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Wheel

of Fire:

A large-scale participatory art project at the Burning Man Festival.


WELCOME to the Wheel of Fire.

On the night of the Burn, simultaneous torchlight processions converge inwards towards the Man from the sites of the Community Burn Platforms. Look at the picture above... The processions will form the  spokes of a fiery wheel nearly a mile across--one of the largest participatory art events ever done--and truly BEYOND BELIEF..

One hour before the Burn, fireworks will go up from the Man and the Processions begin. Rivers of humanity streaming together with drumming, costumes, & lights.... shouting, raising the energy level and anticipation so the Burn can become the life-changing experience it was meant to be.

After the Burn, complete the ritual by returning to the Burn platform from which you started, ground your energy, burn up your used parade torches, and keep your burn platform safe.   

 


How to PARTICIPATE:

--As an INDIVIDUAL:

  • Head for your nearest Community Burn Platform on the night of the Burn. BE READY FOR A PARADE. Bring your drums, costumes, lanterns, torches, & flashlights:--anything to make light.

  • Watch for the signal. At 8:00 pm fireworks will go up from the Man. It's time to start walking! Light your torch from the Sacred Fire of the 

  • March Towards the Man. Try to form yourselves into long lines, so a single ribbon of light forms, carrying the Sacred Fire from the burn platforms, out to the Man. People will be there to help you--the Sponsors of the burn platform.

  • Drum, yell, raise the energy level so we can have the most cataclysmic Burn ever!

 --As a GROUP:

  • Sign up your camp or group to sponsor one of the Community Burn Platforms.--ideally the one nearest you. 

  • On the night of the Burn, roust up zillions of people to gather around the Burn platform. Drums or megaphones are helpful.

  • Watch for the fireworks from the Man and when they go up start leading your people towards the Man!

  • Halt your procession outside the safety circle around the man. This is important. The Man cannot burn unless everybody stays outside that circle.

  • When the Burn is over, complete the ritual.  Return to the Burn Platform where you started. You have taken the sacred fire out to the Man and now you have brought it back. The part you bring back to your Community Burn Platform represents the part of the Man we take back with us, out into our lives and communities. 

    As you celebrate around your Burn platform, help keep your fire clear, keep foreign matter out of the platform. 


Sign up HERE:

Be a part of the Burn, sponsor a burn platform below.  Write to wheel@clevian.com with your camp's name, a contact e-mail and the location of the Burn Platform you want to sponsor. 

If two or more groups want to sponsor a single platform, we will just list you in the order received so sign up soon! You  can work it out between you how best to to structure your combined Procession. 

 It may take 48 hours for your listing to come through so be patient. 

 

SIGNUP CHART FOR THE WHEEL OF FIRE 2003
Burn Platforms:

2:00 O'Clock 5:00 O'Clock 8:00 O'Clock
2:30 O'Clock 5:30 O'Clock 8:30 O'Clock   

SNOWFLAKE VILLAGE  --ERIC@CLEVIAN.COM

3:00 O'Clock 6:00 O'Clock 9:00 O'Clock
3:30 O'Clock 6:30 O'Clock 9:30 O'Clock
4:00 O'Clock 7:00 O'Clock 10:00 O'Clock
4:30 O'Clock 7:30 O'Clock  

HISTORY:

The Wheel of Fire Project was conceived by the artist Niacin in 2001 as a volunteer effort to help Burning Man raise the energy level and help get people in and out of the Burn efficiently.

Besides, everyone loves a parade.

Write to eric@clevian.com if you have any helpful comments or want to get involved in the organization of this event.


APPENDIX 1: 
Make your own PROCESSION TORCHES

These are your simple cloth torches, you know, the the kind the villagers use to chase the Frankenstein monster...they are fuelled with solid paraffin wax so you can make them up ahead of time and store them safely.

 

1. Start with an old piece of cotton terrycloth 12 inches by 12 inches and a broomstick

 

Fold the terrycloth over the broomstick and staple it or tack it on securely.
Some people put aluminum foil over the end of the stick to help keep it from burning through.

 

Now roll it up really, really tightly. 

 

Bind tightly with a couple of pieces of hobby wire. 

 

MEASURE 3/4 cup of pre-melted candle wax into a big can, tip it and roll the torch around until all the wax is absorbed.
Do not simply saturate the whole torch with wax. Why not? When it burns the wax will heat up and expand, causing flaming hot wax to drip all over you. 

Use 3/4 cup exactly and your torch will burn for 20 minutes, long enough to walk to the man. 

 

The final torch is about 2 feet long and a still a little dry along the bottom of the wick. It can be stored indefinitely without dangerous fumes. 

 

Lighting the torch. It takes a minute or two to light from a lighter. It lights much quicker from an open flame like another torch or a fire.

Extinguishing the torch. Once you arrive at the Man put out your torch with a squirt of drinking water. Don't just let it burn itself out or it will smolder and smoke for quite a while. Soon you will be in the middle of a dense crowd and you do not want a burning torch in there.  

Leave No Trace. If you make your torch right, and put it out right it will not be flaky and shed ashes or wax or anything else onto the desert. SO MAKE IT RIGHT! LEAVE NO TRACE! 
Burn up the spent torch in your community Burn Platform. 

WARNINGS.
These designs are provided purely for entertainment value and no guarantees are made as to their safety or effectiveness. Fire can burn things. Keep all fire away from your body and flammable things. Always carry water or a fire extinguisher. Point the torch 45 degrees in front of you, never stand directly under it or let anybody else stand under it.  Use at your own risk.


 

See you there!!!

Niacin, Wheel of Fire Project Coordinator, 
eric@clevian.com

 


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