Phoenix Temple experiences

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:00 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA

Phoenix Temple experiences

Postby LadyPhoenix » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:59 am

My friends and I created the Phoenix Temple this year. It was on the 3 o'clock walkway towards the Man. We had a flaming phoenix out front and a temple dome with a large phoenix egg inside where participants put their thoughts of renewal and rebirth for themselves. I built this Phoenix Temple because it symbolized renewal that I had experienced. I left a place I no longer felt was home. I left a job that was a disappointment. I ended a long relationship that had gone up in flames years earlier. I ended my addiction to alcohol. New surroundings and a new, healthy relationship made me feel like the mythical phoenix. I offered this art installation to the Burning Man community because it was there that I first felt my dormant creativity awaken.

Many people thanked us and said they loved it. They often came back to meditate or find some peace and quiet.

We were very honored to have one group of people insert something quite special into the egg for the Egg Burn that happened on Friday night. Apparantly this group were driving to BRC at night when a bird crashed into their windshield causing them to swerve and stop. It was only then that they saw the cow in the middle of the road. They would have hit the cow had the bird not stopped them. Stunned, they drove on. When they arrived they discovered the bird wedged in the windshield. To thank the bird for saving them they placed it into our egg for the burn.

So many people seemed touched by the idea of personal renewal that I wondered if anyone would like to share their Phoenix Temple stories with us. We would love to collect the experiences.

stripper girl

temple of the phoenix

Postby stripper girl » Mon Sep 15, 2003 12:33 pm

i am 36. never been married. lots of pressure from the folks since i was 21 or so to get married. don't know if this pressure caused me to run from it or if i just never found the right man. i married 3 times at your temple for fun, to make it fun, so it would be a thing in life that was fun! innocent marriages of laughter sealed with a kiss on the toe, a giggle, or a high five. my boyfriend couldn't make it to brc because of work, and i didn't want to screw up the relationship by kissing after the exchange of rings. i planned on marrying ten times (to girls or guys) so i could have one spouse for each toe (one to massage each toe). after three i was done with that journey. the third marriage was extremely fun. the temple had a party going on, and they celebrated the wedding!!! songs a singing, people laughing, joyous giggling...yeehaw! thank you for giving me the opportunity to rebirth the meaning of marriage from a heavy pressure to a pure celebration!

Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:00 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA

Postby LadyPhoenix » Thu Sep 18, 2003 7:09 am

Wow. I am so glad you wrote an explanation of what you were doing. I have to tell you, I was annoyed with you because I thought you had disregarded the purpose of the temple or was just making a mockery of marriage.

I remember giving you a medallion on what was your second wedding. A camp mate of mine was moved by your first because she thought she witnessed a real one in a temple we had just finished building! Then we met the next night and you told us you were going to keep marrying different folks there for each toe...there was a lot of head scratching back at Phoenix Camp.

Your third wedding came in the middle of a performance by Jason Webley. I thought he went along with it great, but then seemed to lose momentum after you left. He did a bunch of drinking songs after that. As you can imagine from the reasons for making the temple in the first place, drinking songs weren't what I thought of for renewal.

Collaboration is a sticky, complicated thing. It could be a topic all on its own. I would love to hear what other artists have experienced.

I'm glad, Talia, that you got to cleanse your family's heavy expectations of you at the Phoenix Temple with your little performance pieces. Thanks for explaining!

Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:08 pm
Location: Oregon, Planet Earth

Phoenix Temple

Postby fancy1 » Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:02 am

Lady Phoenix,

I'd like to say "Thank You" for your art and your inspiration. Your Phoenix was the one thing that I kept returning to on the playa. I returned to see it at night on Friday as well to see it burning. It was the one piece that I would have loved to have taken home and placed on my property to share with my family (who were unable to attend this year). For me, it too had a personal attachment. I survived a tragic, and fatal fire this year and the process of rebuilding in the aftermath has taken a toll. To me your Phoenix was cathartic, calming and strengthing at the same time.
I'm sorry that I didn't have a chance to meet you on the playa and thank you in person.

