We will gather peacefully for silent meditation the morning of July 4th, 2018 from dawn until noon; and a peaceful assembly of free speech and expression from July 1st through the end of Vision Counsel; in the southern Appalachian Mountains. To learn how the location is found, click here.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 28 - Georgia Family Potluck and Counsel

For folks in and around Atlanta, there will be a get together for folks working towards creating positive energy in Georgia. Call the Atlanta Lightline for info 770-662-6112.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Love (Part 2 of 5 of "Creating Peace")

The rainbow family is full of love. We shout "we love you" to the sky, to other gathers, to the earth upon which we gently walk.  I have many friends whose children were conceived at the gathering.  We shower love as best we can on people who are unhappy about our presence in their neighborhood. We love all our siblings (brothers, sisters and transgenders), even the ones we do not like all that much.  We love the person who didn't pick up their dog shit, but we want to talk to them about it as well.

We even have a somewhat sarcastic phrase "loven you" to indicate our concern without being too mushy. With all these types of love floating around, how does love contribute to creating peace? Does the manner in which we love matter or does it matter more how we express our love?

In English we are limited as we have one word for love. The ancient Greeks had four separate words for love:
  • storge - kinship or familiarity
  • philia - friendship
  • eros - romantic and or sexual feelings
  • agape - self-emptying or divine love

Spanish has many words for love:
  • encantar - indicating strong like
  • gustar mucho - indicating strong like
  • querer - to love romantically, to want
  • afición - enthusiasm
  • amado - sweetheart 
  • amor - pure love, romantic love
  • caridad - charity
Love is also an emotion. A very strong and powerful emotion.  How many of you have made decisions based on amar, agape, caridad, eros, and storage? I'm guessing everyone.

For the romantics among us, love is what creates beautiful art, amazing music, and sleepless nights.

For the biologists among us, love is a biological function like hunger or thirst that creates attachments between people, thereby insuring their survival in a dangerous and hostile world.

For the psychologists among us, love is not only a feeling, but a series of actions. 

Unconditional love is a common theme of most of the major belief systems and is one of the often unspoken foundations of participating in the phenomenon commonly called the Rainbow Gathering.

So what does all this have to do with creating a culture of peace?

Well besides being a slogan from the 1960s, using love as a way to create connections strengthens our interpersonal relationships. If we love someone with whom we disagree, we are highly motivated to find a solution that meets the needs of everyone.  If we have no personal attachment to other living beings, then we can more easily ignore their perspective and we often do not care about their  happiness.

Yet loving each of our siblings all the time is challenging. Some of our siblings act out, behave poorly, don't clean up after themselves, steal, fight, or are just downright mean. What then?

Then we muster our agape and our caridad and try to make that connection. We try to befriend our siblings. By finding a connection, we are creating a relationship. It may be storage it may be afición, but if we can love another person in the worst situation, then maybe we can use that relationship to work towards peace.

But to be clear, loving someone does not mean you accept all their actions.

True love is being able to love your siblings person while calling them on their bullshit (in a loving manner). 

True love is being able to communicate in a loving way why specific actions are hurting you, the planet, or other living creature.

True love is a meditative practice we undertake as we deal with the frustrations, interruptions, disappointments and annoyances that fill our lives.

 Let your mantra for this year's gathering be I love all my siblings and this beautiful planet we call home.

Love is the path towards peace.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

ALERT: Fees for group use on Forest Service Lands

Hi Family, 

Paying to gather on our public lands is rearing it's head again.

HR289 has passed the house on October 8, 2017 and is headed to the Senate.

Please contact your senators and ask them to oppose HR 289 that would charge a fee for "specialized individual and group use of Federal facilities and Federal recreational lands and waters, such as, but not limited to, use of special areas or areas where use is allocated, motorized recreational vehicle use, and group activities or events." 

No doubt, this would apply to Rainbow Gatherings. 

For more info, click here.

Thanks to our friends at the Western Slope No Fee Coalition for the alert.

Please contact your senators today and tell them no way!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hurricane Irma Relief Kitchen

Hi all,

Hear rumor that the kitchen in Florida should be getting set up Monday or Tuesday (Sept 18 or 19)  Once I have details I will share what the team wants shared.

Much love,

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rainbow Spirit Video

This video was originally made after the 1997 annual 4th of July gathering.  It was not filmed at the gathering, but is a great resource from some of the songs you will hear played around a campfire at a gathering. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma Rainbow Teams

Hi folks,

Just an FYI to let you know that a number of crews are gearing up to help in Florida once Hurricane Irma passes through.  I will update this page once I have details and locations on how to plug in.

Mama Earth is angry. Please listen to her.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Respect (Part 1 of 5 of "Creating Peace")

The gathering of the tribes is dedicated to creating peace on earth and the positive evolution of the planet. Sometimes peace seems so hard to attain, it can be helpful to focus on strategies that create opportunities for peace.  Today's concept is "Respect."

