French Rainbow Gathering

IMG_1355“When Mother Earth is sick and the animals vanish, a tribe of all cultures will arrive, that believe in actions and not in words, Will help to restore the ancient beauty of the earth. They will be known as the Rainbow Warriors”. Hopi prophecy (native Americans)

 Rainbow Gatherings are temporary intentional communities, typically held in outdoor settings, and espousing and practicing ideals of peace, love, harmony, freedom and community, as a consciously expressed alternative to mainstream popular culture, consumerism, capitalism and mass media. Rainbow gatherings are an expression of a Utopian impulse, combined with bohemianism, freethought and hippie culture, with roots clearly traceable to the 1960s counterculture. The original Rainbow Gathering was in 1972, and has been held annually in the United States from July 1 through 7 every year on National Forest land. Other regional and national gatherings are held throughout the year, in the United States and throughout the rest of the world.

After taking part to a Rainbow Gathering in India last year, I participated to a French one in the Cevennes Mountains this summer. As I was going down a little mountain path, I could hear music and laughs coming up from the tents and tipis I could only guess behind the trees. As I arrive, everybody hugs me and whish me “welcome home”. It is a big family; we are all brothers and sisters, even if we just arrived…

We share everything, joy, knowledge, food, tea and dreams for a better world of course… Everybody can organize free workshop to share some knowledge on plants, yoga, massage, circus art or women issues for example. Meals are taken all together after making a big circle around the sacred fire and chanting together. The food is vegetarian and can even be raw if required… At the end of each meal, the “magic hat” passes among the family to gather some money for the food. There is always enough to prepare the next meal.

Everybody can get involved in cooking the meals, cleaning the place, organizing workshop but also taking some decisions with the family. In a talking circle, everybody can express himself when he got the talking stick. A big team of volunteers makes all this possible by preparing the place before the gathering (digging compost toilets, assuring clear water supply, settling a kitchen and some tents…) and cleaning it afterwards.

There is not much rules to respect. Everybody can arrive when he wants without notice and leaves when he feels like it. Some people don’t wear clothes. Only drogues, alcool and dogs are not welcomed. Evenings are usualy spent around the fire enjoying nice music, songs and talks…

 

 

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