As we all gear up to head back into Black Rock City, I notice how the cyclical nature of the event affects how I think about the world. Memories of last year’s event come flooding back as if it were just a few weeks ago. And in some ways, within my mental map, that’s true.
One of the striking moments in 2016 happened right after our toast to celebrate the opening of the Artery and Everywhere space. I was approached by two women from Red Lighting Camp, who carried with them a determination and spirit that I couldn’t ignore. Simone Schultz and Bobbie “OneLove” told me about their intention to head to Standing Rock, and this catapulted me into my own journey.
From that simple conversation, so many things transpired, and the actions by Red Lightning over the following months, in what became a very frigid South Dakota, took an amount of dedication and effort that I am both amazed and humbled by.
But once the movement at Standing Rock disbanded, Red Lightning was far from through with their involvement. They are bringing the lessons, prayers and many of the friends they made out there back home to Black Rock City.
Red Lighting is creating a space to bring the Standing Rock Spirit and global movement together. In a Tipi Circle under a medicine wheel with a sacred fire, a council will gather to engage in song, drum, dance, storytelling and celebration on the esplanade.
This sacred space will be created and held in collaboration with indigenous wisdom keepers and tribal members from across Turtle Island.
There’s a variety of events happening at Red Lighting throughout the week, but the most radical gift will be their Global Drum Prayer. On Tuesday, August 29 at 6:30 pm, Red Lightning will gather in a drum circle, and the Mayan Warrior art car will amplify the tribal beats across the playa. It will be an attempt to create a global synchronized ritual with 66 other locations across the globe, which will be joining in simultaneously.
All are welcome to come and visit Red Lightning at 8:15 & Esplanade.
You can also join us at Burners Without Borders Camp (2:45 & Esplanade) on Wednesday, August 30 at 3:45–5:15pm, for our Standing Rock panel. We’ll have a variety of Burner voices, including those from Red Lightning who made the trek out to Standing Rock, and who will tell us about the lessons, the learnings, and how it continues to affect us.
As our community continues this circadian rhythm into the desert and back out again, I continue to be impressed by our drive to bring the experiences, values and Principles out past the orange trash fence. Let’s see what happens this year as we bring what we learned out in the world, back home again to the playa.
You can learn more about Red Lightning here and the Global Drum Prayer here.
Top photo by Simone Schultz