From the beginning, the gathering included concepts of respect. The invite to the first gathering in 1972 started off:

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

 If I were authoring the invite today, I would modify it to:
All races, peoples, tribes, communes, men, women, children, individuals -- out of respect and love.

So how then does respect contribute to creating peace?

Peace needs nurturing and dialog to plant its roots and grow.  Peace needs food and water.  If we do not respect the needs of peace and honor those needs, we are doomed to failure.  So how then do we go about creating respect at our gatherings?

When we gather, we are a community with a diversity of backgrounds, religious beliefs, political affiliations, interests, hopes and dreams. Honor that diversity in each of us -- our differences are what make us capable and interesting. Our connections are what make us strong.

The following ideas are commonly shared ideas, I didn't invent them, but I find it helpful to be reminded of them.

Respect is one of the core values in our attempts to create an egalitarian culture. By approaching my family with respect I am laying the roots for a relationship. By treating people the way they wish to be treated, I can connect with others. If I offer respect to another person, that person is more likely to offer respect to me and to others. People who are treated with respect, learn how to treat others with respect.

We are all part of this big, wonderful planet called earth and hence we are all connected. Rather than trying to severe these connections, let's strengthen them. In 1994 at the Wyoming annual gathering, a forest fire occurred at the edge of the gathering up on a ridge. We formed a human bucket line from the creek at the bottom of the meadow to the ridge. None of us could have individually carried enough water up that hill quickly enough to put out that fire. But standing shoulder to shoulder and passing buckets hand to hand, we connected water and fire and extinguished the flames.

Separate issues from people in a respectful manner. When someone is engaging in non-respectful behavior, respect the person enough to explain why the behavior is creating an issue that needs to be addressed.  And always focus on the behavior that is the issue.

Acknowledge the emotions behind the inappropriate behavior and ask the person if they could refrain from the behavior and share their feelings with us instead. We all do this with our children when we refrain from saying "you're bad" and instead say "you made a poor choice"  or "please use your words to tell your brother why you are upset instead of hitting him."  Why can't we use this same method with adults?  Especially those of us who are children in the bodies of adults.

As the early gatherers (or earlies as they are more commonly known) wrote a long time ago "we are all of us children" as we are just now learning how to live with each other.  Be patient. Some of us learn more quickly and some of us learn less quickly. We all started from different places so we all have different journeys ahead of us. Let's be fellow travelers on this uncharted sea.

Everyone has an opinion and their opinion is no better nor worse than my opinion or your opinion. When we create space for people to freely share their thoughts without fear or judgement, we are creating a space where we respect each other.

Listen. We show our respect to others by listening to what they have to say. We not only listen with our ears, but our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our hands.  When people feel heard, they feel respected. When they feel respected, they are more likely to respect others.

Respect is an important starting point for creating peace.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Rainbow Teams

Updated 7:45 PM 9/10/17 Cali Time
Hi all,

As promised, here is additional information on what and who is on site and feeding people.


Family of Friends Relief Effort (FFRE) Hurricane Harvey 2017 is looking for volunteers. First read the Volunteer Info Sheet. If this sounds like something you are interested in plugging into, fill out the F.F.R.E Hurricane Harvey Volunteer Application.

If you would like to donate dollars, click here and select "FFRE Kitchens."
They are located on the Houston/ Pasadena border! They are set up and feeding!!👍. Working along side the Cajun Army at there HQ. We are feeding them and local communities as well. the Cajun Army is delivering Organic Valley food we cooked as they work in local areas! As well as Perfect connection!!
Landing a spot has grass and secure. Crucial location.
Many Parts of Texas still have long way to go with recovery efforts.
Please visit www.unitedpeacerelief.org for information on F.F.R.E and our volunteer and donation links.
One Love!!

Altruist Relief

This is an off-shoot of Shining Light Kitchen. Folks are on-the-ground in Texas and feeding.  If you want to get plugged into their efforts and volunteer, email them. If you would like to donate dollars, click here.

Front Gate Kitchen

The kitchen known as "Front Gate Kitchen" (not to be confused with the front gate function) is on the ground and feeding people. They are at 10967 River Oaks Dr, Conroe, TX 77385.

Misc. Rainbow Kitchen

My apologies but I don't know what this kitchen is called. They have put out a call for volunteers to help prep, cook, and clean at our kitchen at 6105 Allendale Re. Houston.

Non-Rainbow Related Information

For general info on the situation, click here.

