Rainbow has Principles. It has a Philosophy. It's difficult nowadays for us old fogeys, some say "high holy hippies" who love the "good old days" of Rainbow when Rainbow was all about;
Welcoming Everyone Home as Equal Siblings with wonderful Hugs and help with their gear.
The Love & Hugs & sitting down in the middle of the trail holding each other's hands, giggling.
When we would make the hugest pots of the very best vegetarian food anyone could imagine for the Main Circle dinner with clean hands, no smoking under the tarps & all of our Love, Circlesong-Prayers Before eating.
When we Sang all night long sweet songs of familial Love for each other & the Earth.
A time where everyone knew what an Ommeba hug was.
When we stood in circles & oooommmmed at any time.
When the Weeeeeeeeeee Loooooovvvveee Yyooooouuuus rang out camp to camp all through the Gathering all night long.
A time when children felt safe to have Joke Toll Booths Anywhere at the Gathering.
A time when no one, even A-Campers would dare to consider to bring Any alcohol up the trail, much less at Main Circle.
When Kiddie Village was a Sacred Space of Safety.
When no one would Dare bring fireworks because many Anti-war protesters & Vietnam Veterans were among the Early pioneers of Rainbow Philosophy.
This Gathering was started by extremely Progressive People who believed in communal living and sharing. People who had a definite Vision of what the Gathering was all about;
Freedom from Consumerism,
Freedom to Gather,
Freedom to Safely Dance & Sing & Be who we Are,
Freedom to Share Our Love for One Another,
Freedom to Share Freely with any Peace-loving persons,
Free from commercial transactions,
Freedom to Practice Our Own kind of Healing,
Freedom to Express Ourselves Peacefully,
Freedom from Dress Codes,
Freedom To Peaceably Assemble on the People's Land,
Freedom from the Oppressions of "Babylon".
Now younger, newer to Rainbow folk feel that Rainbow means anything goes. But Rainbow has Never been that. We have had an Ethos for decades.
We have showed our beliefs by coming to unanimous Consensus on many things.
It has been Consensed for years that we put on our Invitations that Alcohol use is Discouraged at Rainbow Gatherings.
That We ask folks to keep their Dogs on a leash & their Shit in the shitters.
We also say Not to touch their thing to the thing.
We make all Decisions by Consensus, in Unanimous Accord.
We are Silent all over Camp & we Circle in Silence at Main Meadow till Rainbow noon on the Fourth.
We wait for & respect the Children's Parade.
We bring only Vegetarian food to Main Circle Dinner.
We would Never Dose Anyone without their understanding & Consent.
We don't mess with the water pipes unless we're in communication with the the Water Crew.
We Recycle All of Our refuse that we can.
We always washed our hands before working in the Kitchens.
We respected the Feather & Kept our Silence.
People felt Safe to Be with little or no clothes on anywhere,
No means No, Period.
We don't mess with scantily clad people dancing around the Drum Circle Fire.
We respected each other but If we felt we needed immediate Help we called out "Shanti Sena!!" & everyone came running to assist because Shanti Sena was All of us. We'd Stop any violence, and all surround the situation as Witnesses & helpers, sometimes Ooomming.
In the past, out of Respect for the Sacredness of the Gathering, some people would Fast until the fourth until they broke their fast with the watermelon fed to each other after the Ommmm.
We used to Respect many Sacred places and Ceremonies within the Camp.
Many People would wear buttons that they were in silence for several days leading up to the Oooomm.
We used to have a very small, practical Trade Circle, we didn't use Money for Anything except for the Magic Hat or gas to go forth from the Gathering. No one would Dare Sell Substances! They were freely shared or given in trade. Gifts were shared Much more than trade. Folks brought lots of things to gift to others, not to sit all day in Trade Circle to trade up. whimsical wedding gown
We had Very few problems with dangerous Street Drugs.
We had our problems, we've had too many rapes and we were immature about cultural appropriation. But there wasn't so much discord, and when there was some, we'd circle about it with great patience till Peace was restored. . .
The massive majority of discontent was over the role of A-Camp at Front Gate and having any alcohol anywhere, especially as the first thing new people see.
How can anyone say that more healthy, more happy, more Spiritual, more safe, more harmonious or more peaceful weren't better days? If we try, we can at least aspire to these Principles again. We do have Principles, we've had them since the Beginning.