Marijuana prohibition was a conspiracy

Reefer madness in North America may have begun a mere 80 years ago with the first anti-cannabis laws passed in Texas as means of controlling Mexican immigrants, but the persecution kicked off much earlier.

Funny the history books don’t mention that when cannabis and man got together around the Ukraine some 10,000 years ago, stoners soon domesticated horses and invented the wheel, and pretty soon hemp-covered wagons were traveling the silk road and over the Khyber Pass, dropping hemp seeds all along the way.

Eventually, great temples emerged along these trails, and even though we call them “fire” temples today, they were all serving hot milk and cannabis as a medicine and sacrament. A revolutionary idea emerged, the idea of a single great spirit uniting everything. It was an altar that unified everything and instantly transformed all the known gods and goddesses, angels and demons to the role of facets of the same crystal.
This idea spread quickly from the East to the West and eventually threatened the power and prestige of the world-dominating Roman Empire, an oligarchy ruled by elite families bent on global domination.

But some sorcerers inside that oligarchy did an amazing trick. They co-opted the one-god concept, while removing the real sacrament. They also invented a ton of dogma designed to help keep the oligarchy in control. And they kept their original sacrament, alcohol, the sacrament of warrior culture. Skip forward a hundred years saying the word “cannabis” in a Catholic country might get you dragged before the Inquisitor General, even though everyone knew the rope was made from it. Francois Rabelais had to refer to the plant in code to avoid persecution, even though he was the leading doctor and alchemist of his time, and well aware of the plant’s powers.

But after the hammer of the United States government fell on cannabis 80 years ago, a small group in New Orleans who used it in ceremonies refused to give it up. Probably because some felt it made them perform better. These few unknown laid the foundation for blues, jazz, rock, folk, hip hop in a place called Congo Square, a place I consider the real Mecca of North America.

Now consider the great wheel of life and how it spins round and round and the same dramas appear over and over, and consider that the Inquisition really got started after a group calling themselves The Society of  Smokers appeared in Northern Italy and Southern France, who started writing the first secular sheet music, something that must have infuriated the Vatican, which held a patent on music. Whatever happened, the Society of Smokers were suddenly erased off the face of the earth with zero mention in the history books. Fortunately, a few scraps of sheet music survived and I’m sure the Vatican has the mother lode stored away. Just think about how the Society of Smokers and those pioneers of Congo Square in New Orleans were both using cannabis as a tool to elevate their minds and their music. And consider Congo Square manifested a culture that has used music as a tool to end both the War in Vietnam and marijuana prohibition.

A great re-awakening and remembering will soon flood across the land. All I ask is that you remember cannabis prohibition was a conspiracy and our next mission should be to dismantle the war for profit conspiracy.