It was truely appreciated.

Thank you.


Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:11 am
Location: Oakland, CA

The Bike

Postby daggerwing » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:34 am

On Tuesday I was visiting a friend at Pod Camp and when I went ack to my bike to go home, found it missing. I was very sad, not just for the bike (probably too nice to bring to Burning Man) but for the loss of trust and bad feeling this cast over the whole experience.

To try and comfort me, my wife took me to the Phoenix Temple and we sat for a while. I left a slip in the Egg with the intention of letting go of the fear of losing, and being willing to take risks, and trust the universe. I felt somewhat better.

After an all-nighter on Wednesday, we were walking by Pod Camp and I had a hunch I should look one more time, and the bike had been returned to the place I had left it!

I returned a couple more time to enjoy the temple: the serenity and sense of peace I got there. I hope you will consider erecting the temple again, regardless of theme, and perhaps change it up next year.

To see my pictures of the temple, please visit and go to the shutterbug gallery.
Lance Funston
510-496-2319 work
510-681- 3600 cell
510-525-4383 home

Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:00 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA


Postby LadyPhoenix » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:11 pm

I'm so happy our temple gave you, Fancy, a place to face such a difficult event in your life. Fire seems to be therapeutic and at other times so fierce in it's destruction.

We wanted to create a sanctuary of sorts and it sounds like we acheived that from what some of you have written.

Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:19 am

temple was great--egg burning ceremony lagged

Postby P-Mobius » Wed Nov 12, 2003 4:12 pm

the phoenix temple was a great place to go and recharge and release

but the ceremony on friday night based around the burning of the egg was like a really bad b--movie---

basically it took too long and while group energy was building whoever was conducting the ceremony (perhaps you?) kept leveling the vibe rather than letting it peak--not to be mean, but i will say that the conductor of ceremonies had a very mr. rogers kind of feel to her

alot of my friends and onlookers told me the same---i for one was in a very large phoenix costume and spontaneously collaborated with alot of other people to help out. we all stuck around for a hour and barely anything went on despite our efforts to counteract the sedateness---a prolonged ceremony without music and with a highly ADD audience.

if this temple ceremony was the main event which we all gathered for fine---sure stretch the burn for as long as you want all night ---but here at burningman particularly on friday evening--15 minutes maximum

so i will say highly anti climactic ceremony for myself and many others

Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:00 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA

the egg burn ceremony

Postby LadyPhoenix » Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:08 am

I couldn't agree with you more!

Bringing the Phoenix Temple to Burning Man this year brought me many challenges, but the one that topped the list was how to collaborate with others.

It was a project much bigger than I could possibly do myself. Friends and others stepped forward to help. Many brought their own ideas and enthusiasm. Even when I didn't fully appreciate their visions of my idea, the excitement in their eyes was enough to let me release control. That wasn't easy. Some of those people didn't consider themselves creative and yet I watched embers of self-expression light when they didn't know they were capable. I saw others' dormant creativity reawaken.

The Phoenix Temple ceased to be a personal expression, but acquired different meaning for each person that built it. Before we ever got to the playa and asked the Burning Man community to consider their own ideas of rebirth and renewal, it seemed that the crew making it had to ponder those ideas as well.

Dancing Phoenix, not me, created the ritual for the egg burn for Friday night. I tried to steer it in another direction, but she was determined to make it Pagan no matter what was said. It was painfully slow for me and the rest of my campmates, too. One of my friends summed it up best when he said he had been to quicker Latin masses! It dragged and there was no climax that I could see. I envisioned something much simpler and yes, quicker! ADD is very real at Burning Man and needs to be considered by anyone attempting to hold an audience's attention.

My only highlight of that slow moving ritual was seeing you in your splendid phoenix costume break the circle and fly into the night having given up on the event. I wanted to fly away, too.

Return to “Stories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests