A Solo Virtual Temple Journey
The Ethereal Empyrean Experience.
Burning Man Temples, whether in Black Rock City or in communities around the world, can evoke an experience that puts one into direct contact with a feeling of soul. Some visit the Temple to mourn, reflect, contemplate, or to leave an offering that commemorates a loved one or an aspect of our lives. Others come to celebrate new life, and new beginnings.
During a time when we’re apart physically, many of us are feeling the need for a healing visit to the Black Rock City Temple. Burning Man Project has the good fortune of collaborating with a multi-talented and dedicated 2020 Temple team, one that understands the role a Temple plays in the community’s annual cycle. They have risen to the task of creating the Ethereal Empyrean Experience, a single-visitor, virtual journey meant to facilitate a meaningful solo Temple encounter.
Between August 7 and September 6, 2020, all are welcome to visit the Ethereal Empyrean Experience via mobile device, desktop, or VR headset. It is free — with no log in, no tracking, and no branding.
The Ethereal Empyrean Experience: A Virtual Temple for the Multiverse.
In late 2019, Burning Man Project selected “Empyrean” by Laurence “Renzo” Verbeck and Sylvia Adrienne Lisse to be the official Black Rock City Temple for 2020. As announced in the Burning Man Journal, “Empyrean was chosen for its lovely geometry and inclusive design, as well as for its strong leads and crew who have demonstrated the experience, integrity and feasibility necessary to create this unique space.”
Fast forward to Spring 2020, when it became clear the community would not be building Black Rock City this year. The Empyrean creators embraced the challenge, dedicating themselves to creating an inclusive, healing virtual Temple space where visitors can share, express, process, grieve, and heal during this transformative time. The result: the Ethereal Empyrean Experience, our 2020 virtual Temple.
Ethereal Empyrean Experience Preview.
Webinar: The Burning Man Temple 2020 - Going Virtual.
Phases of the 2020 Temple Experience.
Our collective Temple journey will unfold in three phases throughout August and September 2020:
August 7 - August 29
Create a Temple Offering
Visit the Ethereal Empyrean Experience Offerings Website to create your offering.
Coming August 7th
August 30 - September 6, 2020
The Ethereal Empyrean Experience is Open for Visitors
Experience a solo Temple journey as often as you like during Burn Week.
Coming August 30th
September 6, 2020 - 8pm PDT
Temple Burn 2020
Join the community in witnessing the ceremonial burn of the Ethereal Empyrean Experience.
Coming September 6th
August 10, 2020 - 12 noon PDT
Webinar: How to Make a Virtual Offering
Join us for a live online workshop to learn how YOU can create a personalized digital offering to place in the 2020 virtual Temple – the Ethereal Empyrean Experience.
Create a Virtual Offering.
August 7 through August 29
When we’re in Black Rock City, all are welcome to commemorate by leaving an offering in the Temple, be it a message written on the Temple wall, a photograph, or a personal memento. It could even be a musical piece, poem or performance.
The Ethereal Empyrean Experience team has beautifully translated this ritual to the virtual world, enabling Multiverse participants to leave offerings within the virtual Temple.
From August 7 to August 29 — before the Temple opens to visitors — all are welcome to create an offering on the Virtual Offerings website. There you’ll choose from a variety of "venerated objects” in which to encapsulate your personal text, image, and audio messages. You’ll be able to create a Memorial, Affirmation, or Closure offering, select where you’d like it to be placed within the Temple, and choose if your offering remains private, accessible only by you via a highly secure protocol, or publicly viewable by the community.
Once the Ethereal Empyrean Temple opens on August 30, you will be able to visit your offering, and other participants will be able to view offerings that are not designated as private.
Please note that offerings must be created by August 29 in order to be placed in the Temple.
Want to learn how to create your own offering? Join us on Monday, August 10 at 12 noon PDT for a live online webinar “Temple 2020: How to Make a Virtual Offering”.
Visit the Virtual Temple.
August 30 through September 6
Just like the Temple in Black Rock City, the Ethereal Empyrean Experience is your space to grieve, set intentions, commemorate, celebrate, or simply explore, on your own time and in your own way. All are welcome throughout Burn Week 2020 to visit free of charge via mobile device, desktop, or VR headset. Each visitor will experience a solo Temple journey, allowing them to fully immerse themselves and be with the Temple in a way that is uniquely meaningful to them.
If you created and placed a virtual offering within the Temple, you can visit it and invite others to do so if you wish. And much like the physical Temple, you will be able to see offerings left by others that are not designated as private.
The Ethereal Empyrean Temple flame burns a loving light for you. All are welcome, please join us.
Attend the Virtual Temple Burn.
September 6, 2020, 8pm PDT
In alignment with Black Rock City tradition, the final Sunday of the event is dedicated to the Temple Burn: a thoughtful ritual that brings contemplation and closure as the Temple and all its contents are consumed by fire.
As our virtual Multiverse comes to a close on September 6, our community will gather for the Ethereal Empyrean Experience Temple Burn. True to Temple tradition, the Ethereal Empyrean team will ritualistically destroy and erase all hardware, data, offerings, and custom code. This radically inclusive, immersive experience will be accessible via any device and any operating system.
Looking Ahead: Empyrean on Playa.
Empyrean was initially developed and selected to be the physical Temple for the 2020 event in Black Rock City. Empyrean is now slated to rise from the dust as the official temple for the next gathering there.
Throughout their shift to a virtual Temple, the Empyrean team hasn’t stopped working on plans for the physical one. They’re still deep in architectural design, construction planning, engineering, and all the other logistics required to start construction – hopefully in April 2021.
The Empyrean Temple crew will be looking to the global community to crowdsource three elements of the physical structure: flags, pillars, and the nearly 600 panels that make up the “skin” of the Temple. The team has put these projects on pause as they focus on creating the virtual Ethereal Empyrean Experience. These projects will be revived in October 2021.
Details about the crowdsourced elements of Empyrean are preliminary; Team Empyrean will clarify all specifics in October 2020.