2015 Gathering

The 44th annual rainbow gathering of the tribes is happening in the Black Hills of South Dakota." (The consensed areas include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and South Dakota.) For posts related to the gathering location including directions and site updates, click here. For the Howdy Folks, click here. To find out specifically where the gathering will be, you need to understand how we find our "home" each year. Click here for an overview of the process. To make it into the gathering without a ticket, click here. Please ignore all rumors of cancellation. Copy and distribute this information freely.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Declaration of Interdependence

Some passages from the Family’s 1977 Declaration of Interdependence

We the people of this nation, each with our own freedom and responsibility, recognizing the absolute
power of Love in our lives, do hereby declare our interdependence, and do set forth this plan and these many visions to bring forth alternative system of spirit, supply, law, organization and trade, and so become the new humans of the Lord of Love’s Plan for Earth.

This New nation is being established in our hearts and minds and end forever the disharmonies and
injustice among nations, peoples, and governments.

That we recognize the essential unity of all beings, the oneness and connectedness that is so much a
part of fabric of life. We affirm that by recognizing this direction of Love-Harmony, Energy will lead
every one to their own personal identification with the Creator and Humankind. And that this
identification leads to a power of manifestation unknown to Earth in its recorded history.
That these precepts when held in the heart and mind, in conjunction with proper visualization and use
of our talents will create an approach to life such that anything we propose to do shall unfailingly come to pass …

Throughout this time we hold these truths to be self-evident:

We rely on cooperation, respect, goodwill, and equal rights to exist create and recreate . . .

The concepts of the National Homestead Act be restored to the laws of the United States for the
purpose of restoration . . .

That as conscious sons and daughters of God we claim this Earth as inheritance and will do all
in our power to attune ourselves to God’s plan for us and the Earth.

We affirm the common desire for wholeness in relationships, that we hold the right to do with our own children what is right and good for them, the we will educate ourselves in wisdom, knowledge and charity, and will allow all people to do as they please, given that their actions are not harmful to other living beings. So we do take all responsibility for the total transformation of the old.

We propose to establish a network comprised of land based communities and individuals to
communicate the current information and to mobilize the concerned citizenry given a time of crisis. We also propose to establish barter-trade-exchange transportation system called the World Family Healing Caravan and to volunteer one member from our community and sometimes one vehicle to travel on this mobile service system.

We also propose to establish P.E.A.C.E. villages on unowned pieces of land . . . to meet regionally in
each season on the equinoxes and solstices until all tribes are united and gathered and we receive the
City of the New Jerusalem from on high.

Giving full support to these ideas and plans we recognize the power of the spoken and written word to bring forth results and more importantly the power of an idea whose time has come. We also propose to put forth these ideas before the American people until such time as we are recognized as the alternative to commercialism and capitalism and as the fulfillment of the Lord’s plan for this nation and the world.

this was signed by 46 people on July 4, 1977 at the high noon silence ceremony.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thanksgiving Council Location/Information

Updated 11/25/14 7:00 PM PST

Thanksgiving Council will be outside the town of Saline, Michigan (about 15 miles south of Ann Arbor, Michigan).  Directions should be available here sometime on Tuesday, November 25. However, please note that family is asking that no one arrive on site before the afternoon of Wednesday, November 25.

Here's the 411

The farm is about 10 acres. There should be ample room for parking.

We have use of the land for camping, both open meadow and some woods. We will have to dig a shitter or rent a port a potty as there is no bathroom in the space we are using.  The indoor space can also accommodate some sleeping bags, but probably not everybody.

There are some neighbors in sight distance, so tarps to make a shitter blind will be needed. We have use of a large space in an even larger barn.The space is about 35' by 90'. It is heated and has a cement floor. At one end there is a 3 compartment sink for dish.

You will be able to arrive Wednesday afternoon.

Needs: Tarp for a shitter, propane tanks for Fat Kids kitchen. To prevent the spread of tree killing pests, please do not bring firewood from out of state.  Click here for more info on firewood restrictions.  However, if you are in Michigan, PLEASE bring firewood sourced from Michigan - so no out of state FIREWOOD! The usual stuff like first aid supplies, shovels, etc. Bring your own camping chairs, if you can. If, for whatever reason, Fat Kids doesn't make it, there is back up for kitchen gear, as needed.

Dog Rules: Please leave your pets at home if at all possible. There is a resident dog, who is protective of his place. If you *must, you may bring your pet but please be prepared to mind your baby, leashes and scoop, etc. I imagine the 30x90 space will begin to shrink quite a bit, the more dogs we add to the mix.

Cooking space: At one end there is a 3 compartment sink for dish. There is a fridge we can use and a large industrial/commercial stove too! I have been told the stove top works but the oven does not. We also have the ability to use the house kitchen on Thursday only, which has a stove and oven (plan to minimize traffic into house, however). The space has electricity, so crock pots could be plugged in. There are 2 long counters on the side of the room for serving. A sister is bringing 1-2 possibly pre-cooked turkeys and serving pans. Fat Kids are arriving Weds with a full kitchen bus including oven.

T-Council Site Image 1

T-Council Site Image 2


 TGC will begin Wednesday afternoon and conclude Sunday.
Mulberry Hill Cooperative Farm
13187 Macon Rd.
Saline, MI 48176
Take I-94 to the greater Ann Arbor area

Exit at US12/Michigan Avenue and head west towards Saline
take 12/Michigan Ave through Saline and turn left on Monroe street to head South towards Boysville. Stay on Monroe Street and it becomes Macon Road and becomes a gravel road. Continue south west on Macon Road , you will cross Braun road,Willow Road and Arkona road and then you get to Mullberry Hill Farm. It is a big yellow farm house in front of a bigger red barn on the east side of Macon Road. Park on the strip of grass between the road and the fence. Welcome home will be there to direct traffic.

For more information on the purpose of Thanksgiving Council, click here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Lost Tablet of The Hippie

Written by Garrick beck

In the winter of 1971 I was cutting firewood up at a farm outside of Eugene, Oregon. It was part of the Back to the Land movement as they called it a generation ago, when thousands of people -- young people mostly -- fled the cities for greener pastures at the edge of the backcountry, -- planting gardens, cutting firewood, building buildings with recycled materials, domes, yurts and living or at least trying to live, in some kind of communal harmony.

At the same time we already had become an information outpost of the Gathering -- letters being written, invitations being distributed, ideas being brought together in preparation for the first Rainbow Gathering now only a year and a half away.

People came looking for a community of people to be part of, looking for a group of people who wanted to touch the earth with their labor. And also looking for a place to freak freely, to abandon ship from the upheavals -- the marching in the streets or the marching away to war -- of the sixties. For draft dodgers heading to Canada we were a stop on the Underground Railroad. For runaways we were a secure unharmful spot offering food, and good advice. For the young local citizens and loggers we were a place to go party. For scientists or architects or botanists we were a place providing in-the-field examples of geometric architecture, organic farming, small scale logging, and solar technologies. We were experimenting, sometimes experimenting wildly, with herbal medicines, and very carefully with midwifery, meditation, yoga, acupressure chanting, and so on. It was a wonderful, bold time. And we knew that all over the country -- 5n the h533s 6f r4ra3 A0er5ca -- there were others like us, in both smaller and larger groups working on the very same problems and the same dreams.

Into this farm rolled a large deep-purple square-backed truck containing a small clan on their way north. They had been on the road trading. They said they didn't want to use any money so they had adopted the trading lifestyle. They had a truckful of good stuff Tools blankets books, toys, candles, rope, clothes, stuff we could use. It was fun to go to their big purple truck and trade.

As they left they gave us a pouch of Hopi corn seed. They said it was a gift really for the nice welcome they'd been given. And with the seed they gave us planting instructions for the traditional way to plant the corn.

A few months later spring sprang, the ground dried out, and we turned the soil I the lower field. First we planted the frost hardy greens, then the transplants from the cold frame greenhouses we'd built, followed a few weeks later by plantings of corn and beans.

We brought everyone together by blowing the conch shell. We talked about the way of planting where the man with a stick goes ahead, poking the holes and the woman follows behind planting the seeds, dropping them into the holes the man has made. But in the discussion seeking balance, people wanted to do it both ways with both men and women each taking turns with the sticks and the seeds.

It was beautiful. All done in silence. The corn pouch was passed with reverence for the life inside it. As we planted, the afternoon began to cloud over and a light rain started to fall. In the end we held hands in our OM circle as the clouds burst over us and wetted down the valley. The sun dipped under the clouds filling the forested hills with golden misty light and a rainbow rose up from the river and arced down -- I thought it was going to land on where we'd just planted the corn. But no, it touched instead on the godseye standing on the center of the garden. The whole scene was dazzling. The sun, the mist, the rainbow, the new planted deep brown earth, us apart of it all.

Then someone's small voice said, "Why don't we go up the hill to the meditation platform to take this all in"

Single file we went up the trail, a flute casting slow notes across the valley. As we get to the prayer platform overlooking the valley, someone notices a rock nestled in the decay of a giant cedar stump.

But it's only after we've sat that we look it over, passing the carved stone among us. We leave it setting in the stump as it was.

Over a joyful, noisy dinner, amid many other topics, the rock is mentioned. "Hey did anybody see that carved rock out by the prayer platform?"

Nobody had but those of us who'd just been there.

For most of the next year the stone sat where it was

The rock itself was carved on one side with images that were themselves made up of smaller images, figures and faces, and within those smaller signs, figures, designs, until smaller than that it was hard to tell where the carving left off and the natural pattern of the rock began.

More than 7 months later I left Oregon for the East Coast and holiday visiting. But along the route we made stops passing out invitations to the Gathering next July. The invitations were printed and posted, but wherever possible it was given by word of mouth, in coffee houses, yoga centers, community newspapers, laundromats, street corners, on campuses, at rock ' roll shows, places of worship … wherever, whenever. And my travelmates and myself were not the only ones out doing this. There were other carfulls traveling criss-cross the countryside meeting people and spreading the invitation

One set of travelers went through the American Southwest and then eastward and up the coast to where we met up. We planed a trip to Washington, D.C. to distribute invitations and we traded tales of where we'd been

One of their stops had been in the Hopi Lands where they'd heard the yearly ceremonial telling of the Hopi histories and prophecies

They spoke of the part of the story about the times yet to be, where people called the Warriors of the Rainbow would come and somehow set things right in the troubled world -- and they would come bearing a rock, a carved rock that would signal to the Hopi that these were the people of their prophecies.

