What is the Cremation of Care?

The Cremation of Care is a ritual performance undertaken at the yearly Bohemian Grove club, where a human effigy is sacrificed to an approximate 40ft stone owl. It is argued that the ritual is conducted because club members (often high ranking businessmen and politicians wearing hooded robes), will be involved in unethical business deals and corrupt political decisions in the coming year and want to rid themselves of any internal guilt.

They are cremating (getting rid of) their care (morals). Though it is also argued that care represents the “cares of the world” and that the ritual has a more innocent and positive purpose. Others interpret it as members simply “letting their hair down” and partying without a “care”.

The owl idol used during the cremation of care might represent Minerva like other symbols of the club, the Babylonian demon Lilith or a rendition of Phoenician child sacrifice God Moloch. The narrator of the ritual names Phoenicia during the line, “As vanished Babylon and goodly Tyre, So shall they also vanish.” Tyre is another term for “an ancient seaport of Phoenicia”.[1]

owl of minerva bohemian grove
The Bohemian Club logo

Moloch in the form of a bull accepting a sacrifice

In his paper A Relative Advantage: Sociology of the San Francisco Bohemian Club, Dr. Peter Martin Phillips writes:

This owl shrine was built in 1929 to serve as a ceremonial site for traditional Bohemian rituals and is used yearly for the Cremation of Care Ceremony. 1910 marked the first ceremonial burial of the cares of the world during the midsummer encampment and by 1913 Care was being cremated during the first weekend of the Grove (Annals, 1972)

The Cremation of Care Ceremony was produced as a play in 1920, wherein a High Priest standing before a huge pre-historic alter, is confronted by Dull Care wrapped in the chains but not dead because Bacchus, the only warrior Care fears, is truly dead (18th Amendment was passed in 1919). Good Fellowship arrives, but lacks the sword necessary to kill Dull Care, and can only imprison him and Care still sings out through the prison window. At last Bohemia’s Spirit emerges and proclaims: Down with all fears! And up with your cheers, for his (Cares) mocking is turning to sobbing and tears.

During his July 15, 2000 infiltration of the Grove, InfoWars head Alex Jones recorded a portion of the Cremation of Care ceremony:

Other aspects of the cremation of care ritual involve the symbolic salvation of the trees by the club. (The Grove is based in redwood forestry near Monte Rio, California).

The Owl is in His leafy temple
Let all within the grove be reverent before Him.
Lift up your heads oh ye trees
And be lifted up ye everlasting spires
For behold here is bohemia’s shrine
And holy are the pillars of this house.

Weaving spiders come not here!

Hail, Bohemians!
With the ripple of waters
The song of birds
Such music as inspires the sinking soul
Do we invite you into Midsummer’s joy.
The sky above is blue and sown with stars
The forest floor is heaped with fragrant grit
The evening’s cool kiss is yours
The campfire’s glow
The birth of rosy fingered dawn.
For behold, here is Bohemia’s shrine
And holy are the pillars of his house
Shake off your sorrows with the city’s dust
And cast to the winds the cares of life.
But memories bring back the well-loved names of gallant friends
Who knew and loved this grove
Dear boom companions of a long ago
Aye, let them join us in this ritual!
And not a piece be empty in our midst.
All of these battles to hold
In this gray autumn of the world
Or in the springtime of your heart.
Attend our tale
Gather ye forest folks!
And cast your spells over these mortals
Touch their world-blind eyes with carry-on
Open their eyes to fancy
Follow the memories of yesterday
And seal the gates of sorrow.
It is a dream
And yet, not all a dream
Dull Care in all of his works
Harbored it
As vanished Babylon and goodly Tyre
So shall they also vanish
But the wilding rose blows on the broken battlements of Tyre
And moss rends the stones of Babylon
For beauty is eternal
And we bow to beauty everlasting
For lasting happiness we turn our eyes to one alone,
And she surrounds you now.
Great nature, refuge of the weary heart,
And only balm to breasts that have been bruised.
She hath cool hands for every fevered brow
And gentlest silence for the troubled soul.
Her councils are most wise
She healeth well
Having such ministries as calm and sleep
She is ever faithful
Other friends may fail
But seek ye her in any quiet place
Smiling, she will rise and give to you her kiss
So must ye come as children
Little children that believe do not ever doubt her beauty or her faith
Nor deem her tenderness can change or die
Bohemians and priests!
The desperate call of heavy hearts is answered.
By the power of your fellowship, Dull Care is slain
His body has been brought yonder to our funeral pyre
To the joyous singings of a funeral march;
Our funeral pyre awaits the corpse of Care
O thou, thus ferried across the shadowy tide
In all the ancient majesty of death
Dull Care, ardent enemy of beauty
Not for thee the forgiveness or the restful grave
Fire shall have its will of thee
And all the winds make merry with thy dust
Bring fire!

