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!

Reflections from the First Installment of: The Kinnection Series

Here we are now, on the other side of the first installment of The Kinnection Series. Last week, Tribal Council made a mini-Southeast run around the triple-A kinnect that is Atlanta, Athens & Asheville. This was our first experience in the realm of public event production, and we are so pleased to be sitting here and reflecting on what was most certainly a pivotal point for this collective and the southeast music scene. We learned a lot, as this experience like all others was a microcosmic view into the macrocosm that is life. As the name implies, we are emphasizing connections. The intricacy of this web of connection that we are constantly weaving was made even more tangible for us through this process.

We are elated with the enthusiastic reception with which Kinnection has been met. Thank you to all the people who have contacted us from around the country wanting to work together and continue growing this transformational culture.  Our team is already busy in the labs cooking up the next installment of Kinnection with internationally renowned world beat gurus Karsh Kale, Desert Dwellers, Aligning Minds, and so much more goodness on deck.

Last week, each city had something special to offer and receive, and it was said over & over that there was something for everyone at these events. The vision for the Kinnection Series can be found in full here. Essentially the model was one that Tribal Council sees as being a much needed shift toward more integrative, expansive, & experiential gatherings.  These types of gatherings are already happening, and TC has drawn inspiration from our experience with them. We are now heeding the call to bring this model to a place we feel it is needed, the Southeast. This was facilitated with the help of many workers and warriors for truth and love. The heart(s) of Tribal Council hold deep gratitude for the collaboration of Vision Lab, New Earth MUZiQ, Locus Promotions, the Infusion Lounge, and all of the amazing masters of their craft who shared with us through mediums of art, music, & workshops. These events are made possible by collaboration, by the united efforts of those who believe in the vision of a better world (a new earth) and are here to serve the collective in reaching its potential.

edmundjosephmoriartyKinnection
 Photo Credit : Edmund Joseph Moriarty

One of the most exciting aspects of this series is the emphasis on skill- and knowledge-sharing. In Athens we were honored to host a team of highly motivated individuals who had very specific & relevant wisdom to share with us – covering skills we are all capable of cultivating, from vermicompost to edible sprouting to earthship building. A list of the resources has been compiled and can be found here. In Asheville, we were honored to host Zev Friedman of Living Systems Design, who provided a captivating talk entitled Permaculture: Spiritual DNA for a Living Culture. This model of event is very well rounded, providing participants with an array of sensory, intellectual and spiritual stimulation. The effort that goes into these events is evenly distributed, with attention to every detail, manifesting in what we feel is the best offering we can provide. In one week we got to see 6 of our favorite musical artists, some every night! We have been to far too many shows that follow the same cookie cutter format of 3 Djs and a live painter which is, quite frankly in our opinion, worn out, lackluster and old paradigm. Where is the educational elements? Where is the community building and community-evolving components? We are tired of going to parties and talking about how much cooler they could be, so we finally decided to put our hearts where our mouth was and throw our own parties the way we think they should be. Kinnection was the heart child that was birthed.

rahasya
Photo Credit: D.V. Photography

Opening the nights with call and response kirtan, a participatory musical art faciliated by Rahasya & Sangita Devi lifted our spirits in harmony, furthering the interactive nature and blurring the line between “audience” and “performers”. In Atlanta and Athens, our dear friend Futexture took us on some wild journeys, giving a sneak peek into an upcoming downtempo EP that is worth keeping an eye out for.

majikaldavid
Photo Credit: D.V. Photography

Nick Noyes opened the night in Asheville by holding some sweet, organic heart-space that provided a fluid transition from the eve into the night. All three nights we had the great pleasure of experiencing EarthCry and Kaminanda. EarthCry provided instantaneous & tangible healing, with some of the most blissful beats to have ever graced these ears. Familiarize yourself with his (super)powers if you haven’t already, and those of solfeggio frequencies, the healing modality he is using in his most current project. Speaking for myself, cultivating intuition (frequency 741), liberating guilt and fear (396), and connections/relationships (639) catch my attention (and heart).

