WASHINGTON – The eclectic Burning Man Festival, held annually in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, has chosen for its new centerpiece structure a massive wood temple dedicated to the pagan goddess Gaia, another indication of America’s sprint from the God of Israel and Christianity.
This year, organizers will build a massive wooden structure composed of 20 trusses converging as a spiral. In the center will be a large mandala, a symbol used by Buddhists as an aid in meditation. Yet, it’s not a paean to Buddhism but an ancient Greek god.
It will be called Galaxia, a name taken from a science-fiction novel by Isaac Asimov. In New Age mythology, Galaxia is the mother goddess of Gaia, but on a higher, galactic, level. In mythology, Gaia is the personification of the Earth and the source of immortality. The worship of Gaia figures prominently in neo-paganism.
The architect was aware of the religious connotations of the structure but denied it was anything other than an aesthetic public gathering space.
“There is no religion, it’s a secular temple,” said Mamou-Mani. “It connects everyone from everywhere.”
The annual event has certainly caught fire since its humble beginnings over 30 years ago when 20 artists gathered on a beach in San Francisco. The event is now a high-profile gathering that attracts more than 70,000 to its isolated desert location.
Organizers of Burning Man declare a central theme every year. These have included Dante’s Inferno and Fertility. Every festival culminates in the burning of a massive wood effigy based on the neo-pagan/Druid Wicker Man Ritual, which replaced human sacrifice. At last year’s Radical Ritual themed festival, a man died after running into the huge Burning Man effigy.
The campground is one large symbol, its boundaries marked off by a huge plastic fence forming a pentagon, an occult symbol used by pagans to outline the five-pointed pentagram star.
It’s one thing for a large group of pagans to gather in the middle of the desert in Nevada annually, but there’s a new associated festival taking place in the nation’s capital called Catharsis on the Mall, where religious symbolism is also prevalent.
In addition to a wooden temple, the event held in November featured a large sculpture of the Indian goddess Shiva the Destroyer. The two festivals share a 70-foot long, seven-headed, red, metal dragon on wheels. The dragon, named after the ancient Egyptian god Abraxas, was clearly intended to reference Satan as described in the Book of Revelation in the Bible.
“We sought a local experience that integrated the best of our … values with the immediate desire for political and cultural change that brings people to D.C.,” the organizers stated on their website.
One proposal fell through.
“Organizers were issued a permit to erect a 45-foot tall, 16,000-pound, steel sculpture of a naked woman titled “R-evolution’ in front of the Washington Monument, deliberately facing the White House. The organizers initially intended for the massive piece to stand for four months, but the permit was later revoked by the National Parks Service on the grounds that the crane required to erect the statue might damage the grass and concrete in the Mall,” the report said.
The Washington Catharsis shares multiple elements with the Burning Man Festival held in Nevada each August, a series of quasi-religious ceremonies that suggests forms of worship in “micro-temples.”
WND has reported on the resurgence of paganism in symbolic form all over the world – including politically significant locations. One of the most frequent appearances is a reproduction of the historic Temple of Ba’al.
Ba’al was a Canaanite god to whom children were sacrificed by their parents.
Learn the disturbing truth of what parents used to do to their young children and how it’s tied to modern Christianity in “Shocked by the Bible 2: Connecting the Dots in Scripture to Reveal the Truth They Don’t Want You to Know” — autographed only at WND!
The arch has risen in London and New York City, the latter only a few steps away from Ground Zero. It was placed outside a global summit in Dubai. More recently, it was even constructed for the G7 Summit in Florence, Italy.
It’s a replica of a Roman triumphal arch originally built in Palmyra, Syria. Destroyed by the terrorist group ISIS during the current Syrian civil war, the Institute for Digital Archaeology used 3-D printing to rebuild the arch. Since then, the arch has been on a world tour, appearing near global summits and in important cities.
The rites of Baal were marked not only by child sacrifice but also ritual prostitution. And Christians and Jews find it strange that such a god keeps being honored or invoked repeatedly at global summits.
Jonathan Cahn, the messianic rabbi who rocked American Christianity with his New York Times bestseller “The Harbinger,” revolutionary devotional with “The Book of Mysteries” and his latest bestseller, “The Paradigm,” that deals extensively with the re-emergence of neo-paganism in the world today, told WND he finds the developments ominous.
“When looking at this phenomenon, we have to understand the nature of the god involved,” he explained. “Ba’al was the god that Israel turned to after it turned away from the God of Scripture. He was the substitute god, the replacement god, the anti-God god – the god of their turning away, their fall. Baal was the god of the apostasy.”
Cahn argues what happened to ancient Israel is now happening to the post-Christian West.
“We are now witnessing a massive apostasy taking place all over Western civilization, a large scale falling away from the God of Scripture,” he said. “So, to see the sign of Ba’al manifesting throughout the modern world is stunning. It is the sign of a civilization rapidly turning away from its faith and falling away from the knowledge of God.”
Cahn linked Ba’al with the practice of idolatry and the worship of a human-created god.
“Once you create your own god, you can create your own truth,” he said. “Once you create your own truth, you can overrule everything, call good evil and evil good. … Idolatry is linked to relativism, because you’re creating truths. Once you change your gods, everything else changes. It starts with that.”
Cahn further explained the characteristics of Ba’al are uncannily linked to the sins of the modern world.
“Ba’al was the god linked to materialism, the pursuit of increase and gain,” he said. “He was linked to sexual immorality, carnality and licentiousness. He was also the god upon whose altar babies were lifted up as human sacrifices.
“So perhaps it is a striking phenomenon to see the sign of Baal in the modern world as we are again being given to materialism, sexual immorality, carnality, licentiousness and the offering up of babies to destruction – not thousands as in the case of Israel, but, in the case of abortion, millions – sacrificed on the altars of self-obsession.”