9046

Bring Your Mutant Vehicle Dreams to Life!

Mint Country Club’s spectacular Green Whale (photo: Andy Flint)

by the Red Earth Department of Mutant Vehicles

We’re getting more serious about transport around Red Earth City. As our community grows we need to make sure we have the necessary infrastructure to keep our City safe. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still have some radical and creative fun doing it….. hello art cars or ‘mutant vehicles’!

Last year (2015) saw the introduction of our first licensing and registration system for art cars on the Paddock, and the establishment of the Red Earth City Department of Mutant Vehicles (REDMV).

We’re expecting more art cars in 2016 and we’re looking for participants now to work with the REDMV team to help register vehicles in advance and to crew for the team. Red Earth City is a bicycle and pedestrian-oriented city and there is no driving allowed on site once you’re through the Gate other than with a registered art car or ‘mutant vehicle’.

What is a mutant vehicle?

A Mutant Vehicle is a unique, motorized creation that shows little or no resemblance to its original form, or to any standard street vehicle. Mutant Vehicles are radically, stunningly, (usually) permanently, and safely modified from their base vehicle. Sometimes the whole vehicle is made from scratch.” – Burning Man Department of Mutant Vehicles

At Burning Seed, all powered vehicles or human powered vehicles over 250kg for use on the Paddock need to be registered and licensed with REDMV. As well as complying with registration procedures and on-site driving rules, in order to qualify for a licence vehicles for use on the Paddock need to be ‘mutated’.

Creative collaboration is at the core of the Burning Seed experience and you could do worse than to work with a crew to bring your maddest Mad Max dreams to life with a mutant vehicle. The 2016 Burning Seed theme- Deep Space – offers some obvious inspiration but a project like this deserves your most radical expression!

Spectacular mutants in 2015

The first year of REDMV saw some spectacular vehicles make it to the Paddock, including the Wonky Queenslander, the Orphanage Art Car, the CocoPocoLocomotive and Mint Country Club’s Green Whale (this latter vehicle built on-site! – how cool was that!!?) Kudos to the crews responsible for those awesome MVs. Last year was also a success in terms of zero injuries and great communication and engagement between REDMV and mutant vehicle operators, and with Rangers and other relevant crew on-site. We want to see this same outcomes in 2016 with new and revised registration information and driving rules.

Not Shonky - Just Wonky! (photo: Jorgenn Dobleene)

Not Shonky – Just Wonky! The WONKY Queenslander (photo: Jorgenn Dobleene)

Get involved with REDMV!

If you love art, if you love vehicles or if you just love humans and want to make sure they stay safe on the Paddock, REDMV needs YOU! We’re looking for a REDMV second-in-command (2iC) to work with the Department to create documentation, evaluate applications, liaise with vehicle operators and ensure the safe operation of mutant vehicles on-site. We’re also looking for specialist REDMV crew to work with us on vehicle assessments including safety inspections, licensing and managing and enforcing safe Mutant Vehicle operation during the event.

What next?

Registrations will open soon and will remain open for a few months. If you have questions at any stage email redmv@burningseed.com. If you want to get involved and find out more about the 2iC role or other REDMV crew opportunities, register your interest with the Crew Wranglers at jointhecrew@burningseed.com.

8901

Burner Journeys… The Birth of Sunset Island

by Jasper Ashton Aymer Vallance

In October 2013 I went on a spontaneous adventure to discover Burning Seed, Australia’s biggest regional Burning Man event – it turned into the adventure of a lifetime. As I stood with a small group of friends and saw my first sunset drop behind the Matong horizon, little could I imagine that two years later I would be dancing alongside 1500 Burners joyfully sharing that same view, with my best mates playing tunes in a theme camp experience WE MADE!

I’ll give you the moral of this story right up front: if you have a vision and a shared passion among friends you CAN create something really, really special.  Burning Seed provides a blank canvas for you to live your creative dream AND have a positive impact on people’s lives.  For me it’s been utterly life changing and one of my most rewarding experiences to date.

The Birth of Sunset Island

The message that led to Sunset…’Bail if it’s rubbish’ As if!!

Discovering Burning Seed

I initially knew nothing about Burning Seed. I stumbled across the Seed website researching a potential trip to Burning Man in the United States. I must have liked the Facebook page because two weeks out from the event I saw the post saying Burning Seed was happening.

So my comrade Murray and I took the plunge. I’m sure we all remember our first time driving out past Wagga Wagga towards Matong State Forest, heading into the unknown. That straight road passing the beautiful fields of yellow flowers, tunes pumping in the car with a wonderful sense of freedom and anticipation…getting close but seeing no signs of life and wondering if this Burning Seed thing actually existed?

What we discovered that first time captivated us. The spirit of gifting and openness. The absence of rules and the wonderful mix of people. And oh those sunsets!!! Pure chance saw us camping near the fence line with front row seats for that special moment at the end of the day. A time for reflection and anticipation for the night ahead. Thanks to Mother Nature, the seed for the vision that inspired Sunset Island was planted at that very moment.

Hatching the Plan

So, after a great Burn, we planned to return in 2014. Our initial plan was for a renegade sound camp so we asked Burning Seed if we could set up a sound system in our campsite.  They said “why don’t you set up a theme camp?”

I was going to wait for another a year to make sure we had enough people, enough crew to make it viable but the  prospect of actually being on the map was compelling. Our group had always loved organising parties in natural environments and I had the vision for a sunset party to enhance the experience at Seed.

My two good friends Shane and Steve (Electric Zeus) were first on board. Shane had played sunsets in Ibiza and Steve is the quintessential party host – plus Steve’s brother Martin (who could make just about anything!) was immediately into the idea of coming the next year and setting up a camp.

We voted on names but “Sunset Island” seemed kind of obvious – we were all inspired by visions of stunning sunsets you normally see from an island over the ocean. Beyond Murray and me, the team quickly grew with a wonderful mix of talents.  Zoe – a brand strategist and creative – worked with us help us understand what Sunset Island meant to us and to those that would come? From the outset it was a fantastically creative process such a joy to share this experience with friends.

Our DJ talent grew as we spread the word and, along with Captain Peacock’s (now famous) punch and our fake palm trees we created at our first fundraising party, we had the makings of a theme camp.  We raised enough money at that party to hire a truck, buy materials and supply the ingredients for a plentiful supply of punch on the Paddock.

Martin was instrumental in envisioning the set-up of Sunset Island and getting materials cheaply. There are many people who made it happen that first– you know who you are. And so we packed up the truck and off we all went! Thanks to Captain (Steve) Peacock for capturing our preparation for that first year on video – take a look!

Challenges of Getting Bigger

We’re into our third year now, growing and as enthusiastic as ever – but that growth brings its issues. It’s easier to fill fundraisers parties but communication and decision making becomes more challenging. We also saw a bit of burn out in 2015. So in 2016 we’re focusing on spreading the load, with team leaders responsible for each aspect of the camp. We’ve already locked in both our fundraising venues ahead of time allowing us to focus our energies on making these experiences, and of course our time at Seed 2016, the best ever.

Thank You

Sunset Island - That's some kinda Theme Camp!

Jasper – that Sunset thing was a really, REALLY good idea!

Thank you for joining us at Sunset Island and making it such a wonderful experience. Words can’t describe that special moment when the Sun hits the horizon and brings on the incredible vibe and energy created by all of you. Thank you to all the theme camps which drove their art cars into Sunset Island on the Friday night last year to add to the experience – we look forward to seeing you again this year. And thanks to those responsible for the pancake stall that randomly set up on the fence line last year at Sunset Island.  That was a lovely surprise.  Please come back!

Want to Get Involved With Sunset Island?