A rock? A carved, inscribed-type rock? I recounted the tale of our corn planting and we made plans to go back to Oregon and bring the stone down to the Hopi for their examination. First I got on the phone to Kaushal and asked him to go get the rock and hold onto it, protect it.

Returning west, we found the tablet safe and dry, now wrapped up in a small white woven cloth and tied with a coiled cord.

We loaded up two cars and a van with fourteen of us and headed toward the southwest. Close to our destination we stopped at Jacques' place on a remote mesa. He'd been living there for years, acquainted with the Hopi and Navaho peoples.

"You gotta purify yourselves, make yourselves ready," he told us. And we followed his advice taking time to fast, bathe ourselves, meditate and wrap up our hair as a sign of respect.

Then we went early I the morning, to the Hopi village where Feather Knew there was a Kiva, a prayer space, that was open and where we could sit and meditate before going on. An older woman met us and explained that this Kiva used to be open but that too many people had come and abused the space so the Kiva wasn't open to the public anymore. On we went, guided by Feather and Jayson to Thomas Banyaca's house. He wasn't home.

Our next stop was David Monongye's house. Already the sun was starting to bake us. People were home there, and I and Rome and Barry went inside. The radio was blaring loud tinny music. A woman was feeding young children. An old woman sat still on a bench at the side of the room. There were buckets of fried chicken on the table. An old man sat eating. "Come in, c'mon in boys," said the man, gesturing toward us at the door. This was David.

And in we went. "What do you want. What brings you here?" He asked over the din of the radio and the children.

"We … we brought you a stone tablet which we found." I began, getting right to the point.

"You brought a what?" He said, trying to hear over the lunchtime noise.

For a moment the possible foolishness of this entire journey flashed thru my brain. "We brought you a stone tablet." I went on slowly and clearly this time, "which we found."

The younger woman's hand switched off the radio.

"Do you have it with you?" Asked David.

"Yes, it's outside in one of the vans."

"Well go and get it and bring it in."

Like a curtain rising on a whole different scene the place transformed. The food was swept off the table. The children ushered out another door to play. The old woman had lit a candle and was sitting by it at an altar in the corner when we returned inside with the wrapped up stone tablet.

"Open it up." David encouraged

We did, and he ran his fingers over it, almost more to be touching it, feeling it, than looking at it. "Well, how did you get this?" He wanted to know. And I recounted, in brief, the story I have told you here. Barry spoke about the planned Gathering that we were all working on, and Rome, as a Native American, spoke to David about the respect we young people had for the Native American ways.

David asked a few specific questions about where and when we got the rock. Then without further to-do, he wrapped it back up and getting up, said, "We'll just have to see who's here to take a look at it."

He went out and spoke with his neighbor, then told us they were going to round up some of the others, that he thought there were "enough of us here to have a good look together," and that we should go to the house he gave us directions to.

We followed the directions he'd given us, which took us back to the very same place, next to the Kiva, where we had been that morning.

It was Mina's house. She s head of the Hopi Bluebird Clan and she met us at the door, once again, and invited us inside. The entryway opened to a larger room and there were assembled a group of older Hopi. Seventeen I counted. I was nervous as could be. It was a humbling experience just standing there and feeling the combined weight of thousands of years of the tribal culture.

David motioned for us to come up closer and tell our tale. As we spoke, he translated into Hopi, and there was another man there who translated. Sometimes the translation process was simple, other times the Hopi would all speak among themselves in this wonder song-like language. David was encouraging us not to leave out details. Things that were small to us might be important to them.

We spoke also about the vision of this Gathering, and how this was the spiritual quest that had brought us together as a clan. They talked again for a bit among themselves, and then asked a series of questions: What were the colors of the godseye in the garden? How much corn did w plant? What direction was the tablet facing when we found it? How many people had handled it, carried it since? And so on.

In all this telling we were clear, very clear, that we made no claims whatever about what this tablet was or was not, only that all things considered it seemed that the right thing to do was to bring this stone to them.

At last,their glances turned to Mina. And she came forward and asked us -- her eyes as piercing as a great night bird's eyes in the dark of the desert -- she asked us to show them the rock. Without any further fuss I unwrapped it held it toward her.

She looked and spoke with clarity and to the point. "It is not the same color, it is not the same type of rock, nor the right shape to match the piece missing from the tablet that I have."

She turned now and was addressing not just we rainbows, but all the people in the room. "However," she went on, "when my father gave me that tablet, and left me his instructions he told me that this world is full of illusions and we must not let our eyes be fooled. He told e then, that in a time like this I should take the rock and place it near to the tablet itself to see edge to edge if the pieces fit."

"Can you give it to me?" She asked, and without a word I held the stone out to her.

