Gratifly- The Heart Collection

Tribal Council is excited and humbled; to be invited to be a part of Gratifly Music and Arts Festival. Gratifly is the first festival of it’s kind in the South East. Promoting intelligent and compassionate music; as well as many workshops, yoga, healing, and visionary art! This festival is going to be very special and intimate community gathering. Focused on bringing this light family together in celebration of love, life, and creativity. With that in mind Gratifly asked a few of the artists performing at the festival in late July; to send their most heart centered song. This collection is an inspiring plethora of artists sharing a similar message.

Gratifly- The Heart Collection Volume 1

Gratifly- The Heart Collection Volume 1

Every song in The Heart Compilation has it’s own distinct sound. Each one is worth taking a moment to listen. It is extremely meditative, to listen to some truly intentional music during your day. The Desert Dwellers, Random Rab, Drumspyder, Akara, and Numatik all were kind enough to give the collection previously unreleased material! Dune’s Lullaby by Random Rab, was written for his son. Through sound, Rab perfectly captures the feeling of child curiosity. Akara’s song, The Sky Dancer; features their quintessential sound. This track features lush instrumentation with beautiful vocals, layered on top of electronic beats. Femke has a hauntingly beautiful quality to her voice, and it really shines through in this song.

Earthcry at Rootwire

Earthcry at Rootwire

Every time I have seen Earthcry (Anthony Thogmartin’s side project) his set has featured binaural beats mixed electronic dance beats. Barreling Towards the Galactic Equator is a very different feel from all the other Earthcry material I have heard. This song is delightfully spacey; but also has this lovely middle eastern feel. This track is one of my favorites off this compilation. Rising Appalachia and The Human Experience recently released an album called Soul Visions. One of the songs, SUNU, was given to Gratifly’s compilation. This song comes from the heart. Masterfully sung and played, David Block takes this earthy song and really adds some flavor. While I would love to talk in detail about every song on this album, the last track I will mention is hOMe Bass by itom Lab. This song is the perfect balance between, galactic techno and electronic dance music. The result is this funky song, with fun sounds that keep you moving throughout!

If you are interested in attending Gratifly, this album introduction to some of the artists on the lineup. Please support Gratifly and our community by taking a listen to The Heart Collection Volume 1. We can not wait to see you at Gratifly!

Infinite Geometry

Most people know Andy Reed as an amazing visionary artist. Less people recognize that Infinite Geometry is synonymous with his DJ work as well as his art! With an intelligent ear and an eclectic taste, he produces wonderful down-tempo mixes. Andy is one of Tribal Council’s resident DJs, and we feel very blessed to have him co-create with us.

Remembering the FutureRemembering the Future is the title to his latest mix, which can be found here. With ease he mixes tracks by Kaminanda, Bird of Prey, Androcell, Skytree, Aligning Minds and others. Andy has released two other mixes; opening your eyes for the first time and aligning pyramids. Links for downloads to both these mixes can be found here.

A recent painting by Andy Reed

A recent painting by Andy Reed

Please check out Andy’s amazing visionary artwork on his page Infinite Geometry: The Artwork of Andy Reed. Not only does he mix some cognizant beats but he shares enlightened visions. He is definitely an artist you should keep an eye on. If you are interested in purchasing any of his prints he also has an Etsy account.

Lespectacle 2012 Compilation

album cover

This compilation album by Lespecial of Lost in Sound, is composed of an eclectic assortment of artists. The third song on the album is Futexture’s “The fragility in focus.” This song reminds me of the beautiful human who composed it, laid-back, fun, and thoughtful; intertwined through the whole song is amazing mandolin melodies. While Futexture’s song has elements of glitch, the song that follows is extremely so. Push/pull remixed a crystal method track, heavy in the bass like crystal method but far more stylized! Next a rework of “Paradise” by Bird of Prey! The original is down-tempo and definitely a reminder of ancient roots in all of us. The rework has new fleeting melodies and a vaguely psytrance feel. “Skizzo” by Blue boy productions is an interesting mix of sounds; middle eastern with this funky dance vibe underneath!

Supersillyus is usually a psychedelic aural experience. “Experience with eternity” by them does not disappoint, with a relaxed feel it is reminiscent of Shpongle. The beginning of Mr. Bill’s “Dreaming” greatly reminds me of early Aphex twin, but then it opens up. With a heavy bumping bass line and interesting snare; no one could mistake this track for Aphex. Srikalogy shares his poetry in Skytree’s “Keep it sacred, keep it safe.” I love the message Srikalogy shares, while Skytree throws down amazing beats. Skytree tends to use a wide variety of sound clips which always enriches his music to a higher form of consciousness. The album ends strongly with another four songs, some glitchy and down-tempo others grimy dubstep. The last song is notable, “Dubliminal messages” by Psyclic Nature; it is relaxed intelligent dubstep with a hauntingly beautiful flute solo! This compilation is a great sampler of new, up and coming artists; not to mention it is FREE on Lespectacle’s band camp!

Sacred Singularity EP released by Skytree

Skytree’s new EP Sacred Singularity, shares many uplifting messages to think about when listening. It is always a delight to experience something deeper than the perception of sound from an album. Iridescent Tesseract has many interesting samples seamlessly interwoven to create a beautiful sound-scape. Not only is Skytree an intelligent musician; but a truly wonderful and enlightened being. He shares his love through music and crystals, his song Crystalline Entity attests to this love. Let Skytree share his visionary beats with you on his upcoming tour. You will not be disappointed as he bathes you in an ambient world of sound. Please support our dear friend either on this tour or through his bandcamp!

