Tribal Visions Festival 2017 Retrospective

by Shannon McArthur

We arrived at Tribal Visions Festival to hugs and kisses from Jessica Joy, the Volunteer Coordinator, who told us Spirit had brought us especially for her–her prayers and magic had brought us through the challenges of engine trouble and accommodation to emerge, just in time, into a welcoming paradise full of fields of tall grasses on rolling hills. JJ was given his choice of how he could contribute and off he went; Jessica (another JJ!) and I went for a walk to talk about mine. She suggested gardening or gathering plantain for the kitchen – or harvesting sage for ceremony. I jumped at that! I love working with herbs, even though I cannot smell them (different story…)

The venue seemed small when we first arrived. I’m glad it wasn’t what I had imagined; as it was, there was more than enough walking! At one end was a circus/play area and a ceremonial dome (the showers were supposed to be there too but never got built–maybe next year); the next field held the tents (and some cars); above that, the parking field and finally, above all, the house. Beside the parking field, moving around the hill, was a small vendors area, Magic Bob’s and the Elders who came to do ceremonies. Further along the path was the sacred fire and the fire of Rev. Yamato The Global Peace Monk, a water altar that I helped Eden decorate, and a tea shoppe. On the lower side of the meadow was the kitchen, Lionfire‘s shamanic tent and a big purple bus where the children played under another dome. The first night we were there was very windy but we’d arranged our camp well and so were able to sleep quite comfortably. Qigong in the ceremonial dome started the next day well; then I harvested more sage and set it to dry up by the house. Later, working at the campsite, I spontaneously decided to take a walk. I was just in time to be in just the right place when the big storm hit–the children’s dome had to be held to the ground or it would have parachuted into the sky on the next gust of wind. Together, six of us grounded the dome. The next day Jessica asked where I’d been during the storm–she had picked up all the sage for me! Our efforts had supported each other–this was a very successful “listening to Spirit” experience for me as there was no strain, no panic, and I was excited to work with others to keep the dome down!

During the festival, people were open and welcoming, full of laughter and fun, forgiving and respectful, appreciative and giving. There were cowboys and hippies and girls in silks; children with their faces painted, and some adults too; hats of all kinds; sunburnt faces and chapped lips; hugs everywhere – some of the best hugs I’ve had. The people I spent time with live with much the same credo as Synergy Hub – living life to the fullest, do what you want, as inspired by Spirit, while respecting and appreciating others and the Earth. I love that the land has been dedicated to the continuation of this mindset since back in the ‘70s. The land is in the care of exceptional people, musicians and singers; Che, Ruth, and others, while the owner (Jai) is overseas. Che’s father enjoyed the music too – a slight wiry elder with a cowboy hat who was often found dancing in the front row!

Music is a major focus here – a large studio is attached to the house. I noticed a lot of activity while I hung sage outside, and the results of that activity were thoroughly enjoyed when they brought their talents to the main stage. Amazingly talented people; and everything seemed to go smoothly. Really, it’s the experience of the festival-goers that counts, and by this criteria, this appeared to be a very successful festival! I’m sure it wasn’t just my experience…

I stepped consciously into the role of Storyteller. Whenever I could I told the prophecy: the Story of the Stones; and at the sacred fire one morning, I spun the tale of the Lifecycle of a God. I shared the story of my name, Sunshine Sparkling on the Waters, and pointed out that we are all Sparks of Our Father, born on Our Mother. I gave out sage from a beautiful basket loaned to me by Jessica. I stepped on stage to recite Crow Surgeon and to share the prayer I wrote for the end of QiGong, the Beauty Way. Finally, I felt my words as seeds, falling on fertile ground.

There was more – I also spent time in their sanctuary, the multi-denominational meditation/altar room for Spirit, in All It’s Forms, that’s the second focus of the house (the music studio is the first, and then there’s the view… OMG!). I told the CannaBuddhist Monk, Robintix, that I was going to my tent to nap; he suggested I lie down in the sanctuary instead. I did. While I did not sleep, he and Andrew played hang-drums; once, a conch was blown and blew all the cobwebs out of me! Then, awhile after, a bell was thoroughly rung, and I was completely wrung out! This sound-bath was one of the best meditations of my life. Then, on our last day, instead of helping JJ pack up (I’ll do better next time), I read tarot cards for many of the people in the house. For me, readings are how I reciprocate, or re/award people for their generosity, their welcome, their love, their music, their gifts… their place and piece of the peace we are all a part of. Nice places like this:

Back when I was in Glastonbury, (was it only 3 months ago?!) a channel told me my guides wanted me to know this is to be my path, and whatever the Rob and JJ decide to do is their stuff–travelling around Turtle Island is supposed to be like a pilgrimage for me. I feel very blessed to travel with these gentle men, fierce in their dedication to the abundant and wonderful reality we are co-creating here on Mother Earth.

Hmm… I like the way that sounds and it’s different from what has been said before. It seems focused on what we have the power to do right now rather than in the future, as does what “we know is possible”. The word co-creating reminds me of a story I heard, about when the European explorers needed to learn the Indigenous language(s); they decided to compile a dictionary. When they came to the word God, the best term they could come up with as an acceptable translation was the “Creationing”. Are we co-creationing with Mother Earth? With Spirit? What do YOU think?  

I think that I am being propelled/guided into this future; I’m not doing a lot of worrying, and I am paying attention. It was challenging when the van broke down (twice!) I breathe, and remember my future is in Spirit’s hands; I am thrilled to meet the people brought into my life through these adventures. If I were to have a wish: I wish I was better at gathering contacts and organizing information because all of the people involved deserve acknowledgement and appreciation and I want to have them in my life, if only virtually. I’ll get better at it. I am comforted when I remember these lovely people have committed their lives to their principles and pastimes, and are guided by Spirit – we will meet again, if meant to be, as the pattern unfolds…


Another day; another festival…

We stopped in Crestone for a couple of nights (another story) and have arrived at 3 Sided Whole, a place in the desert outside Albuquerque in New Mexico dedicated to Spirit, shamanic activities, and psychedelics. Our host, Dr. Norman Katz, aka Dr. Blue, once again gathered a diverse collection of charismatic characters, some of whom, from a conventional point of view, are wildly crazy; and they play amazing music! They come and play free – in this venue, they shine like diamonds; their idiosyncrasies sparkling against the dull backdrop of Mundania, far off in another reality.

The music-makers were merely one facet of a kaleidoscopic array of talents and wonder-full offerings. First thing that first morning, I was drawn into a ceremonial blowing of an ancient kind of whistle; long easy breaths taken and given together with 3-7 other people. It is said to be able to create a psycho-auditory experience, in which we could perhaps hear wisdom from ancient Mayans. I didn’t hear anything but whistles – maybe I need practice!

This festival felt to me like a coming home… people smiled and waved and invited me over; as they spoke to me, their words echoed how I feel: desiring sharing, community, fellowship, love and the wonder of Spirit, the Great Unknowing…

Enough – it’s late and it’s been a long day… I’m tucking into dreamtime! Much love and blessings, beautiful people!

Oh, by the way; I did a lot more editing in this post and it’s much later than I wanted it to be… Is the time spent worth it? Or do you like my rambling brainstream method that I used here? Feedback please!