She took the rock and moved thru the bunches of people toward the rear of the room and out a door at the back.

Perhaps ten minutes later she was back. When she spoke her quiet voice had a strength like the Grand Canyon. "It is as I thought, your rock is the wrong shape, color and size." She was shaking her head, "It does not fit as the missing piece of our tablet."

David took it from her and handed it back to us. "This is you tablet." He said as he passed it back to us.

I spoke, feeling honor at having been thoughtfully received at all by these real elders of a enduring tribe. "We are a very young tribe, like a grandchild tribe. Your are a very old tribe like a grandparent tribe. We need al the help and advice we can get from you … and if there is anything we could do for you, let us know and we will do what we can. At least we will try."

David again translated, and from the eager responses, it seemed there was a lot to be told to us. "It is clear," He began, "that you and we are working for the same Great Spirit. We all desire Peace in our lives, for our children and for everyone. Because this is what you are working for, we know that you are warriors of the rainbow, but whether your are the Warriors of the Rainbow that have been foretold well, that is another matter, but you are young and full of hope and there is much life stretching out in front of you."

Then the other Hopi man was translating, "If you want to know a task that we believe The Rainbow Warriors will accomplish, it is to rid the Black Mesa of the demon machines that the coal companies have put there. These are sacred lands for us and they are being destroyed for coal and the smoke in the sky that the coals brings."

Several Hopi were talking in the old tongue now all at once and the translator was trying to keep up with it. They were telling us about the strip mining. I felt I awe of their serious wisdom and their passion not for the money coal and uranium could bring, but for the safety and security of the children of our world.

Then the conversation changed tone, and now they were giving us instructions on Care of Sacred Tablets. A number of the old Hopi spoke, and they were telling us of their traditions, several of them speaking up in modern English.

"Don't take any photographs of it."

"Don't make any rubbings of it or draw a picture of the pictures on it."

"This way the only way to see what it looks like is to see it with your own eyes."

"Keep it wrapped up. Don't keep it open all the time on display. That way when you do open it up it is a special moment to pay attention to. Otherwise if it's open all the time o n your shelf, the people will forget and they will argue and do foolish things in front of it."

And with glad hands and many thanks we wrapped up our tablet and departed from Mina's house out under the now darkening sunset sky.

Things moved along quickly toward the first Rainbow Gathering. We went back up to Oregon and included in the booklet "The Rainbow Oracle," an account of the meeting with the Hopi, and an article about the coal company digs at Black Mesa. And rainbow people have been volunteers trying to keep destructive forces of profitgreed from damaging Native sacred lands ever since. We may not have made a lot of headway but we do keep trying.

In "The Rainbow Oracle" we also asked people to bring a stone from their own home and put these in a pile at the site of the July Fourth meditation, a kind of representation of the earth. And people did this and Skyblue carried our carved rock up Table Mountain and set it on the pile of stones that was heaped there. It sat there all day. But in the evening, with the cool Colorado wind beginning to blow she brought it back down the mountainside.

The rock began a long odyssey. It was carried and cared for by many different people. It went to the Native American in Minneapolis where a petroglyph expert pronounced it "at least a 100 years old." It was bought to a psychic reader who made tape recording about its connection to the great pyramids of mythic Lemuria. It was brought back to the Hopi lands and some there saw a bear claw sign on it and remarked that was like marker stones left behind during the bear clan migrations long ago. It was wrapped and rewrapped with each keeper adding perhaps another layer until five years later in 1977 it was brought to the New Mexico Rainbow Gathering along side the Gila River.

That year Grandfather David came to the Gathering. I remember him riding down the Gila Valley on a burro pack baskets loaded on behind him. One day, while the council was taking place, Jimmer took out the tablet and opened it on top of the blankets and cloths it had been wrapped in. Then Grandfather David came to speak in the council. He had someone draw out the symbols of the prophecy, rock the Hopi's prophecy rock, and slowly in the center of the tipi village under the midday sun, he retold the story of the Hopi people and the four worlds, full of detail and spoken slowly and carefully as from log memory. Then he was done and he returned to his lodge and the council continued. Later that same day, after dinner and dark, the drums started up, the fire threw sparks into the desert sky, and in one of those quiet places amid the drumming someone's voice said David would like to speak to the circle. So he came out from his lodge and lit by the evening Relight spoke to us again.

"It's not by accident that the words 'Hopi' and 'hippie' should alike. We are all people of peace, we are all working for the same Great Spirit. You cannot rely on the banks, or the corporations or the government. They will never respect you unless you hold territory. You must take back the Earth, peacefully, one piece at a time. Plant seeds, and water them, and make the Earth beautiful again."

From there the tablet was brought back to the farm in Oregon where it was first found. We kept it under wraps except for full moon celebrations or when someone came who expressed a desire to see it.

In 1978 we took it to the Gathering in Oregon, and there, on the sixth of July Harold and Jeannie suggested we bring it out and share its story. As each blanket and cloth was unfolded, revealing its own hidden shells or feathers or deadwork, people began to gather 'round, straight to get a view of this rock. At the outside of the crowd people were trying to tell people what was going on and to relay the parts of the story being told. It was almost too much, everyone wanting to a chance to se and a little pushing of the circle's outside meant people were stumbling on top of each other pressing in closer at the circle's center. Freedom said, y'all finish this story up fast before someone gets hurt." And finish it up we did, and the stone was re wrapped in all the stuff, and that was the last time I have seen it.

