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Reply To: Rocking New Year’s Eve,” with Professor Mark C.E. Peterson”


I can definitely see what drew you to Rainbow Stephen!
It reminds me in a way of Woodstock (though I wasn’t born yet and in the late sixties my Mom was busy teaching astronomy at Fernbank.)

Rainbow sounds quite adventurous and wonderful!
I am familiar with other burning man festivals indirectly…some buddies in a touring Celtic band used to perform at various eclectic locales in addition to the usual Celtic/Renaissance/Highland fests and Restaurant/Bars. Think they lit the straw man once in another venue. I wasn’t there…just heard about it and they posted photos. Don’t remember which state. Maybe Ohio?

Does Rainbow include fire dancers?

I did not know about fire dancers until fairly recently. Saw some photos. Think they have batons lit with fire? Or even some implement they swirl and arc fire around like a ribbon. I might guess the Permit People would get their knickers in knot!!

And it’s funny when you mention meeting Aboriginal people or shamans…I can’t help but think of Rainbow! Rainbow Serpent! There seems to be a lot of Rainbow archetype there!
I have a friend who used to live in Australia and she would send me the neatest things…a carved wooden snake, an inlayed pearl bracelet…and books filled with Aboriginal legends and stories. A lot were children’s books. But I loved them.
The Aboriginal people inspire me so much. Even in spite of all the displacement which happened and the lost generations…there were still tribes at the edges? In the same areas… and the anthropologists who found old bones can trace the presence of these same tribes for 50,000 years! That absolutely blows my mind! And I can only  imagine what all their  ancestors must have faced and experienced! Spirit will find a way!
So I’m a little carried away…but maybe it’s thinking about Rainbow. Love the idea of the peace prayers and prayers for the earth.

And yeah, as much as I love my wood stove fires don’t blame them for only having community fires!

As far as gatherings for me…beyond the Celtic ones…The NY/NJ Metro Fest for Beatles Fans had a feeling of gathering of different individuals all coming together to celebrate Beatles music…even including Re-inactors and Dale Earnhardt fans…which surprised me…

Of course Beatlefest was nothing on the scale of the Rainbow fest nor was it held outside… but people came from different countries…cultures

I know I’ve seen several East Indian people there. And one year a young Beatle band from Czechoslovakia won the Battle of the Bands. Mom bought a couple of paintings from an artist vendor from the Nederlands…and there was a fellow with Native American heritage there one year as well.
Now they have a make shift “ashram” rooms where not only talks on TM are given but one can also join Yoga classes  with Beatles music in the Background. Or join in other types of meditation. It’s neat. Though I’ve also enjoyed Beatlefest on Zoom. And participated by decorating my living room and dancing around to the music of Liverpool,  the house band.
Now that I think about it Stephen, when you mentioned planting the flowers to help with keeping the soil healthy…I think maybe I saw a special about Rainbow on CBS Sunday morning. The way you describe it sounds soo familiar!
I think they interviewed a man, who was talking about the flowers…and there were tie-die clothes or flags hanging on a forest path…and they talked about probably the LEOs as well  I bet…and the varying opinions about gathering. I hadn’t thought of that in a long time!
Do know the man interviewed talked about it being a peaceful gathering.
That is beautiful to think of so many different people coming together peacefully, while celebrating differences as well as things in common!
It sounds like you had a chance to meet individuals one on one as well as participate in group events. A lovely balance! What memories for you!
Oh yeah the other gatherings I’ve attended are VW ones…they can also be colorful with plenty of tie-dye:-)

The way you describe the meeting or Rainbow Moot, (sorry couldn’t resist since you mentioned Tolkien) also makes me think of the Quaker meetings. Unless I’m mistaken thought there was no direct head in those meetings either?  Granted the Quakers probably weren’t wearing tie-dye…lighting straw men, welcoming those who nod to Goddesses…or praying and chanting in those numbers.

I can imagine that is eerie! Just as you describe it!  All those voices raised together in chant! Hard not to imagine a tingle of electricity in the air!

I have a different story about Chanting involves Monks… and it was kind of an eerie happening too but not sure the right JCF category for it. Time? Spirit? History? It happened at the Cloisters in NY and I’ve never forgotten it. It just one of those things perhaps to leave to the mystery!

Really enjoy the idea of wandering through the festival. That’s one of my fave way of experiencing gatherings.

Oh and how can I forget the Cherokee Kituwah! Except it is more a gathering of Natives selling their crafts along with some story telling.
The Zuni’s who came to Asheville…it was cute…they must have driven, but it was night by the time they arrived in NC. They told me, they thought the trees were mountains! Well it’s definitely a change of scenery from Mesas and Quaking Aspens… and Scant Cottonwoods and escarpments!

Your experience with Rainbow sounds like “quite the adventure!”

And the Story telling! Brilliant! Fits right in with Myth/Adventure/Experience!
I am sure many stories unfolded while you were there!

Thank you so much for sharing this Stephen!