We are looking to expand our team across all aspects of running our theme camp.  So let us know what you’re passionate about and skills you think you can lend a hand with from construction to Paddock decorations to cooking!   Or maybe you want to run an afternoon workshop?  Join Our FB Community Group or message me direct on jaspervallance@gmail.com and I can link you in with the appropriate team leader. You could also come meet us at our fundraisers this year:

And Finally…. Six Tips For Creating a Successful (And Fun) Theme Camp!

So I’ll wrap up with a few lessons I’ve picked up along the way. I hope you’re feeling inspired to create your own theme camp.  I cannot even begin to explain how much fun and how rewarding it’s been for everyone at Sunset Island.

  • Find the niche that you and your mates are passionate about. It’s the shared passion that makes the cool shit happen. ‘Sunset’ made it easy for people to find us!
  • Bring the right mix of skills together.  If you’re lucky you’ll have the skills you need in your group. If there’s a gap, put it out there and try and attract the right people.
  • Designate a leader and functional leadership roles based on what people are best at (and most passionate about). New people can join the team that best aligns with their passions.
  • Lock in fundraising venues way ahead of time. This eliminates a whole load of stress and enables the focus on the fun creative stuff.
  • Let the 10 Principles guide decisions not personal opinions.
  • Collaborate with other theme camps.  It’s an incredible mutually supportive network.

See you at Sunset!! 😉

9019

Put Your Art on The Paddock in 2016

Put your Art on the Paddock in 2016-2by the ARTery Department

Interested in making art at Burning Seed this year? Sure you are!!

We’ve seen some AMAZING installations – large and small – grace our little forest playground over the years…. from awesome ‘stand-and-look’ pieces to ‘get-right-in-there-and-interact!’

The ARTery

All art projects that are set up on the Paddock need to register with Red Earth City’s ARTery Department.

The ARTery works with anyone bringing art to Burning Seed and supports art at the event through art grants and artist services.

How to Register

ARTery registration forms for art on the Paddock in 2016 go live April 1 (no fooling!) and to help prospective artists navigate the process there’s heaps of info on the website about registration, policy, grants and more.

Getting an Art Grant

OK so you’ve had an AMAZING idea but you need additional funds to help you bring your vision to life? We got this – the ARTery Department offers two levels of grants for artists:

Small art grants of up to $1,000 and LARGE art grants $1,001-$5,000

There are a few things to bear in mind before you apply for a grant… like ARTery will not finance 100% of any proposal – rather encourages artists to gift, and find alternative ways to fundraise the amount they require.

Grants are also mainly for approved materials for construction of artwork – for instance wood, fixtures and fittings, fabric, paint etc. Grants are NOT provided for ‘labour’, Burning Seed tickets or personal travel expenses.

Applications for both grants also open April 1 2016. The deadline for large grants is May 15 and small grant applications close June 19 at 6pm.

Please like the ARTery’s Facebook page to stay up to date on all the latest art happenings!

8975

WANTED: 2iC PEER For When the Going Gets TOUGH!

NOT APPROVEDfor P.E.E.R. Rangers

Sorry Billy! You may have a voice like satin but you’re not approved for PEER Rangers…

by Koi and Alicia

OK… so the whole Billy Ocean thing was kind of a ruse…

Are you professionally trained in psychology, social work, counselling, psychiatric nursing or other similar feel -good-helper-type roles? Do you have experience in managing acute psychological issues? Do you have professional training or experience in responding to assaults? Would you consider gifting some of your sweet time and knowledge year round to help Seed happen? Then read on… (NB there’s a special treat later for those of you reading who don’t have the above skills…)

PEER Rangers
Burning Seed is generally a happy, joyful and wonderfully fulfilling experience for participants. However there are times when things don’t go so well for individuals – at Seed we’re serious about making sure participants have access to vital psychological and/or emotional support when they need it.

In 2015 Seed established a specialised crew of Rangers – Psychological and Emotional Emergency Response (P.E.E.R.) Rangers –  to provide support at times when really tough stuff happens at Seed that may be difficult for participants to process. “Really tough” could include: acute mental health crises, sexual non-consent matters and relationship violence. This critical team now needs a second-in-charge (2iC) – could that be YOU!?