It went from the Oregon Gathering up and down the coast, and to Mexico where it was taken at the full moon to the top of the Jaguar pyramid it passed as we pass things among ourselves with love and delight and it went with Birdie to a bluegrass festival outside, I believe, of Lincoln, Nebraska, where the car and people she had a ride with left unannounced without knowing anything the wrapped bundle in their cars trunk.

That was 19 years ago. But this was no rock in a bag. This was an elaborate bundle, tied and containing something carved and beautiful and mysterious I do not believe that it has been "thrown away." I believe that it is something waiting to be refound.

Is there a Tablet that is somehow Our Tablet? Or, are we just trying to mimic other tribes who have a tablet, or several tablets or a lost tablet? And does this tablet have some meaning more than its mysterious carvings?

I can tell you what we do have. We have a social program that cares for our young, our weak, our sick, our old, and as best as we can for ourselves and each other. We have an evolving culture that cares about the Earth and all its inhabitants. We have a growing community that respects the land, the water, the sky.

And I know that when we live in conscious awareness of doing good for each other and the earth, that the signs are everywhere along the way, that omens spring up at each turn; that there are natural wonders and mythical symbols that appears as makers, as if too guide us, every day of our lives … but usually our eyes are closed to such things and our minds occupied with just getting by.

And the Hopi, corn from the clan in the big purple truck? Corn from the seed of that seed is alive and still being grown today.

Is the Lost Tablet of the Hippies ever going to be found? Does whoever has it know what it is? Perhaps someone reading this or hearing this story will come upon it and recognize it for what it is. Could it be brought back to the Gathering? And … what would we do then?

Garrick Beck/ Aqua Fria, New Mexico

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thankgiving Council Planning Conference Call on November 9

The next call takes place on Sunday,  November 9th at 8pm eastern standard time (5 PM pacific standard time)..

Dial-in Number: (712) 775-7031
Meeting ID: 143-204-630

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Death of Santa Claus and Other Lamentations

There is a heartsong that goes something like this:

The gathering isn't what it once was, we've lost our way, the young people don't blah, blah, blah. The old people don't blah, blah, blah. The gathering is dead.

We've all heard this heartsong around fire pits, online, or from friends and family.

I prefer to think of changing perceptions a bit differently.

For some of us, our first gathering(s) were full of all the awe and magic that a five year old experiences seeing Santa Claus.  I know the first time I saw Santa flying through the sky on Christmas Eve is a moment from my childhood I will never forget. The appearance of dinner circle in a meadow was a like a dream unfolding where love and food joined in one time an place is another such moment.
The magic of the om on the 4th of July with people standing together in trying to create world peace is the a moment of eternity breaking through the clouds of ignorance.   intentions. The many movies that unfold magically during the course of a gathering where you needed a flashlight, or a jacket, or a hug, and it appeared at just the right moment.  A time when we all saw the gathering with zen mind beginner's mind.

Over time, we start looking at Santa Claus a bit differently. Some of us see Santa as a metaphor for charity, good will toward others, forgiveness, peace, understanding and/or love. Some of us deconstruct Santa and look at him as the commercialization of a Christian mythology of a virgin birth in a manager.  And the list goes on.  In Sweden, the Tomte deliver gifts and are pranksters of the first degree when offended. I've met a lot of Tomte at the gathering.

Expecting to see Santa or the Gathering with the eyes of a child forever is to be a Puer aeternus or never embracing the wisdom and perspective that comes from examining life a bit more deeply.

As amazing as my first dinner circle was, I enjoy it more now than I did
20 + years ago. Now I understand that it doesn't just magically happen - although there is a lot of magic happening. Now I see the hard work that the kitchens put in to creating a complementary meal and the work that goes into organizing the serving of the food.  I feel the love that people bring to this space. I also know about the difficulty of coordinating a cast of characters with strong personalities, hidden agendas, opposing viewpoints, and the eternal tension between what is good for the one versus the many.

This thing we call "gathering" is a balancing act of epic proportions that I love to the very depths of my heart.  I'm getting older now and have a depth of perspective that I did not have at 25 or 30.  Despite dealing with heart breaking situations at and around gatherings such as the Info map being stolen, my brothers hurting my brothers, deaths, people gone missing, occasional outbreaks of negative energy, and a host of other events that frightened me, saddened me, or angered me, I love the gathering more now than I ever did when I saw it through the eyes of a child.

Acknowledging problems doesn't mean the gathering isn't an amazing, magical, mind changing, life altering experience - because it is all of this and more. Every time and each gathering I am changed, I learn new perspectives, wisdom, or ways to love. In fact, when you clearly see the problems and the amazing ways that we as a family deal with this problems, that is when the magic is most alive to me. 