The Easy Way Out, or the Blissful Way In? What Working with Tribal Council has Taught Me

Recently I decided to stop by a store with a huge sign that reads “HERB SHOP.” It is in an affluent neighborhood just outside of Atlanta. I go in and ask if they have any loose herbs: mullen, sage, lavender etc., and the shop owner tells me that they used to but “this is a pill popping community and we just couldn’t sell enough to keep it on our shelves.”  :-/ Disappointment ensues, he tells me to go check the co-op in little five points, and I thank him and exit the store. As I am getting back into my car (this alone is another issue with this community), I begin to feel a sense of outrage. I mean, it says “HERB SHOP” for crying out loud; surely they HAVE to sell herbs here, right? I take a breath and come to a state of acceptance.

I accept the world as it is but this was a real reminder about the community I live in and our country as a whole. There is a huge portion of our society that can be considered “pill poppers.” This attitude is not only applied to our health but to many aspects of life. We would rather take the easy way out than put a little effort, work or time into something. I am victim to this attitude as well, but I am learning that work, time and intention make all the difference in the universe! It’s the love that we feel in our hearts as we chop up vegetables that make a home cooked meal so much more delicious, nutritious and satisfying than a meal bought from the store.  What you put into something you surely get out of it!

Being an active member in Tribal Council has taught me this lesson in the past year.  We all have worked so hard to build, create and plan for the space. Clayton (council Daddy as we like to call him) called me up late last winter and asked if I would come by his house to help him with a project: sewing a fabric cover for the dome. I said sure and having no idea what I was getting myself into, we planned a date to meet.  Clayton explained that he was envisioning a flower of life pattern over the dome constructed from a white stretchy material, and the plotting and testing begun. It was quite a project figuring out just how to cut the material and hem it to use the maximum amount possible and to create the pattern we envisioned. We spent many hours in this phase of the project. Now, I can’t take the credit for sewing all of the triangles. I did some but Clayton’s lovely parents, Bob and Lynn, sewed most of them and it took countless hours! After that, I went with the TC crew to Aura music festival and I have been hooked ever since. There is a similar story for the creation of the Merkaba lantern recently featured in our installation: lots of time planning and implementing as well as hard work and love and intention put in to it. Now, I am practicing detachment from what I create as Edwin Leskin spoke about in his workshop “Breaking the Spiritual Ego” at Gnarnia, but I cannot help but feel immense joy when I behold the fruits of my labor.

However, it’s not just these creations that make it so worthwhile. It is the whole space; every time we go to a new event, we set up the space with loving intention.  All the work it takes to get there and pack the vehicles and set up the dome is HARD work, but it does not seem that way (though occasionally, after raging with awareness all weekend, it does). It is totally worth it! Every time someone comes up to one of us and says that they had a life-changing experience in the dome, we know why we do what we do.  There is such great pleasure and joy that comes from working hard at something you are passionate about. For this lesson I must thank Bashar (http://bashar.org/ ). Some of us had the great blessing of watching Bashar be channeled at Lightning in a Bottle in California this past May. One of the first things he said was “follow your passion.” It’s that simple. Then, everything else will fall in line. This is truth.

So, I challenge us all to move away from this “pill-popping” way of being. If we follow passion in every moment, we will be led to our highest purpose, and the “hard work” that comes with being the creator becomes effortless.

-Caroline Rose, Tribal Council Seamstress

Impulse 2012: A Private Party for ATL Family

After a magical month long road trip to the promise land of the west coast for Symbiosis and Lightning in a Bottle, our team returned home to prepare for Impulse Music Festival. As it was a first year festival of significant size being thrown in close proximity to our Atlanta stomping grounds, there was plenty of talk surrounding the event during the months leading up to Impulse.  Those of us who were fortunate enough to catch Echo Project Festival in 2007 had been waiting for years for Atlanta to get another large music festival with camping, and we crossed our fingers in hopes that this would make a successful enough splash to continue into the future.

Impulse was the second music festival to invite us to set up our Sanctuary installation at their event, and we were pumped to apply all the lessons we learned from our festival debut at Florida’s Aura Music and Arts Festival in March.  Adding to our already bubbly enthusiasm was the immense amount of magic and inspiration we brought home with us from the west coast extravaganza.  Witnessing the level of production that is occurring at gatherings like Symbiosis and LIB (not to mention the most grandiose gathering on the planet, Burning Man) truly changed our idea of what is possible.  The entire time we were there we rambled non-stop about how we would like to apply various aspects from this stage design and techniques from those art installations to Tribal Council’s ever-expanding projects on the east coast.

Edwin getting serious with the jigsaw, proving he can channel carpentry as easily as communal prayer recitations.

After a short few days of grounding, recovering, and handling business in Asheville, we busted a groove down to Atlanta where we set up shop at the Gaar residence for an intense four-day work party.  We sent the call for help out to the collective at large and ended up having a different work crew turn out each day.  We were wonderfully pleased at everyone’s ability to stay focused on the tasks at hand while maintaining the playfulness and jovial attitude that has always been a defining characteristic of the Council. We’d like to give a heartfelt thanks to Michael Boylan, Andrew Robertson, Caroline Rose, Will Franchot, and Sarah Tracy for showing up and lending a hand. And as always, thanks to Mama and Papa Gaar for hosting the shenanigans and even feeding us hooligans.

