The last two months have been a game changer for me. My life got twist turned upside down, and there is no way I can go back to how things were before.
In June, shortly after moving away from London, to Glastonbury, I decided to follow the call and invitation to attend my very first Rainbow Gathering in the Moors of Devon, UK.
What transpired over the following three weeks changed me not only at an experience level, but also cellular one too.
Life in London is hectic, and the city itself carries an energetic wave of anxiety.
As many of you will know, I grew up in one of the biggest metropolis cities of the world in London. You have to live in the fast lane to really cut it there, and often, working for yourself in the system is much easier than going it alone.
I spent a good ten years navigating the corporate world, woking for some of the biggest names in the industry, making some success for myself. It was a really good life, I lived in party houses with friends, travelled to exotic locations every year, and had nice things, but ultimately it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t an authentic life. As a very malleable and sensitive creature, I was really living on behalf of my family, colleagues, society, and many of my friends.
It is only in the last three years that the deconstruction of my old life really started to take shape. This was a very painful process for me, and my family especially. I became completely unrecognisable to many of my old friends and acquaintances. I had to let go of a lot of people, my career, plus the things that had given me comfort and security.
Despite it all, I remained focused on a vision that I was heading in the right direction. That there was a reason, greater than I, as to why this all was happening. And even though I couldn’t see the bigger picture back then, I would get signs that were guiding me, intuitive hunches about people to connect with, and places to visit.
Fast forward to this year, and the Covid situation offered me some further respite. I was able to tune into my inner compass. I’d walked away from a high paying fashion events contract at the beginning of the year, and then lost all my money on the stock market due to Covid landing the same week, so I needed to pause, and rethink my direction.
While the world was freaking out, I was actually beginning to enjoy myself again.
Work had to take a back seat for me to find my way again. I didn’t know who I was meant to be any more. So much of my old identity was gone, but the new hadn’t quite landed yet.
So when the opportunity came to move away from London to Glastonbury, Somerset I jumped at the chance. I had, in all honesty, wanted to leave London for several years, however energetically there was always a block. For whatever reason I had to stay for as long as I did, and now I have left I don’t foresee myself returning to live there anytime soon.
I had this inner knowing, that the reason I never felt quite at home in London is that there was going to a home for me somewhere else one day. And my move to Glastonbury marked the start of that journey for me.
So here I was, at the end of June on my way to the Rainbow gathering with a dear sister friend of mine, newly acquainted after her return from lock down spent in Peru.
When we arrived, people greeted us with the phrase, ‘welcome home!’ This felt quite emotional for me. I immediately felt a resonance with those words, as if I had returned home in many ways, even before we’d landed and set up our camp.
Rainbow is not a festival, It’s a community that teaches a whole new way of life.
People gather together for one month, in one lunar cycle from the New Moon to the New Moon with the ethos of spreading light and love across the world.
I have seen footage of some gatherings around the world who damage the land they gather on, and this does really sadden me. As I personally experienced it, this is not the attention of the UK Rainbow,
Although it is inevitable there will be some impact left behind, there is much energy and healing that takes place for the land during each Rainbow.
There are not many ‘rules’ as such, but there is a collective ethos that no alcohol, no electronic devices/ technology, or any meat and dairy products will be consumed on site.
The gathering itself attracts a mixed bag of people, mainly creatives, non-conformists, visionaries, and societal rebels attend.
I met and connected with so many wonderful people. It felt as if not only had I come home, but I’d met my family and tribe too. One of my biggest take outs was the discovery that there are true earth people, and others, like me, who are from the stars.
I learned even more about the interplay of both masculine and feminine energies within, via connections with several beautiful souls. I was able to lean into my creativity which had definitely felt constricted this last decade as I focused my efforts solely on work.
There were daily drum workshops, meditations, yoga classes, women and men’s circles, communal eating, foraging, galactic council meetings, fire circles, cacao ceremonies, story telling, gong baths, music jams and lots and lots of singing. I even managed to encourage some dancing too, as there wasn’t a natural space for this to happen on this particular site.
The energy at the gathering changes throughout the month.
I arrived probably in the second week, and already there had been a wave of people who had since come and gone. Many people were local to Devon, and were familiar with this ancient woodland, and sacred land. The Full Moon tends to be a peak in energy, which tends to attract a crowd who are looking to party. We were fortunate enough to become contained by a police block aid at the time, which prevented many people from joining who had that intention.
The Full Moon energy was potent, and much shifted on camp after that period. Then there was a lull, people left, more arrived with a wave of more energy needing to be cleared on site. Then another mini peak again before flowing into the final week.