When will ye learn
That me ye cannot slay?
Year after year ye burn me in this grove
Lifting your puny shouts of triumph to the stars.
When again you turn your faces to the marketplace
Do you not find me waiting as of old?
Fools to dream you conquer care.

Say Thou mocking spirit!
It is not all a dream
We know thou waiting for us
When this out sylvan holiday has ended
We shall meet thee and fight thee as of old
And some of us prevail against thee
And some thou shall destroy
But this too we know
Year after year within this happy grove
Our fellowship bans thee for a space
Thine malevolence which would pursue us here
Has lost its power under these friendly trees.
So shall we burn thee once again this night
And, with the flames that eat thine effigy
We shall read the sign
Midsummer sets us free!

Ye shall burn me once again!
Not with these flames!
Which hither ye have brought
From regions where I reign
Ye fools and priests
I spit upon your fire!

O Owl! Prince of all mortal wisdom
Owl of Bohemia, we beseech thee
Grant us thy council

No fire!
No fire!
No fire!
Let it be in the world
Where care is nourished
On the hates of men
And drive Him from this grove.
One flame alone must light this fire
One flame alone must light this fire
A pure eternal flame
At last, within the lamp of Fellowship
Upon the altar of Bohemia.

O Great Owl of Bohemia!
We thank thee for thy adjuration.
Begone detested care!
Once more, we banish thee!
Begone Dull Care!
Fire should have its will of thee!
Begone Dull Care!
And all the winds make merry with thy dust
Hail, fellowship’s eternal flame!
Once again Midsummer sets us free!

More Cremation of Care Images:

Care being cremated
Care being cremated

mock child sacrifice
Care, the mock human sacrifice

40ft Owl Idol used in the Cremation of Care: Moloch or Minerva

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  • http://naderlibrary.com Tara Carreon

    The child sacrifice to the owl (really representative of (virginal) woman, not man, but woman as an “emanation” of man, the hermaphrodite twin of man) means, no more rebirth. The same idea can be found in the Rosicrucian images in Wagner’s Parsifal. See: naderlibrary.com/parsifalscreen47.jpg (womb on fire), naderlibrary.com/parsifalscreen48.jpg (black womb). The Nazis were Rosicrucians.
    See “Interpretation of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal, directed by Hans-Jurgen Syberber” here: naderlibrary.com/parsifal.toc.htm

    • Compu LOL

      Well, it’s obv a dehumanizing evil power ritual. No matter how much of an esoteric condoning meaning you’d like to project and conjure up upon it. Ie, what part of sacrificing a child to an owl statue does not compute upon you? Doesn’t get any clearer than that, IMHO. Eg, just replace “Dull Care” with “Weighing Love”, and it all should be more self evident; like if that’s even possible…

      • Elle Bee

        you probably don’t live in the USA, you know what you’re talking about

  • scared & worried

    Who the HELL needs to ‘sacrifice’ a ‘mock child’ to a freekin 40 foot owl god? Hate to tell ya, its not always a ‘mock’ child. Its a kidnapped one.

    • Compu LOL

      Well, I do! And so does everybody else, every-time an abortion occurs;
      at least also figuratively and by omission. Those people might as well
      sent them there after an actual birth, that hypocritically wasn’t
      allowed; willingly. And they may even get paid a good amount of dough.
      Hence I don’t see what the problem, or the big deal really is. Actual
      kidnapping is unnecessary and risky. At worst; someone could also argue
      that’s part of their religion, which last time I checked was free to
      practice too… &BTW; being a Satanist is not the same as being EVIL!!!

      • Michelle Cunningham

        Yes, it really does mean that. To follow Satan, you have to believe in God. So, you turn your back on your creator for a liar and a coward….evil

    • Michael Welsh

      It’s not even a child. it’s a wooden effigy, it’s always been a wooden effigy, and it’ll always be a wooden effigy.

