Snakes And Ladders – Black Rock City Plan
A Navajo healing mandala representing 4 snakes that spiral out in 4 directions is the main source of inspiration for the plan. Just as Burning Man, the mandala, once its purpose is fulfilled, is ‘erased’, leaving nothing behind except the transformative healing energy it has created.
The temple faces East, just as the Navajo mandalas faced East to receive divine blessing and face the Unknown. The North and South snakes are passageways that stem from the burning man and gradually elevate as they spiral out, offering a raised view of the playa as well as providing shelter from the sun. The East and West snakes are passageways on ground level. Orobouros encircles the city and mimicks the shape of Abraxa, the Thomas More’s utopian island.
Through these paths energy flows within the city and it enlightens spiritual paths towards the outside world. The symbol of the cosmic serpent is found in most of the worlds religions and traditions. The snake in most cultures is believed to be at the origin of life and symbolizes energy itself, it is referred to as the creator of the universe, associated with divine revelation and representing a perpetual cycle of renewal. The celestial serpent born out of the milky way, the Shamanic ladder, the Kundalini serpentine fire that rises up through the Chakra’s in its transformative flow, will all serve as the key to healing the modern day relationship of art and money, enabling an open-minded flow, through enlightened patronage that can serve a collective evolution, spiritually embracing the power that money can give to art.