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.

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.