      • Persephone

        You seem to know an awful lot about all this. Where do you get your information? It isn’t easy to find out details about anything that goes on there unless you are a participant, staff of some kind, or security. Even then you wouldn’t see much having to do with the ritual itself or the “work shops” that take place. Everything is kept quite secret. I guess Alex Jones is the exception…

        • Michael Welsh

          There was another documentary, a sort of pseudo-sequel to Alex Jones’ (BTW, if you want an argument to have any semblance of credibility, don’t cite Alex Jones as a source. That man makes Glenn Beck and Bill o’Reilly look sane and sensible.) which did the smart thing and took a much more unbiased perspective. They got even deeper into the Grove and even got inside the owl-statue, where they found a whole bunch of wooden effigies ready for burning. As for the meaning behind the ceremony, it’s basic logic and common sense. Back in the days when the script for the ceremony was written, ‘care’ actually meant worry, anxieties, things that trouble and distract your mind. ‘Care’ had a much more negative connotation than it does now. Hence the ‘Cremation of Care’ was an allegory of burning away your sorrows and troubles so you can think straight for the year ahead.

          • SkyFall

            I get where you’re coming from and I think that it’s really nice that you’re trying to defend them. Did you know that witch craft was the first religion to form on this planet? A lot of people think that it was Judaism, but it was actually witch craft. They started these types of sacrifices, I believe it was starting with the wicker man. That’s where the holiday Halloween comes from, it’s actually a pagan holiday. These Luciferian type people would go door to door saying “trick or treat”. The treat would be that they would have to give somebody in the household as a sacrifice to the wickerman, and if they didn’t the trick would be witch craft. They would put a curse on the home through what ever type of ritual they had created at that time, to summon dark demonic, satanic spirits. So a person in the house hold would have horrific nightmares of images of what these Luciferians were doing in sacrifice to their God. They would become so terrified that they would actually die. The spirit is a real thing, you can either summon good spirits which come from God, or evil spirits that come from Satan. For a Luciferian they would practice Satanism, the worse things that they did the more powerful they’d become. This tradition was carried out through history. I guess it became more secretive as time went on. However, this all dates very far back, but these evil Satanic people came up with a way to become even more powerful. If they could gather the richest people, and the most politically influential they knew they would be unstoppable. This took many, many years for them to gather and eventually come to the completion of their very secretive and Satanic group. Part of their plan was to essentially rule the world. The new world order comes to mind. Anyway you could only be part of this group if you were willing to go through these Satanic rituals. They would sign their name in blood, and if anyone ever said anything to reveal what was happening they would be killed in a very painful and disgusting way. They are sworn to secrecy. Do what though Wilt is a law of the book of Satanism. That is exactly what they do. The official illuminati sign, or Luciferian sign is the triangle with the eye in the middle. Like you see on your dollar bills. If you look closely, you’ll even see a little owl hidden in the corner. Ironically at sky level of the whit house and owl head is formed. It’s not a coincidence. They have a cryptic code they speak in. They have signs, and symbols, and secret hand shakes. Only the people who have studied the masonry signs will notice what it really means. They do speak in cryptic code, but you can study it online, pretty much where ever. There was a time when no one could see their law book with their entire plan to rule over the world. But now, you can see and find out for yourself the truth. But not many people do. If you look at photos of the government, and Hollywood you will see that they all throw up the same illuminati signs. These are Satanic symbols. Actually the word Hollywood comes from a tree where witchcraft, and Luciferians would make their wands and cast Satanic spells, and practice witchery, etc. Even now you can see all of the signs and symbols, it’s much like a puzzle that some of us know how to put together to find the truth. There is coming the New world Order. They recently printed on a magazine, New world order or prison planet? It’s the same thing! They will bring a holocaust on our nation, and on the world. They will sit back and watch the world in chaos, and in their time they will introduce the “New world order”. All the signs are everywhere. But only the people who know how to recognize them will know how to put the puzzle together. They do this purposely, but so many people are oblivious. Part of this plan they are in action now making way for the Antichrist. They worship Lucifer, infact Rockefeller entertainment who owns all of the major banks and entertainment industry has a golden stautue of Lucifer at one of his many buildings. You can research if you’d like. They will blame this holocaust on war. But the savior will be the Antichrist. They have been planning ever since they began. Many people will look to the Antichrist as savior, because they will have been sfuffering for so long that when they introduce the New world order, as well as the new world leader “the Antichrist” many people will fall into Satan’s destructive plan and lose their soul to this evil entity. It is also part of biblical prophecy and they know this. For those who will not accept the new world order, they will be put to death, maybe torturous acts, sacrifice. Please do not be deceived. The only way is through Jesus Christ. This is part of why they mock Jesus so much in the entertainment business to turn people away from God. So many people are brainwashed and will fall victim to this evil plan. It’s well thought out. It is happening now. Just remember what ever happens, there is only one God. Do not give your soul up to the Antichrist. After the church as well as the rest of the world has been persecuted under Satan’s wrath, the wrath of God will come upon all evil in his time, every man on the face of earth will know that there is God. And Jesus will come for his children, and the wrath of God will be felt upon all evil. You can read the book if you’d like. I recommend you do. Or you can watch it all play out in reality. In the time that is right. God bless!

