WNC Citizens Blog

The Pagans in Asheville Celebrate Transformus 2008

Neo-Pagan Burning Man Near Asheville, NC
DSC02709.JPG, originally uploaded by gr00vy.

The photo to the left was taken at the 2007 Transformus Neo-Pagan Festival near Asheville, NC.

Many of you may be familiar with the Burning Man, which is a revival of the Druid Wicker man witnessed by Julius Caesar in Britain over 2,000 years ago. From Wikipedia:


Today, a wicker man is burned as part of neopagan festivities, especially Beltane, a rite of spring. Wicker men are tall, humanoid wooden structures, woven from flexible sticks such as those of willow as used in wicker furniture and fencing. The Wickerman Festival is an annual rock and dance music event that takes place in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland; its main feature is the burning of a large wooden effigy on the last night. Similarly, a Wicker Man is burned each year at Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire, England, and the American Burning Man festival features a large burnable man as well.


Neo-Paganism is an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by historical pre-Christian European "pagan" religions.

Below is a video of this year's burn near Asheville:



This year, the Burning Man Organization revoked Transformus's status as an Official Burning Man Regional Event. In a letter to the Transformus Community, Burning Man cited a lack of transparency in accounting, ticketing, and overall operations by the Transformus LLC as the reason that the status was revoked. So, were local Pagans skimming a little off the top, or were they merely too capitalistic for the Burning Man Organization, despite an official policy banning cash transactions at the event?

Here are the ten principles of the event, which should provide a further clue about the agendas behind the gathering:


Several themes and/or ethics are encouraged during the event, based on the 10 principles of Burning Man. These include:

* Leave No Trace (or LNT) - everyone at the event is asked to clean up after themselves so that when the event is done, the campground looks as good or better than when it was started.

* Gift Economy - no sale or barter is allowed at the event. Participants are asked to bring what they can and share with any and all as they are able.

* Radical Inclusion - everyone is welcome.

* Radical Self-Reliance - do what needs to be done and don't be a burden to others.

* Radical Self-Expression - be yourself, however you wish. Allow others to do the same.

* Communal Effort - work together to make the best possible.

* Civic Responsibility - do the right thing.

* Participation - no one attending is only an observer.

* Immediacy - participants are to become part of the event and explore their inner selves in relation to the event and surroundings.

* Decommodification - rejection of corporate branding and sales.

For those of us who are Christians, we can recognize this as part of the falling away spoke of in 1 Tim 4:1:


"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils..."
Don't believe me? If you are near Asheville, just visit Pritchard Park on any given Fridqay evening to witness the Drum Circles and the gathering of the pagans, or just check out youtube.

Asheville picked a very appropriate motto recently, with "Anyway you like it." The City of Asheville has taken to celebrating the anti-Christian nature of the people to be found wandering the streets, and burning effigies at all the appropriate Pagan Holidays.



For More information, visit the following websites:


Satanic Origins of the Burning Man

Official Website of Transformus

Wikipedai article on Neo-Paganism


Satan's Birthday Party


Dedication:

This article is dedicated to the Carolina Stompers, who have served as an example for me to begin addressing the Satanic influences in, and around, Asheville, NC.

**update** 3.10 PM

There are more videos being uploaded to youtube, so here is a playlist:


And here is Google Maps showing you where the event took place:


View Larger Map

Pagans, this is for you...




**update** 10.35 AM July 31, 2008. Part Two in this series is at Thunder Pig.
12 comments:

You are SO quick to judge. Burning Man is a very spiritual event, and the burning of the man is symbolic of releasing attachment to worldly possessions and worry. It also is about looking forward; "burning" the past and your trials and moving forward with gained wisdom from these trials, not focused regret. It is so easy to stand on the outside and point fingers. "Those people are going to hell..."
Writing people off, separating yourself from them and other things you don't understand. i can honestly say i have felt more love and openness and acceptance at any "neopagan" gathering than in any baptist church i have ever been in. And believe me, I grew up in the baptist churches. Every time the doors were open. "Oh my, she is wearing pants on Sunday morning. MY family would NEVER..." Did Jesus write articles condemning "pagans", naming and separating them, pointing out their addresses on a map so they can be persecuted and cast out? No, He would have been there, hugging people and feeding them. Showing them kindness and finding their common thread. Would He point out all of their places of gathering? Only on His calendar, so He could attend. Would He publicly announce their burning, fiery fate? These are the questions you must ask yourself before you open your mouth. These are the things you should ask yourself each morning, as someone who is "representing" God. What do you know of any of these things you speak? What have you learned about any of these people you publicly condemn? I have been to many a church I felt had "fallen away". Do I write articles and show maps of their location? Does any one of us... "neo pagans?" Thank you for your input, but I do believe your opinions are very one sided and your research (and concern) is incredibly limited. You truly are saving all good christians from "mingling" with the outsiders. Now look at your wrist. WWJD?


Anon:

Talk about jumping to conclusions!!!

I did not write a single word of judgment about the event, or the belief systems tied to it. I linked to the event website, to wikipedia, and to a truthful article outlining the reasons it lost it's status as a "regional burn" from the parent organization.

I did not quote many of the messages from attendees who said very bad things about the Board of Directors of the event, nor the accounts I read of the man who did a superman, and dove into the fire.