I had set the intention to construct a tipi long ago, perhaps after seeing Taytakura’s ceremonial setup at Rootwire 2011.  We harvested bamboo from the grove behind my house and sewed the cover out of canvas drop clothes to make a highly respectable meditation tipi large enough to fit four people and a small altar. It was a success.

Wilsun learning the thrills of guestimation work with one way stretch material.

Besides the tipi we made some signs for our domes and experimented with PVC and stretch fabric to make sacred geometry lighting elements.  We churned out three tetrahedral ground lamps, but our prize piece was a sweet star tetrahedron aka merkaba lamp to hang in the center of the ceremonial dome.

Caroline Rose reestablished herself as the Head Seamstress of TC with hours of deft gestures hunched over the sewing machine.  Here, Edwin and Andrew serenade her in the wee hours of the night during the final stretch of merkaba fabrication. The fruits of her labor were well worth it though when we all rejoiced at the first light of the completed merkaba lamp.  As we continue to play with stretch fabric production, we learn more about its challenges and become more confident in our abilities to manipulate the versatile material for all sorts of projects.

If only I had a nickel for every time I was caught on the old smart phone…I’m continually surprised at how much internet and phone time it takes to coordinate Tribal Council’s activity from the backend. I can only imagine what it takes to throw a music festival! At least we have a few years to perfect the art. A big shout out to Asa Dean for graciously allowing us to use the infamous Grok bus to transport the crew and supplies to the site as well as for lending us his 18ft geodesic dome to serve as our first “Wooked on Sonics” sound healing chamber.

With all the materials we had, it sure was easy to just throw it all into ol’ Grok rather than tetris it into cars.  The short two hour ride to Impulse brought back many fond (and some not so fond) memories from last year’s summer festival tour when we kept the bus packed with 15 of us hippies for a month of epic adventures.  Thankfully we only had four of us on the bus this time.

Despite unprecedented disorganization and lack of communication from Impulse Festival leading up to the day of the event, our team remained focused on the task at hand: to build a sacred space in which we could facilitate transformational experiences for festival attendees.  The festival site, Durhamtown Plantation, was very unique as it was a popular vacation destination for ATV and dirt bike enthusiasts with over one hundred miles of motocross tracks and dirt jumps.  Although they did shut down one track where the festival was held, the rest of the park stayed open for operation all weekend, which meant the sound of two-stroke engines droned throughout the hot afternoons of the festival.

Upon our arrival, the site was empty except for the two bare stages that had been erected in the main field.  It never ceases to amaze how last minute everything comes together on site before a festival.  We happened to arrive at the same time as our friends and fellow visionaries of Vision Lab, and we quickly went to work building our own little dome city.  Vision Lab’s token 30′ inflatable igloo dome towered impressively over the rest of our geo domes creating a cool skyline of five different sized white orbs all within a stone’s throw of each other (including the Grassroots dome). It looked like a moon colony straight out of a sci-fi movie.  All festivals need domes, they are just too aesthetically pleasing!

We were stoked with our location as we were placed perfectly in the middle of all the action where we could hear and practically see all the stages.  The festival itself was very small and condensed into a large field where the two main stages were located.  On the edge of the field was the smallest stage with 3D mapped visuals inside a barn with a bar and just on the other side of the barn was the Area 51 saddle stage.  The vendors lined the edge of the field next to our dome complex. That was the entire festival.  You could walk from one end to the other in 4 minutes flat and see everything.

Hanging the new merkaba lantern on a sketchy ladder setup (if you’ll notice, the ladder is free standing besides Edwin and Will holding it at the bottom.)

The weather was excruciatingly hot and humid, but setup went smoothly with mandatory mid-day siestas in the shade. Visitors immediately began stopping by to relax and we quickly made new friends who would soon become our “regulars” throughout the weekend as they made our dome home base and our family their family, because let’s face it, we are all one family truthfully.

The dome looked even better than before as we had enough triangles to cover its entire surface.  I never get tired of looking at the flower of life cover.

We were stoked to christen our new tipi and to see it get used by patrons throughout the weekend.

Without a doubt the unique element of Impulse was the impressive lineup crafted to celebrate and showcase some of the best bass music producers of  today.  Yes there were the household headliners like EOTO and Emancipator who did their thing as always, but the real gems were the artists that the east coast never gets to see. Producers like Gladkill, The Polish Ambassador, Russ Liquid, and Nicoluminous came from the west coast to lay treats for unsuspecting children craving bass drops.

Govinda is another example of a heavy hitter from the west coast festival circuit that rarely ventures this far east. It was down right weird to come from seeing him play for thousands on the LIB mainstage in LA just two weeks earlier to dancing among a mere crowd of 50 at Impulse. Although he was scheduled for a less than ideal daylight set, he still throw it down hard and sexy with his always enjoyable live violin.  Extra special was his live female vocalist adding even more depth to his music and the cherry on top was watching dear friends and Councilors Orly Waanounou and Kaylene Siebritz shake tail feathers on stage with them.

Keegan Keel gleefully discussing and sharing one of his favorite things in the world with festival attendees: visionary art.

Perhaps the on going highlight throughout the weekend was sharing our immediate neighborhood space with the Vision Lab crew.  Keegan Keel and Adam Barfield, two of the visionaries behind Vision Lab, dedicate their time to setting up a traveling visionary art multimedia experience at festivals.  All weekend they welcomed unsuspecting visitors into their giant inflatable dome for a live Imax-like theater show where visionary artwork from the most pioneering artists in the world is projected onto the ceiling of the spherical dome while live DJs spin mind-expanding music.