    • Michael Waters

      And your proof is?

  • Michael Welsh

    Newsflash geniuses, when they say ‘Care’, they mean it in the old-fashioned sense, meaning worry or anxiety. It’s not about getting rid of their cares and their conscience so you can perform corrupt deals and all that bullcrap, it’s about symbolically destroying their worries and fears so you can clear your mind and concentrate better on the year ahead.
    And where are you getting ‘child sacrifice’ from? I’ve seen pictures of the effigies they use up close, they are definitely adult size. Not to mention the voice of Care in the ritual is provided by a recording of Walter Cronkite, who most certainly does NOT have a childlike voice. And as for the ‘sacrifice’ part, where is any proof that it is a sacrifice? The character of ‘Care’ is ‘slain’ beforehand, and this is a solemn cremation of his body. No sacrificing, no invocation of gods, it’s more like the burning of the Guy during bonfire night than anything else.
    And why does the Owl Statue have to represent any god of any kind (Speaking of which, where the hell does veryone get Moloch from? Moloch was a bull deity, not an owl)? Maybe it just represents wisdom, since owls in Western tradition almost always represent wisdom (such as Athena, goddess of wisdom, being represented by an owl).

    Maybe do a little more research into these things.

    • mary

      You are blind or attempting to spin it. Wake up michael

      • Rick

        Definitely a spin attempt, and a piss poor one at that.

        • Michael Waters

          Come on folks! Michael makes a rational case. If he’s wrong, prove it with reason and facts, not with ad hominems.

          Yes, the world is run by these (often) psychopaths, but the Bohemian poem above doesn’t make THAT case.

          It’s a fact that “care” can be interpreted at least two ways.

          I understand the interpretation that they’re praying to not be burdened by their conscienceless power wielding, but the opposite interpretation makes as much sense in respect to the actual wording of the long poem.

          It’s their ACTIONS on the world stage that makes your case, not specifically the rituals (as creepy as they seem) at Bohemian Grove.

          The alternative truth movement needs to reel in needless assumptions and overly broad statements.

          I could be wrong, but it seems to me that there is plenty of grounds to know these folks are psychopaths and possibly possessed, but the above ritual they engage in doesn’t make the case nearly as clearly as simply the way these people run roughshod over the masses.

          We need to put forth our best proofs, not mere (possible) hysteria.

  • jakibro

    This whole ritual thing is too creepy and CRAZY. What’s even creepier is that the Bohemian Grove membership is made up of powerful, political and business leaders of the US and possibly other world leaders. It’s no wonder this world is in trouble. Instead of using real evidence based science to address world issues, we have a bunch of crazies praying and sacrificing a human effigy to a 40ft owl! These people are supposed to be the top of the food chain?? Give me a break… no better than the Klu Klux Klan.

  • Jay

    I realize it is tempting to see this ritual as something evil but the “cremation of care” is not about destroying empathy but is about alleviating worry. The people who this ceremony is for have done what they were told to do in life and managed to luck out and get there. And yet there still persists the same anguish that everyone feels over what seem trivial to everyone else. Our concern for these things is “dull care”. The worry of things we cannot change. And for these “elite” it seems more of a problem because they apparently have all the material remedies. But it isn’t something that can be bought or invaded or conquered through methods of man. It is of the spirit that one can “defeat” dull care.
    Important to bare in mind that many “Grovers” believe that life is a game that is not to be won or lost but played. That we are all one with the universe and not separate individuals. And most of them choose to place emphasis in certain places of this philosophy. So, sure, it is possible for some to perceive “dull care” in the sinister method suggested but not the intention of the ceremony.
    Sorry for the brevity and lack of clarity of the “Grovers believe” portion but extensive information on this exists. See Alan Watts for example.

