Usually when someone gets on my email list, this is the first information I send them. So to you out here in blogsphere, here's that same information.
From the invite to the very first Rainbow Gathering in 1972:
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
- All politicians -- out of charity
to join with us in gathering together for the purpose of expressing our sincere desire that there shall be peace on earth, harmony among all people. This gathering to take place beginning July 1, 1972, near Aspen, Colorado - or between Aspen the Hopi Navajo lands - on 3000 acres of land that we hope to purchase or acquire for this gathering -- to hold open worship, prayer, chanting or whatever is the want or desire of the people, for three days, but upon the fourth day of July at noon to ask that there be a meditative, contemplative silence wherein we, the invited people of the world may consider & give honor & respect to anyone or anything that has aided in the positive evolution of humankind & nature upon this, our most beloved & beautiful world -- asking blessing upon we people of this world & hope that we people can effectively proceed to evolve, expand, & live in harmony & peace.
The 2016 Vision Counsel of Rainbow Family of Living Light on the land in Vermont has consensed to invite all peoples, out of love and with respect, to gather peacefully for silent meditation on the morning of July 4th, 2017 until noon; and a peaceful assembly of free speech and expression from July 1st through the end of Vision Counsel; in the public lands of the Oregon.
The next step in the process of landing on a site is always Thanksgiving council (T-council) which takes place over the four day Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This is a time of people to council and share their hopes and dreams for the 2016 gathering. If you have potential sites you think are worthy of scouting in the spring, bring topo maps and forest service maps. Directions to T-council usually come out in the first half of November. Check back then. If you're not familiar with T-council, read more here.
T-council usually picks dates for one or two scout councils. Scout councils/rendezvous is a time for people out scouting to connect up, share information, talk about scouting efforts. As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary, just a desire to walk, learn, teach and share. If you come, please be self sufficient - have green energy for gas, food, etc. You don't need your own vehicle if you can be a positive traveling companion, but $$$ are always in short supply for scouting, so please bring enough for yourself and some to share with the person whose vehicle breaks down.
Spring council is when all potential sites for the gathering are brought to any people who want to be involved in selecting a site. The council usually takes one to seven days and normally ends with either a consensus by silence among people at the council or an exodus of the majority of people heading to the preferred site. Spring council goes until a decision is reached by consensus or by foot. The exact location for this council generally isn't determined until one to two weeks before spring council starts. Until the spring council process reaches a site, there is no home. For more information on spring council, click here.
For those of you who think the site is picked in advance and want to get the 411 now so you can book plane tickets. I'm sorry, but there is no site picked at this time.
Keep in mind that weather conditions (which are unpredictable) play a part in all of this. So let's say someone finds a great site during the summer of 2016 (and I have no knowledge that anyone did or will), for all we know come the first week of June, 2017 that site is still under snow, then what? Keep in mind that 4 feet of snow at a gathering is rough (anyone remember Washington 2011?).
Drought and high fire danger can have the same effect. A great site that was nice and wet in August 2016 can be dry as a tinder box in June 2017. If the Forest Service has a no open fire ban on that site that looked so great last year, guess it's not looking that great this year. Available water can change year to year as well depending on snow melt. Conditions change all the time. The family needs to find the best possible site for the health and safety of gathering participants and the land on which we gather.
Once Spring Council reaches a decision, people move onto the site and start Seed Camp. Seed Camp is about creating trails, building kitchens, digging shitters, taping springs and dealing with the United States Forest Service. Historically, law enforcement harassment is highest during Seed Camp so if you are planning on being there, take the necessary precautions to keep your self out of the system if you so choose or need to. Bring your own food and drinking water. Bring first aid kits.
The main day of the gathering is July 4 when we observe silence from dawn until high noon and put our energy into manifesting world peace, the positive evolution of the planet and other good things. Many people observe this with a prayer or mediation for world peace. Others do Yoga for world peace, blow bubbles for world peace, etc. Basically, if it's a silent, gentle energy then it fits in very well. As to when the gathering starts, that's dynamic. It's usually one day during the last week of June when some friends and I look at each other and say "today it's a gathering." (of course you may pick a different date than I do when it feels like a gathering and not like seed camp).
The earlier you come the more self sufficient you need to be and relationships with the Forest Service can be rougher. On the other hand, showing up for seed camp allows you to influence the way the gathering goes. If you show up later, say after June 27, then most (but not all) of the drama has subsided. Traditionally the dates are listed as July 1 to 7, but most years people start leaving in droves on July 5th.
Please copy and distribute this information widely