I finally new what real freedom felt like.
We sang under the stars most nights, sat and listened to beautiful melodies from sitar players, and djembe drummers. Drank chai tea, and ate an abundance on pancakes at the Percy Pickles Pancake Parlour. We bathed in the river Dart, washed under waterfalls, sat for cups of tea at the Moon camp, and ate lots and lots of chocolate chapatis at a friend’s camp.
It was such an incredible experience to go off on little mini adventures together, like a group hike across the river to Luckey Tor one afternoon where we lit a fire, and connected as our ancient ancestors once did in caves. A group of us escaped, and slept on a beach one night. Others travelled down the river one afternoon to have a dip in a natural infinity pool. We enjoyed a freshly cooked picnic of curried pasties on an open fire, sunbathing under the July sun. Another group and I went on a pilgrimage to Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave in Cornwall. Life was good with the Rainbow fam!
What I found most healing was the disconnection with the outside world. Not only were phones not allowed, there wasn’t any signal on site even if we wanted to use it. This shifted a lot for me. It allowed me to become fully present, and connect with both myself and others around me in ways I had never experienced before.
At Rainbow there was no concept of time. It felt as if Babylon, and city life was literally leaving my veins, drip by drip.
It felt painful in many ways, as day after day I let go of more of my old life. I didn’t quite know who I’d become after leaving Rainbow. Not sure whether I was meant to stay in Glastonbury or continue, following my new found family to another gathering in Wales. I had to surrender and let go of any sense of control. Life was forcing me to be in my feminine. It felt foreign and strange. I witnessed many others, especially men navigating the same feelings too. Some who only came for a short while felt very restless, others likened it to hangover symptoms, as nature started to purify us from the inside out.
I realised how disconnected many of us really are from nature and her magic. I witnessed how she brings us back into balance be simply being in her presence, fully, and completely for a period of time. It didn’t take any effort to manifest. All I had to do was simply be, and set my intention. There wasn’t a need for a spiritual practise or regime like there is here on the outside. Although I did enjoy the yoga and meditations on offer, I really didn’t need them.
It was as if I could see the plan for the universe from a birds eye view. I was in flow with life, like the river that ran past the whole camp. Everything was effortless, at least that was my experience.
Nature is truly our medicine! She gives us what we need.
I have heard that every Rainbow gathering is completely different. And having been to two now, I totally agree. The people, the land, and the container that is held (or not held) has such an impact on the collective energy of the group. Where I felt the Devon gathering was profound, blissful and transformative. I found the Monmouth gathering to leave me feeling very restless and frustrated at times. There didn’t to be a whole lot happening, and when the post heat wave thunderstorms arrived I got cabin fever being stuck in a tent.
Again looking back, from the comfort of this living room I feel everything was perfect, and nothing happened by chance. I felt that these frustrations were meant to come to the surface so I could drop even deeper into my feminine energy despite finding the group energy pushing me the other way.
‘It’s healing, it’s healing. It’s healing us!’
I learned so much more about myself because of the second gathering, and though intense and not all that fun at times, I am grateful for that experience.
Shortly after returning to Glastonbury, I decided to drive back to London for a few days with a friend. It was on our route back that we were greeted by a huge rainbow that literally filled the whole sky above us from end to end.
Looking back on that moment, It feels as if that was a completion of sorts. Not to say my time at Rainbow has come to an end in-definitely , but perhaps simply changing form. It was after the first gathering, and in between the second, that the plan to realise my vision of my own gathering/ retreat came through. A collaboration only made possible with some of my new found Rainbow family members.
Perhaps this was the reason why I was meant to be there at this time. So I could align with the people to help me realise my vision of international healing retreats called The Cave. I have hopes of living in community on the land one day. Likewise many of the beautiful souls I got to share these last two months with have the exact same vision and plan.
I spent many years feeling very different from the people that surrounded me, and now I feel at home.
Even though I’m currently apart from many of them at this time, due to event prep, I know I will see all of them real soon. We are only separated by space and time, but not in each of our hearts.
I can’t express how wonderful it is to have finally found the group of people to ride this wave called life with. I’m sure though there will be many shifts and transformations for us all. It’s clear that we are all going to be in each others lives for a very long time. Coming together in service with our gifts, talents and offerings, continually rising into love.
Who knows maybe in five years time, we will be running our own community space somewhere. Raising our families together, growing and learning from one another.
So thankyou Rainbow for all you have done for me. I hope to see you and many of the tribe again at The Cave in Glastonbury in September. And then many more of the gang at the next Rainbow in Dorset at the end of the month!