Outside of the live projection experiences in the Vision Lab dome, visitors could get a more intimate feel for the visionary artwork in their styling geodesic gallery complete with crystal altars and staff on hand to discuss the details of the different pieces of art.  For those that had to leave the festival with their own piece of heaven, Vision Lab offered prints and giclee canvases for sale.  These guys fully realize the important potential visionary art has to expand people’s minds, shift their understandings of reality, and activate their pineal glands, and they are working hard to provide these tools for transformation to the festival scene.  Check them out next time you see them; you will be blown away. And be sure to thank these guys and support their vision to spread light in our community. We at Tribal Council look forward to working with Vision Lab in the future as our intentions are most definitely in alignment.

Impulse impressed me with its lineup of live artists.  There must have been at least 15 live artists painting all weekend, including Andy Reed, Michael Garfield, Andrew Wagner, Emily Kell, Christian Jaxtheimer, Chapin Matthews, Sarah Tracy, Allie Azura, and many more I’m having trouble recalling.

Here is Emily Kell’s stunning piece (my favorite of the weekend) with headliner Papadosio in the background ripping up the mainstage with an incredible set.  Although there is still some ground that needs to be covered concerning pumping up the “Arts” aspect of east coast Music and Arts Festivals, I’m glad to see events recognizing more and more how much live artists add to the overall experience.

Merkaba = win!

All weekend we enjoyed stimulating conversations with new friends, massage trains with old friends, and a general feeling of connectedness with everyone who decided to spend time in the dome village.  Except for some beers on the altars and cigarettes ashed in the sage containers, the public respected and understood the significance of the space.  Several individuals made it a point to tell us that the sanctuary was their favorite part of the festival and we heard at least one account of a life changing first attempt at meditation (a trance which lasted quite a long time).  This sort of feedback makes it all worthwhile and is an affirmation of how vital these sorts of spaces are to the balance of festival culture.

Area 51’s saddle stage was a sight to behold. With Area 51’s specialization in lasers and lighting, we knew they would have some cool production going on but their newly acquired saddle stage really stepped their swag up several levels.  It’s shape and overall aesthetic are so totally unique, people are going to remember Area 51 and will be looking for the saddle stage, which hosted a slew of awesome artists including Vibesquad, EPROM, Nasty Nasty, Russ Liquid, and Sugarpill (above).

Of course with the location of the event, the festival would not have been complete without a full on professional motorcycle stunt show.  At least twice, dare devil motocross bikers put on jaw-dropping displays of skill and bravery by performing huge freestyle tricks over a 70ft jump including several back flips.  I’ve seen some random stuff at festivals over the years but this definitely took the prize.

Another addition to our installation was the debut of our sand art table. The bright light and interactive nature of the booth consistently trapped spunyons all weekend and it always satisfies when one walks up to it and wipes clean everyone’s picture. It is a wonderful celebration of the impermanence of all creation.

People also loved our new altar centerpiece, a large crystal globe of planet Earth that was generously gifted to Tribal Council by a wonderfully wise and connected Lakota medicine woman in North Georgia during our recent visit with her the week prior.  It carries some powerful energy (this giant beetle certainly thought so), and we are so grateful and blessed to care for it.

Dave Heath sporting his flawlessly smooth poi technique.

Late night firespinning jams happened regularly on the late night tip. I would like to share an EXTREMELY important note with everyone who reads this. Sunday night a group of fire performers started playing with their fire fans and fire staffs outside of our domes.  I walked over to enjoy their show and was overcome with horror when the guy dropped his staff.  I didn’t mind that he dropped his staff.  The danger was the fact that he dropped it a couple feet away from their open soak container of gasoline…..and their gallon jug of gasoline…which was also open!  This is so so SO dangerous on many levels and should never happen. I grabbed all the gas and moved it around the corner at least 30ft away and shared some words with the performers, who were admittedly newbies.  It easily could have been a huge disaster ending in multiple deaths. So please I implore everyone when they see people playing with fire, check to make sure they have the lids on their gas containers (because the fumes can ignite from several feet away) AND that they have all gas containers at least 30ft away in a safe place. Let’s keep our friends and our scene safe.

Just as with AURA Festival, we took our PA out of the small sound healing dome and transformed our camp into the renegade late night stage with sunrise beats.  This is quickly  becoming my favorite part of our installation as sunrise sets have always been my bread and butter.  Although I wasn’t expecting it, I ended up playing a couple sunrise sets for the late night stragglers who were still craving a soundtrack to the greatest show on planet earth, which happens every day.  As always, Infinite Geometry aka Andy Reed joined forces with his unique taste for bliss.  We are going to be gearing our production to be prepared for this scenario everywhere we go, because if a festival is slacking on sunrise sets, then somebody’s gotta step into service to keep the beats bumping.

Big thanks to McKenzie Eason for leading a gentle morning yoga practice when we finally turned the beats off.  Her heart-opening class was a pure delight and just what we needed to put us to bed after a long night of work and play.  We are beyond stoked to have McKenzie as a part of the Council and hope she sticks around for years!

Saturday night at sunset we held the largest circle I believe the dome has seen. With Edwin’s help we slipped into a beautiful state of communion and peaceful silence. These sunset ceremonies are perfect for getting grounded before lift off, setting intentions for the night, and connecting the heart space of everyone present.  We hope this sort of circle will become a standard every night in the dome.

