> As an appropriate end of the trail would be Florida[being the southernmost point?] in line from Mississippi and Shawnee[previous points on the trail?]. On the way back north[to where] would Alabama? be first. Could we hear about the whole trail approximately from beginning to end North to South. Howdy folks, just got in from the Thanksgiving Council in Arizona. Dutchman emailed me that this was up on the board, so I thought I'd check it out real quick. I'm not sure that this is the spot to answer that question on, but I'll give it a quick try before answering my private email. If we have errored in posting to this section, my apologies to the operator of this board......I'm so used to agr, I'm not sure if this is the right spot for a conversation. For others reading this please bear with me as I ramble on about "what gatherings" I am talking about here.....we need that basic understanding first before going on.
There are many kinds of "gatherings" and until the past couple of years the word was pretty synon. with "Rainbow", a shortened name for the "Rainbow Family of Living Light". Over the past few years many other folks have also started to gather and it's important to note that I am talking about 'Rainbow Gatherings', when I use the word 'gatherings'. In order to be a Rainbow Gathering it is a 'free-noncommercial' and 'spiritual' event, that is open to the public and all are welcome. It functions via a council circle that is also open and free to all, where decisions regarding the whole are made and all voices have an equal say. The focus of a Rainbow Gathering has always been one of Peace and Healing. Therefore, respect for the land is a real consideration. "Harm nothing" etc.....is the ideal we strive for and helping each other and the mother is an important part of living that spiritual vision. There are *NO LEADERS* in Rainbow and we are exercising our first amendment right to freely assemble, prayer and speech......therefore *WE DO NOT Sign Permits*. Should you ever go to a Rainbow Gathering it is important to realize this because 'someone' in the forest service may ask you to sign a permit.....WE Don't because we DO NOT have anyone leader that can speak for the whole of us......we are each our own leader!!! Now those are the hallmarks of the gatherings I refer to in this post.......there are certainly many other kinds of gatherings some are charge a fee, some have a musical theme, some are specifically for vending(commercial) theme and are a different scene than what I am talking about.
The term or phrase "Rainbow Trail" or the "Trail" came into use many years ago. The first Gathering of the Tribes, of the Rainbow Family of Living Light was in 1972 to Pray for World Peace and Healing.....no one at that time planned more it just happened and eventually there was a Gathering each year......but that wasn't enough. Folks wanted to 'gather' more than that and eventually "Regional Rainbow Gatherings" began to take place in different parts of the country. Many folks that wanted to continue being with "family" set about traveling from one gathering to another. As these Gatherings increased, travelars would adapt their plans to coincide with those gatherings.....over time a trail of sorts developed as folks went from one gathering to another and got named the "Rainbow TRail". It did not refer to any "one" set route or part of the country but rather whatever path came about spontaneously going from one gathering to another was to go on the Rainbow TRail.....these folks often drew a focuson being active stewarts of the lands they visited becoming the "seed-camp" and/or "clean-up crew" from one gathering to another.....that is they would go in early to scout or get the site ready for incoming family...by sowing the seeds of love, they would.....establish trails, help build kitchens, clean up any mess present in the beginning, dig shitters, park cars, identify and mark sensitive areas, so family wouldn't harm anything with a negative impact. Clean-up efforts would be to fill in shitters, take out trash, disappear fire rings or other campers messes, repair any errosion or impacted areas and in general "disappear all traces of our footsteps(etc)".
OK, I had to get that out of the way because there has been a dramatic increase in folks on the road and of folks using the term "Gathering". Rainbow certainly doesn't have a claim to that name, but did endup bringing the term to use on a regular basis and after a couple of decades of gatherings other folks began to use the word to describe 'any' event where folks come together, even when all they are doing is hanging out in the wooods...no problem with that at all, it's just that for many folks the sudden increase in the use of the phrase has caused abit of confusion to folks.....thinking it was a spiritual event and for those thinking it was just a party or a just a matter of folks hanging out in the woods(without understanding impact).
The Rainbow TRail is any path between rainbow gatherings. The one I am most familiar with happens east of the mississippi because that's where I live....others that happen west of the mississippi, I'm not as familiar with. The trail that developed here could be one connecting any of the numerous gatherings that happen during the year between the annual(nat'l) gatherings. Certainly Florida came into play because of the climate and folks on the road like to hang out in warmer climates during the winter......eventually one started there and folks would travel from one regional to another. The Regionals were gatherings where a local family(region) counciled together in a circle, reached a consensus(agreement) to invite "all peaceful beings to gather for peace and healing"......the trail then becomes the path between these regionals. However, in recent years the amount of folks living on the road, the death of Jerry, etc has resulted in many folks hanging out in the woods in between places and for those that didn't know the difference they began to call any place they were hanging or camping a "gathering".