anthony4
Photo Credit: D.V. Photography

With one class act following another, Kaminanda evoked the whole spectrum of soundscapes, from smooth&sexy to wild&wobbly. These events were the rare shows that stay consistent in quality and dance-ability from start to end. After 3 nights of Kaminanda in one week, it might be hard to integrate back into life off the dance floor… Lucky for us, he dropped his newest album immediately after the run, providing us with a taste of that delicious experience until next time.

kaminanda
Photo Credit: Lauren Melde, Funky People Photoraphy

We have learned so much from this experience. Through the discussions that were started, the universal need for a more open & frequent dialogue was reinforced. The skill shares and talks just barely skimmed the surface of the infinite depths of knowledge that is out there for us to soak up. By voicing our visions, we found out just how many of you out there hold similar ones and have been able to take steps forward already in making them a reality! One of the questions that was raised in discussion and that TC has been sitting with for a while now is that of accessibility: how do we make these events more accessible for more people? This is a time of unprecedented freedom, and we have a responsibility to ourselves and each other to act on this. Tribal Council was formed in response to this question, and now with every action we take, we are seeking ways to serve and reach farther & wider. The topics that come up with regards to this series are: cost, location, offerings (musical and workshop). Do we keep throwing these events at typical music clubs or do we seek out some alternative, temple-like spaces in which to get sweaty and sacred? Do we offer more or less workshops, and what kind of offering do people want? We are ever-changing and thus so will our events be ever-evolving, so we are going to play around with the Kinnection structure to see what works.  One thing is for sure, we will continue to work for life with this vision.

TCbackstage
Photo Credit: D.V. Photography

As we now leave the space of contraction (an intentional event such as these, where we come together to power up) and enter the realm of expansion (all of us parting ways and re-entering the rest of the world and our daily lives), we invite you to feel into where you can be of service. The experience is not to be left at the venue- the ultimate goal of these events is to plant the seeds for daily experiences that are just as powerful and revolutionary. These events happen by, with & for YOU – so that you can bring this home. One easy way to grow community is through a support system. Something as simple as a monthly potluck with a skill-share, or certain discussion topic, is a very accessible & manageable way to foster kinnection. The Asheville TC crew hopes to put this into action very soon; we encourage you to reach out and start the dialogue in your own city. While events like Kinnection are very special & necessary, and serve to catalyze this process, you can keep it going on your own, and that is our hope.

We also invite you to reach out to TC if you have suggestions or resources as we move forward with The Kinnection Series. What do you want to know, see, learn, share? How can we make this more accessible to more people? What do you think these events can do to help make this world a better place? What can we do that will have tangible, quantifiable results?

Remember, these gatherings we frequently take part in are not about the flashing lights or the blasting bass or the mind altering chemicals, although these things can certainly amplify an experience. What makes a gathering truly special is the people. It’s about how you, the person next to you, and everybody in the room choose to show up.  We aspire to inspire & to be inspired, and YOU make these gatherings what they are. The power is in (y)our hands, as all-ways ;)

Stay kinnected – our next installment is already on its way!

03.07.2013 // New Earth Music Hall, Athens, GA
03.08.2013 // Asheville Music Hall, Asheville, NC
03.09.2013 // Terminal West, Atlanta, GA

Kaminanda AVL Kinnection from Tribal Council on Vimeo.

Earth Night 2012

“Inspired by the global unification offered by events such as Earth Day – Papadosio and Rootwire Music & Arts Festival are proud to present a unique 2-day celebration that roots its intention in a quest for environmental equilibrium by bringing together the wisdom of many different cultures and celebrating these ideas together – on the Winter Solstice – the longest night of the year….