Sunday night Vision Lab stepped up the sunrise stage in visionary style as can be expected.  They moved their projector outside to project visuals on the outside of the dome while Andy played a timeless set that seemed to last forever.  And in the wee hours of the morning Ployd stepped behind the decks to close out the festival. Purrrfect!

All in all, Impulse was not quite what we were all hoping for.  There was no question about the music or the production behind the music; it was all top notch.  The main disappointment was the fact that nearly no one showed up due to a variety of reasons. Luckily, all of the family showed up from all over the southeast though, so in the end it was a crazy party for the Atlanta-Athens-Asheville community on someone else’s dime. Blessit! Will it become Georgia’s new hot sauce music festival, or will it even happen again? We’ll see…

A big shout out goes to the REP crew for crushing it as always and a special thanks to Nick Weinberg for being an all around boss and going the extra mile amidst the chaos to make sure Tribal Council had a spot to set up.

And while we are talking about promotion…y’all know about this festival coming up in Boone, NC called Gnarnia right? Thrown by OG Asheville family, this will be a good one guaranteed. And they are obviously doing promotion right, as the picture below can attest to….

Three weeks off until TC starts our epic 5 week run starting with Transformus, our very own first outdoor gathering, a flow arts festival in Penn., Gnarnia, and Rootwire.  Ahh, the quiet before the storm.  Until next time, y’all keep it cuddly <3

Photo Credit: Nicole Gallagher

TC Southeast Summer Tour ’12: All Systems Go!

Tribal Council just got back from a blessed, expansive, and life-changing trip to the west coast where we were fortunate enough to be part of two of the most progressive, integrative gatherings in the world: Symbiosis 2012 and Lightning in a Bottle 2012.  Although we left our installation on the east coast (cross country transportation is tough!), we are absolutely thrilled to be setting up the Sanctuary at a variety of the east coast’s leading visionary gatherings and music festivals.  We’ve put so much time and intention into making this happen, and we’ve received many lessons on how to simply ask Spirit for what we want and allow things to unfold synchronistically.

TC soaking in the Galactic Light Code download during the Eclipse at Symbiosis 2012. Pyramid Lake, Nevada.

It is especially exciting to see so many of our friends doing their part to step up and further the Southeast music scene towards a greater collective vision.  I want to give a heart-filled shout out to the pioneering movers and shakers in the east coast visionary movement including our friends:

Papadosio
SolPurpose
Rootwire Music Festival
Vision Lab Artist Development
REP
AURA Music and Arts Festival
Brotherly Love Productions
CLVR US
Gnarnia the Festival
DJ Bowie
Keegan Keel

These people are dedicating their lives and their events to a higher cause, that is the evolution of humankind and the shift in collective consciousness, through direct progression of the music and arts scene in the Southeast.  Many of these people are working double shifts at restaurants, spending long nights on the road, and losing money on events because they believe in something more important. They remember they are a part of something greater, and so are you! There is something extraordinary taking place right here and right meow, and these people are fueling it with their hearts, so keep an eye out for their events and support them! Tribal Council is excited to co:create with these entities this summer and in the future.  There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we pool our resources in alignment with a higher vision to aid in the awakening of the collective consciousness on this planet.

Helping our friends and dome gurus, the Mandala Dome crew, erect their mighty 80 ft Rudra, only to have a 70mph windstorm crush it like a tin can three hours later. Oh well, “Paga la tierra” right? Mother Earth and Father Sky reminding us of their power. Symbiosis Gathering 2012: Pyramid Eclipse. Nevada.

Tribal Council is always looking for help from passionate and creative individuals who are interested in the integrative visionary movement.  We are currently expanding our installation to include several small meditation teepees, LED lighting structures, and a sound healing meditation dome.  If you would like to help in the design and construction of such projects, or if you’d simply like to donate materials, time, or financial resources, please email us at tribalcouncil11@gmail.com.  We are also looking for graphic designers and web developers to help with various small projects as well.  Remember, none of us make money doing this, so more help from the collective allows the vision to blossom more effortlessly and magnificently!

Here is Tribal Council’s schedule of gatherings for the coming months, so come find us and get involved. What do you want to see at these gatherings? Do you have an art installation idea? Do you have a skill or trade you’d like to share with the community? Do you have knowledge on a subject that you want to share in the form of a workshop in our dome? We are waiting for you to contact us and make it a reality. Harness the magic of this moment. Take action right now to create what you want.  You are the vision and you hold a vast universe of potentiality within. It’s time to let it shine.

As Always, in All Ways, Gratitude and Blessings.

~~::TC::~~

June 15th – 17th – Impulse Music and Arts Festival
July 20th-23rd – Transformus: North Carolina’s Regional Burning Man
July 27th – 29th – First Annual Tribal Council Campout: Intentional Activation Gathering
August 2nd-6th - Return 2 Roots
August 9th – 11th – Gnarnia the Festival
Auguest 16th – 19th – Rootwire Music Festival

Post Emancipator attempt at group photo. Well, at least we got some of us :) Symbiosis Gathering: Pyramid Eclipse 2012.

TC Gets Interviewed by Sparkleberry Lane

Sparkleberry Lane’s Richard Edens recently asked TC Co-Founder & Coordinator, Clayton Gaar, some questions about Tribal Council’s roots, influences, and overall vision.  This is a comprehensive interview which offers some deeper insight into what Tribal Council is, where it came from, and what makes us tick. Enjoy the read!

