HIPPIE KUSHI WAKING UP TO LIFE

Alternative Lifestyles * Vagabonding Travel * Searching for Hippie Happiness

HIPPIE KUSHI WAKING UP TO LIFE

Why Rainbow Gatherings are so important after the COVID-19 pandemic

I have felt quite depressed and sad recently after reading some peoples doom-mongering comments on Facebook about this coronavirus pandemic. A lot of people think the world is about to change for the worse and we will no longer hug or kiss anymore. People will continue wearing face masks and they will remain two metres apart from each other. The doom-mongers think that this is humanities future.

Some people have even verbally attacked me personally saying my positive view of humanity and my optimistic outlook is ‘delusional’.

I am not going to change, I believe in humanity and I certainly believe that many of us like-minded souls will be hugging, kissing and loving our way through life for decades to come.

This negativity had got me thinking about these Rainbow Gatherings that happen around the world each year, where 1000’s of hippies gather together to show love and togetherness, kinship, community and joy. I thought, wow, these events could possibly be the most important thing to attend after these dark times. A way to connect with our fellow like-minded human beings in order to show the world that love and affection did not die during this pandemic lockdown.

I have previously read books on these events and watched a number of videos on You Tube and it has really inspired me and got me thinking that this is something I really MUST do!

I have already started thinking about how I can attend my first event once this horrible lockdown has ended. If you are anything like me I think these Rainbow Gatherings could be right for you too; I hear they are real life changers. 

But what is a Rainbow Gathering and who are the Rainbow Family?

Here are a few articles to answer these questions and hopefully they will inspire you to experience one of these beautiful events for yourself:

From Wikipedia:

Rainbow Gatherings are temporary, loosely knit communities of people, who congregate annually in remote forests around the world for one or more weeks at a time with the stated intention of living a shared ideology of peace, harmony, freedom, and respect. In the original invitation, spread throughout the United States in 1971, the “Rainbow Family Tribe” referred to themselves as “brothers & sisters, children of God”, “Families of life on Earth”, “Friends of Nature & of all People” and “Children of Humankind”. All races, nations, politicians, etc. were invited in the desire that there could be peace among all people. The goal was to create what they believed was a more satisfying culture — free from consumerism, capitalism, and mass media — one that would be nonhierarchical, that would further world peace, and serve as a model for reforms to mainstream society. However, the values actually exhibited by the group have at times varied quite a bit from this ideal, with recent decades showing increasing levels of crime at the events, and some organisers stating the core principles have been modified, and become more mainstream, in an effort to attract more people.

Influenced by 1960s counterculture and the noncommercial rock festivals of the early 1970s, Rainbow is a “revitalization movement” with many philosophies and practices that have roots in the historic utopian traditions of the mid–19th century. The first Rainbow Gathering was held in Colorado, U.S. in 1972 and was attended by more than 20,000 people. In the 1980s, Gatherings started to form outside of North America as autonomous, but connected events around the world.

Media coverage of Rainbow Gatherings has been unfavourable since the 1980s when journalists started to describe Rainbow Family members in terms such as “ageing hippies”, “grown-up flower children”, or “middle-aged white folks”. In the 2000s, the media focus shifted to the increase in crime in the local communities closest to Gatherings, such as petty crimes like retail theft to serious traffic charges, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Despite the movement’s environmentalist and pacifist aspirations, 

THOUGHTS ON MY FIRST RAINBOW GATHERING

BY JESSICA DEVNANI

pinkplankton.com

A few summers ago, I happened to be in Europe during the annual, month-long European Rainbow Gathering. I decided I would attend, mainly out of curiosity.

I first heard of these ‘Rainbow Gatherings’ through the internet.  I had just come back from Burning Man and was researching similar types of festivals.  Ironically, all of the information online stresses that they are not festivals, but simply gatherings.  From what I understood, it was a bunch of hippies coming together to live communally, for a short period of time.  It sounded like a unique cultural phenomenon that I was interested in learning more about, first hand.

The European gathering took place in Italy, near the Slovenian border.  On the train to the gathering, my friend and I met a fellow Rainbow who was headed back in.  He invited us to camp with him and his friends.  This was truly a blessing in disguise, as they ended up being the coolest people we met at the entire gathering.

We arrived near the end of the gathering and so in terms of workshops and events, there wasn’t that much happening.  Our days were mostly spent hanging around camp and talking to others.  Most of the other attendees were hitchhikers, squatters, buskers – basically long-term travelers living on the more frugal side.  This is not the style of travel that I am used too personally, and so it was very interesting to hear and learn about their journeys.

