The Rainbow People

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The Rainbow has seven colours that merge and dissolve into each other.  Rainbow Consciousness sees all humans as part of the rich and diverse, colourful and creative manifestation of Spirit on planet Earth.  We live at the time of destiny – as expanded networks of information and communication make the world one, long established institutions and systems of control are breaking down.  How we engage with each other, with the planet, and with the spiritual dimensions is going through a profound shift, a shift of the ages.  The breaking down of barriers around gender, sexuality and faith are producing new experiments in human community, where some are learning to live from a place of expanding awareness, heart centred communication and openness to light, ie the subtle, spiritual dimensions of existence. All over the world people who believe in peace, in the unity of humankind, who see love as the way forward for the species, are growing in numbers and confidence.  Independent thinkers whose free spirit wakes up those around them.  Some of these people gather and find each other in The Rainbow Movement, many are searching for truth and liberation in the Gay (LGBT) subculture.

The increasing visibility and acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in recent decades is part of a fundamental shift in human attitudes. It shows that patriarchal systems of control are starting to break down.  This development challenges religions to live up to their philosophies of love or be exposed for their hypocrisy.   It shows how societies are evolving, and exposes those that are not.  A brighter world of peace and tolerance, creativity and love, will only arrive when enough people want it.

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The LGBT movement uses the Rainbow Flag as its banner.  Some are confused by this but the underlying symbolism is clear:  the emergence of gay consciousness is a crucial part of human evolution.  Eventually perhaps all labels around sexuality will fall away, but for now the labels help us to advance on the path of self discovery.  To define people by their sexual preference is to seriously limit their role in society.  Sexuality is a component of who we are, and perhaps it influences how we act, feel, communicate in the world.  Some believe that apart from who we have sex with there is no difference between straights and gays.  Some think the way we have sex is the only similarity between gays and straights!

The group that has gone furthest in exploring the gifts that come with queer sexuality, the spiritual qualities of of our gay nature, are the Radical Faeries, a loose network of queer folk who have been creating tribal gatherings since the 1970s.  The first gathering brought 200 gay men together in a desert sanctuary in Arizona – nowadays many faerie activities are gender diverse.  How could they not be when exploring the fluidity of gender, sexuality and indeed IDENTITY is at the core of being a faerie? Nature spirituality, intentional community, co-created non-commercial leaderless spaces, consensus…. are themes within Faerie spaces, which exist in permanent sanctuary and temporary forms in north America, Europe, Asia and Australia.  The Faerie ‘non-movement’ cannot be fully defined, as each faerie’s view on what it is about is as valid as any others… however, it is my observation that in Faerie space queer souls get to explore  the human territories of emotion and spirituality in revolutionary and evolutionary ways.  We get to make the connection between our sexuality and our spirituality, explore our roles both historical and contemporary as conduits of healing spirit, as teachers of love, as ecstatic celebrants of life.  On the fringes of lgbt life, radicals have been preparing for the next step for some decades, scouting on behalf of the bigger queer tribe, working out how we take gay liberation to the spiritual, emotional and mystical levels.

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The reason we queers use the rainbow flag becomes clear in Radical Faerie space.  It is fairly clear I guess on Pride marches, where we fill the streets with colour and smiles, the atmosphere with good vibes.  The rainbow stands for the freedom of the soul to express itself joyfully in the world, and that is what gay pride is all about.  Due to the general societal confusion about spirit and faith, and the vile attitudes of some religious leaders towards us, gay life does not seem to make the connection to the spiritual search.  It may well be a consequence of this that thousands of lives are going downhill fast as levels of drug use and addiction in gay life spiral crazily out of control – in an existentially void world, where the soul is forgotten and the superficial glorified, only drugs and extreme sex seem to offer anything like the ecstatic fix many of us want and need.  Drugs are seen as escapist pleasures rather than openers to greater understanding, shamanic tools with which we can find access to inner realms of consciousness.  But in Faerie space we take pleasure in increasing our levels of conscious awareness… we love to reach states of bliss… achieved through simple techniques of connection, with relatively minimal effort and achievable without intoxicants.

Connection turns out to be the key to a life filled with love – and at Faerie gatherings we go to connect…. to each other, to the land, the elements, the soul.  There are no preachers or teachers here, just community where everyone is helping everyone else to heal, grow, transform and emerge into the world as the Rainbow Warriors of Light and Love we incarnated to be.  Faeries are not a spiritual community – we have no dogmas, no texts, no gurus – but we do have spirit.  Faeries are a community with spirit, a rapidly expanding group of queers who are exploring alternatives to the high pressure, pumped up, chemical and alcohol fuelled commercial scenes of our cities.  We are waking up to our roles in the universal human tribe as shamans, priestesses, tantric healers, mediums, transformational artists and communicators.  We are still relatively few in number but can see so many of our kind lost, dazed and confused in the drug soaked, work obsessed, money worshipping general culture. Every gay guy flirting with the obsessive and insane nature of our chemical fuelled sex culture is a shaman whose spirit is not getting recognised, whose soul is desperately trying to reveal itself.  Numbers in radical faerie and other queer soul based spaces will surely grow as the emptiness of modern materialist life, and the ultimate futility of taking drugs to make the experience more bearable, becomes more apparent to more people.

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The Queers are one part of the Rainbow Tribe…….

Waiting for the Queer Folk to realise the full picture that the Rainbow represents are the “The Rainbow Family of Living Light (commonly shortened to the Rainbow Family) … a loosely affiliated group of individuals committed to principles of non-violence and egalitarianism. They put on peaceable assemblies/free speech events known as Rainbow Gatherings.”

“The organization is a loose, international affiliation of individuals who have a stated goal of trying to achieve peace and love on Earth. Participants make the claim that they are the “largest non-organization of non-members in the world.” In addition to referring to itself as a non-organization, the group’s “non-members” also even playfully call the group a “disorganization.” There are no official leaders or structure, no official spokespersons, and no formalized membership. Strictly speaking, the only goals are set by each individual, as no individual can claim to represent all Rainbows in word or deed. Also contained within the philosophy are the ideals of creating an intentional community, embodying spirituality and conscious evolution, and practicing non-commercialism.”  (Wikipedia)

This sounds a lot like Radical Faeries to me.  Indeed, American Faerie groups do create spaces at Rainbow Gatherings, in Europe as yet this has not happened to any signficant extent.  The energy developing is the same for Faeries and Rainbow Gatherers.  We are both exploring new ways of being, of living in community, relating emotionally (with the heart expanded to love many instead of just a few) and exploring spiritually.  We have a lot in common, and as we recognise that more – as Faeries, and then with luck the whole LGBT movement, embrace consciousness evolution as THE central aim of life for the rest of the 21st century – the world will notice that it is becoming a much freer and gayer place as the shackles of fear, shame, guilt and patriarchal control enforced with violence, are loosened and broken.

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