The True Holography of God

~~::This post is a very quick somewhat academic analysis of the truth that all is Center::~~

Hubble Ultra Deep Field Photo (of Self)

It must be that the primary foundation for general existence is the primary foundation for your own existence. In that, the center of reality that is you is the general reality for all things.

Yet of course we’re not used to thinking in this way, why?

The complex ideational structure of human reality seems to paint a being that is truly standout in its form. We may survey the great variety of animal and marine life, the bound actions of plants, the seemingly inert corpuses of ‘dormant’ material phenomena like mountains and the ocean, the seemingly mindless and non-variable actions of the stars and planets, and then look to the human being and find a difference in the substantial nature of its experience.
So while the foundational nature of human existence is an individuality, a central centered lens of view, a centrality based reality, which comes from the ability to produce variability in action and thought, it might seem as though this is stand alone to humanity, for a large inert body like the Atlantic ocean cannot have such an individual centeredness as the foundation for its being, nor can the sand upon its beaches. The roaming elk on the plains of Africa must be tied into a group reality, barring them from the distinctly human individual center. Plants seem to maybe hold very little conscious basis for existence and with no eyes to see and no brain to think it seems impossible that the foundation for their existence is the same as ours. The Earth, similarly, is a gross physical phenomenon, and owing to the little variability of its base of action cannot have the same individual center of all felt in the human experience.

Yet such suppositions are a farce, which posits the transient as constant and the constant as transient.

If we take the situation of reality honestly it is clear that the variability of the human experience is not substantial, or rather the variance of action, which paints a picture of the nature of being human as different and standout, is invariably transient. But of course it is the many potentials of propagation of thought form and action that seem substantial to our experience.

In fact it is by the very nature of the fleeting tender of thoughts, actions and even the body, we should properly regard them as truly transient. Thus we should not qualify the human experience by variation of thought (no matter the seemingly “great” potentials of such), the potential for awesome realms of action, or the seeming substantiality of the body. The variability of all those factors actually renders them as transient, fleeting, insubstantial and passing on the wind. Instead we must look to that which is constant in order to properly render the human experience, and we will then find that which is central to the human being is in fact central to general reality for all instances of matter.

That which is constant, that which doesn’t change is the fact that you are Generating the thoughts, actions and general experiences which befall you. It is the fact of generation, which in truth is a fact of Center, which is truly constant. Were I to remove from you all your sensory inputs, take from you your eyes and taste, your feel and hearing and olfactory capabilities, that which is foundational now would still be foundational then: you are at the true Center of reality. In the body and in the dreamscape, during intercourse and during astral projection, drunk and sober, even during that rare boon to the self that is ego-death, one thing remains;

You are at the Center of Reality,

and the nature of this center is Generation, propagation of thought, of being, of action, and most fundamentally: Generation of the infinite omnipresent field of reality and all the things that fill it. You cannot be removed from this center, and this center cannot be removed from you. And so if that being at and in the Center of All is so foundational for you, how can it possibly be different for the rest of the universe?

You have considered yourself as standout and different from All because we generally posit that which is transient, thought forms, identity and other variables, as that which is constant. But that which is only and truly constant is the fact of being at the center; and if such is the primary foundation for reality in you, with that which makes you human being transient, then it simply must be the homogenous tender for all instances of being in the universe.

So now if we take the fact of Center to be the foundation for all existence then the true light of Being shines upon our analysis. You see, in fact there can be no manifestation of being in this universe without such being the Center; it is being the Center which is the prerequisite for general existence. This is the true holography of God.

Anywhere that we find an individual body, one that does not merely rest on ideation but one which stands as its own presence, though of course (like all things in this universe) tied into other bodies through systems, we find a being that is the true Center of the universe, and we find the generative God of the All. Such is true most obviously for all heavenly bodies, such as the sun and stars, but is also true for a glass of water. Not in the corpus of the entire glass, but further in when we get to any individuated structure (no matter how fluid) in the water, the molecules, we look at the center of the universe, projecting the all inwardly to outwardly through the Godsource within. And certainly when we get to the atomic level (with such extreme space between such entities) we see an individuated body (though comprised of other individual entities within the system) which is the true Center of All. It is projecting the universe, streaming the universe, out from the core of Self.

Also, since the tenders of this center are complete indefinability, alone from Generation, it is obvious that there are no two centers. Nay, for something to be the true Center of reality it must be the only center of reality, as center implies a paramount pivotal vortex in a schemata.

Thus all beings are One. For the fact of centrality being the paramount essence of manifestation in the universe belies an infinite superposition (a thing being multiple places at once) of Center. That which makes you human, that which makes a star a star, that which makes a water molecule a water molecule, that which makes an ion an ion, is all transient and is only a potential wave upon the Core. Truth to be told, this Center that is you is the sacred shared Center of All…

And deep in your Center, God is having the experience of every being in the universe…

:::::There is no difference between the rising sun and the person upon which the sun rises:::::

Love and Blessings of Work! 