Meals were served twice a day.  Before mealtime everyone would come together in a circle, hold hands, and sing.  It’s pretty hippie but it’s also one of the of the long-standing traditions of Rainbow.  After eating, the ‘magic hat’ was passed around to collect donations.

One of the first things we became familiar with was the idea of Babylon, or the outside world.  Basically, Rainbows like to disconnect from everything in our modern world.  This is why there is no amplified music at Rainbow.  Drugs and alcohol are also frowned upon.  A girl called me out on wearing a watch.  No one there wore sunglasses.  Many didn’t bother to wear clothes either.  And don’t even think about taking your camera or cellphone out to snap a photo.

There was even a guy who made an announcement after dinner asking if people could please be mindful of where you point your flashlight at night, as some people are trying to practice their night vision.  This, I thought, was really pushing it.

The way I saw Rainbow, there were two types of people: the cool hippies and the anal hippies.

The anal hippies truly believed that Rainbow was about disconnecting from Babylon as much as possible.  They were the ones using ashes as toilet paper, and wondering why everyone at the gathering was getting sick (yes… this is a thing).

A lot of the anal hippies were of the older generation, and this was understandable. They’d seen Rainbow Gatherings evolve from back when it first started in the 70’s.  And as with anything, it’s changed a lot.  Nowadays, kids find out about Rainbow through this new technological thing called Facebook.  They think it’s a festival or a party and they arrive bearing all sorts of things from Babylon.  This was the bane of the anal hippie’s existence.

The cool hippies were the ones who just wanted to have a good time.  They were there to camp out in nature for a couple weeks with a group of like-minded people.  They would have fun and explore throughout the day, rather than practice survival skills.  They would have conversations about interesting things, rather than moan about certain other people not picking up the slack.  Or about how Rainbow was better back in the day for reasons x, y, and z.

Thank god we were camped with the latter group.  Our camp was called ‘The Rockery Cafe’ because we had a campfire with flat rocks laid out.  We’d provide anyone who came in with a hot beverage.  Everyone there was super chill and laid back.

One of our camp mates mentioned how trying to make Rainbow ‘how it used to be’ is not a viable option.  You can’t stop people finding out about it through technology.  You can’t stop things from changing, period.  Our entire world is in a constant stage of change.  Time itself is simply a measure of change.  For Rainbow to be the loving, accepting place that some people say it once was, the two sides need to come to terms with this, and work together to allow it to evolve.

Overall, attending this gathering satisfied my curiosity.  I also met some very interesting people and spent a week in a beautiful natural setting.  I was expecting there to be a few more organised activities, like workshops and such, but perhaps we arrived a bit too late for that.  There were also people that mentioned this gathering was very different from past ones, for a number of reasons.  And I’ve heard that North American gatherings are a completely different vibe as well.

Encountering the anal hippies was annoying at the time, but looking back, I realise you can find these people just about anywhere in the world. It’s not something exclusive to Rainbow.  At any sort of gathering there are always going to be certain people that simply don’t accept change.  Someone on Koh Phangan is going to rant about how the Full Moon Party used to be.  Someone at Burning Man will tell you how much better it was when no one knew about it.

Diehard Rainbows may have some ridiculous beliefs (such as humans having night vision), and to that I say, to each their own.  But the beliefs about trying to stop Rainbow from evolving are the ones that need to go.  That, and the belief that ashes can be used as soap.  This just made everyone sick.

Rainbow Gathering

timeline.com

To be a hippie in the 21st century takes grit. Cost of living notwithstanding, the collision of late capitalism, technology, and a new generation of disinterested squares has made this a tough time for the homeless, granola-munching, gonorrhoea-transmitting sages of the counterculture we all assumed would die long before weed ever became legal. We’re not talking about the bourgeois wannabes or part-time burners who “innovate” and “disrupt” at your startup. Real hippies, like early homesteaders, put in work. They care about community and inclusiveness, and their ideals are there to stand for something. Like building a better tomorrow in harmony with nature and man, usually while stoned and doused in patchouli.