What’s involved?
As 2iC PEER Rangers you’ll get to:

  • help recruit, select and train PEER Rangers;
  • contribute to essential admin & work with sweet organisers behind the scenes, and;
  • be a go-to leaderly type person available to work shifts during Seed and respond to incidents if they arise.

If you think you could help and want to get involved contact the Crew Wranglers ASAP at jointhecrew@burningseed.com for more information and for a copy of the role description!

That Special Treat We Mentioned… here’s that satin-voiced R&B legend in all his 80s glory:  Enjoy!

For those still reading, we have HEAPS OF ROLES to fill at Burning Seed requiring very sweet skills like yours! Check out the roles available and see where you might fit –  add some more ‘immediacy’, ‘communal effort’ and ‘participation’ into your Seed! If compassion for your fellow Burners has brought you this far but you don’t have the professional experience we need for the PEER role, we have plenty of opportunities available for supportive souls like you.

For example, Red Earth Rangers actively support community well-being and safety, for instance as first responders to emergencies, and as community mediators. Rangers come from all walks of life, and with a bit of training (which we provide) nearly anyone can be a Ranger, whatever your level of work of life experience!!

But if you’re a good fit for the PEER 2iC, and feel like you might have what it takes, please get in touch and help us all Burn Bright and not Burn Out in 2016!

8927

(Red) EARTH (City) HOUR – Managing Your Impact at Seed

by MOOP DADDY

Leave No Trace at Burning Seed!With Earth Hour (19 March 2016) focusing everyone’s minds on ways to Leave No Trace (or at least less trace) on this beautiful planet of ours, Burning Seed’s Leave No Trace (LNT) Team thought we’d take an opportunity to give veteran and new burners some ideas about how you can plan NOW to reduce your impact on Red Earth City, our lovely Matong State Forest home.

Top Ten Tips 

So in time-honoured tradition, here’s a few ways (in no particular order) that you can be a better Burner and minimise your impact on the environment during your visit to Burning Seed in 2016:

  1. Start planning to rideshare – we are looking at ways to better manage traffic this year, but the best way to manage traffic (and emissions!!) is for you to find a buddy or two or five and organise a rideshare. Look out for rideshare forums closer to the event.
  2. Don’t fly in – yes that’s controversial, and difficult (particularly if you live overseas). At least consider offsetting your emissions.
  3. Pack it in, pack it out – dealing with the rubbish can be the worst part of your Burn if you haven’t made plans. When we say we Leave No Trace, WE MEAN IT. Plan to take all of your smelly refuse with you when you leave (or find ways to not bring it in the first place).
  4. MOOP is what we call MATTER OUT OF PLACE. When in Red Earth City, MOOP as you go. Don’t leave it all to the end.
  5. PARTICIPATE and carry a MOOP bag with you. Look out for MOOP around Red Earth City and grab it before it gets away! Join the MOOP Troupe!
  6. Leave glitter, confetti and other microplastic crap at home. Glitter bad. Very Bad.
  7. Line-sweep your camp site when you leave. Form a line with your camp-mates and walk a grid before you depart.
  8. Use solar or rechargeable lighting and power wherever possible. Coordinate with other camps to share generator power. Collaborate!
  9. Get involved early and join the Red Earth Ecology Biodiversity Planting project next month in Matong (April 22nd–24th)
  10. The best thing you could do? DON’T COME!* It was better last year anyway 🙂

*Hmm, this is actually kinda true but we won’t hold you to it.

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Burning Seed 2016 – First Site Visit!!

Red Earth... but no City - YET!

Plenty of Red Earth… but no City – YET!

It begins! We’re six months out from what promises to be the best Burning Seed yet and crew from Seed’s Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) made the first site visit of the year this week to check in with the local community and start making plans for site works and improvements.

Running an event like Burning Seed is no short term deal. As the event has grown (and continues to grow) over the years, much work is involved in managing that growth, being mindful of the impacts on the site and on the local community, and taking account of a range of factors that relate to our commitment to Seed as a sustainable event.