-Edwin John Leskin

Transformational Festivals: A Broad Analysis of Three Events

The Transformational Festival:

Global music festival culture is growing at an exponential rate. Across the world more and more multi-day camping and non-camping musical events are popping up, definitively fueled by the high rise and popularity of easily staged electronic music. These events carry similar formats and share an inspiration and aspiration for group communal experience, and it is safe to say that the idea of the concert has found its most comfortable and expandable setting in the form of the music festival.

Yet as these events begin to take rise globally, we may notice a variation in the basis for these events, and we can pinpoint that there is a certain kind of festival which takes the want for communal experience to a level of holistic completeness. What I am talking about is the transformational festival, those gatherings that carry with them a full acceptance of new age spiritual goals, holistic living, permaculture and artistic creation.

This summer I had the great pleasure of attending three events that fall (in my opinion) into the transformational festival category. Although without a doubt, it can easily be argued that all music festivals, and concert experiences in general, are transformational and hugely inspirational on some level, these events have certain elements that point them directly toward being intended as transformational. The events I attended were Symbiosis at Pyramid Lake, Nevada, Lightning in a Bottle just outside of Los Angeles, and Sonic Bloom in Georgetown, Colorado. It is funny because I didn’t realize just how different the inspiration and impact of these events were until I returned to my old stomping grounds of Wakarusa. However, in retrospect, it has become obvious that for many reasons these events were bent upon the fruition of transformational experiences for participants.

In order to begin an analysis of the transformational festival (through the lens of these three events I attended), it is important to note geographical particularities and ideational background. First, in the United States, the kind of events I am writing about take place almost exclusively on the west coast, with the majority of the gatherings happening in California. Of course, there is variation in the spirit of the event as a result of such a vast geographic spread of sites.  I definitely noticed a difference in the vibes between Symbiosis, which drew a Northern California crowd and Lightning in a Bottle which drew a Southern California crowd. Yet it is safe to say that while there were some noticeable differences in the crowd attending the shows, on the backend, that is to say in terms of production, things were very similar. Another thing to note was that both of the large West Coast events I went to had a distinctly international presence both in the musical acts and in the participants of the events. I remember one absolutely hilarious scene walking down into the healing village at Symbiosis (more on that later) that went like this:

Guy #1 to another passerby: “Hey Man you need any rolls?”

Passerby: “I’m from Australia mate I don’t know what the fuck that means!”

In terms of the spirit of these events, it is important to note that much of the foundation for some of the ideas backing the events comes from Burning Man. It is as if the famous ten principles of Burning Man have seen a serious diaspora into West Coast festival culture, guiding some of the impetus for various elements of these events. Also it is important to note that much of the foundation for these events in terms of their ideological backing comes from new age spirituality, the belief in the great shift, extra-terrestrial presence, the potential for spiritual development, and an intensive helping of astrological knowledge. So in between Burning Man notions coming into play and a heavy presence of new age spirituality we find a different idea for what these events mean to the participant, definitely summed up in the word transformational.

Now moving forward into a direct analysis of salient themes and trends, I will take it in chunks of examination to show just what makes a transformational festival a transformational festival.

Ceremonial/workshop/yoga areas:
One thing that is definitely noticeable as a differentiation in the transformational festival format is the presence of areas that are utilized specifically for ceremony, workshops and yoga. At Symbiosis this took the form of Symbiosis village, a healing village that was a large congregation of art installations that housed ceremony, yoga and workshops all centered around a sacred fire that burned all day and all night. At Lightning in a Bottle this took the form of the Lucent Temple of Consciousness, a hilltop collection of stages for workshops, speakers, a yoga tent, a sauna, a healing center with professional acupuncturists reiki masters and other energy healers, and a sweet meditation temple that doubled as a jungle gym. At Sonic Bloom there was very limited space but there was a lakeside area for workshops and yoga and the Seed Dome, a workshop geo-dome. These areas are what academics would classify as ‘temporary autonomous zones’ as in they create an energetic and experiential haven where one feels unaffected by the world and intimately connected to the higher vibration, which is of course facilitated by scheduled workshops and yoga, which brings us to our next category.