How to plan a 420 ceremony

flashing 420Funny how many seem antagonistic to ceremonies. Just mention the word and a shiver goes up their back. They don’t realize ceremonies are a part of their life. Magic and spirituality move through us all naturally, and it doesn’t matter what names you put on anything, everything that ever happened keeps happening over and over.
Ceremonies have purposes, as well as flavors, and you can surf any vibration you want. Most family/tribal ceremonies unify the family/tribe and raise spirits. In order to unify, everyone needs to meditate on a single vibration for some brief instant. In a healthy family, the vibration being channeled is most often love.
Ever notice how the words “I love you” are magic? And how difficult to say sometimes. Sharing love energy is a ceremony. But then sharing anything is a ceremony.
Did you know there’s a love ceremony handed down for over 10,000 years intact, one that carries zero dogma and seeks only to harmonize participants? To outsiders, it may seem strange and can be mistaken for some cult brainwashing tool, but I guarantee this ancient ceremony works as well as any I’ve ever run across. It’s called the OM circle.
When your fight/flight response is activated, your emergency energy system turns on, and that jolt of energy has a tendency to overwhelm your brain, resulting in unproductive panic behavior. In that state you can easily freeze, or make the worst decision possible. Mental states are telepathic and create energy waves that can be felt and amplified, which is why panic spreads through a crowd fast as wind-whipped fire.
Fear is the basis of all mind control, and when a sorcerer wants to cast a spell, creating a panic and guiding that vibration wherever he wants is the primary device at his disposal. A scapegoat will be manufactured, tortured in public and then executed, followed by free grog for all. This is the way dark magic has worked for millennium.
Modern media has put most of the population on the edge of fight/flight mode through extreme levels of violence programming. And you won’t find much solace from this vibration in the conspiracy community, where fear levels are tweaked even higher.
Ten thousand years ago, the use of a certain sacramental plant spread like a wild-fire across most of the globe, from Europe to India to China. Enormous temples were built in the honor of this plant. But they weren’t just temples, they were the greatest hospitals and healing centers of their time. The plant was mixed with hot milk and spices and served to treat all afflictions, and became known as the king of healing plants, creator of magic and immortality, the tree of life.
It was the birth of a great age of enlightenment and coincided with the creation of most of our great religions. At the time this plant arrived, all things had long been considered to have spirit energies, and temples were built to countless gods and goddesses, but the message this plant conveyed concerned a Great Spirit that connected All Things.
But some dark sorcerer made the plant that caused the awakening a scapegoat. It was a clever campaign, executed in stages over a great expanse of time. The plant’s ceremonial powers virtually disappeared for 2,000 years, while the spiritual cultures it birthed were corrupted: false priests installed, new dogmas created. All trace of the plant was removed from all texts, a ploy not entirely successful, so deep was this plant woven into the fabric of these cultures.
In the 1880s, the plant’s magic ceremonial powers were rediscovered in New Orleans by African slaves owned by French planters who’d recently escaped the Haitian Revolution. These slaves invited Natives and others to join their ceremonies and soon created the most influential cultural movement of any time. However, no sooner did this movement appear, than governments moved to squash it, using persecution of the plant as the hammer to achieve their goal.
In the 1960s, surfers in California discovered the plant, and it led them on a sacred journey back to the plant’s original origins. When they returned from Afghanistan, they brought the ancient OM circle used at those original healing temples that once dotted the landscape from India to Iran. It is also the best method for dispelling panic and turning off fight/flight mode. And thus I believe it can also be an important tool to help deprogram the mind control memes being run today. It can also be an great tool to heal PTSD, which can create a near-constant fight/flight mode.
So when people ask me to prescribe 420 ceremonies, I must confess the OM is the greatest harmonization ritual I know, and I think it works through a triangulation of touch, sound and telepathy.
But wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to see a hundred thousand voices erupt in an OM in Denver some day?



http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415013461&sr=8-1&keywords=candles+Steven+hager
 

The underwater OM circle

This story is dedicated to Jan Hutton, whose crossed to the spirit realm on June 27, 2013. Jan was a willing participant in all my improvisational ceremonies, no matter how crazy they seemed at the time, because she had a deep connection with the spiritual vibrations. Her spirit is a good place to be.

By the time I went to my first National Rainbow Gathering, I’d already been hanging out with Garrick Beck in the East Village for over a year, and also attending the Rainbow picnics in Central Park, which I stumbled into by accident one afternoon.  So when I arrived at my first gathering, I came well prepared and even carried a bunch of water-based florescent paints so I could make cool signs, paint faces and customize my camp. I built a pretty elaborate scene next to Garrick. This is where I first met the great Fantuzzi, the star of the midnight jam sessions.

Of course, my life turned 180 degrees after that experience. I’d been focused on the garage band scene at the time and leading my band the Soul Assassins to rock’n’roll glory on the Hemp Tour while leading the fight to legalize marijuana, but suddenly I had an urge to put a major effort into spreading Peace Vibe Consciousness. First thing I wanted to do was visit my cousins in Florida. Tom had saved me in 1970 by buying a one-way ticket to Stockholm so I could escape the Vietnam War, an experience both my cousins had been through and neither wanted me anywhere close to that national nightmare.