Interview with Sparkleberry Lane

Divine Feline Feathered Serpentine

Dreams are symbolic keys into our personal and collective consciousness. They take forms of the absurdly bizarre, completely lucid, psychically connected, and everywhere in between. Regardless of the content, there is always a message your sub or super consciousness is relating to you…

About a year ago I had the most realistic and vividly intense dream I’ve ever had.

I dreamed I was walking down a steep staircase made of smooth stones. At the top of the structure was a big golden white jaguar with no spots. The cat was watching me intensely as she stood at the top of the architecture. When I looked into her eyes I knew she wasn’t going to attack me… there was a mutual understanding in our gaze.

I continued to walk to the bottom of the steps of this large stone structure, where there was a huge snake, all coiled up, waiting for me. The snake flew up to me, wrapped around me many times and bit me. I immediately woke up and could still feel the pressure and bite of the snake. It was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before, and the sensation lasted for quite a while after I had woken.

I didn’t know what to think of this dream until recently. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a web page about the Mayan ruins. The city of Chichen Itza caught my attention, specifically the Pyramid of Kukulcan, or El Castillo. Here is what I found it particularly interesting…

“The architecture of El Castillo is full of symbolism, particularly with reference to the important Mayan calendar. The four stairways leading up to the central platform each have 91 steps, making a total of 364; added to the central platform this equals the 365 days of the solar year. On either side of each stairway are nine terraces, which makes 18 on each face of the pyramid, equaling the number of months in the Maya solar calendar. On the facing of these terraces are 52 panels, representing the 52-year cycle when both the solar and religious calendars would become realigned.

Sculptures of the Feathered Serpents run down the sides of the northern staircase and are aligned so that a special effect occurs on the spring and fall equinox. On these two days, the setting sun casts the shadow of the terraces onto the ramp of the northern stairway, forming a diamond pattern suggestive of the designs on some snakes. Slowly it descends into the earth.

Carefully climb up one of the steep staircases for a great view of the site and some carvings in the temple on top. The Maya would often build newer bigger temple-pyramids atop older ones and archaeologists have constructed tunnels allowing a view of an earlier temple of Kukulcan inside the later one. A narrow stairway at the western edge of the north staircase leads inside the early temple, where you can see King Kukulcan’s Jaguar Throne, painted red and encrusted with jade spots.”

Around the same time, I also began reading The Emerald Tablets by the Ancient Master, Thoth (pronounced tote), and discovered an undeniable connection between the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Mesoamerica.

Then I started researching more correlations between these two ancient and Supremely advanced societies. I found several similarities, such as their immaculate understanding of consciousness and the cosmos; they both built astounding pyramids with powers unfathomable to most present day humans; and they both honored animal-like Gods – specifically: the serpent and the feline.

So I began looking more into what these two animals symbolize…

The Serpent immediately reminds me of Kundalini energy; and symbolizes healing (as frequently seen on medical emblems), though can also be poisonous and dangerous. It is symbolic of rebirth and transformation (because of its ability to shed its skin) and eternity (metaphorically represented as a snake eating its tail).

The ancient Egyptians and Mesoamericans honored feathered serpent deities. In the east it was known as Wadjet, the protector of kings (often seen on their crowns), and closely associated with the feline God, Bast. In the west the feathered serpent is known as Quetzalcoatl, or Kukulcan, also the protector of kings and priests.

The Feline has very independent energy, and is incredibly intuitive and aware. Attributed with nocturnality, they see well through darkness and are active in the light of the moon (a feminine symbol). What I found very interesting is that the torus shaped energy field of cats rotate counter clockwise, and the energy field of humans rotate clockwise. Counter clockwise spirals take in and absorb energy, while clockwise spirals release and disperse energy. This means that cats inherently neutralize and balance human energy. (Ever had a bad day and just wanted to cuddle up with your cat to feel better?)

Bast and Sekhmet are related feline Goddesses of Egypt. They are fiercely protective and compassionately nurturing beings. Ixchel is the Mesoamerican jaguar Goddess of the moon, fertility, and birth.

While contemplating and meditating upon all these fascinating connections, I began creating a painting that unifies these recurring themes.

I began with the eyes of the Feline. They are also the Egyptian eyes of Horus, which is the symbol of Wadjet. Connecting the eyes is the Egyptian ankh, the symbol of eternal life. The loop of the ankh forms the head of a human figure, shown kneeling within the face of the Feline. Within the head of the human is the Inner Self, sitting in a lotus. Embracing the Inner Self is the snake like energy of Kundalini, spiraling up and down the spine. The head and tail of the serpent coil to infinity. The arms of the human are open and supporting the vision of the Feline, sprouting feathers to fly in transformation of this Divine encounter.

Always in All Ways
Love

Sarah

Sweet Fruition Goodness at AURA Music and Arts Festival

AURA Festival Sanctuary Timelapse from Tribal Council on Vimeo.

Tribal Council was honored when AURA Music and Arts Festival asked us to set up our dome as the festival sanctuary. We gleefully held sacred space all weekend for festival goers in the Ohm Dome, which looked fresh with the debut of the white flower of life patterned covering. Synchronicities were happening at a “wow” rate and collaborations with visual artists (CLVR ATL) and musicians (Anthony Thogmartin from Papadosio, Sound Duo, Andy Reed) happened organically. Fruition was the key word of the weekend! Perhaps the following blog quote best describes the success of the sanctuary:

“When folks needed respite from the flashing lights and loud sounds, they entered the dome–a beautiful chill space created by the Tribal Council. Inside, healing crystals, incense, and Buddha statues sat atop tables, cushions covered the ground, and spiritual texts were scattered about. DJs spun chill music and transportational visuals were projected onto the ceiling. People spoke, recited poetry, exchanged massages, read, meditated, and relaxed together. The dome was a key element to the overall vibe of the fest.”
-County Grind, The Broward and Palm Beach Music Spin

LED hooping is becoming more popular! Photo: http://www.calderwilson.com/

Thirty-six hours after flying back into the country from Envision Festival, I was assembling with fellow councilors for our official festival debut of our newly remodeled dome.  It’s unbelievable how much stuff you can fit into a Toyota 4-Runner.