Each gathering I work hard on my zen mind, beginners mind and open my heart to the magic that is the gathering while at the same time I take my place as an adult willing to be responsible for my brothers, sisters, and brosters actions as I am responsible for my own. At the end of the day or the gathering, it is our interdependence that makes us strong and it is acknowledging that interdependence that allows us to practice creating peace.

Creating peace is hard work, it's difficult work and those who complain about the absence of peace without participating in the creation of peace are missing out on a wonderful journey.

"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us."
Black Elk (1863-1950)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kasey Daniels aka CHAUNCY aka SHAGGY (Missing)

Kasey Daniels is 24 years old and his mom hasn't heard from him since September 12. None of the friends his mom knows have heard from him either.  He's a traveling kid but normally checks in more frequently and his mom is scared.

His parents have filed a missing persons report and so far nothing has turned up.  If you run into Kasey/Chauncy/Shaggy please ask him to call his mom or his siblings and if need be lend him your cell so he can make the call!  Or if you've seen him, email me.
No one is asking for him to stop what he's doing, we're just asking he let his family know that he's doing OK.

Some other photos of Kasey (on the viewer's right in these two photos):

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hipstories (aka stories of the rainbow gathering)

Every year around dusk on the evening of July 5, we gather to story ourselves.  By story ourselves, I mean we tell each other our stories of gatherings past.  The last few years, the format has been that we start with 1972 and allow anyone in the crowd to share their story of the first gathering in 1972. Then we move on to 1973 and so forth.  As you can imagine the number of folks who were at the gathering in 1972 are growing fewer in numbers and, for many of our earlies, health issues preclude their attendance.

Stories are critical to our identity as a family, help us learn about our history so we can influence our future, and help create a rolling and every evolving hipstory.

We story our past to create our future.  I hope to see you on the land in 2015 and be part of this amazing tradition.  However, to help you get in the mood for learning our hipstory, here are links to some stories of 1972.

Jody Bateman's, Wherever Two Are Gathered and Further Letters on Rainbow's Origins

Tim Cahill's article in Rolling Stone Magazine, Armageddon Postponed.

Phil Coyote's memories of the first gathering.

Woodstock Museum's Videos:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What some people don't get

I was talking to an old friend on the phone this morning and told him about a Shanti Sena issue in San Diego I've been trying my best to deal with in a peaceful respectful manner.  Given that the situation involves child molestation, emotions tend to be flammable. My friend was ready to "kick some ass" and I had to talk him down.  Totally understandable.  When he had calmed down a bit, he asked, "why is it your problem to deal with?"

His question is the crux of the issue for me.  The way I see the gathering, participants are not waiting for someone else to solve the world's problems or even our own.  We take responsibility for doing what needs to be done in a peaceful, respectful manner.  We are actively working to create peace by individually stepping up to be responsible for cooking, Shanti Sena, treating our wounded, caring for the lost, hugging the lonely, and a thousand plus other tasks.

In some parts of American culture, when a problem happens, people call the experts. They dial 911, go to the "doctor" or ignore a situation all together in the hopes that someone else will deal with it.

That's not the path of the Rainbow. My vision of the Rainbow Path is plugging in and helping with what needs to be done.  In a world full of amateurs, how do we do this?  In some regards, Rainbow is no different than any culture on the planet, some people are more experienced at certain tasks and others a less experienced.

If you are a completely inexperienced person when it comes to medical issues, I would appreciate allowing the most experienced folks to deal with the heart-attacks. Yet there is space for the less-experienced to help out: bandage the boo boos, help carry the stretcher, keep clean drinking water on hand.  After the emergency is over, talk to the more experienced folks and use them as a resource. Ask them to explain why they did what they did. Some day you may be the most experienced person on hand and you don't want to wishing you had asked.

Back to the issue on my plate. Big issue. Really big issue. I've been doing Shanti Sena for a lot of years yet when this situation first came out, I knew I was in over my ahead. I called people I know who have been doing Shanti Sena for a lot longer than I have and who are better at it than I am. I asked for their help in taking the lead and I become the apprentice doing the grunt work.  We are all teachers and students.

Once you internalize the lesson that you have the power to learn and then apply your knowledge in a wide range of settings, you have the power within you to change the world.  Please change it for the better.

As John Schaar writes, "The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination."

Be one of the makers!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shanti Sena Hipstories Barry 'Plunker' Adams

This is a great video of a hipstory featuring one of the "earlies"  (family who were at the 1972 gathering in Granby, CO).  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Council

The gathering has a cyclical process.  In Utah this summer, vision council on the land reached consensus that the 2015 gathering will take place in New England, Lake Michigan Area, or South Dakota. (The consensed areas include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and South Dakota.

My oh my that's a big area.  Vision council did its thing and now folks are left to figure out where Thanksgiving Council should take place.

Because the Rainbow Gathering has no leaders, no board of directors, no staff and no one in charge of anything, we depend on people working together to do all the preparation for the gathering in 2015. So over the years a process has come together to make sure that planning is open to everyone who wants to be involved.

The year starts off with Thanksgiving Council or T-Council over the four day weekend of the same name. This is a time for people interested in plugging in, talking about visions for the gathering, discussing scouting, strategies about legal issues, etc. to get together.

