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Rainbow Family members camped out near Keston Ponds
Keen eyed walkers will have noticed several tents and a tepee pitched near Keston Ponds. ROBERT FISK had a cup of tea with the campers to find out why they are there.
COPIES of a court order saying there is an eviction hearing at Bromley County Court on May 4 have been pinned up around the tranquil site near the ponds at Keston Common.
The campers are undecided about whether to go to the court but they are determined to be at their site until full moon on May 6 and are hoping to not leave until ‘dark moon’ on May 21.
They are members of a worldwide spiritual group called the Rainbow Family who have gathered to celebrate Beltane, which is the traditional start of summer.
It is Mark Rainbow’s third Beltane after a life which he says involved being a “victim for most of my life, a disaffected child then a disaffected soldier and then a disaffected citizen”.
The Liverpudlian, who was a drug addict for 18 years before discovering Tai Chi and Yoga and then the Rainbow Family, has now completely turned his back on his old life.
Mr Rainbow, who says his age is ‘eternal’, said: “I do not have benefits and I do not work, I just trust that the universe will provide for me.
“I know if I stay open the Rainbow will make sure my needs are taken care of.
“For my first gathering I arranged to take a weekend off my job as a probation hostel worker then went to the gathering and cancelled my job then never went back to Liverpool.”
Camper James Evans is experiencing his first gathering but says he has been a Rainbow Family member all his life.
“This is about saying no to how society expects us to behave.
“I find the expectations and limitations put on us to be really restrictive and if you cannot see that the way you are living you’re living your lives is out of sync with the way things should be then you are pretty deluded.
“Being an anarchist and not doing what people tell you to do doesn’t mean you are a violent psychotic, maybe it just means you care about life.”
The 40-year-old says they have several visitors who say they admire what they are doing.
Mr Evans added: “They say they wish they had the courage to make the choices that you do.
“I do not think it’s brave at all really.
“Doing what makes you feel good is common sense, no?”
FIVE FACTS ABOUT RAINBOW FAMILY GATHERINGS
:: Gatherings take place all over the world and they are open to everyone from all walks of life.
:: Most gatherings last 28 days from a new moon to the next new moon with the full moon being the peak of the celebration.
:: A gathering can involve just one person or it can involve thousands of people.
:: At each meal the Rainbow Family members pass around a ‘magic hat’ and anything people want to give to the community can be put into it.
:: Technology including mobile phones and cameras are not allowed at gatherings.