Again, nothing wrong with that! It just has caused some confusion, for the folks who had for years associated the word "gathering" with a Rainbow event....one that begins with a council,(no leaders), focuses on the spiritual nature of why we gather, invites all peaceful beings to join them, makes a commitment to the land and each other to harm nothing and disappear all traces, gets ready for all they have invited that includes the old, young and infirmed(weak)........as oppposed to a gathering of folks camping out in the woods with no particular focus other than to hang out, not worry about any negative impact or spiritual focus. Sometimes a regional gathering would be called by "Road Family(region 16)" because there wasn't a local family calling a gathering in the area but again our rainbow road dogs are experienced and understand the nature of the gathering and most all were very wise about caring for the land and not harming it, looking out for and getting ready for the folks they invited to join them. They had a focus to care for each other and the mother(land).
A common trail began in Florida with a focused Winter Regional Gathering the last 2weeks of Feb. after cleanup they would hit the trail. Part of the trail would go north to KY for the Cumberland Gathering from Florida and some would head to the Texas Gathering or any other spring gathering on the way to wherever the Annual Gathering would be that year....in 91 it was to Vermont, 92 onto Colorado, 93 back to Alabama, 94 onto Wyoming etc.......so you see in some cases there were many miles to travel before getting to the next one. Then after the annual gathering some folks crossed the ocean for the European Gathering after ours or they would head for the Canadian Gathering......some went to the smaller regionals that had sprung up around the country in the south, east and north. Most of the time the "Trail" was developed as a path leading from one annual(nat'l) to another......on this side of the Mississippi the Shawnee developed in October before folks headed for warmer climates to winter in.....Arizona, so Cal, Texas, Florida. A wide variety of gatherings around the country have happened over the years some focalized and some that just happened as a place for folks to hang out. Most regional gatherings that were focused were very high and wonderful events. Unfortunately the 'gatherings' that just happened because of a rumor or folks just hanging out, have resulted in a very negative impact on the environment and in some cases local residents, as theft and other less desirable forms of survival were used to get by. Mt Shasta, the Oregon Fair and a few other areas come to mind when I think of these. They eventually ended up hurting the land, the local residents and in some cases each other. There are *many* folks calling themselves Rainbow Family that would like to see one global gathering connecting the dots around the country and planet. That isn't such a bad idea at all, unless those "gatherings" that spring up, don't have a clue about what they are doing or how to do it without harming anything. So we are now seeing a number of camps in the woods folks called gatherings, that contain messes, have harmed the land and the folks that live near it. Unfortuanately, when this happens Rainbow gets the credit because that's who the rest of the world thinks of also when they hear the words 'gathering'. The increase in folks doing this around the country came about in greater numbers and faster than there have been experienced gatherers to help them learn how to live in harmony with each other and the mother. Now that we have cyberspace we have an unusual opportunity to pass on some knowledge and conciousness. We can pass the word along the cybercampfire that we gather to pray (wish, hope, meditate, contemplate) a world at peace and healing. We can pass on that *LOVE* and light that attracts so many. We have the opportunity to share that we are each our own leader responsible for our actions, helping each other along the way, heal any hurt within us or on the land, practice nonviolence and experience cooperative living. This is the "True" majik of Rainbow the love you feel, share and talk about that focuses on looking out for each other and the mother.....lending a helping hand wherever you go....instead of riping off a storekeeper, clean his parking lot as a random act of kindness, repair any damage to the forest that you might see even something as simple as picking up cigarette butts, harm nothing, protect our water sources, etc.