Take, for example, those who identify as members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light. The group traces its roots to Oregon, in 1970, where the intermingling of minds emerging from the post-Haight-Ashbury haze realised that events like Woodstock could inform their dream of an intentional community built on love and pacifism. Those founding principles have been the impetus behind a growing international movement of counter cultural “Rainbow Gatherings” ever since. With an anarcho-utopian worldview, the Rainbow Family is leaderless and unstructured—more of a guiding philosophy than an organised movement — following the principle of “radical inclusion,” wherein money is not tendered and basic needs are provided by and for all members. Gatherings don’t have entrance fees—or permits — which makes them scrappy affairs running more on hippie ingenuity and enthusiasm than actual resources. “Rainbows” are expected to pitch in with everything from cooking to cleaning to child care. Run-ins with authorities have caused some controversy, as in 2000, when Montana governor Marc Racicot declared a state of emergency amidst concerns about potential environmental damage.

In line with their Utopian socialist predecessors of the 19th century, the Rainbow Family emphasises removal from society as a first step toward self-sustainability. Their anti-capitalist, non-hierarchical, consensus-driven stance is grounded in a belief that love and respect and hard work are the foundation of community — not transactional capitalism or profit motives. Naive? Maybe. But if revitalisation movements, as defined by the late anthropologist Anthony F. C. Wallace, are a “deliberate, organised, conscious effort by members of a society to construct a more satisfying culture,” members of the Rainbow Family are chasing their bliss to existential fulfilment pragmatically—if unhurriedly—one Om chant at a time.

Hippie Kushi:

I find this all very exciting and I’m scouting around for the best place in the world to attend one of these Rainbow Gatherings. This is clearly a very free and collaborative environment to be in but of course every large gathering must have its rules. Here’s what the organisers say on their web page (it should be pointed out this is for the US gathering but the rules are pretty much the same wherever you go):

Rainbow Gathering Mini Manual

Welcome Home

The Rainbow Family of Living Light welcomes you to our family gathering. A place where people co operate not compete.

Each year the family holds the Gathering of the Tribes, a totally Free non-commercial sharing of our lives and sacred hearts, in the Cathedral of Nature for the healing of the earth.

There is no authoritarian hierarchy here. It works because each of us takes the responsibility to make it work. Part of that responsibility is a pledge we keep to each other :

  • we pledge to respect and care for each other in all things
  • we pledge to drop all forms of violence in our relations with each other
  • we pledge to deal with each other up front and with open hearts.

Technology

Recent councils have reaffirmed original consensus that the gathering of the tribes is intended as an opportunity to experiment with different ways of living. For this reason and others we ask that firearms, radios, tape decks, electric lights, sound amplification equipment, chainsaws, and power tools be left at home. All vehicles stop at the parking lot or bus village.

Dis-Organisation

Beware of people who say things like, “I’m in charge!” We are All leaders of the rainbow. The dishes get done and crappers get dug because We see to it personally.

Main Gate

When you volunteer for main gate you get to see it all come in. Parking crew keeps the roads open and gate crew greets the world with hugs and info. Main gate is where new gatherers first see RAP 107 (Read and Heed!). All weapons and alcoholic beverages stop here. All forms of intoxication can be harmful to the spirit of our gathering. Main gate is where newcomers learn that, in terms of ideas, they are about to enter “Liberated Territory”.

Kitchens

Once you have helped a silent forest glade become a bustling volunteer kitchen that serves thousands of nutritious Free meals and becomes a silent glade again you will know what they mean when someone tells you magic did it! Each person needs their Own cup, bowl, and spoon. Wash buckets, including a bleach dip prevents the spread of disease.

Calm/Mash

Center for Alternative Living Medicine. In this wounded world many of our family come to the gathering in need of healing. CALM provides free health care, healing workshops, a woman’s center, an herbal apothecary, and counseling to all in need. Look for the large tents. Healers of all kinds are invited to join the staff!

MASH provides field care and an evacuation vehicle. MASH provides emergency care and volunteer experts who combine gentle natural remedies that promote the body’s natural defenses with standard medical practice.

Gathering on Public Lands

Our Permit to Gather reads as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances.”

IGNORE ALL RUMORS OF CANCELLATION!

Council

It is around the council fire that everday questions and the future of the rainbow are decided. When the conch is blown we assemble in a circle and, holding hands we seek to treat each other and the earth with respect.

Consensus

All council decisions are by consensus. This means that action is taken on an issue only After a clear statement of the proposal has been read and no one has blocked Consensus. This is why it is important to be present when issues that concern you are discussed. Everyone is given an opportunity to speak. A feather is passed to designate the speaker. We respect the person holding the feather with silence and attention. When we hold the feather we respect the council by being short and to the point.