Looking fierce after packing up the black beast in Atlanta.

After meeting Sir Edwin Leskin in the Wal-Mart parking lot in St. Cloud, Florida, we caravaned the remaining miles to Forever Florida, a 4,700 acre eco-ranch and wildlife conservation area where AURA Music and Arts Festival is held.  When we arrived, the festival grounds were nearly empty and the stages were hardly set up.  After brief introductions with the festival organizers, Daryl and Cameron of AURA Music Events, we retired to our tents in the Florida Everglade habitat in preparation for the long build day to follow.

Kelsey and Edwin enjoying the build day.

It was a full day of setup and it was joyful!  The crew that stepped up to the plate and signed on for our AURA assignment was a powerful group of movers and shakers that could get things done efficiently while laughing and enjoying each other’s company.  It was our first time installing our white “flower of life” triangle pattern on the dome, and after a bit of experimentation, it went up quick and easy…and boy did it look good! A huge thanks to my parents, true loving, wise elders and integral chieftains of the Tribal Council, who slaved laboriously for hours to finish fabricating these triangles while I was sipping mojitos in Costa Rica.

Peeking through the sanctuary entrance. Photo: Clayton Gaar

Tim Coffey, Art Director of Brotherly Love Productions, hooked us up with a sweet spot right next to the main stage and we were pumped on his vision.  It allowed for people to take a quick respite from the dance floor rage-a-thon, relax on soft pillows and blankets and then be back to boogyin’ in no time.  From years of experience, I certainly know what it’s like to need a break but not want to hike all the way back to the campsite. Usually you end up laying down in the dirt or the cold dew-covered grass in the back of the crowd.  The carpeted dome is a much cozier alternative.

Opening circle to set intentions for the weekend. Photo: Clayton Gaar

Friday afternoon before the music started, the dome crew and some other councilors who had arrived, like the one and only visionary artist Andy Reed, circled up for an opening ceremony.  Edwin led us in a beautifully guided meditation to begin the communion and connect our heart space.  Opening ceremonies are a great way to set intentions and get grounded before the expansive blast off that we experience throughout the weekend at these gatherings.

Preparing for rain. Photo: Clayton Gaar

When a minor monsoon blew in on Friday, we were glad to have a house-sized agricultural tarp with which to cover the sanctuary.  The lightning forced the main stage to stop for about an hour or so, which was fine by us because Cameron, aka the best sound guy ever, began playing a perfectly suited selection of tunes during the rain delay – STS9’s Artifact and Telefon Tel Aviv’s Fahrenheit Fair Enough – and we in the dome were practically the only people still by the main stage to enjoy it!

The TC crew waiting out the monsoon with poetry and sacred texts. Photo: Clayton Gaar

The sanctuary was perfectly safe and dry, so we passed the time dancing to Artifact and taking turns reading aloud our favorite passages of sacred texts and poetry from our massive book collection spread around the altars.

Photo: Caulder Wilson, http://www.calderwilson.com/

Big thanks to Calder Wilson for snapping this sweet wide-angle shot of us during the rain storm. It really helps show the flower of life pattern on the dome. Our silly faces seemed to have proved too wild for the long exposure.

Queen of The Headspace. Photo: Caulder Wilson, http://www.calderwilson.com/

It was an exciting weekend for our friends at The Headspace who, like us, were enjoying their official festival debut appearance vending.  Brett and Taylor are wonderful human beings making big moves in the scene while they strive to provide tons of high-quality art to the community.  They are living proof that good things happen to those who work hard, have good intentions, and spread positive energy.

Photo: Clayton Gaar

Although we TC crew held a constant presence in and around the dome, one of the most beautiful unfoldings of the sanctuary experience was the fact that all the visitors to the dome treated it with the utmost respect.  In essence, everyone became stewards of the space.  There was a sign greeting domies with the message that “This is your sanctuary,” and it was obvious that this sense of ownership was internalized by all.  On the occasion that an unknowing friend walked in with shoes on, another domie would kindly remind them to remove their shoes before we had the chance to open our mouth.  Most noticed on their own accord.  It became clear that people picked up on the sacred vibe of the space immediately and adjusted their mindset and awareness to this fact.  For us, it was extremely rewarding to see this happen and it touched us deeply.

Getting ready to do another smudge stroll through the crowd. Photo: Clayton Gaar

Spontaneity is one of the defining characteristics of Tribal Council.  Whether it was strolling through the crowd at the main stage smudging the sweaty dancers with sage, running into the dome to count off a loud collective “MEEEEOOOOW,” or circling everyone up for a period of OHMing, Tribal Council did what we do best: We serve to remind “our selves,” that is to say your self, my self, and the collective self, that we are gathered here today to honor the miracle of life by fully rejoicing in seriously silly sacred celebration and loving our selves.

The bright full moon was shining down on us all weekend.