Each year brings new lessons about how the event can be improved. For instance the DPI crew spent time on site last week reviewing the situation with roadworks, with a view to expanding the space particularly around the Gatehouse to ensure adequate lanes for emergency exit and to help address the problems in 2015 of the traffic bottleneck near Gate/Greeters.

DPI crew start their journey towards Burning Seed 2016

DPI crew on the road towards Burning Seed 2016

DPI also met with the sanitation team that handled all our 85+ toilets and 70,000 litres of toilet waste last year to talk about better ways of getting the waste trucks in and out of the Paddock, and to begin consultation on any additional infrastructure needed.

The site visit also provided an opportunity for the DPI crew to meet with our friends in the local community in and around Matong to discuss more ways that we can help leverage Seed for the benefit of local people.

For example, we raised more than $3000 in funds for local schools last year with our ice sales, and there are some great new ideas and initiatives emerging for 2016, including raising funds from the local collection of garbage on departure from Seed, and potential water deliveries to site.

If you want to get involved in crew for DPI or any other team get in touch NOW with our crew wranglers by signing up on the website.

And, if you haven’t already signed up for the Red Earth Ecology planting weekend next month – 22-24 April – now is the time!

8833

Burner Journeys… Finding Your Creative Power!!

by Acid Mama

The Burning Man (and Burning Seed!) community is a unique creative space when it comes to enabling people to push their comfort zones and try something new. For those of us who have had the opportunity to step up into our creative power and participate in a collaborative project for Burning Man or one of its regional events, we know how magical this experience can be.

Nothing fabricated about this - it's as real as it gets...

Being a Burner means doing cool stuff like DANGER!!

Furthermore, if you are a woman, as I am, and you’ve had this kind of opportunity, then you know just how empowering it can be to have your skills appreciated and encouraged, nourishing a part of you that thrives on creativity.

Getting Involved

In 2006 I experienced my first Burning Man and the incredible WOW-factor of Black Rock City. That year was eye-opening, challenging, and beautiful. When I left the Playa, I vowed to return with a major contribution. I’d enjoyed being a punter my first year, but felt that there was a deeper way I could participate.

In 2007, I bought an old school bus, gathered friends and talent, and rocked back up to Black Rock City with a hula-hoop camp. Our theme camp was bare bones, but still ticked the boxes. Yet still I wanted a deeper level of involvement.

During the next year, I relocated to study jewellery and metal fabrication at Uni – and this is where I found my niche. I got a job as the fine metals studio assistant, taught classes, ran open studio sessions, and assisted the students. On the side I was tinkering, playing and experimenting with welding, steel work and plasma cutting in the large scale metal fabrication studio. Then one day, somehow, through word of mouth, I got a call…

Finding Your Niche

“Prof”as he was called, had heard about me and my work through a mutual friend. He told me the story of his Burning Man theme camp and asked if I would join their crew – the Black Rock City Hardware Shoppe – a Burning Man fix-it camp that had been operating on the Playa since the mid ’90s. What had started off as a pop up tent with some rolling tool boxes, had, by the time I got involved, turned into a camp with massive acreage right on the Center Camp ring of Black Rock City.

We fixed, broke and re-made anything that came to our door; bringing welders, every hand and power tool imaginable, any nut and bolt we could gather. Incredible opportunities landed in our laps, as we helped large-scale sound camps, amazing art cars, even the Department of Public Works crew. During the next 4 years, my experience with Black Rock City Hardware Shoppe radically transformed my Burn, and my life.

Getting Creative - Flame Effects Archway At Centre Camp

If you ever wondered why we call ourselves Burners…THIS!

Bringing the Skills to Seed

Fast forward to Burning Seed 2015: I’d stumbled into being involved again, working as 2iC for Theme Camps, and being a part of the team creating the flame-effects archway at Centre Camp. 
This latter project was an amazing opportunity for me to get back into welding and metal fabrication, work collaboratively with men and women, and dabble in a realm I thought I’d lost forever when I left America. 