Shanti-Sena

Shanti-Sena means “Peace Center”! There are no “Rainbow Police”. We are secure because we watch out for each other. We are All Shanti-Sena. Experienced Shanti-Sena hold regular peace keeping workshops which everyone is encouraged to attend at least once. Do you know what to do in an emergency?

Magic Hat

At each gathering we have a magic hat. Its magic lies in the miracles sharing Can do. By combining our resources we can buy in bulk and use our buying power most efficiently. Magic hat also collects for consensus projects like All Ways Free, the newspaper. We feed the multitudes! A banking council appointed by the main council handles purchases and keeps open books.

Drugs

The rainbow council is in favor of gentle herbal remedies that promote the bodies natural defences. Chemical intoxication of any kind is dangerous to the spirit of our gathering.

Silent Circle For Peace and Healing – High Noon! – July 4 Each year on the fourth we gather at Main Circle and the entire camp is hushed for an hour of silence. Join us in prayer for the peace and the healing of the earth! This event is a central focus of the entire gathering.

Sweats

Experienced volunteers lead native style sweat lodge/sauna baths for health and pleasure. Sweating re-invigorates you by flushing built-up toxins from your body. The closeness and fellowship of the lodge is an opportunity for prayer and song. Don’t be afraid to show up with an armload of firewood. Please don’t enter the lodge with an infectious dis-ease.

Kid Village

Parents camp around Kid Village. Kid Village has a spring of its own. The kitchen is supplied with drink and nutritious snacks around the clock for children and parents. Volunteers and parents share the responsibility of childcare.

Bus Village

Many of our family are nomads, either part-time or year round. When a vehicle becomes a home it becomes unique. Bus village is a small town of unique vehicles. If you live in a bus, park it here!

Trade Circle

Many of our family work in various crafts and many bring their best work to show off or to trade for pieces that catch their eye. The mutual exchange of gifts is encouraged. Money changing in the temple is not. Our right to gather on public lands depends on our remaining a non-commerical event!

Info Center

Bullentin boards, notices, information, networking, rides, and a crew of volunteers to deal with rumor control and camp communications.

Workshops

Anyone with a skill may announce a free workshop and post notices on info centre bulletin boards. There is also a time for public announcements at evening meal.

Scouting Council

The general area of next year’s gathering is decided at this year’s Vision Council. Experienced scouts are sent out to inspect dozens of potential sites. They co-ordinate their activities by contacting a focalizer for the region and attending Scouting Council in April.

Building the Rainbow Camp

Once a site is chosen, teams move onto the land and begin to mark trails and develop springs. Main Kitchen is raised and begins to feed workers. Sanitary trenches are dug and water lines set. This preparation is necessary to deal with the influx of people around July 4. As many as 20,000 people have attended at peak.

Howdy Folks Letter

When a site has been chosen the Howdy Folks goes out to focalisers who copy them and pass them on. The Howdy Folks letter is the “Official” notice of the site and should have instructions for finding it and an info phone number.

Clean Up

The gathering runs from July 1-7. Clean up begins the morning of the 8th. Gear and trash are brought in to the center and channeled up the trail to main gate.

WE PICK UP EVERY SCRAP, EVERY LAST CIGARETTE BUTT! All trash is separated for recycling. Recycling Depots are color coded.

  • red – metal and aluminum
  • orange – glass
  • yellow – burnables (not plastic)
  • green – compost
  • blue – plastic
  • indigo – Lost and Found
  • violet – Free Box

Campsites are dismantled and “disappeared”. Paths are broken up and bare spots re-seeded. Potential erosion is banked and trees planted. A clean up kitchen is last dismantled and continues to feed clean up crews until the job is done.

In a year’s time you won’t be able to tell that a small township of people had lived here for weeks! In all things we walk lightly on the land.

  • Rainbow RAP 107 – Please protect our land!
  • Harm no living thing : use only down dead wood, cut no living trees.
  • Drop no litter of any kind. Separate trash for recycling and deposit at collection sites. Put only vegetable matter in compost pits. PROTECT OUR WATER!
  • Use no soap in or within 50 feet of water areas.
  • Do not pee or poop in or near water areas.
  • Do not camp above springs. PROTECT OUR HEALTH!
  • Use your own cup, bowl, spoon and wash them thoroughly, including a bleach dip.
  • Use only latrine trenches. Clean up after children and pets. Cover feces and toilet paper with dirt and ashes. Wash hands. (Break the Fly connection! Feces – Fly – Food You!)
  • Visit CALM if you feel ill. Especially if you might have a communicable disease.
  • Drink only water that has been boiled briskly for ten minutes.
  • Keep your camp secure. “Tempt not, lest ye be lifted from.”
  • Pets should stay home. Be responsible for your animals. Keep them out of kitchens – foods – fights.
  • Discourage all forms of drug overindulgence.
  • Participate in Shanti-Sena workshops and activities.
  • Weapons are inappropriate.
  • Donate to magic hat. Our power combined is many times our power separate.
  • Confront the Rainbow with an open heart and you will see the Vision!

