Black Rock City, Nv
Day Four: The Spiritual Life
“The spiritual life, to which art belongs and of which she is one of the mightiest elements, is a complicated but definite and easily definable movement forwards and upwards. This movement is the movement of experience. It may take different forms, but it holds at bottom to the same inner thought and purpose.” Wassily Kandinsky (pioneer of abstract art)
“After a day of bravely stripping down to near nothing for clothing (no small feat for this somewhat modest human) we explored Burning Man until the sky began to darken and the art began to glow out of the Playa.
That evening I participated in my first ceremony at the temple. It was the anointing of the guard and the vestals. Having no real idea what to expect, I went in as I do with most things - full surrender to the ride. I noticed almost immediately as it began that I was not watching art, I was in it. As the priestesses looked deeply into our eyes, thanking us for our service to the Divine Mother, they dotted our foreheads with oils and had us proclaim our service to protecting this sacred space. I had studied the Oracle of Delphi in the past and I really did feel as though we were transported back in time to her temple. (Side note: The Oracle of Delphi is often referred to as the most powerful woman in the history of the world. She was telling kings and generals to go to war (or not) and they were listening!) Frankincense filled the room from a beekeeper’s smoker, beautiful vestals drummed as Elizabeths’s voice carried words and sounds both of this realm and beyond throughout the temple. The reverence for the ritual was held firm with love, peace, kindness and clear intention. As the ceremony was completed, I really had a sense that I had become a Guardian of this temple.
So much of this piece of sacred art was about creating (with every available inch of space and soul) a place to celebrate women in a way that let go of who we think they are or who society says they should be. To see and feel a space like this come to life was nothing short of profound.
The art of nearly 30 people came together for this experience. It was a distilled container and you could feel it gathering strength. I loved that men were invited in to help create it as well, but it remained distinctly feminine. I couldn’t help but imagine if men were creating a temple to the Divine Masculine, what would the women’s roles be in that creation process?
Despite the fact that this was the first time the Bee Divine Hive Temple had been created, I had a feeling that we had all done this before, and I wasn’t the only person who thought that. As a person I crave ritual and repetition. It is needed for my mind, spirit and life to not spin out of control. Ritual reminds me I am here and grounds me to expand and take risk with purpose and intention. Inject and layer art into that process of grounding, it can carry us anywhere we need or want to go.” - Matt