…It is a dream come true for us to host this event during this enigmatic time in human history. The main difference between Earth Day and Earth Night is that by honoring the wise words of our ancestors that encourage humanity to learn how to see in the darkness of night – we see the true power of light and learn how to cultivate it accordingly. December 21st is a mysterious day and there are many questions, and perhaps fewer definitive answers but WE FEEL that together, we can collectively re-imagine a more beautiful and courageous world and use this night as a launching point for towards a new dawn on the planet known as Earth.”  Earth Night 2012 Website

EarthNightAcousticZoomOutPhoto Credit: Thank Me Next Time

Earth Night spanned two days, December 20th & 21st (the winter solstice) of 2012. This event was a model for other progressive music events to follow. The first night, Papadosio held sweet heart-space with an intimate acoustic set at Via Vecchia Winery. The space was cozy amidst the chaotic flurries whirling outside. The provisions of Via Vecchia certainly served to support the warm fuzzies, while maintaining a calm & comfortable atmosphere. The venue was in a class of its own- a pleasant change of pace from the typical bar rowdiness we all too often brave to see our favorite acts. The night was full of deep kin-nection and sing-a-longs, including a breakout cover of “Changes” by Stevie Wonder with Jason “Tupakashi” rapping the 2Pac verses flawlessly overtop the band. In the end, we all left satisfied, high off delicious wine, and with anticipation of tomorrow’s big day.

The following morning, TC crew held space in a grid around the city (and around the world!) for the global 11:11am meditation – 6:11am our time. This was a power-full time to ground and lock down our centers before stepping out into the high energies of the world (physically, energetically, socially, etc). After sneaking back under the covers for another hour of necessary rest, we made our way back to the winery to set the space for a day full of workshops. As we roamed behind the scenes, we began to notice what was referred to as the “om ghost”. To add to the class of this special winery, we could only conclude that they have a constant “om” loop playing to their wines as they patiently age – now that’s the kind of wine I want to put in my temple! TC was honored to set and hold space in the meditation & chill-out lounge. With the help of our new friend & co-creator Christy Thorndhill, the blank slate was transformed into a vibrant palace. The room became a safe container for the event-goers to take care of themselves throughout the day, along with fostering new & old connections.

ENEdwinAltarPhoto Credit: Thank Me Next Time
Our dear heartners Edwin and DraLion holding sacred altar-space.

While this day is traditionally recognized as the shortest of the year, the collective vortex was surely timeless, making the day feel more like the longest. This was necessary in order to create a capsule of appropriate proportions to encompass the vast expanse of workshop (play-shop) offerings! Earth Night hosted a dream team of collaborators who stepped up to share their passions, gifts, & wisdom. The turn-out for the day was inspiring, and participants faced one of the greatest “problems” of this culture – having to decide between so many amazing options. Meditations galore, a nice morning asana flow practice, and tons of toning characterized the day. As all-ways, SolPurpose held sacred space for our remembrance dance, serving the mission to shed light on the healing power of creative expression. The Rootwired talk brought the realness as it shifted our awareness beyond the walls of the winery for a more cradle-to-cradle perspective with a focus on environmental & cultural sustainability. Our beloved Liza Hunter brought her vital ability to act as conduit for source in a necessary & ancient manner, through shamanic journeying. Being such a rarity in our culture, and after being honored to host Liza at Rootwire, TC was sure to be present for this journey. The list of beloveds goes on & on. TC’s own Edwin Leskin led his communion catalyst meditation while Dixon ripped our hearts open with an epic violin meditation.

Workshop presenters: Ehren & Renee Cruz, Lindsay Nova, Jason Takahashi, Anthony Thogmartin, Anne Meshanko, Doe Heart, Liza Hunter, Julie North, Edwin Leskin, Dixon

ENDixonsViolinPhoto Credit: Thank Me Next Time

As the day turned to night, the events migrated to the LC Pavilion. This venue change was necessary in order to accommodate the sold-out show – a family 2200-strong! The night opened up with what is certainly my favorite music right now. As Anthony Thogmartin of Papadosio describes his project, “EarthCry is how I am choosing to respond to a calling to create music that heals the planet & its people.” He took us on a remarkable journey with the music from his forthcoming album, focused on ancient solfeggio frequencies that provide tangible & instantaneous healing. Needless to say, we are looking forward to 3 nights of this blissful experience (all in one week!) with our first installation of the Kinnection Series in the southeast, where we will be bringing our Earth Night-inspired model of event to Atlanta, Athens, and Asheville.