All Ways Free

Each year at the national gathering a different Regional Council undertakes to publish at least two issues of All Ways Free, the family newspaper, in the coming year. All Ways Free is a totally open forum to publish the diversity of ideas that makes up the rainbow. The paper takes stories, letters, poems and art. Rather than sell subscriptions or advertising space, All Ways Free is produced by volunteers and supported by personal donation, regional fund raising activities, and magic hat. You can Earmark part of your magic hat money for All Ways Free.

The Guide

At the info booth are signup cards for those who wish to be included in the Rainbow Guide, a networking directory for the use of family members in contacting each other. The guide is distributed free but is supported by donation.

Local Gatherings

In order to lessen ecological impact and give more people the opportunity to experience Rainbow the family council is encouraging the formation of Local Councils to hold regional gatherings. Contact your regional focalizer as listed in the Guide. All Ways Frees lists dates and sites.

A Local Council can also be a useful way of addressing local concerns and issues. Local Councils hold cleanups, drum circles, pot-lucks, and yard sales. They put energy into shelter for the homeless free kitchens and tree planting. The Rainbow way of “Hands On” problem solving gives people of diverse viewpoints an effective means of co-operating in the healing of the planet.

PEACE Projects

Positive Energy Alternative Community Foundation is an umbrella for various councils seeking to apply the lessons learned at gatherings year round. These include peace village – a year round encampment, the peace fleet of sail ships and the peace caravan. The Guide lists focalizers and All Ways Free reports progress.

Artists for Peace

A project intended to stimulate and aid the contribution of artists and crafts-people to the whole. Check All Ways Free for details. Following is information on the Rainbow Family of Living Light and pointers on getting more information. This is a work in progress. Thanks to all on who have provided this info. An up to date list of gathering and council dates will be posted shortly.

OFFICIAL ADDRESSES OF LOVE! (Please send SASE)

The Rainbow Guide (Note that the Wisconsin address

P.O. Box 29446 is no longer valid.)

St Louis, MO 63126-7446

The directory of participants and supporters of the Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes. The names and addresses in it are freely submitted and distributed for our family’s benefit. It is always free for those who need it to be. However, if you can send a contribution, every little bit helps. New Issue comes out at the National, this year in New Mexico, in July.

All Ways Free (Note that the Eugene, OR address

Rt. 2 Box 84 is no longer valid.)

Warrens, WI 54666-9802

Annual Rainbow-oriented publication, independent of Rainbow Family Tribal Council. Lots of info, Lots of Love! All Ways Free, but a donation is All Ways Welcome!

INTERNET RESOURCES

Things to bring to a Gathering

Normal camping stuff (this varies depending on “how” you camp):

  • Sleeping bag/hammock, blanket, tent/tarp, toilet paper/paper towels.
  • Check the weather: rain gear, appropriate clothes, etc…
  • PLATE, CUP or BOWL, and SPOON: this will be your food dish. You will eat out of it so this is VERY IMPORTANT. Biodegradeable soaps and stuff.
  • WATER, WATER, WATER, and more WATER: Drinkable water is a very precious comodity. If you can hike some in… or bring some to the lot and ask for some help to hike it you will make many people happy. Pretty much all you get to drink at Rainbow gatherings is water coffee and tea. If you don’t like coffee or tea, you may want to bring powdered drink mix (with the sugar already added).
  • Sweets (especially chocolate).
  • Fruits and Vegetables. Bring extra if you can to donate to the kitchens.
  • Tools if you can (i.e. knife, axe, saw) There will always be firewood that needs cuttin’.
  • Musical instruments (non-electrical)
  • Poetry

!!! Do Not Bring !!!

Alcohol: Near the parking area there is a place called “A-camp”. 

