30 Days of Burning Man – Day 8, the 10 Principles

Posted: August 2, 2012 in Burning man
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30 Days of Burning Man – Day 8, the 10 Principles

This year there is a possibility that there will be a much higher percentage of newbies heading to the desert so I thought I’d spend the 30 days before the gates open throwing out some information, some images and a little bit of wisdom, advice and snark about the place I love so much. These posts will be generally directed at Burning Man virgins but hopefully some of you old dogs out there will contribute through comments or get some enjoyment out of them as well. So here we go.  .  I’ll include at least one photo from Burning Man each day and once a week I’ll do nothing but photos.  I hope the posts are sometimes helpful and also enjoyable, enjoy ~ ZD Blue


Below is a list of the 10 principles that the Burning Man community is built around.  Those of us who have attended this event for some time take the principles fairly seriously.  So, if you are new to the event and community I’d ask you to spend some time thinking about them and preparing for their implementation on the playa.

In particular I would draw your attention pre-event to the principles of No Trace and Participation.  Please, please, please respect the environment of the playa and the time and effort of those who volunteer to stay after the event to insure the event has as little impact as possible on the environment not to mention our BLM permit.  If you drop something pick it up, if you see something on the ground, pick it up, you’re not doing extra you will eventually be unaware of something you have dropped and if I see it, I’ll pick it up for you and would appreciate the favor returned.

Participation can mean a lot of things, it can mean volunteering (I hope you will), it can mean producing art, it can mean being part of a crowd event and many other things.  What I will say is that the more you participate in what is happening the more you will enjoy the event, the more it will get into your blood, the more you will understand what this is all about, the principles are listed below, enjoy ~ ZD Blue

Ten Principles

Radical Inclusion

Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.


Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.


In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance

Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression

Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort

Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility

We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace

Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.


Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.


Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience


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