After Vietnam, my cousins had spent a few years traveling the world. I maintained correspondence with them during this time, and kept everything, including all the Vietnam letters. Someday I’ll put that up on Smashwords, as Tom is a great writer and very funny. They both became anti-war activists right after leaving the service. Eventually, they settled in Delray Beach and got jobs as lifeguards. But they had a secret hideout in the Florida Keys, where they would go on vacations whenever they had time off. I went there to initiate them into the Rainbow Family. My plan was to build a sort of private gathering celebrating the Rainbow spirit, something I thought might convince both my cousins to come and join me at an upcoming regional in Ocala, Florida.

Before my cousins arrived I constructed a giant peace pole and designed some ceremonial spaces.

There were psychedelic signs everywhere. I had a bag of mushrooms and brewed up some mushroom tea, the drinking of which would be our first ritual.

Just to get the right vibe going, after the mushroom tea and ceremonial face-painting, I started reading from the autobiography of Red Cloud.

Most people don’t realize the counterculture came out of Congo Square in New Orleans, and it started as a merger between Black African slaves who had been living in Haiti working the sugar plantations and the local native Americans. You can see the Native influence in the New Orleans ceremonies of today. That influence is huge on hippie culture as well, and it’s a path for all people to experience vibes of Native culture without actually becoming a wannabe because our version is a hybrid of all cultures, which is what Rainbow is really all about. After an OM around the Peace Pole and drumming and chanting, it was time to get into the boats. My cousins had two sailboats at the time, a big one and a little one.

Jerry built the little one himself, as well as the trailer he lugged it around with. It was a masterful craft, very fast and seaworthy. As I recall, there was a race to see which boat would get launched first and Jerry won easily. Once we were out near the Gulfstream, it was time to go snorkeling, one of our favorite things to do in the Keys, and this was before the pollution killed most of the coral.

Then I got the inspiration to do an underwater OM, which actually worked out fantastic since we could all hear each other clearly and it seemed to have a calming effect on the ocean around us.

(I’d later try to do one of these in Jamaica with the High Times staff, but soon discovered they were all wearing life-preservers which made submerging impossible.)

After the underwater OM, I got fascinated by a lonely baby jelly fish and followed the transparent little creature back to his nest, where thousands of relatives were breathing in unison. I was thinking about doing an OM with them, but then suddenly snapped out of my mushroom fog and realized what a dangerous situation I was in. Very suddenly I was swimming full-speed back to the boat.

We loaded up on the big boat and headed back to the safety of our camp. It was a great week, and I had a blast creating my little hippie disneyland, but, in truth, although my cousins went along and joined in on the ceremonies, they didn’t get drawn in enough to want to ever attend a Rainbow Gathering. In fact, Jerry admitted he’d accidentally stumbled into the Ocala Gathering one year and been scared off and freaked out by the sight of some naked hippies. That was the difference between me and my cousins. I had joined the counterculture as a teen while they had joined the army, so going to a gathering for me was like going home. Why it’s so hard for outsiders to get over the nakedness I’ll never know. It’s just another form of freedom, and if you never use it, you aren’t really free.

On the Road Again?

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I probably won’t be checking out The Hobbit this weekend, as the reviews are dreadful and I didn’t even care for the bloated Rings trilogy. However, there’s an upcoming release that does attract my interest, a remake of Jack Kerouac’s masterpiece On the Road, a book that launched thousands of teens on vision quests around the world to find their true identities, while searching carefully for any potential sacraments that might aid in that mission.

Today a lot of people complain On the Road is meandering and structureless. They fail to understand the book introduced a new zeitgeist and trumpeted the appearance of an emerging counterculture that had been incubated inside the jazz scene for a century. Kerouac found an edge where Zen met Congo Square, and the two cultures were essentially revealed to have the same foundations. The counterculture actually began in Congo Square in New Orleans and the one element it prizes above all else is unfiltered, improvisational energy. On the Road was the literary equivalent of a wild jazz solo. And just as important, the book introduced tribal and Eastern concepts of spirituality which allowed a new spiritual vocabulary to emerge, one that dealt with vibrations and telepathic energies.

The Beats were inducted at the 12th Cannabis Cup, and Carolyn Cassady, the great love of both Jack and Neal, was the High Priestess. The thing Carolyn most wanted to convey was that everyone was extremely conservative in the 1940s, including the Beats, most of whom had conventional ideas about love and marriage. Jack’s biggest accomplishment, according to Carolyn, was his ability to inject meaning into everyday life and to treat every moment as a sacred experience.

