Where in the Appalachian Bioregion are we going?

Where in the Appalachian Bioregion are we going? The consensus was for the White Mountain National Forest (in the Northeast), or the Appalachian states of Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia. Spring Council selected a site in North Eastern Tennessee.

If you're not familiar with the gauntlet on the road into the gathering, and want to avoid a mandatory court appearance ticket click here.

For the Howdy Folks and directions to the gathering, click here. For the United States Forest Service Incident Command website with groovy maps and updates, click here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

All Ways Free Then and Now

2005 AWF Cover
All Ways Free (AWF) is a Rainbow newspaper that was started a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away to help us share ideas, knowledge, wisdom and visions for the future. Back then (early 80s), most people didn't use the Internet (ARPANET), the World Wide Web had not yet been invented, and most Rainbow information was shared orally, via snail mail or the various other Rainbow publication such as The Mini Manual of Gathering Consciousness and The Rainbow Guide. Smart phones hadn't been invented and I don't think Mark Zuckerberg was even born yet.

In recent years, AWF has shrunk to a shell of its former self.  With all the information shared on the Internet, you may be curious as to why All Ways Free is important to this family.  Some of our better and longer lasting raps started when someone wrote an article for All Ways Free. For example, "The Lost Tablet" (AWF 1999); "Wherever Two Are Gathered" (AWF 1988); and drawings by our family (AWF Unknown years).  AWF has in my recent memory been published the last few days of June and included a basic map of the current year's gathering site. If my experience helping out at INFO these last few years is any indication, people want AWF. All day long people come to the counter at INFO and ask for a copy of AWF  (and The Rainbow Guide as well).

AWF Artwork
A friend of mine, Finch, is trying to revive the AWF many of us knew and loved; but like all things gathering related, it doesn't contain Rainbow Magic without a circle of folks.  He's been reaching out to many long time gatherers to learn how to proceed and needs our support. And by "OUR" I means a couple of hundred of gatherers plugging in with an article, a couple of bucks or some tech support.

The collections of AWF over the years have chronicled our hopes and dreams, successes and failures and created a legacy for future generations.  Now is the perfect time for our younger family (and older ones as well) to start sharing their artwork,  recipes, wisdom and hipstories and add to this growing body of work.

To get involved in this effort, email Finch, write to him at
All Ways Free
P.O. Box 438
Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Or check out his call for assistance here.

In addition to printing copies on paper, I know he wants to publish online. I think he's also interested in collecting old copies of AWF so he can scan them and post them.  Great ideas, but he needs some help doing the work and also some financial assistance as well.  If you've been wanting to do something really amazing for this family, but don't have the time or health to go scouting, the stomach to deal with the US Government, or the time off work to stay for cleanup, this is a great way to plug in a few hours a week.  To see the happiness your hard work creates, come by INFO the first few days of July and see how excited people are when they get their very own, take back to camp and share with friends, save and keep for years copy of the 2012 All Ways Free.

For an electronic copy of the absolutely amazing 2005 AWF, click here. Read it, get motivated and plug in to create an even more amazing AWF for 2012.  I know there are many talented gatherers out there.  Circle Up! The more you plug in, the more fun you have.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Council Notes

This is the only set of notes I've received so far for the 2012 Annual Rainbow Gathering and represents one person's thoughts.  I'm sure others who attended may have different thoughts.   Thanks to the brother who shared this with me so I could share with everyone.

These are my notes from Thanksgiving council in Warm Springs, VA. Note we have a FB page at Rainbow Gathering 2012.

It is not complete as I did not take physical notes, only a summery of what I think are some important points.  If I missed anything or have any details wrong please let me know.

I want to say how refreshing it was to have a great group of dedicated Rainbows come together to sow the seeds of the 2012 gathering. Thanksgiving council was represented by many from kitchens, scouts, older Rainbows, and younger Rainbows.  My brothers and sisters did amazing work listening and learning from each other, and it was truly the first time I have seen the elders and the youngers work so hard to come together, listen, and understand each other.  Much progress was made building bridges that needed to have been built long ago.  It was also amazing to see so many dedicated and knowledgeable younger scouts come and share what they had learned.

Much of the first day of counseling was spent getting clarification and heart songs about what we want to see for the 2012 gathering.  People who were not at vision council wanted to get a better understanding of what the vision was, how it came to be, and what were people's thoughts on the, seemingly out of place, inclusion of New Hampshire with the south eastern states. It was felt, by those who were at vision council, that New Hampshire is only a back up plan if no other acceptable sites are found in the South East consented states. Indeed the scouts present had little interest in scouting New Hampshire and were mainly interested in North Carolina, Tennessee and parts of Virginia.   Talk was made about if there were suitable sites and where, and about passing scouting on to the many hard working scouts who had attended rather than defaulting to the “old scouts”.