Rainbow says We love the alcoholic, but not the alcohol.” Personalities change on alcohol (and hard drugs). Sometimes people can’t control themselves as well. Therefore you are respectfully asked to leave the alcohol in A-camp when you hike in to the main gathering space.

  • Aggressive dogs
  • Bad attitudes
  • Hard drugs: Rainbow discourages the use of hard drugs of any kind. Rainbow also discourages the ABUSE of any drugs of any kind.
  • Radios: Also more welcome in A-camp.
  • Guns: Never really welcomed at a gathering.

Please understand that all of these suggestions are “agreed” upon by consensus. No one is specificaly bound to these

decisions. You are asked however to respect the space of others and the rights of those who _did_ agree to consensus.

With thanks to the hundreds of contributors who wrote this book.

Original Issue June ’87

Revised Summer ’88 Reconsensed Sprint ’89 FAQ created Spring ’95

E-Texted Collated Spring ’95

Obligatory Disclaimer: I do not speak for Rainbow; I speak only for myself. And that said, COPY FREELY! This Rainbow Mini-Manual is intended to introduce newcomers to the basic technique of “Gathering”. It Does Not represent the last word on any subject! The contents of this booklet are designed to “Evolve” with the family and not to become any form of “bible”. We can do this by basing its contents on the consensus of our councils and by changing those contents as the consensus changes.

The copy you hold in your hand is a “Generic” Mini-Manual agreed upon by the Nevada ’89 Seed Council. Local councils are invited to reproduce this booklet for distribution at regional gatherings. Feel free to add “Site Specific” information, art, new titles. You may rework the content in any way you please with the single restriction that if you do, the booklet can no longer be called a Rainbow Mini-Manual.

Focalizers have been supplied with a “copy original”, so they can fill requests for copies. Send along a couple of bucks for costs. The “Mini-Manual” is a Copy Freely publication. This means that it will only be distributed as far as people find it useful to do so, not only does this save one group or individual a burdensome “publication” job but guarantees that very few copies will be printed above what its merit justifies! If everyone runs off twenty or a hundred and sends them off to others who do the same there will soon be enough mini-manuals around so that everyone who needs on can get one.

The Original Mini-Manual was designed to be easily reproducable on two sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Any stock, any means of reproduction! Print both sides, slit lengthwise and collate. With the E-Text version you can Do as You Will, however 17 cpi print at 8 lines per inch, with two columns per side and on both sides of normal paper, will print up to the Rainbow Addresses section on 1 piece of paper, and the rest will print on the front of another piece. HOORAY!

The Map is not the territory-but the map Can teach us new ways to See the territory. The Mini-Manual presents the barest outlines of the process it describes. You must fill in everything else from experience and imagination.

Together, We can create the dance!

HIPPIE KUSHI:

These gathering happen all over Europe, in Australia and the US. 

Alcohol is permitted even though it says its not, you just have to keep your beers or whatever in your tent in the A CAMP and a little herb is not frowned upon either; so you party people can still do your thing.

Roots of The Rainbow Family

ROOTS: The Rainbow Family of Living Light (aka Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes, etc.) didn’t really begin at any specific time, and has never really existed as a formal organization. In many ways, it is a fundamental human expression, the tendency of people to gather together in a natural place and express themselves in ways that come naturally to them, to live and let live, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

In the U.S. in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, a kind of critical mass of consciousness developed. Beyond the media hype of “fading movement”, those who were serious in the hippie and anti-war movements were learning what political life was really about, and, most importantly, were learning basic economics and to take care of their own. After some hard lessons at the many mega-events of the time, many were becoming skilled at coping with the care and feeding of tens of thousands of people at a time, and organized themselves into tribes dedicated to that purpose. A diverse and decentralized social fabric began to weave itself from threads of hippie culture, back-to-the-landers, american indian spiritual teachings, pacifist-anarchist traditions, eastern mysticism, and the legacy of depression era hobo street wisdom.

Although this fabric included visionaries, gurus, and people with strong organizing skills, it has not produced a leader/follower decision-making process or hierarchy. Instead, all decision making power is held in a main council, open to all, with all individuals holding equal power, and all decisions made only by unanimous consensus. Although it is frequently a difficult process, it has stood the test of time, and has served the whole quite well. This process makes it essentially impossible for authorities, power-trippers, or hostile elements to intimidate or manipulate individuals to the detriment of the group.

So, I hope see you at the next Rainbow Gathering, where we can prove that love, togetherness and hope wins; love is all we need!

Next time: Out of lockdown: beautiful hippie butterflies

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