I have been going to festivals since I was 21, starting with the National Rainbow Gathering in 1990, with my 11-month old baby girl on my back. As we arrived on that Minnesota mountaintop in the middle of the night after a 3-day drive from Texas, we pulled into a meadow-turned-parking lot. The driver passed up the first parking space in a very full lot, choosing one further away from the entrance. Naturally, I was ready to get OUT of that car. I asked the driver, in a rather irritated way, “Why did you pass up that spot?” She said, “It just did not feel right.”
As soon as we unloaded the vehicle, a freak lightning storm struck, felling a large tree in the very spot we had just passed up. It was the only free spot left in that crowded lot, yet no one was hurt. Nothing was damaged. Had we parked there, who knows, we may have been injured or killed. For sure, our car would have been crushed. By the time we arrived at the first camp, the first large fire gathering we found — drenched — I was still shaken by what we had narrowly avoided. As I mentioned it to those I met there by the fire, the only response I heard was, “I’m glad someone saw …” I began wondering what does that mean.
The next comment I heard was, “You’re blocking my fire.” So, by Day 1/Hour 1 at my first transformational festival, my life had been saved through the power of intuition. Here I was, landing in a place where using your psychic senses was NORMAL, even expected. I was immediately being schooled in the etiquette of living communally by not standing in front of another person – keeping each other safe, warm and respected.
I had arrived at that festival as a single Mom on food stamps with less than $20 in my pocket. I was exhausted from my New Mother role, condemned by the religion I had grown up in, becoming jaded about humanity and really needed some love and support. During that week in the forest, I saw parents cooperating in the care for children, strangers calling each other sister and brother, behaving as loving family and thousands helping each other thrive while being fed for free. The entire festival was free, and run on self-organizing, purely volunteer service. No one was “in charge”, yet we all created the festival together with what we had on hand and in our hearts.
I left the forest seven days later, with a renewed faith in humanity. I credit that festival experience for keeping my heart from calcifying and turning into just another hard, brittle young woman too tightly wound. Each year I would return to the Rainbow Gathering, learning new roles and practical, hands-on skills. Each night sitting by the fire (sometimes until sunrise), we shared stories, songs and silence. Since there were no city lights to blot it out, I saw the Milky Way and felt the archaic wonder of belonging. I learned to gather healing herbs, how to build ovens out of oil barrels and mud, how to feed 50 people a night from spontaneously manifested provisions. I danced to drums that echoed like a pulsing heart, the sounds fading only a few brief hours before sunrise each day. The forest, the gathering and all those humans gave me the gift of freedom and safety. Our group agreement was based on Love, where each person was doing only what they wanted in each given moment. We relied on sacred commerce, where goods and services were traded without money.
At my annual pilgrimage to Rainbow, some 15 years later, I followed through on a divine inspiration I’d received during meditation, creating the first EFT circle. Tapping was used with the group, as I lead everyone through a variety of issues, all Tapping and clearing together. Because I felt so safe and free in this environment, I was able to give in this way. In the process, I saw the huge benefits people were receiving.
So, I decided to bring the format from the forest back into the city where I lived to share with my community what I’d just discovered was possible. This was the beginning of what is now the EFT Circle format, which is widely practiced throughout the world. Now that I look back, I see that it was also the birth of The World Tapping Circle.
The Rainbow represents all colors and all tribes, coming together in tolerance and peace – all family under One Sun doing our best to create Love and live in peace.
My continued service to the Rainbow Tribe, over all these many years, allowed me to find the same tribe at Burning Man where I’ve been leading multitudes of people Tapping along together for the past 7 years. In a way, you could say that I am a product of what the festival culture brought to me. Many of the transformational practices in my life – yoga, ecstatic dance, meditation, ceremony, sustainable living practices and community-building skills — were first introduced to me there. Most importantly, I learned, how to let myself be as loving, honest and authentic as possible.
I’ve continued to lead Tapping Circles at festivals — passing on this life sustaining skill — to help heal and strengthen the Tribe of spiritual warriors and paradigm shifters who are inheriting and rebuilding the Earth.
Go here for details on the Rainbow Gathering for 2014, from around July 1st to the 7th.