T-Council generally takes place in the state or region where we will be gathering. It's usually a camp, cook, council, share heart songs kinda of thing. Often but not always, the people at T-Council pick the dates for the Scout Rendezvous and Spring Council. Often times a PO box is established for snail mail and a banking council is formed to deal with any donations.

As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary, just a willingness to participate. Keep in mind this is not a gathering, it's a working council and the way this council unfolds sets the tone for the gathering.

Generally folks in the area take the lead on finding a place to hold T-Council.   As we prepared for the gathering in 2014, we struggled to find people in the consented to states to focalize T-Council.  We ended up with weekly conference calls by interested people before finally determining where to go. Given the number of areas included in the consensus for 2015, seem to me that folks in all these states should start holding weekly conference calls to come to some common understanding sooner rather than later.

I'm hoping that there will be a real mix of generations at T-Council. We need older people, we need younger people, we need more experienced gatherers and we need less experienced gatherers to come together to create a vision for a peaceful, healing and fun gathering in 2015. Be the change you want to see in this world.

For the location of this year's Thanksgiving Council, click here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Forest Service and the Rainbow Gathering.

This videdo is a wrap to by the US Forest Service that was presented in Dillon, Montana on the 2013 annual gathering of the tribes which took place in south western Montana in 2013. The views expressed in this video are not mine nor those of the family but provide good insight into how people perceive the annual gathering after it is over.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Scouting 101

As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary to participate and new blood is always needed--especially this year when we have such a wide range of states to scout.

Summer is the perfect time to go check out those spots in the consented to areas and see what they look like on the ground. It's hard to find sites for the Annual Gathering and it's important we use our collective wisdom in site selection.  If you Facebook and want to get plugged into technical discussions on using on-line mapping tools or ask other people who have scouted if a particular site has been looked at, email me and I'll get you plugged into the FB page for scouting discussions.

If you've never been scouting, here's my short list of how to scout (based on the collective wisdom that has been shared with me and my own hands on experience).  We generally gather on lands managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS) but some areas of the country do have good land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

We don't gather in federally designated wilderness areas, national park, or national monuments as these areas are not compatible with our needs due to one of the following reasons:  no cars, focus on protecting wild life and land, need to preserve sensitive ecosystems, and entrance fees to name but a few. If you are looking at state or county owned land, then you will also have to research regulations,  laws, and permit requirements regarding gatherings on these lands.

Here's are the basic steps:

Step 1) Pick a gathering or gatherings that you personally attended.
Step 2) Find those gathering sites on a topo map. I was taught to use 7 minute maps. Many university libraries have good collections of topo maps. Or visit topo zone maps online. There are many on-line mapping tools these days so feel free to use what works best for you.
Step 3) Once you find the topo map, correlate the parking lots, kitchens, main circle, and various camps you remember with spots on the topo map so that in your head you can see a gathering on a map.
Step 4) Pick a national forest or area under BLM management that you feel would be appropriate for a gathering - if you're planning on  scouting for the annual gathering in 2015, we're looking in New England, Lake Michigan Area, or South Dakota." (The consensed areas include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and South Dakota.)
Step 5) Look at the topos for that area. Try to find a site that has the qualities you liked about the previous gatherings you've attended. Some of my personal favorite features are a good hike in at least 1 mile, closer to 2 if it's an easy hike because I feel that the harder it is to get into a site, the more committed people are to staying and creating gathering reality. For a large gathering, having a main meadow and a couple of separate smaller meadows is a good thing, water is of course necessary. Places to hike away from the main part of the gathering for people wanting to get away. Two roads in and out to the gathering site (Front Gate/Back Gate). No roads into the gathering site proper or the cops will drive into the heart of our gathering. Places to park cars where the plants can handle it.
Step 6) Make sure the site is far away from civilization to minimize gatherer/non-gatherer conflicts and frequent runs into town.
Step 7) Go out and walk the site and see if it has what the maps showed and the above mentioned features, if it's workable and if it has the magic. In my experience, if you have done you're home work on five sites, maybe one is workable as there are always issues that don't reveal themselves until you are on the land.
Step 8) If you found a site in Step 7, research environmentally sensitive habitat in the area, endangered species, private property and water rights. Check for ranchers who may have permits for grazing during the gathering. If nothing turns up, we may have a winner. If something turns up, you'll want to bring all your info to discuss further with experienced scouts.

Thanks to all my family who are spending time and money scouting for this gathering! We Love You!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Where Will The Gathering Be?

Usually when someone gets on my email list, this is the first information I send them. So to you out here in blogsphere, here's that same information.

