Our real new year began the week before Labor Day weekend, celebrating the Vault of Heaven in Black Rock City at Burning Man 2004. Gian and Emma launched the Rites of Man from Lakeview, Oregon with Bodhi, Lonnie, Sarah, and Jan on board. We arrived on Sunday evening and set up the Cleu camp at 3:35 and Sedna, on the outermost rim of the city. For the next 10 days, we shared stories, music, and meals with friends of all kinds.

The dust storm on Thursday made our trip to install the 6 ft. Cleu a real expedition. The Bmorg art curator selected a site directly behind the Death Guild Thunderdome. This location seemed a bit strange a first, but then we realized that the Cleu serves as a reflection not only of life, but of death. According to the mystic traditions, life and death are simply transitions in an endless cycle of being and non-being. In the midst of blinding wind and choking dust that seemed endless, we found some comfort in knowing that form and formlessness flow ceaselessly into each other.

We’ve expanded our Cleu offerings this year to include not only the handmade pendant but manufactured lapel pins. Emma/the Cleu lady, and others from the Cleu crew also distributed hundreds of cards with this message:

You are the Cleu!
Without the Universe, there is no Earth.
Without the Earth, there is no Life.
Without Life, there is no Consciousness.
Without Consciousness, there is no You.
That’s the clue.

The Vault of Heaven – ’04