AnthonyWarriorOfLovePhoto Credit: B.Hockensmith Photography
An appropriate depiction of Anthony’s essence, warrior for Truth and Love

Following Anthony’s encouragements for all 2200 to om in harmony, Julie North stepped on-stage to lead a meditation. The courage and authentic compassion it takes to do something like this deserves recognition. It is this type of expression that is so crucial in these times – the willingness to face ridicule with the hope of touching the heart of even 1 of the 2200 present. The meditation was simple and accessible to all – providing a practical answer to one of the questions we have been asking ourselves recently: How do we make this culture, these events, more accessible to all demographics – to aptly quote the founders of this event – to end the illusion of separation?

ENJulie2Photo Credit: B.Hockensmith Photography

Next up was the classic Emancipator. As all-ways, his bliss-full beats served to lift the crowd into the realization of our purpose of Joyous Expansion. And of course the live collaboration with Ilya Goldberg gets better every time.

ENEmancipatorPhoto Credit: B.Hockensmith Photography

Papadosio’s vision includes all realms of creation – their events move beyond the old dualistic model of a band and its audience, into an intricate play-scape of live art. Earth Night thus placed emphasis on the integration of creative flow in the forms of live painting, aerial arts, and dancers.  In addition, the Tribal Council crew roamed the crowd in ceremonial white garb wafting delicious cleansing aromas of sweetgrass and sage to remind attendees of the ever-present ceremony that is life.

EarthNightHoopPhoto Credit: Thank Me Next Time

Jason Takahashi, founder of Earth Night and Papadosio visual extraordinaire, graced us with his gifts once again, illuminating & stimulating our optical experience. Dialing in ancient symbolism, ethereal elements, & psychedelic spiraling, Jason’s work served to draw us deep into the present moment, fully immersed in what was before, around, and within us. The integration of such visual art with the music deepens the meditative experience of the event.

ENDNAspiralPhoto Credit: B.Hockensmith Photography

With a sold-out pavilion, the energetics of the show would be wild enough. Pair that with the hype of the enigmatic date and Papadosio’s intent to bring the energy of Rootwire Festival to the city – and you get Earth Night. I think it’s safe to say that the energy of Earth Night enveloped the city of Columbus, Ohio for those few days – catalyzed by the flurry vortex and hotels full of kids ready to play.

EarthNight2 Photo Credit: B.Hockensmith Photography

These types of events are so vital to this music culture and to human-kind as a whole. Papadosio carries the high ideal of courage, integrity, & leadship that is more necessary in these times than ever. It is said that to lead by example is the best, if not the only, way to teach. Papadosio is a model of this truth for certain. Tribal Council is honored to co-create hand in hand, heart in heart, with these outstanding individuals – and this extraordinary band – in these critical times. We are grateful for the constant motivation, inspiration, and support of Papadosio, SolPurpose, and the whole Rootwire/Earth Night family, all 2200 of us. We look forward to the bright healthy future we are creating together, for ourselves and those to come

DSC06458TC loves you

Papadosio’s new album T.E.T.I.O.S

“To end the illusion of separation” is the title of Papadosio’s newest album. This album has twenty amazing tracks, and each one has an art piece that correlates! A visionary album filled with great thought-provoking lyrics and harmonies. This album really displays Papadosio’s new level of performance. Each member of the band is such a tight musician, the band synthesizes as one sound. They have some quick jams like ‘Puddles for oceans‘; but, as they do so well, some beautiful slow songs like ‘The oracle theme‘ and ‘The Sum’. This album uses much more electronics than they have used in the past. With this new sound and transcendent vision, I am excited to see the band progress over the next few years!

Papadosio has been on tour for a couple of weeks, and will continue on this tour until late December. So check out their website and see if they are in a city near you. Their live show is a magical experience filled with love and healing energy. Not to mention the crowd that follows Papadosio is a nice eclectic group of people.

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.

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!