The Turnip is Dead, Long Live the Turnip

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Author’s Note: The Turnip Sacrifice was scheduled for this past weekend, but it didn’t happen until Monday night due to rain, wind, and snow. All requests made, up to and including those made at the last minute on Monday night, were included.

And so it began, the solemn ritual sacrifice of the root vegetable…


Not really. Nothing solemn about it. I was dressed in a Navy pea-coat, fuzzy purple scarf, and evil-minions knit hat. My best friend was wearing a cat-in-the-hat hat. The turnip was scowling and stuffed with print-outs, hand-written notes, and words scribbled on the back of bills. We had TWO turnips rot out on us before we found a turnip tough enough to hold this year’s shit. The final survivor was a badass turnip.


Winter is approaching and it REALLY felt like it. The park was cold, dark, and windy. However, the sky was absolutely clear and I could see a full array of stars (unusual for city living). We all had our roles: ritual leader, photographer, spark stomper, and evil laughter generator. (That last one was me. Evil laughs are a specialty of mine.) The pyre was built of kindling and paper reminders of the past year. Last minute messages added. Then it was time!


Burn Turnip, Burn!


It burned HOT and FAST! Faster than previous years.

I laughed and Laughed and LAUGHED.

We roasted marshmallows.


We added cedar and sage.

The fire smelled smelled of smoke and burnt sugar.

It burned until it was nothing but a blackened ball.


By then, despite the fire, we were freezing. So we doused the flames with water (safety first) and prepared for the turnip’s final trip to the river.

I tried to hoist the burnt out turnip skull onto a stick… unfortunately, turnips soften when slowly cooked in water and don’t soften when flash-fried. It had the texture of a cannon-ball. It rolled off the grill and I chased it around with the stick until the others convinced me that I’d need a much sharper stick to make it work. We settled for carrying it in the bucket to the water’s edge.

(This is where I critical failed both my night vision and direction sense rolls. I set off at exactly parallel to the river before the rest of the fire crew caught me and turned me around.)

1-2-3… off the pier and into the water!





Author’s End Note: Working with my subconscious through rituals is something that works very well for me and I can feel it rearranging things in my brain. I’m not religious. (I’m wearing my “Atheism is not a religion. It’s a personal relationship with reality.” T-shirt today.) I feel this as narrative, perspective, art, and therapy… a change in a story through symbolism and action. This is me talking to my own brain and story in a language it can understand. I don’t need to make an “rational” argument to how this work. This is experience. This is my subjective experience that this works and my brain is smart enough to take the tools I give it and make the changes it needs. Endings are important. I hope that each of you finds what is needful to you in the Turnip Sacrifice.

DocParadiseWe are Doc Paradise, Super-Villain and amoral genius CEO of Paradise Labs. With our army of minions, we provide “Evil Overlord” analysis to Super-Heroes and Super-Villains alike. I am also the person behind the persona of Doc Paradise. I’m a mediator, writer, and non-binary geek who works in engineering. I enjoy exploring issues of communication, relationships, conflict, health, and “what humans do”. I have opinions. Lots of opinions.


17 Responses to “The Turnip is Dead, Long Live the Turnip”

  1. meat lord says:


  2. vladazhael says:

    Monday night marked a turning point out of my near-constant panic state, and I thought it was just the meds kicking in, but given the timing I'm inclined to give your ceremony equal credit.

  3. snowqueene says:

    This is amazing. My therapist and I performed an exorcism once, even though I have no belief in demons. Metaphors are powerful.

  4. Kazoogrrl says:

    Thank you including us! Maybe I should plan to do this next year. I love rituals, but have so few of them.

  5. Crivens_the_hag says:

    This brings me great joy. <3

  6. Onymous says:

    On one hand ritual is not terribly effective for me. On the other hand my instinctive orthogonality means I am slowly build my own calendar of holidays and I love this idea. This is absolutely going into my April 1st New Year/Spring Cleaning

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I've swapped out most of my traditional holidays for stuff that actually works for me. Steal whatever works for you.

      • dancingcorvid says:

        We have Pi(e) day which is basically nothing but dessert from Thanksgiving, we celebrate the winter solstice by shouting at the sun and lighting candles at sunset in the local, tiny sun circle (university town, many interesting artifacts) and we have a couple others. Absolutely find and celebrate the things that matter to you, in meaningful ways.

  7. SimperLegens says:

    Thank you so much! I feel lighter 🙂

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