By the way, if you attempted to read On the Road and were turned off because the narrative wasn’t pronounced enough for your taste, I suggest you pick up Big Sur, Kerouac’s greatest masterpiece. You won’t be disappointed.

The 12th Cannabis Cup provided a huge jump in terms of the video I was self-producing on limited budget because that year iMovie was released, giving me an opportunity to really delve into non-linear editing. Check out the short highlight reel I produced that year:

The Master Mind: From Congo Square to the Cockettes

The most vibrant cultural movement of our time was founded in Congo Square, New Orleans, because that was the only place in North America where anyone could mix and forge new ceremonies. On Sundays, use of the square had been set aside for the French-African slaves, who’d been transplanted from Haiti after a revolution broke out there. These slaves welcomed the Houmas natives, who probably had the best drums and undoubtedly reminded the Africans of their own tribal heritage. Congo Square was an appropriate name for this place because it was also the only place where slaves and Indians could legally play drums because they provoked fears of an impending attack throughout the original Colonies. The site had been used for years by the Houmas to hold harvest ceremonies and was considered a sacred spot. There may have been some sort of drum circle or jam session going on at Congo Square every day, but Sunday afternoon was the peak moment when the best performers went off. Congo Square created blues, jazz, rock’n’roll and reefer smoking. This culture traveled up the Mississippi, eventually infecting Memphis, Kansas City, St. Louis and Chicago. When it hit Chicago, a Jewish teen named Mezz Mezzrow jumped onboard and the rest is history.

One of the most important things I learned from cannabis: the more diverse your gene stock, the more vibrant your F1 hybrid. The Great Spirit That Runs Through Everything loves diversity and shows this affection in many ways. The reason Congo Square erupted with such creative energy is because so many diverse cultures were mixing ritual and ceremony to create a unique hybrid that respected all cultures. When you visit Mardi Gras you can clearly see the deep appreciation for Native American tradition. As blues evolved into jazz, elements of Western culture (like harmony and orchestral instruments) were incorporated. The foundation of this culture was always based in improvisation, whether it be in music, dance, slang, or gesture. The counterculture encourages freedom in every aspect, which is why every generation looks and talks different, yet all grow from the same trunk.

The most important influence in the early sixties came in the form of a Magic Bus of Merry Pranksters. Ken Kesey went from celebrated novelist to customizing his jeans and encouraging total freedom, similar in many respects to Julian Beck’s cry of Paradise Now!, only the Prankster version initially involved taking LSD as often as possible, a lifestyle that quickly proved unsustainable. Acid was too powerful and potentially dangerous, although it proved to be a great medicine for those who used it sparingly. If anything was learned in the sixties, it was that reefer is the only safe daily sacrament.

The most influential group to emerge from the Haight (aside from the Grateful Dead) was a commune called The Cockettes. After the Pranksters called everyone to council, strangers began creating instant communes in the Haight that mixed people from all backgrounds. One of these communes was super eclectic and included a few gays, who were really glowing at the time because this was their coming-out party after centuries of oppression and they encouraged everyone else in the commune into dropping acid, dressing as wild as possible, and channeling whatever energy emerged. The Cockettes launched a lot of different styles, but Glitter Rock was their most important. They blazed a stylistic trail soon followed by the New York Dolls and David Bowie, among many others. They also created the cult movie scene, because their original performances evolved out of dressing up and attending a local cinema, where they used the film as a sounding board. Before long, the film element was discarded as the audience was more interested in the Cockettes, so their improvisational antics became the entire show. If the Club 57 crowd had lived in the same commune 24-7 they probably would have fomented something huge, although in a way that’s exactly of what happened when Keith and Kenny moved in together. Andrew Carnegie and Napoleon Hill would’ve called that forging the master-mind, one of their many telepathic keys to success.

The one lesson I’d take away from this is that there’s probably a relationship between the diversity of a Master Mind group and the amount of creative energy that group will eventually unleash.

