Why three circles?

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Why three circles?

Postby Malachi Constant » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:39 am

Okay, E-playans, so flame me if you've heard this one before, but swear for the life of me I've asked every real life person I can and google'd it till my fingers hurt, but still have yet to find an answer.

Since my first Burn four years ago, I was told that once the Man falls, the fashionable thing to do was to rush forward, ideally as close as possible, and from there to circle around his burning carcass three times before finally regaining some common fucking sense and moving off to find something productive to do with your night. That's the thing you're supposed to do, they said. So, assuming it was like the "drink a lot of water" thing they also said to do, circle three times I did.

In the end, I got uncomfortably warm, and my favorite velvet smoker's jacket was ruined (Oh the irony).

So, why I ask you?

I get and even embrace a lot of the quirkier Burning Man facets. "Yada yada, the Man image is directly borrowed from Pagan symbolism", "Blah blah, the sun-dial like city is an obvious reference to the sun worshiping Egyptians" and even "Cause Dre said to do it so best fucking do it and stop asking so many goddamn questions, pussy" But this one seemingly universal tradition I have yet to hear even an unreasonably dumb esoteric explanation for, let alone a reasonably dumb esoteric explanation for.

Is there some Eastern religious tradition that we've hijacked to justify this waltz with idiocy? Was it a Baker Beach thing that has been passed down to present day Burners through oral tradition? Or is this not actually a Burning-meme at all and were the guys who told me this just fucking with me? Best my research has been able to come up with is you do it to release the "old you" spirit into the flames and then are born anew, but even this was just a throw-away line in a blog article talking about that dumbass who tried to sue the LLC cause he got seriously burned pulling this circle stunt in the first place.

Thanks for your help in advanced. Oh, and first person that says "It means whatever you want it to mean" gets kicked in the junk. So, so hard.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby pizzamancer » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:18 am

So... the rumor is true. There is one guy that nobody told.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby jkisha » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:06 am

This is almost as ridiculous as people trying to explain the symbolism of the man.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby graidawg » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:49 am

do they say to walk sun-wise or widdershins? it makes a difference you know
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:50 am

3 circles?

Krap, I've been going around it 3 times in a square all these years! :shock:
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:52 am

JINX!


i too have been squaring the circle for 15 years.


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Re: Why three circles?

Postby AntiM » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:54 am

When the perimeter falls, we head the other way as fast as possible, out of the crowd. But then, we're pulling a fuel cart and going toward the flames is just silly.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:45 am

I don't have what has, most unlovely termed, "junk" so I can say what I want.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby ygmir » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:15 am

AntiM wrote:When the perimeter falls, we head the other way as fast as possible, out of the crowd. But then, we're pulling a fuel cart and going toward the flames is just silly.


AntiM = Anti-Moth?
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby trilobyte » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:38 am

Offhand, I have no idea. Then again, I've never rushed forward or run in a circle around the pyre. Or been considered fashionable, for that matter.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby Eric » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:53 am

I watch the Disney spectacle from the Esplanade. I had no idea people still ran around it, so I'd say they're just misguided hippies.


In all honesty, don't over-think why things happen out there. Some things have become traditions because people have a tendency to want to follow the herd so they do what everyone else is doing. Taa-daa! Tradition! *cough*Tu-tu Tuesday*cough*

Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you have to.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby ygmir » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:56 am

Eric wrote:I watch the Disney spectacle from the Esplanade. I had no idea people still ran around it, so I'd say they're just misguided hippies.


In all honesty, don't over-think why things happen out there. Some things have become traditions because people have a tendency to want to follow the herd so they do what everyone else is doing. Taa-daa! Tradition! *cough*Tu-tu Tuesday*cough*

Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you have to.


there you go, quoting Lemmings again...........
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:58 am

Malachi Constant wrote:Since my first Burn four years ago, I was told that once the Man falls, the fashionable thing to do was to rush forward, ideally as close as possible, and from there to circle around his burning carcass three times before finally regaining some common fucking sense and moving off to find something productive to do with your night. That's the thing you're supposed to do, they said. So, assuming it was like the "drink a lot of water" thing they also said to do, circle three times I did.

"They said" huh?

Well, fucking ask them!

That's actually the first time I've heard about a requirement of how to celebrate the burn.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:23 pm

Fuck!