Folks from Katuah have said that Katuah discussed in their Thanksgiving council the week before that they want to rise up to host and help make this a great gathering.   To this end they are giving many of their resources to the family this year (including the great kitchen we used to cook our Thanksgiving feast). This includes use of the light-line, P.O. box, etc. They also wish to be on the land in time for their Summer Solstice gathering (which takes place around June 21st) and to merge that with the National Gathering this year.

We decided there would be a conference call on March 13th, to be announced by the scouts, at which time a Scout rendezvous location and time would be decided upon. This time would most likely be April 1st and be in the southern end of the consented states. The idea is for the scouts to start south and move north.  Since April first conflicts with a Cumberland event that date may change.  Other scout conference calls will be announced before and after. Most will take place on Tuesday evenings, as that is when they are currently happening.

Spring Council will begin June 2nd. The scouts were concerned that they will be under pressure to have a site ready at this time and that undermines the ability for the scouts to share sites and go look at new locations or make decisions with everyone seeing the potential sites. They do not want time pressures to hijack the gathering this year and did not feel good about how things went down last year.  For this reason the scouts requested that June 2nd is the start of council and at that time they decide a date to meet back for a decision after people have time to visit the sites being debated.   The council will resume no later than the 9th with the intention of it being between the 5th and 7th.

A request was made to keep most offices and the Bank in the Asheville, North Carolina area since Asheville has a large Rainbow population.  Unfortunately only three people from Asheville were present at Thanksgiving council. This made them reluctantly nominated to these posts. For this reason all who were nominated were under the agreement that they could step down if suitable replacements were found.  The current members of the  bank and office are actively seeking more, preferably local, people to join and contribute to these needs.

The office was started with Hawker, Kelly, Caterpillar, Flower, Horse, and Coco nominated to initiate the office.  The Katuah post office box will be used for Rainbow correspondence this year. It is: Katuah Tribe, PO Box 6278, Asheville, NC 28816.  Please address them Rainbow 2012 to separate it from other Katuah mail.
In addition the HO! Light line in Atlanta (770) 662-6112 will be used for all announcements such as conference calls, rendezvous, councils, and locations. It has yet to be determined if we will be able to accept messages at this number due to the potential volume of calls.

For now posts to the Rainbow Gathering 2012 Facebook page can be made by joining that group or emailing RainbowGathering2012@groups.facebook.com.  Voice mails can be made to (904)274-2012. Questions can be sent to rainbowgathering2012@gmail.com.  These last contact sources may change if and when we come up with better ways to communicate.

The office would like to establish as many means of communication possible to make Rainbow open and accessible to all. To this regard they will use Facebook, AGR, Welcomehome.org, appalachiangathering2012.blogspot.com, and other sources. They will also strive to set up a Rainbow2012 e-Mail address and list server, most likely using RiseUp.org when time allows.

A bank was established from now until spring council with the intent that it is to be turned over to a new bank established at spring council. The current bank includes Hawker, Kelly, Caterpillar, and Flower, with Jules in a consulting role as we wanted two scouts on the bank.  The bank will receive any donations from the office P.O box and also intends to establish a means of electronic donation either using PayPal,  WePay or another service to make donations easier.  The bank currently has negative funds, as it did not raise enough to cover the cost of Thanksgiving site.  Note: Marken - are there seed funds left over for scouts or other seed money from last year?

Those are all the big points I can remember. See you in the South East in July!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why Gather?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a friend of mine, Garrick Beck, (one of the earlies) wrote an amazing piece on why we gather.  If you haven't read it, click here.

Lately, I've been wondering why I don't take a Caribbean Cruise in the summer instead of going to the gathering. I'm tired. I work too hard and a Caribbean Cruise (not that I've ever been on one) sounds relaxing and rejuvenating. Even when I don't really want to, I'm called home. I need to be with my family on the 4th of July holding space. Why you might ask?

Often times people want the gathering to be "political," to take sides, stand for issues.  But that's not what the gathering is to me. It's a big experiment. It's holding space for peaceful assembly. It's learning and sharing with each other ideas and wisdoms that don't have a forum elsewhere. It's about learning who I am and how best to serve this planet which has given me life. It's about understanding the pain and suffering people experience and how we can heal each other and this beautiful planet. We aren't saviors or the pinnacle of human civilization.  As the late Steve Jobs wrote, we are the misfits and the troublemakers,

But this is the year 2012 and the Occupy Movement is going strong. Almost daily I read something that links the Occupy Movement to the learning and growing that has been at the heart of the rainbow gathering since it's inception. The other day I had a conversation with a friend on if the gatherings created Occupy. My answer was not really, but perhaps in a metaphysical way of holding that energy in the universe, refusing to let it die out, we kept it alive and will continue to keep it alive.  My friend pointed out that we were holding the space of peaceful assembly without permits when no one else was and she thought that was critical to what's going on now.  Perhaps she's correct.

I'll leave sorting all this out to the historians.  I'd rather be making history than analyzing it.