You see the "Trail" isn't any one particular path but a way of life as you go from one "gathering" to another....to spread that love and light to all you come in contact with, whether you are traveling from Florida to Ky or to Texas. Last year the trail took a different path as it made it's way to the Annual Gathering in the NW (oregon).......'98 is a little predictable....so I'll give it a shot at what path travelars might have available to them if they want to connect with the Rainbow....I'm sure Florida will happen the last 2weeks of Feb. from there folks will either stay on this side of the country or head out west right away because that's where most of the activity will be. The Katuah family has gathered each Solstice for 14 yrs somewhere in TN or NC around June 21. The Cumberland Family has not had a gathering since May of 95, so I'm not sure if they will or not this year. OM Valley usually gathers(ohio-ky) late summer or early fall. The NERF(northeast) Family might come up with something before then but it is doubtful because folks will be concentrating on getting out west (Arizona) for the Annual. That brings us to the west where most of the action will be taking place as the family gets ready for the Annual.....already an "All California Gathering" will be happening in May, there is often a spring Texas regional (march-april) and I've heard of other western families trying to make plans for traveling family to gather with them before the annual.
Whatever trail a person might pick up on, it is important to encourage them now to go in peace, live in harmony and love one another wherever they are. Walk gently on the land and leave no traces of your having been there. Protect our water sources, camp away from streams or springs, cover your sh*t and keep it away from water sources. Help each other along the way, spread random acts of kindness and realize that our appearance can often be scary to local residence because we do look different. Approach them with love and kindness, be respectful of their space and personal property. I often suggest to folks hitting the road for the first time to go looking for Rainbow.......most are experienced at living on the road or in the woods and can help you learn as you strike out on your own adventure. If you here of a "council" being called by all means go with the idea of learning. Councils are called so that plans and decisions can be made.....a little different focus than when a gathering is called. There will be a Spring Council, June 5th, somewhere in Arizona. where we will be selecting the site that the gathering will be on. From there folks can go directly on the land and help in the seed camp effort for the annual. They should be fairly self sufficient as support services will be focused on getting ready for folks coming to the gathering at the end of June. To me Seed Camp and Clean up are the neatest part of the Gathering as you get ready for family and later as you restore the land after family has been there. REmember wherever you go that if you Pack it in--Pack it out.
This is humbly my opinion alone and although others may agree with me, none of us can speak for the family as a whole. Dutchman was correct that one of the best ways to figure out where a trail might be, is by watching the calendar of events at http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow.html or by following the newsgroup on alt.gathering.rainbow, where most rainbow events are announced by the focalizers......it's where we've been hanging out the past few years before other potential boards and chat sites developed. They also will have info but most of it appears on agr first......there is a real effort on agr to determine whether a gathering is a "rumor" or really a focused event.......the problems with rumored gatherings are many.....the main one being inexperienced folks showing up in the woods and not knowing "how to gather" end up harming the land or each other.....but that's another story;) In the "kind" time, I welcome other comments.
The "Trail" is *Any* path between one gathering and another.....so the best way to figure out where it is, would be by following the calendar of events at welcomehome.org or staying in touch with a local focalizer who might have directions to one that didn't show up on the calendar of events(coe) because of a late site selection or decision to gather. I'm not sure where or when I'll personally pick up the trail but it will all be centered around being in Arizona June 5th for Spring Council, so I won't be able to make any regional from the end of May to the middle of August. It takes a bit of loving energy to get "Bliss" in and out of a gathering and anyone wanting to plug into a kitchen feel free to look for us at spring council...we welcome all lovin energy and actually our younger brothers and sisters are the ones that make Bliss the majikal space it's become over the years. It's been their smilin faces and young spirited energy that has literally rock and rolled it.........making it a way kind space to be in and serve family. Looking forward to seeing you all on the Trail and at Home. Since Gary 3Crows has put his focus on helping Val with the water line at the annual and I'm pulled more and more into medical emergencies and shanti-sena, Bliss is relying more and more on our young, kind brothers and sisters to get things up and running.....no experience....not to worry loads of fun while learning:) Pariticipation is the key and all peaceful loving beingss are welcome to plug in and learn at Bliss if the spirit moves them. Bliss' first priority and focus has been hydration(filtered drinking water, coffee and teas) and cooking for the neighborhood that grows around it. I also carry an extensive amount of first aide/medical supplies---any nurses or health workers interested in helping to focalize a Bliss "Boo-Boo" station are welcome to plug in. The above suggestions and invitation are for one kitchen alone "Bliss" but opportunity abounds in many areas of the gathering, welcomehome, kid village, other camps and kitchens, so there's room for all those interested in making it happen!
Wherever the Trail leads you may it be a happy and peaceful journey!!! I'm looking forward to meeting all our new family coming home for the first time, old coming back after a long absense and regular gatherers...........why........ because I LUVVVVVVVVVVVVVV YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU:)