Andy Reed, visionary artist and sick DJ. Photo: Clayton Gaar

All the way from the mountains of Asheville, NC, Andy Reed was holding it down as a member of the live painting artist panel all weekend.  His work is truly multidimensional, layering natural landscapes, intergalactic portals, and sacred geometry.  He has also become one of TC’s staple sunrise DJs with his impeccable taste in downtempo and psychedelic ambient music. Andy threw down a lovely sunrise set Saturday morning at the sanctuary after all the stages shut down.

The sanctuary got packed late night with friendly faces. Photo: Clayton Gaar

The dome was always packed in the late night as everyone was looking for a comfortable dry place to give each other back massages and stretch their weary legs.  It was great to see the space get used so much and all the shenanigans were a blast!

The firespinning area was thankfully right in front of the dome so we had front row seats all weekend for the talented performers.

Dear friend and lead guitarist from Papadosio, Anthony Thogmartin, providing sweet lullabies for our ears for sunrise. Photo: Clayton Gaar

Huge props go to Anthony Thogmartin, lead guitarist of Papadosio, who brought his sound to the dome and spun both an original Earth Cry set and a sweet sunrise DJ set Friday and Saturday. It was a beautiful way to end the night, and er…start the new day.

CLVR ATL projected visuals. Photo: Clayton Gaar

Another beautiful synchronicity that manifested on site was the sweet projection visuals from CLVR ATL, which really took the sanctuary to another level.  Anthony’s music and CLVR ATL’s visuals are exactly the type of organic collaborations that Tribal Council is looking for.  Look at what can be accomplished when people come together for the purpose of intentional co:creation?  Yes, it is possible and beautiful in the microcosm of our music and art communities, which appears to be one of the main focuses of TC. However, I’d like expand this idea and ask, “Is this sort of co:creation, this pooling of resources, possible in the macrocosm of our everyday community and, to take it a step further, in our larger community of human civilization?”  The answer is yes, and our civilization is hungrier than ever for it.  Tribal Council seeks to facilitate this shift in every way, shape, and form.  Let us remember our oneness.

Councilors communing in morning meditation. Photo: Caroline Rose

After some early morning cleaning and organization, there was a rare lull in the action for us councilors.  It was the perfect time for our personal practice.  This was the least I’ve ever slept at a music festival but the most energy I’ve ever experienced at a gathering.  I felt chi channeling through me, and it was the result of both the joy of being in service and the benefits of the meditative environment of the sanctuary.

Bodhi Tree art crew. Van piece painted at festival. Photo: Clayton Gaar

Sometimes in life your neighbors can be a drag.  Not this time!  We were blessed to share our space in the main stage field with the Orlando-based Bodhi Tree crew, who were creating super fresh graffiti artworks all weekend and blowing glass on sight in their mobile studio.  Bodhi Tree has it going on, artistically and spiritually, and we look forward to future neighborly interactions and collaborations.  If you’re in Orlando, I suggest stopping by their boutique to give them some love and buy some glass and graffiti art supplies.

Sarah Tracy working on her newest piece.

Sarah Cat Tracy doing what she does best. Meow! Check out her art page here to see her other works.

Anthony from Papadosio. Photo: http://www.calderwilson.com/

Music-wise, Papadosio stole the entire weekend for me with both of their banger sets Saturday and Sunday night.  These guys are just what our music scene needs.  They bring a fresh, bright, love energy to the scene and their music is uplifting and downright dirty at the same time. In addition to the tunes, Jason Takahashi brought the sacred fractal hot sauce visuals during Dosio’s sets as well! Integration. Yes we are integrating.

Tim Coffey, dear friend and AURA Art Director. The man with the plan. Photo: Clayton Gaar

Dear friend and the man with the plan, Tim Coffey. We love you Timmy!

Tim Coffey brought in a great group of live painters for the weekend. Photo: Clayton Gaar

This is what I love to see, live art everywhere! People creating in full force.  Tim brought in a lot of great talent in the live artist line-up.

This fact was evident when one walked into the art tent, which housed all the works of the live artists.

Didgeridoo sound healing in the sanctuary Sunday night. Photo: Clayton Gaar

We were stoked when a friend brought a didgeridoo to the sanctuary and blasted some sound healing vibrations at folks on the last night tip.  With TC’s interests and expertise in areas like sound healing, sacred geometry, metaphysics, and spirituality, expect to see some educational workshops come out of the sanctuary in the near future.  If you have a skill or an area of expertise you’d like to share with the community, contact us at tribalcouncil11@gmail.com.

Chanting and breath work class in the sanctuary. Photo: Clayton Gaar

In line with the aforementioned workshops, another delightful surprise was when the Miami yogis – Kelly Searcy, Bernardo Valero, and Joaquin de Teresa – asked to hold their chanting and breathwork class in the sanctuary after the yoga class.  This felt so good that we did a wicked fun yoga class in the dome the following afternoon.  The highlight of the class was when we blew the tarp straight off the dome in the rain from the massive ball of chi we were building in the dome!

AURA Sanctuary Crew. Left to Right: Edwin Leskin, Sarah Tracy, Caroline Rose, Kelsey Armbruster, Ben Loftis, Clayton Gaar. Photo: Clayton Gaar

The lesson of the AURA experience for me was how to live in service.  Being a part of the sanctuary team at AURA redefined my understanding of service.  If you are passionate about the way in which you are serving others, it is not work; it is the greatest, most joyful play.  I shall end this with a proper shout out to the AURA TC Sanctuary crew, whose positive attitudes, abundant creativity, and righteous dedication surely made an impact on the energy of the whole festival. So blessed and so grateful to be a part of this!