Blog Post

Pagan Worship Featured on Washington Mall

Although it received very little press coverage, the November 10-13 celebration known as “Catharsis on the Mall” featured a 70-foot long seven-headed dragon named for the Egyptian god Araxas as well as a representation of the Hindu god Vishnu and a pagan temple.

According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), the third annual Catharsis on the Mall event was entitled “A Vigil for Healing” and featured art, music, lectures, interactive exhibits, meditation, healing and workshops. The organization calls the event a “First Amendment demonstration” aimed a promoting compassion, equal rights for women, LBGTQ and gender non-conforming people and for victims of oppression. Events included musical acts, speeches, yoga, cathartic dancing workshops, panel discussions, a fire ceremony and a march around the Mall.

As BIN reports, the event featured a 70 foot-long seven-headed metal dragon on wheels. “The dragon, named for the ancient Egyptian god Abraxas, was clearly intended to reference Satan as described in the Christian Book of Revelations.”

The dragon, like many elements of the event on the Mall, was previously used at Burning Man, a yearly festival held in the Nevada desert that attracts tens of thousands from around the world. The festival, which takes place each August, features a series of quasi-religious ceremonies that suggest forms of worship in “micro-temples.” At the end of the festival, a large wooden effigy of a man is burned in a ceremony referred to by Druids as “wicker man” and is considered a replacement for human sacrifice.

A giant temple on wheels was the centerpiece of the Washington event. Participants could write messages on the wheels which were then burned on Saturday evening as a way to release anxieties and “just dance.”

Regardless of what the organizers called the Washington gathering, it was nothing more than a “lightly disguised pagan feast,” said Rabbi Yosef Berger of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion. “Even secular Americans are turning to idols without really thinking about it. They can even say it is not serious or intentional, but it certainly is,” he said. “Religious people cannot just sit back and think they are safe. We must fight this rise of paganism in every corner of our lives.”

Controversy surrounded the Washington event from the beginning when organizers were issued a permit to erect a 45-foot tall steel structure of naked woman in a yoga pose in front of the Washington Monument and facing the White House.

“The organizers initially intended for the massive piece to stand for four months but the permit was later revoked by the National Parks Service on the grounds that the crane required to erect the statue might damage the grass and concrete in the Mall,” BIN reports.

Instead, organizers constructed a large mural of a naked woman which they referred to as the “divine feminine” and mounted it on scaffolding.

Natalie de Leon, Catharsis on the Mall art director, told WUSA news that “the theme this year is nurturing the heart and really harnessing our divine femininity and really bringing that out.”

The event culminated in a thinly attended march for equality.

Although it seems hard to believe that paganism could take root in a country as advanced as ours, this event reveals just how deep a foothold it has gained in our culture.