The largest non-organization of non-members in the world. the are no leaders, and no central organization. The Rainbow Family means different things to different people,  its into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles and that Peace and Love are a great thing.

Rainbow gatherings - where we are


40 years of one of the most active and largest non-organisation's in the world. A modern working example of traditional nomadic life an sustainable example the world can be different.

Its important NOT to get caught up in talk about the big picture of what a Rainbow Gathering is, as its a Rainbow of many colouers, a gathering of the tribes, each brings its own myths, traditions and sadly sometimes "rules". The man (and it uselessly is a man) dressed in “sacred robes” proclaiming this or that is rainbow, should be acknowledged by a sigh, it's human to smile and walk away to get a cup of tea, taking the person next to you as well. That’s the rainbow way they have facilitated a rainbow connection ;)

Rainbow is a traditional society.

This is an important statement, because a rainbow gathering only happens if we come together motivated by the myths of Rainbow and enact the traditions of Rainbow. Its a misguide not to do this otherwise its just another festival, not a Rainbow Gathering.

It is “Babylon” energy to ask “how can we do this better”, instead you should ask “how dose the Rainbow do this”. The is a Rainbow humility here, a touching the earth. The gatherings have good working traditions that cover almost every thing that happens at a Gathering. And they are traditions built and tested though time and experience – they are what makes a Rainbow Gathering.

New “ideas/newways” destroy traditional society’s all around the world. In traditional society good change is slow and organic. This new/improved rainbow “Babylon” energy is surging through the European gatherings the last few years. Its is probably a USA issue as well.

An example of this

At the European gathering in Greece (2013) The gathering was “organised” by a group in darkness, it become the empty home of invisible individuals that make things happen. Were the Rainbow way is in the light of visible circles, transparency and foculisers not organisers.

The gathering happened but for some it had a emptiness, an example of the outcome of this was the poisoning of the water supply for the local village by the kitchen builders – many people could see what was happening but darkness surrounding manifesting the kitchen meant nobody could stop this from happening.

The solution to solve this is not by “improvements” but by remembering/honourer the Rainbow spirit manifested in its myths (care for nature and peoples) and its tradition, don’t build gray water pits/compasing near water supply’s.

How to solve this “new/improved/organising - Babylon” energy is to call a circle for kitchen, magic hat, water etc. the “invisible/shadow” individuals will likely not come into this light. This circle will generate ideas, connections and trust. The shadow/invisible individuals will likely come directly to you (the one who called the circle) as an individual (in the shadow's) – give them feedback and invite them to the next circle. When they come then their role can THEN be passed into the light. The power of circles is lost if not used so a hart song circle on water, wood kitchen etc. Might help to nurture this circle power before trying to fix the shadow workers. And as the gathering is just a big circle the spread of light will brining a grater shine to the whole rainbow.

The myth of care and the tradition of circles and openness sole most problems, have a shiny Rainbow and see you in the kitchen.

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Hamish explaining the templates (video)

Good explanation of the language of film and the #visionontv video templates. I outline the 4 video news templates in a interview with spiritofsquatters at the Rainbow Gathering Slovakia 2012

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A bit of spell casting from the greek rainbow gathering - how to make this work in visionOntv

“Stupid individualism”

We are made this way

Many try to heal on different paths

Most Stumble from the individualism of there path

“all you need is love” sing the rainbow

“all you need is social/economic change” shout the activists

Both drift into baroness with out the balance of the other

To birth a world



Rituals build and sustain community’s

Rituals bind together the individualism’s

Roots grow from these bindings

Roots hold the earth agenst the weathering of time

And from these rituals a forest grows

And shelters us from the elements (time)



Beauty grows

Beauty grows from seeing each the same in the performance of the rite

The harmony of the Ohm

The chaining together to stop the nuclear train

Balancing beauty, unerty, grow the bindings

That make life beautiful



Truth grows

Truth grows from the light and dark of the touched world

Truth is beauty balanced with social rites

Truth is from the forest, with out the forest the is no truth



Life grows...

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Rainbow Gatherings - soft and hard organising the shoping mission.

The Rainbow shopping mission (DRAFT)

The gatherings are fascinating places to see very different views of human organising, social institutions and working/broken alternatives to traditional society.

I found that when on a shopping mission you should go with your own crew, to go with an existing crew is a recapy for frustration. The same when in the kitchen, when focalising, a open call for volunteers will make the work twice as hard, better to go the soft organic root of pulling in passing people you have a relationship with as each will come with a task in your mind, a self sense of direction, then few will driftway. This will "grow" a crew who are motivated and focused.

Hard organising is both bureaucratic and open. soft organising is closed and nurturing. This is why this first is seen as a natural fit for liberal society and the second held in suspicion. But the second is the one for humin liberation, the hard brings the ones who already have power to the surface and submerged the untouch talent. "soft organising" makes space for the powerful to step back and surfaces the little sprouting talents and thus taps into the potential of the majority. From "soft structures" many new flexible hard structures can grow. From hard organising generally a few brittle structures will temporarily hold a place before dissolving back into the dominant mediocrity.

In intentional communities hard organising is a model with failure bulit in, this can be fixed to an extent by useing soft orgnising to creat hard structers. We can learn a lot for working “disorgnisations” such as the rainbow gathering.

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Finding the Rainbow Gathering

Is there an alternative? Can we build a contemporary community out of a traditional society? Where and what is the path to it?

Drawing the right people in is core to building intentional communities. The rainbow way of doing this is to use myths and traditions to help create norms, rather than using hard structures.