Workshops and yoga:
A definitive trend in the transformational festival that certainly has backing in the new age spirituality movement is the heavy presence of workshops and yoga. The transformational style of a festival provides these avenues of learning and bodily connection to spirit as an attempt at offering a more holistic approach to gatherings. We come to these gatherings not just to dance and to party, we come to experience unity and open our reality to new things, so why not have specific activities that are meant to teach and inspire participants? At Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle and Sonic Bloom there was more or less a full schedule of talks by notable authors, healers, extra-terrestrial channels and great thinkers that ranged from permaculture to unified field theory, and throughout the day you could walk to the workshop areas and have your mind blown by these accomplished thinkers. The presence of yoga has certainly made headway into the East Coast festival scene, but the sheer volume of yoga classes at the three events I keep mentioning was impressive, and yoga freaks had a range of styles to choose from. All in all, the focus on learning and active spiritual connection at these festivals was a great boon to the participant, you could fill your day with healthy soberly mind-expanding, engaging activities before breaking out the whiskey or acid for a night of fun. These workshops and yoga classes are specifically transformational and put the gathering’s focus on you having an awakening, which is something extremely important in fleshing out the full potential of what a music festival can be in my opinion.

The Green Agenda:
Here the verbiage of Burning Man gets heavy play, as all of the events I am referencing in this analysis were (supposedly) ‘leave no trace’ (one of the principles of Burning Man). A leave no trace event means that at the very least you leave no trash in the vicinity of the event, and even can potentially mean that you pack out what you pack in and dispose of all your own trash. The green agenda had some major headway at Symbiosis, where to my great surprise and elation the vendors gave you reusable plates and glasses, on which you paid a down payment in return for tickets.  Your ticket was redeemed when you took your plastic plate to the washing station, a vending booth that washed the dishes all weekend and then redistributed them to the food vendors. Though I went home with a couple redeemable tickets and a few plastic glasses, I thought the format of the plates and silverware was brilliant and would love to see it more in the future. At both Lightning in a Bottle and Sonic Bloom all the food vendor materials were compostable (well almost all of them) which was also really awesome to see. As music festivals grow into a truly global phenomenon, they carry with them more of the vibe that this is the next step in human evolution and the more the question of sustainability is raised in my mind. While I was participating in the West Coast music festival scene it seemed like the green agenda was present and was cool, but I didn’t realize the true impact of distilling the value of ‘leave no trace’ until I went to Wakarusa and on the last day looked at the campgrounds to see tons (literally thousands of pounds worth) of discarded debris. The transformational festival upholds a transformation for festivals at large in the area of greening events, and I would like to give a big shout out to my homie Eric Giambrone with Ecotopian Enterprises for pioneering the green agenda at smaller events coast to coast.

Mainstage ceremonial activity:
While there is certainly a burgeoning presence of this at festivals across the nation, the propensity for opening and closing ceremonies at the transformational festivals I attended this summer is definitely one of the things that made these gatherings powerful. Having the crowd gathered together while notable space holders guided intention and set the energetic presence for the gathering certainly helps to center the idea of the festival into personal and group communion. The beautiful ceremonies at Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle and Sonic Bloom helped to define some of the experiential qualities of the weekend, and actively put the intent of the festival production and the participants in the gathering towards transformational partying. At one opening ceremony at Symbiosis a spiritual theatre troupe did an awesome play of transformational experience upon the stage, with a suited business man being changed into a Mexican blanket wearing hippie throwing sage into a fire. That ceremony ended with Starhawk passing out gourd seeds to the crowd asking us to plant them with intention to grow containers for magic to bloom; I ate mine ;) At Sonic Bloom the wondrous galactivator Adam Apollo performed two opening ceremonies.  During the second one he had us create a giant circle and led us into intentional prayer before spurring us to move around the crowd and meet new people afterward. It is this kind of ceremonial activity, which happens upon the same stages where the headliners play, brings the focus of these gatherings into a new age blooming of transformational experience.

Art Art Art!:
The Transformational festival is certainly preoccupied with aesthetically pleasing mind-expanding and truly connective expressions of artistic creation. Whether it be live painting by amazing artists, multiple galleries upon the field, the many art installations that are functional or just meant to be looked at, creation walls, gallery auctions, stage design, right down to the dancers that are constantly present onstage (oh God, Sophia marry me), the vast array of artistic presence at transformational festivals is certainly one of the things that makes such gatherings transformational. Seeing the beautiful creation of many artists inspires personal internal artistic creation within the self, exploration of transformational themes, and a feeling of true co:creativity. The more art the better; the more artistic design on the stages, from live artists, art installations, right down to the clothes you wear, the more expansive the feeling of the festival is. Art is transformational in itself, especially when it carries with it direct and indirect messages of heady bloomings of awesomeness.