    • rideforever

      If you kill a child … that is evil.
      Even if you it is just a manequin.
      There is no excuse.

      • tho hrt

        Is it also evil then when hundreds species are lost to careless human expansion and forgotten stewardship? By your logic mankind is guilty of “hundreds species daily” lost children/ lost futures…

      • Jimi Hendrix

        You clearly don’t know what evil is about, huh?

        Nothing is good or evil. It depends on the perspective. Why is it bad to kill a child? Why is it wrong to stop the course of a life? Everything that anyone will ever tell me as an answer to this question is mere interpretation of what he/she has learned over the years of his life in society. Is it wrong then to stop the suffering of a dying child by killing him/her?

        Killing is wrong, but not because you take off a man’s life. It’s beyond that, it’s beyond your comprehension, and a little bit long to explain here. I find jay’s ‘cremation of care’ explanation quite good, at least more than ‘killing a child is evil’.

        To finish, I doubt of all of us who try to focus on the Grovers’ rituals. If this is black magic, shouldn’t we do the opposite thing -white magic- to clean the world from this World ‘Empire of Evil’, instead of keeping investigating the clear purposes of these men? Or, if you don’t believe in magic, at least not form part of this world slavery system…

        • rideforever

          You are ungrounded. Some things are quite simple.

  • Rabbit Hole Looked

    No Wonder 9/11 happened!!
    “Presumably the cremation of care is conducted because club members will be involved in unethical business deals and corrupt political decisions in the coming year and want to rid themselves of any internal guilt. This most likely just being symbolic.” !!!!

  • Skeptikc

    Hey you forgot the immediate sins these groups have been witnessed committing at Bohemian Grove by so many witnesses such as freed MKultra-Monarch slave.

    Those sins are sexual abuse, torture, electrocution, rape, bestiality, cutting, bleeding, burning, murder, on children & other mind-control slaves.

    The Cremation of Care ceremony prepares the participants for the horrors they will soon commit at the same location on innocent victims, on children & other mind-control slaves, & clears their consciences of “CARE” in order to commit them.

  • rideforever

    Cremation of Care = Destruction of Love

    • Michael Waters

      I agree with many that the world’s powerful are either psychopaths, or guided by psychopathic ideology.

      However, can’t the “cremation of care” mean the overcoming of the fear and worry we all suffer from, including the powerful?

      I read the entire poem (above) and I didn’t notice any language that indicated they were praying against Love and Kindness.

      Many of those people may be psychopaths, but I’m not convinced of that from this poem.

      It’s an earth-based spirituality, true. Does that automatically mean they’re Satanic?

      If so, it’s not clear from the poem.

      I know they’re Satanic by their WORKS (endless war; Wall Street; little ever changes), not his poem.

      I’m open to being persuaded this poem is indicative of hate, so please convince me otherwise with words from the poem, if you disagree.

      • Matthew 7:16-17

        Cremation of care. it is in the title. cremation is death and care is care. the title means the Death of Care. It is not the Cremation of Fear and worry.

  • Keith Cooper

    I could give a good flying flip whether the stone owl represents anything whatsoever…the FACT that some of the World’s most powerful feel somehow compelled to act so childishly reeks of nothing good. The entire lot should be indentified, shamed, ostracised and minimized for being such tools.

  • http://promiselanguage.blogspot.com andrewbb@gmail.com

    “Cremation of Care” represents the recurring funeral of that emotion.

  • Jay Holder

    Hehe…you still haven’t figured out all religion n star fire or Light or baptism of fire

  • Jay Holder

    They trying to free they soul as you should be

  • Jesse Rishel

    My name is Jesse Rishel I live at 1382 State street in New Haven Connecticut. I am being stalked and threatend with human sacrifice by the Freemasons. I am a freelance Journalist from Oregon the 33rd state, where I discoverd evidence of ritual cannibalism happening. The masons followed me out here and are threateBing me with Bohemian Grove. Anyone that cares to know more can call me at 18024906781 Thanks, Jesse…