Misc. Info for people impacted by the flooding or those looking to see what is going on./

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Confessions of a Rainbow Newbie

A lot of people who have never been to a gathering before have trepidation about what it's like. This great video talks about a woman's first trip to a gathering and what a culture shock it was.  For those of you who are long time gatherers, this is really funny. For those who are thinking of coming home for the first time, it's a great perspective from a newbie.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Rainbow Relief Moving Into Position in Texas

Hey family,

Just an fyi, that a number of gathering kitchens, related relief groups, and individuals are heading to Texas to set up relief kitchens and do what we can to help out.

If you want to get plugged in and do on-the-ground work, please let me know and I'll plug you in. Keep in mind this isn't a rainbow gathering, but a physically and emotionally demanding volunteer effort.

If you can't go, but want to help with some green energy, you can donate to the "FFRE Kitchen" via the 501(c)3 United for Peace.

Please send loving energy and sun energy to Texas and the Southeast. 

Below is an update from today at 3:45 PM (West Coast time).

Shining Light's current wish list:
  • 32 foot extension ladder
  • 220,000 BTU burners from home brewing stores that they can use with the kegs to cook

Saturday, August 19, 2017

It's an Experiment Folks

The social media world is full of criticisms of the gathering, arguments over who shoulda, woulda, coulda. There are people who think the gathering is full of criminals because they hear a rumor about something that happened, there are people who don't understand why we don't always walk our talk. Did I mention internet rumors? 

I hear rumors about all sorts of things that never happened - and sometimes about things that maybe happened but have been blown out of proportion on-line. Have you ever heard of the Telephone Game? If you are not familiar with living in a non-hierarchical, direct-democracy community with no one in charge, the entire situation can be very scary.

You may be wondering what is this experiment and who is involved.

The way I see it, the gathering is an experiment in creating temporary community. The values we talk center on creating a peace focused egalitarian community that intends to create a safe and peaceful gathering and a safe and peaceful world. The values we talk include deep care and respect for mother earth and the land upon which we gather.  This means that everyone contributes according to their ability and their desire. We provide free food, free medical care, and if you came without a tent or sleeping bag, sometimes folks have extra to share.

Does everyone come with this intention?  Of course not.  This is not a perfect world in which we live, nor is everyone who attends the gathering perfect. Although even the roughest, meanest folks who come home, are probably searching for something better then the culture in which they normally live. Does that mean that when we come home we are instantly transformed into kind loving people?  Of course not.

So what's the truth?  I can't speak for the truth as there is no "one" truth. Different people come home with different baggage and needs. We try to address issues like poor behavior,  unequal access, differential abilities, and capacity to contribute from a place of love and compassion. Does that mean that every problem is met with love and compassion?  Of course not. Does that mean that every situation is met with actions that you personally feel are appropriate?  Of course not.

What it means is that the majority of individuals at the gathering are trying to help others from a perspective they feel is loving and caring.  It might not be your perspective of love and care, but it is someone's perspective.

Can we do better?  Of course we can.  The more we teach and learn from each other, the better we get at this experiment.  The more we remember to engage from a place of compassion, the more loving our actions become.  Sometimes we focus on harm reduction -- preventing an individual from hurting her/himself or others. Sometimes we focus on triage. Sometimes we spend hours or days trying to diffuse a situation and nothing seems to change. Sometimes the relationship between cause and effect is not clear. The person you spent days trying to help may not change their behavior today or tomorrow. Maybe the change happens in six days or six months.  I've seen plenty of situations with  lots of kind loving energy put into them fall apart without any obvious effect. Then days later, the behavior problem suddenly resolves itself and the problem behavior has been transformed into wood chopping.

This is a love based endeavor. Sometimes love is keeping a two year old from putting a dangerous object in her/his mouth. Sometimes love is being strict with acceptable behavior. Sometimes love is taking care of someone when they are down.  Sometimes love is food.

If you don't like to learn and grow as a human being, then this probably isn't the place for you. Every gathering I go to I learn more about how to be a loving and compassionate person while still creating peace and having boundaries. I am student of the gathering and the gathering is a tough teacher -- sometimes the lessons you learn are ones you have been trying to avoid. If you are looking for something that is already perfect, then this probably isn't the place for you.  However, just cause this isn't the place for you, doesn't mean it's a bad place.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


The annual gathering of the tribes, which takes place over the 4th of July, has a cyclical process. While various regions in the USA often host a Thanksgiving get together, this blog deals with the annual gathering. In Oregon this summer, vision council on the land reached consensus that the 2018 gathering will take place in the southern Appalachian Mountains

But then what?

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 the north east. 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 Fall Counsel / Thanks giving Council / T-Council or Circle, over the four day Thanksgiving holiday 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. (see we don't even agree on the name). 

T-Council generally takes place in the state or region where we will be gathering although sometimes it happens in other areas not to far from the consensed upon areas. 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. Some 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.

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 2018. Be the change you want to see in this world.