From the invite to the very first Rainbow Gathering in 1972:

We, who are brothers & sisters, children of God, families of  life on earth, friends of nature & of all people, children of humankind calling ourselves Rainbow Family Tribe, humbly invite:
  • All races, peoples, tribes, communes, men, women, children, individuals -- out of love.
  • All nations & national leaders -- out of respect
  • All religions & religious leaders -- out of faith
  • All politicians -- out of charity

to join with us in gathering together for the purpose of expressing our sincere desire that there shall be peace on earth, harmony among all people. This gathering to take place beginning July 1, 1972, near Aspen, Colorado - or between Aspen the Hopi Navajo lands - on 3000 acres of land that we hope to purchase or acquire for this gathering --  to hold open worship, prayer, chanting or whatever is the want or desire of the people, for three days, but upon the fourth day of July at noon to ask that there be a meditative, contemplative silence wherein we, the invited people of the world may consider & give honor & respect to anyone or anything that has aided in the positive evolution of humankind & nature upon this, our most beloved & beautiful world -- asking blessing upon we people of this world & hope that we people can effectively proceed to evolve, expand, & live in harmony & peace.

On July 8, at Vision Council on the land at the 2014 Utah Rainbow Gathering, consensus was reached that the 44th annual rainbow gathering of the tribes will be in New England, Lake Michigan Area, or South Dakota." (The consensed areas include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and South Dakota.)

Wording of consensus:

The 44th annual rainbow gathering of the tribes will be in New England, Lake Michigan Area, or South Dakota.
Thanksgiving Council

The next step in the process of landing on a site is always Thanksgiving Council (T-Council) which took place over the four day Thanksgiving Holiday in Michigan. This is a time of people to council and share their hopes and dreams for the 2015 gathering.  If you have potential sites you think are worthy of scouting in the spring, bring topo maps and forest service maps.  Directions to T-Council usually come out in the first half of November. Check back then. If you're not familiar with T-Council, read more here.  If you didn't make it, find the notes here.

Scout Rendezvous

T-Council usually picks dates for one or two Scout Councils. Scout Councils/Rendezvous is a time for people out scouting to connect up, share information, talk about scouting efforts. As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary, just a desire to walk, learn, teach and share. If you come, please be self sufficient - have green energy for gas, food, etc. You don't need your own vehicle if you can be a positive traveling companion, but $$$ are always in short supply for scouting, so please bring enough for yourself and some to share with the person whose vehicle breaks down.

The year, T-Council reached consensus to hold a scout rendezvous on April 18-20. Location TBD.

Spring Council

Spring council is when all potential sites for the gathering are brought to any people who want to be involved in selecting a site. The council usually takes one to seven days and normally ends with either a consensus by silence among people at the council or an exodus of the majority of people heading to the preferred site.  T-Council picked reached consensus that spring council will start on June 17.  Spring council goes until a decision is reached by consensus or by foot. The exact location for this council generally isn't determined until one to two weeks before spring council starts. Until the spring council process reaches a site, there is no home. For more information on spring council, click here.

For those of you who think the site is picked in advance and want to get the 411 now so you can book plane tickets.  I'm sorry, but there is no site picked at this time. 

Keep in mind that weather conditions (which are unpredictable) play a part in all of this. So let's say someone finds a great site during the summer of 2014 (and I have no knowledge that anyone did), for all we know come the first week of June, 2015 that site is still under snow, then what? Keep in mind that 4 feet of snow at a gathering is rough (anyone remember Washington 2011?).

Drought and high fire danger can have the same effect. A great site that was nice and wet in August 2014 can be dry as a tinder box in June 2015. If the Forest Service has a no open fire ban on that site that looked so great last year, guess it's not looking that great this year. Available water can change year to year as well depending on snow melt.  Conditions change all the time.  The family needs to find the best possible site for the health and safety of gathering participants and the land on which we gather.

Seed Camp

Once Spring Council reaches a decision, people move onto the site and start Seed Camp. Seed Camp is about creating trails, building kitchens, digging shitters, taping springs and dealing with the United States Forest Service. Historically, law enforcement harassment is highest during Seed Camp so if you are planning on being there, take the necessary precautions to keep your self out of the system if you so choose or need to. Bring your own food and drinking water. Bring first aid kits.  

The Gathering

The main day of the gathering is July 4 when we observe silence from dawn until high noon and put our energy into manifesting world peace, the positive evolution of the planet and other good things.  Many people observe this with a prayer or mediation for world peace. Others do Yoga for world peace, blow bubbles for world peace, etc. Basically, if it's a silent, gentle energy then it fits in very well.  As to when the gathering starts, that's dynamic.  It's usually one day during the last week of June when some friends and I look at each other and say "today it's a gathering."  (of course you may pick a different date than I do when it feels like a gathering and not like seed camp).

Click here for the Howdy Folks (Invitation to the gathering with directions)

The earlier you come the more self sufficient you need to be and relationships with the Forest Service can be rougher. On the other hand, showing up for seed camp allows you to influence the way the gathering goes. If you show up later, say after June 27, then most (but not all) of the drama has subsided.  Traditionally the dates are listed as July 1 to 7, but most years people start leaving in droves on July 5th.

Ignore all rumors of cancellation or organization!
Live lightly with the Land and People!
Please Copy and Distribute This Information Widely

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vision Council Consensus In Utah

"On July 8, at Vision Council on the land at the 2014 Utah Rainbow Gathering, consensus was reached that the 44th annual rainbow gathering of the tribes will be in New England, Lake Michigan Area, or South Dakota." (The consensed areas include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and South Dakota.)