Through this project, a plethora of other opportunities have opened up, and I am deeply grateful for each of them. It’s now my turn to give back, and create opportunities for other women to explore metal fabrication and welding techniques.

Women: Rule the Weld!

Women (of Melbourne)! If you’ve ever wanted to upskill in welding and metal fabrication, now’s the time. Starting in May I’ll be offering a 6-session Women’s Welding Workshop every third Sunday, 10-4 pm. The course will be held at NORM Warehouse which has just moved to an awesome new space in North Coburg, right behind the Batman Train Station, next door to Bunnings.

The skills you will learn in the course could enable you to design, create and install incredible art on the Paddock, allow you to upskill in an area that nourishes and enriches a practice already in place, or simply encourages you to make wicked yard art. Whatever your intention is with this course, know that it is welcome and encouraged. The space I am cultivating will be exclusively run by, managed and filled with women: female instructor, assistant, studio manager, as well as female students.

Learn more about the course and enrol!! Alternatively, send an email for more information.

***

What do you think? Want to get more involved and unlock your creative potential? Burning Seed is a DO-OCRACY made possible ONLY BY YOU! Find out more about Community Crew positions, email the Crew Wranglers for information or check out the ARTery for more about how you can bring your imagination to life on the Paddock!

Wanna share your Burner Journey? Email us with YOUR story at comms@burningseed.com

8766

2016 DEEP SPACE THEME DESIGN… REVEALED!!!

WOW! You folks are TALENTED!

We had a record number of submissions to our Design Lab for the 2016 DEEP SPACE theme design! Now, the amazing quality of all the entries made the job of selecting a design hella tough for our Team Leads, but they’ve only gone and picked one!! Check out the awesome design they selected below….

Deep SpaceSarah Barber – a graphic designer and hot glue-gun user extraordinaire, originally from New Zealand but now based in Sydney – submitted the selected design which was a hot favorite from the outset. We loved the cool, clean lines, pulling the sophistication of Art Deco into the galaxy – just beautiful! Ornamentation meets sacred geometry. In Sarah’s own words:

“The idea is that the moon is a mirror into our soul and thoughts. To look upon the moon and gaze up to the sky helps us to find meaning in our ponderings. The lines represent a blueprint of architecture (temple) and the coloured squares are windows looking past the lines into one’s thoughts and reflections. The image below the moon is from last years burn of people around the fire at temple burn, howling at the sky to let their inhibitions and fears rise up into the universe making them truly free. The watercolour top part of the image represents art and creativity.”

Beautiful! And that photo of you howlers included in Sarah’s design is of course courtesy of the outstanding Ryan McRobb from his collection of work from Burning Seed 2015.

Sarah Barber - Deep Space Designer and Pickle Bar operator

Sarah Barber – Deep Space Designer and Pickle Bar operative

Sarah is a two-time participant at Burning Seed but is yet to attend KiwiBurn and Burning Man. You may even recognize Sarah from the Bloody Mary Sundays, serving Bloody Marys in the mornings around the various theme camps at Seed last year? Re-imagined in 2016 as Camp Lazertits, look out for Sarah and a few of the LazerTits camp riding across the Paddock in their new and awesome mobile BubbleStitch Bar!

“Each time I come back I always find such joy and amazement in the people that I meet in this community. Everyone gives in their own beautiful way and welcomes one another with open arms. It is a breath of fresh air seeing so much creativity, self expressionism and environmental awareness all in one glowing hub found in a tiny red forest in the middle of nowhere. It has changed my way of thinking, and the memories shared have stayed with me on tough days in the rat race. I am truly grateful to have found such a supportive, free-thinking community of people. Burn Bright you mad mad wonderful creatures.”