I did link to opposing viewpoints o the activities associated with burns.

I also viewed several dozen photos posted on many forums, and several videos taken at the event, and some of them were not suitable for minors. If you put it on the web, I can find it regardless of password protections.

I did point out the anti-capitalist principal of the group that forbade cash transfers at the event.

All the information I used was publicly available to anyone who knows how to use search engines.

The private forums I browsed to get background information, and as a source for links to webpages of members to get a handle on their lives outside of Transformus.

If you do not want this information available...do not put it on the internet.

I guess I should be glad you haven't seen the video I posted about transformus last week, huh?

And, if you are so worried about judgment, why do you exude negative energy in your own judgments...you are projecting.


Oh, and evil always prefers to grow in secret.


Ignorance is fear. Do not fear what you do not know.
If you don't like it , Don't put your unneeded energy into a happy life other's live .
WORRY ABOUT YOURSELF , how about trying that !!!
Stop wasting your energy trying to belittle or look down at something very spiritual for many thousands even millions of people and freaks .
LOVE is the main goal. Flat out
Love will awaken & empower all.


Touchy now, are we?

Every word I posted in the article is fact, and I linked to the sources.

How is Robert (the guy who dove into the fire) doing?

Was he drunk or high when he jumped into the flames?
Or was he having a spiritual experience?


I've been to many redneck bonfires in my time.
So thunder pig I assume by your tone you still do .
Drunks jumping into fires is almost a sport like nascar at those parties.
And "touchy" over the subject , Yeah . This is our life you so ignorantly blab and blog about freely to try and make what we do a bad and negative thing.
Go write about something that is actually hurting our community , Like hate groups or the homeless problem here in Asheville. But No dingbats like you prefer to talk about things you truly have no idea about except what you read and google on the internet and judge your fellow man up on you special little jesus complex pedestal.
I could keep going with you for days on this, as I bet you could as well.
Just worry about your self, we'll take care of us .


I've never been to a redneck bonfire, unless you consider the acres of brush piles I burned while clearing land for a subdivision in Maggie Valley.

I just report the facts as I find them. If I have slandered you, get an attorney, and we'll meet in the court room.

Positive things for the community? Ask Robert how his skin grafts are going, and how much it will cost his family.

Ask the Transformus LLC how it lost it's burn status with Burning Man?

If I had known about far enough in advance, I would have been there. So, maybe next year, huh?


i don't understand why you would make it seem as if someone pushed him into the fire. yes, we have ALL talked to him. we HAVE asked him how he is doing. we have sent him flowers. we have visited him. he is feeling overwhelmed by the number of concerned people that are reaching out to him. his community is surrounding him and kepping him in their thoughts.
"Dedication:

This article is dedicated to the Carolina Stompers, who have served as an example for me to begin addressing the Satanic influences in, and around, Asheville, NC."

i am not a satan worshiper. i have not seen any satan worshiping going on. THIS, my dear, is a judgment. YOU, my dear, are not stating facts. you are quoting scripture. you are pointing fingers and showing maps. you are labeling events under names that were not previously linked. you are implying that ONE man who was injured at the event was... well, i don't know what you think happened. but i was there. i saw it. he was trying to jump over the fire, stepped on a piece of plywood that tilted and shifted, and fell in, hands first, as he tried to stop himself with his arms. his burns are only 2nd degree, he is very fortunate. he will not do that again, i am sure. HE, my dear, is none of your business unless you want to visit him and change his bandages, bring him some chocolate. like many of the "SATANIC worshipers" you label so freely, have done. this is the last time i will likely ever talk to you, for i have no interest in informing and enlightening those who do not want to know the truth. i am not ashamed of who i am, or who my family is. everyone who attended transformus i consider my family. and if i posted a blog about your family, you would respond. it has nothing to do with "hiding my intentions to grow in evil in the dark" or whatever nonsense you are spouting. do you have any idea how hard it is to throw an event with 12,000 people from all over the country? have you ever done it? a group of 6 humans, keeping most data on the computer, which is also fallible? your numbers don't always add up. did you know that the website crashed and all information was lost? imagine that, people making a mistake. imagine that, websites crashing. must be a conspiracy. that's what we get for dealing with the Devil, i suppose, right? baby, your "facts" are based on other peoples heresay. and i don't care about the information you found. go for it, POST IT. the internet is fair game. just as i know this will be read by SO many people i don't know. who cares. but when you start labeling people satanists, and pointing out all the places they hang out, you are asking for a fight. do you know that if we had corresponded a hundred years ago, and you had called me a satanist, with NO proof whatsoever, i would've been burned to death? but hey, we are free to do what we want now. so you are free to throw labels, and if i wanted to worship the Almond M&M guys, i could.
and i noticed you were quick to defend. not that i was accusing you of posting information about the event. you know that was not the point i was getting across. read my 1st comment again, please.
how silly that you would use the "no cash" thing against us, when the website plainly states that transformus is about gifting and sharing. i laugh to myself that you can find anything wrong with that. that is all i care to say to you.


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This used to be one of several political commentary blogs I ran until I got tired of updating several blogs, and consolidated them on Thunder Pig, and moved the group blogs to a Ning network.

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