The myths and traditions help to build a norm, all though not perfect this does work and creates moments of beauty for large numbers of people around the world year on year. The is no perfect society only transient beauty and moments of truth – and the seeking of perfection is the sure way to destroy the thing it sets out to create. Here I look at the process of finding and getting to the gathering.

The 3 “rules” of building and finding Rainbow Gatherings.

* Its a word of mouth network, keep the core information about the gathering off the web.

* Poetry rather than fact, hint rather than tell, draw the “hippy” map so that it is hard to understand.

* The path hinted by fabric scraps in the trees rather than clearly signed, make sure the gathering is not accessible by road and a 10-20km hike.

The working through this (unspoken but intentional) fog – brings the “right” people to the gathering. And for some controversially excludes not only the “wrong people” but also disabled, older generations, mums with kids and the less connected people. However imagine what a rainbow gathering would be like right next to a main road with a bar/alcohol shop and supermarket – you would likely see something worse than the “A camp” in US gatherings.

Many gathering invent there own myths and traditions – some gatherings start to have rules (LINK) and these soon start to look and feel more like a holiday camps rather than a gathering of the tribe.

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Rainbow "talks" to occupy movement in the US (bad sound)

Long video (bad sound) worth listening to if you are interested in social movements complementing each other rather than competing and fighting with each other - Rainbow "talks" to occupy movement in the US .

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What is a Rainbow Gathering?

The corrected welcome sign from the European Rainbow Gathering 2012 in Slovakia

(click on the photo for bigger image)


"The largest non-organization of non-members in the world. We have no leaders, and no organization. To be honest, the Rainbow Family means different things to different people. I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles. We also believe that Peace and Love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world." 

Is a good discription of rainbow gathering from Benoit Paillé

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Rainbow gatherings have a very strong, largely invisible core of myths and traditions

The myths and traditions of Rainbow are what a gathering is. The people come to gather and "enact" these myths and traditions, but they are generally neglected. To put an arbitrary scale on this - the national rainbows are generally only 10-20% of rainbow power, were the European is 40-60% rainbow power.

Rainbow gatherings have a very strong, largely invisible core of myths and traditions these are designed to overcome and transcend the "stupid individualism" of the Babylon world, and in as far as they are remembered and enacted they do this very well. The issue is that it is a virtuous circle, if the is the power there to start with then it is generally successful in transforming a bunch of strangers and misfits into a coherent whole. If the power is not there to start with them then incoherents tends to grow and dominate.

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The role of "blocking" in horizontal projects

Mannequins dancing to barely visible strings (DRAFT)

This is an attempt to understand how blocking is used to stop/slow positive social change. By blocking I mean many things, refusing to address core issues, pushing everyday agenda’s to hide more systematic issues, and confusingly using big issues to distracts and fog everyday needed changes.

Outcome-driven horizontal projects are hard to sustain. I understand climatecamp process ossification better now - there is a strong blocking to process change - the continuing pushing of the needed change is blocked thus the change gets harder (more vertical) until it ossifies and becomes non-functionaly strong enough to break the block (thus breaking the horizontal process it is trying to achieve). End up with a broken structure that cannot move or change.

So the issue is "blocking" which largely is a psychological fear of losing non-existent certainty - ie. the false consciousness (cf Marx) of capitalism - Thus the moniker "stupid individualism". The root out of this is to work a way round this "stupid individualism".

Rainbow Gatherings manage this - by forcing scarcity, in visionontv we don’t have this option, in Rainbow you are moved into a world where all the normal options are simply are not there - thus change HAS TO HAPPEN - it's an intentional community. "Stupid individualism" simply becomes too dysfunctional in this situation to stop change. This is at the heart of rainbow process. In our situation, on the internet, in media there is no scarcity, so “stupid individualism” reigns supreme and unstoppable. 

An issue is that many people will self-define what I am saying at this point - BUT will not engage with it - The writer is being a "stupid individual" and this would be the case if the writer was not actively engaged in a real social project.

"Trust networks" are the solution to "stupid individualism". With this understanding I have a more sympathetic view of climatecamp process. The derided “process people” suffered from ossification as much as the wider camp. And I am arguing that this is a re-occurring issue, so the individual who were left pushing a empty agenda are less at fault than the systematic issues that they haven’t addressed. 

Its important NOT to take personal responsibility for this as the is a dead end block in using this as a solution to this problem. Maybe more useful to seeing us as mannequins dancing in a circle twitching to barely visible strings. And the circle we are in - is not the right one. We need a new circle with some different strings (some of them more visible) and to start a new dance.

The blocks: what participants feel are the tangling of strings, the process they are trying to unravel so as to make a new circle to dance in. We are all attached to strings, so get untangling. It's the strings NOT the messenger that stops you. Help is needed trying to untangle and re-set some strings, perhaps the messenger is trying to help? try not to shoot

In this post I attempt to untangled a string (climatecamp process wasn’t as bad as i thought it was). Which string are you going to untangling? "Stupid individualism" is the trap we have to avoid, but we are getting more and more snared in it - on all sides.

The danger is that we are talking about parallel things and more tragically - thinking along parallel divergent lines - "stupid individualism" is strong and kicking and the more we kick the more entangle we become - leaving little hope of a new dance - by the way dance is a metaphor for process and strings are a metaphor for the very human senses of belonging that we need for society to hold together.

Does it end well I wonder - it never has in the past, but one can keep coming at a problem from different angles. Maybe this time it might. Thus am NOT taking any personal responsibility - just seeing us as mannequins dancing in a circle twitching to barely visible strings. And the circle we are in - is not the right one. We need a new circle with some different strings (some of them more visible) and start a new dance.

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