling herself Rainbow Jaguar offered to do a Mayan blessing, which I welcomed. She intoned deep sounds and brought rattles and incense as she circled the dome several times making sure she established the right vibration. I learned later that the young man from New York with the disarming smile, was a Sufi master, and had blessed the space several times through out the day. I was glad to know that the Muslims were also represented. A young man dressed in the white robes of a Monk looked at me with eyes of blue velvet and asked with a voice full of love if he could bless the place as well. I'll never know what faith he came from, but it didn't matter. He emanated peace, and called himself Brown Rabbit.
When the photographer from India came, and asked permission to take pictures of a young couple inside the dome for their engagement pictures, I silently welcomed another blessing. The young man was dressed like a Temple Knight, and he seemed Celtic with his pale complection and long dark hair. The lovely young woman was like a daughter of Gaia herself. Everytime I looked at her, I saw another cultural strand in her hair, in her features and graceful movements. The photographer posed them, first for charming presentable pictures. Then he wanted to create something memorable just for them. I made myself blend in with my textiles, as I watched him place them both inside my first completed meditation dome in a tantric position. With the young man sitting crosslegged and the woman on his lap clasping her legs behind his back, I could see how their energy lines would match up and create an empowering unity between them. It would also balance their own chacras and make a moment of shared fireworks for them. I admired how the Hindu photographer gently suggested this, knowing that the Lingam is a holy symbol in his culture, and how the young couple easily complied, eager to learn something new. I stood on the sidelines, hoping I was invisible enough, and understood why the Unity Dome of the God and Godess resembled a wedding reception.
With blessings from all the religious traditions I could think of, the King and Queen of Heaven have now returned to their rightful places. Their special cloud in Heaven resembles a large white balloon covered in sheers, and the mists look like tulle with the golden glow from ropelights creating halos. Their throne is made from plywood cut in intricate patterns, and their backdrop has the colors of the rainbow, draped in flowing fabrics fastened with a safetypin to a point in space.