Stage Design:
Now this element is certainly an outgrowth of the last category, but it definitely bares mention. At the festivals I have attended before this summer, stages all followed a similar aesthetic format. They are carted in by trucks and are rented by the production staff, these stages look like flattened boxes before they go up and look like big boxes when they go up. In fact I think it would surprise many festival attendees to know that there is actually little to no design that goes into most stages at festivals. They are rented to be just what they are when they are erected. Surely they can still be amazing containers for musical creation, but what I thought was possible with a festival stage in terms of design and aesthetic got a serious kick in the ass upon my attendance of some transformational events. At Symbiosis each stage was a finely crafted piece of art, from the gigantic pyramid over the mainstage to the finely crafted wood paneling at the Earth stage where the sunrise music took place to the crazy mandala design over the Sun stage, each stage felt distinctly unique and truly inspired different experiences. I could tell also that each of these stages had started out with that same boxy design that gets carted in by truck, but there had been hundreds of man hours put into crafting different artistic elements of the stages. Similarly, at Lightning in a Bottle, the four stages had their own complete feel and the Do Lab spared no expense at making each of them truly awesome, from the bamboo wings on the Bamboo stage to the gigantic columns of lit up plywood at the Lightning stage, each setting inspired a completely different and extremely aesthetically pleasing tone to the dance party. It is the framing of the party into varied evocative experiences that makes these festivals transformational.  Personally, feeling a different emotional connection to each stage was one of the things that made these festivals inspire in me the feeling of personal transformation.

Crowd co:creation:
One seriously awesome and distinctive feature of these transformational festivals, more specifically Symbiosis and Lightning in a Bottle, was the sum of the elements brought not by the festival production and related entities, but by the crowd itself, which can be summed up in the words ‘throw your own party’. At Symbiosis and Lightning in a Bottle, I noticed numerous campsites with artistic flair, multiple communal spaces and renegade sound. Now this might seem like a small element to the gathering but I think it’s one which definitely makes these festivals transformational, as there is a certain spirit of the party that is created by people throwing their own inventive, interesting, possibly artistic parties amongst all that the festival provides. This element is certainly something that spills over from Burner culture, where the party wouldn’t exist if attendees of the event didn’t throw their own aesthetically pleasing ragers within the event. All in all, seeing people together offer visually pleasing communal spaces in and around their camps was one of my favorite elements of these festivals. It’s funny too because I didn’t realize the importance of this part of the transformational festival situation until I arrived to Wakarusa and a storm stopped the stages from running Saturday night. When this happened there was only one renegade sound system that blasted anything in the entire festival, and rest assured that at any of the aforementioned gatherings there would have been at least five renegade sound camps running parties all night, and probably a lot more than that.

The Feeling of the Shift:
To close out this analysis, I must reference something far less definable, a feeling which permeates transformational festivals and is not limited to any one physical or experiential factor, but rather is the cause and the result of many of them. That is the feeling of the great change in ourselves and in the world that many of us are experiencing right now. As human civilization reaches a dangerous precipice of resource exhaustion and social catastrophe, many are awakening to the possibility of a new way of thinking about what it means to be human and about what it means to live at all. It is as if for some, there is a great reconnection with the spirit, with God [I’m not afraid to say it ;) ] and with the integrated and cosmically connected Self. There is something about all festivals that connects us to this, something about communing over sonic exploration with huge groups of like-minded people that integrates us into this vision, but the presence of this feeling was directly at the forefront of Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle and Sonic Bloom, from the marketing of the events to their completion, the production staff and the visionaries behind them certainly believe that their events exist to foster this blooming of consciousness as well as the potential for a new way in which our human civilization can relate socially and personally.

In closing, I really only have one piece of advice: if you can’t make it out West, GO to Rootwire. Papadosio’s festival Rootwire Music and Arts Festival is everything I have mentioned above. It is an amazing family time, and Tribal Council will have the great grace of running a workshop station and an awesome art installation to boot (oh and my band Amarru is playing, check us out!).

I hope that all of your festival experiences are transformational, and that you seek out the events that will inspire in you the kind of next level attitude of personal development that it’s going to provide a basis of love and acceptance that will keep you happy throughout your entire life.

Love and blessings of Work,

-Edwin John Leskin

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

The Temple of Sound and Light, Akira Chan

Whether or not you’re interested in sound healing, there’s no denying how cool this video is. Akira Chan did a great job with the production on this video, and I am very much looking forward to the four part documentary on transformational festivals that he is filming around the country as we speak with Jeet-Kei Leung.  Check the kickstarter page for that amazing project and be sure to check the final product out. In the meantime, enjoy this video, learn something about the nature of sound healing vibrations, and imagine receiving a sound healing session in this guy’s yurt in California. Blessit!

The Temple of Sound and Light from Akira Chan Arts on Vimeo.

“Whether we are aware of it or not, information is constantly being transmitted and received through sound waves.”

This film presents master intuitive energy healer, Richard Learmont, and his practice of channeling Synergetic Forces of healing energies and transmitting them through instruments of Sound.

for more information, visit:
*If you are in San Diego, or plan to visit, I encourage you to schedule a session at this exciting new space.

filmed and edited by Akira Chan