I suspected I was doing it wrong all these years. :oops:

Are we supposed to go clockwise, or counterclockwise?

all moshpits seem to go counterclockwise for some reason, at least on this side of the equator...
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby swampdog » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:39 pm

How many times do you want to circle it? That's the best number of times to go. Personally I've never heard of this tradition, but then I hadn't heard of tutu Tuesday until last year, either. My first year I did rush in and circle around the ashes once or twice but it seemed kinda silly.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby AntiM » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:12 pm

That's the best time to score a playa coat when some overheated hippie leaves theirs on the ground and can't find the way back to their starting point. Three times around to get they good and confused and dizzy.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:31 pm

AntiM wrote:That's the best time to score a playa coat when some overheated hippie leaves theirs on the ground and can't find the way back to their starting point. Three times around to get they good and confused and dizzy.

Oooh, good tip. When's the best time to get el wire?
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby Malachi Constant » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:43 pm

I can't believe I came to you people with a perfectly dumb question and you give me snark of all things in response. Maybe I should've opened with "Hi, I'm writing a research paper on Burning Man for school and I need to know...", then maybe you all would've been cooperative.

Yeah, no, but really, you're all great. Especially...

Eric wrote:In all honesty, don't over-think why things happen out there. Some things have become traditions because people have a tendency to want to follow the herd so they do what everyone else is doing. Taa-daa! Tradition! *cough*Tu-tu Tuesday*cough*


Yah, twas my suspicion that it was just another one of those dumb traditions that sprang up without reason and people now followed for the sake of following tradition, but for my curiosities sake I thought I'd double check with ye ol' wise council here just in case there was in fact some neat-o little origin story that I had somehow missed.

For the record, I don't personally adhere to the circle the fire ring three times ritual, I'm too busy trying to kickstart a new one, tripping the pushy hippies that are trying to circle the fire ring three times. Equally pointless, much more satisfying.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby Bob » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:07 pm

In the words of my uncle -- for all the men pulling on the Man's rope, there is one who must piss up it.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby ygmir » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Bob wrote:In the words of my uncle -- for all the men pulling on the Man's rope, there is one who must piss up it.



think of the lone hippy trying to push the rope.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby atomosk » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:12 pm

You know, going for 11 years this is the first I've ever heard about this 'tradition.' I'd say the explanation if not just obscure may not have much by way of existence. 3 is just a good number to force yourself to tolerate.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:05 pm

Thank you for admitting to asking a stupid question. I will now regale you with tales from the Orient.

Tawaf (طواف) is one of the Islamic rituals of pilgrimage. During the Hajj and Umrah, Muslims are to circumambulate the Kaaba (most sacred site in Islam) seven times, in a counterclockwise direction.[1] The circling is believed to demonstrate the unity of the believers in the worship of the One God, as they move in harmony together around the Kaaba, while supplicating to Allah.


OR

Pradakshina or Pradakshinam (Sanskrit), meaning circumambulation, consists of walking around in a 'circle' as a form of worship in Hindu ceremonies in India. The devotees walk around the sanctum sanctorum, the innermost chamber of the shrine housing the temple deity. It is done around sacred fire (Agni), trees and plants as well. Thus Pradakshina is done around Tulsi plant and Peepal tree. Pradakshina or Parikrama is done in pilgrimage centres also. Parikrama around the Govardhana mount near Mathura (UP) is very famous. This parikrama involves a walk of 26 miles around Govardhana hillock which is related to Shri Krishna's life as a child.

The circumambulation is done usually in a clockwise direction except in the Shiva temples. The clockwise direction is followed since the devotees should have their rightside towards the object of worship. For this, the devotees will have to walk towards their lefthand side from the front of the object of worship. Pradakshina literally means: to the right (Dakshina means right). The Bali stones should be included in the Pradakshina purview. So in Pradakshina, one goes to the left hand direction to keep the deity as also the Bali Stones around the Sanctum Sanctorum on one's right side.



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Re: Why three circles?

Postby euthlogo » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:30 am

people enjoy threes.

holy trinity, 3 2 1, 3 good star wars movies etc.

Cycles of three have a built in beginning middle and end, which I think the mind enjoys.

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Re: Why three circles?

Postby bluesbob » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:34 am

I did about 90 degrees of the circle, then ran off to take a piss.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:43 am

There was a guy in a Sergeant Pepper uniform, I swear, directing traffic. He had a whistle, for Crom's sake, ask him.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby knowmad » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:22 pm

totaly new to me. but then agian I'm not very informed about what hapens after the man burns. that was the whole point.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:49 pm

What happens? All shit goes to fuck. That's what happens.
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby knowmad » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:06 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:What happens? All shit goes to fuck. That's what happens.

I suspected as much, I always like that wierd feeling on sunday, looking out there where the Man isn't and thinking, "Shit! that's right. we burnt the fucking man down. cool."
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Re: Why three circles?

Postby langdon » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:38 am

Malachi Constant wrote: That's the thing you're supposed to do, they said.


what the hell are we 'supposed to do' in the middle of the desert?
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