Voting process

We had 18 entries all up, a fantastic response to our call out for designs which was open from 22 January to 22 February. The Burning Seed Team Leads were presented with all the artwork, numbered so as to retain anonymity, and asked to rank their first, second and third choice. Each choice was given a value – 3 points for first, 2 for second and 1 for third – and once all the votes were cast the points were added. The selected design – Sarah’s design – was the one with most points.

What will the design be used for?

Sarah’s design will be used to create all the main Burning Seed 2016 event collateral, including:

  • all our social media shenanigans – for instance the banners and headers on our Official Facebook Page and the 2016 Event Page;
  • the event wristbands, on the stickers we give out at the Gate and on community crew schwag;
  • our official publications and guides including the First Timers Guide, The Survival Guide and the What Where When on-site event guide.

How was the DEEP SPACE theme chosen?

The Deep Space Theme was chosen from almost 100 community suggestions following last year’s event. Whether you’re planning your Theme Camp, your art, your costume or your gift to the community we’d encourage you draw inspiration from this year’s Deep Space Theme.

I wanna use this DEEP SPACE image! How do I get a copy?

You’re welcome to download the poster (765kb portrait version, this is great for the screen saver on your phone!) and/or the banner (456kb landscape version, great for Facebook) if you want to use them. Alternatively, right click on the images displayed here to save them to your desktop. If you want to do more (say you want to use the design elements for your theme camp or artwork etc) and need to contact us for the files/fonts then email comms@burningseed.com with your request.

BS_2016_fbk_Group

***

Want to get involved in our next Design Lab? We’ll be opening submissions SOON for the design of the 2016 Temple! Go and LIKE our Facebook Page to stay in touch.

8727

The Ritual of Burning Seed?

Credi: Noma Kim Photography

Burning Seed – it’s a pretty magical place for sure.. but is it a religious experience? A new ritual? (photo: Noma Kim Photography)

by Dokktor Wonderlust

I was fortunate enough to experience Seed 2015 as a ‘burgin’. I am by trade an anthropologist and a couple of days into the experience, a veteran of five years asked for my professional opinion.

My answer was that participation in ritual is an essential part of being human.  As the established rituals of the default world lose their meaning and cease to offer us the sense of community they may once have, new rituals like Burning Seed are needed to reflect the values of our changing world.

Language, Religion and Ritual

My experience of Burning Seed brought to mind the work of Roy Rappaport, an anthropologist who spent his career studying ritual in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere.

Rappaport says that language is what makes us human, it allows us to conceptualize things beyond our physical existence and therefore reflect on the nature of our own existence – it facilitates our consciousness.

The human mind has endless capacity to imagine, an our minds are open to infinite possibilities – heaven and hell, angels and demons, wookies and even unicorns (if we must).

However, this same ability allows us to lie and deceive. So how can anyone, much less a society, know what to believe and what to reject? This is a moral question, and Rappaport argues that the answer humans came up with was religion, and the rituals that accompany it.

Ritual is a Community Experience

Ritual prevents language from descending into meaninglessness because unlike mere words, the performance of ritual is considered trustworthy. This is because the meaning of ritual is not determined by one individual performer but, rather, by the participating culture at large – that sounds a bit like Burning Seed to me.

Rappaport argues that ritual is necessary in order to allow one to transcend individuality and participate in communitas – ‘the revelation of the hidden oneness of all things’ – which is beyond the grasp of any one individual and beyond what can be expressed in words.

The Ten Principles 

Burning Seed is not one person, and in performing the ritual of Burning Seed we create a society guided by the our cultural fundamentals – the Ten Principles. These are the values that guide the society of Red Earth City.

Another world is possible. In my fluorescent-lit hub of daily wage slavery it is easy to lose sight of this. In the performance of the ritual of Burning Seed we create a more desirable society.

So, in answer to my friend’s question, humans need ritual and as the established rituals of Christianity and Capitalism cease to reflect our values or serve our needs new rituals must be invented. I believe Burning Seed is one of these…

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What do you think? Want to find out more? Go LIKE our Official Burning Seed Facebook Page or take a trip around the website and let us have your thoughts… 🙂