And isn’t it interesting that our dominant religions work against these laws of nature, encouraging bigotry against other cultures and declaring jihads and crusades against the unbelievers? That’s because war is a profit stream constantly being mined for revenue, so the accepted religions need to do their part to manufacture the conflicts.

How Could Anyone Be So Evil?

I didn’t post a blog yesterday on 9/11. Instead I watched the survivors’ memorial from Ground Zero, thankfully free from politics this year (although I could have lived without a stern policeman’s face between all reader’s of the names). The bell ringing and silence at moment of impact is a fine ritual. I carry much grief from that day, especially since I was in New York City, and, although I lost no personal friends, I shared the grief that consumed the city.

In the wheel of life, the same basic dramas get played out over and over by every generation, although once in a while a giant wave probably appears, some intense uptick (or downtick) in energy, like what happened in Congo Square in the 1800’s, for example.

While Skull & Bones and the Sicilian “men of honor” were just creating their Brotherhoods of Death, black African slaves from French plantations on Haiti were mingling with Native Americans to create the foundations of blues, jazz, rock’n’roll and hip hop and create a culture free from racism. Ceremonies from both sides transformed this country, although in much different ways and the two sides have been in conflict almost from birth, as when Harry Anslinger went after the jazz musicians, or J. Edgar Hoover went after the hippies.

When you run a power center that has existed for hundreds of generations, you probably get a better feel for the generational ups and downs in energy that take place, as well as the impacts of war and other disasters. Isn’t it strange those slaves were brought in to create the world’s sugar cartel, the first white powder drug to rearrange the global balance of power (but not the last)?  Another strange reality: those two brotherhoods of death actually conspired together to create an explosion of heroin and cocaine into America, another rearranging of the world’s balance of profits.

I find it odd so many Americans refuse to accept the reality that 9/11 was a huge op, involving many intelligence agencies, and we desperately need a new investigation to clear the country’s karma. Certainly there is no down side to such an investigation, although I’m sure every effort will be made to compromise it before it even starts. Refuge and protection for all the whistle-blowers who have suffered so far for coming forward and refusing to tow the government line would be a step in the right direction.

But what’s really needed is a new generation that wants to turn away from the violence that permeates our culture. When hippies become respected cultural icons and Obama invites Stephen & Ina May Gaskin to the White House, you’ll know we’re headed in the right direction. Just to see some hippie activists get treated with respect for a change (instead of being ignored) would do a world of good in helping inspire a new hippie generation.

And before I stir up all you punks out there, let me school you on something: The punk generation always had a left and a right, and the left side were hippies in punk outfits, just like Joe Strummer eventually admitted. The original punk is not Legs McNeil. In my town, his name was Jim Cole, founder of the greatest garage band in the state, The Finchley Boys.

But the real reason I wrote this blog is to answer the question: how could people in the government be so evil as to let thousands of innocent Americas die? For people that stage war for profit, the deaths of civilians or military forces has never been a consideration, why would this generation be any different? Trillions of dollars were involved in 9/11: Federal Reserve securities were destroyed, massive insider trading went down. For someone making a few billion dollars that day, you really think the deaths of a few peasants, useless eaters, makes any difference if it helps cover up the crimes? To me, those victims were like the people left to suffocate in the tombs created to hide the trillion dollars in stolen gold after WWII, the money nobody ever talks about, money that was captured by Skull & Bones, and used to foment changes that could be mined for profit around the world, and maybe even help foster a violent, dumbed-down culture easily hoodwinked and led to war by a transparent false-flag operation. Imagine if that trillion dollars had been used in a positive manner, to help the starving, uneducated masses of the world. What a different place this would be. And you know something, a new investigation of 9/11 just might blow the lid on the Black Eagle Fund scam that’s been going on.

Remembering the Fun Gallery

Patti Astor has an incredible sense of ceremony. She was way cooler than me, but our trajectories weren’t that far off: Patti emanated out of Cincinnati and the SDS, and me out of the anti-war movement in central Illinois. We were both into experimental theater and film, although she became an underground star, while I had to go into journalism to survive. Eventually Patti’s career as an actress was eclipsed by her role as a master of ceremonies.

In fact, her ceremonies were peerless at the time. Patti knew how to surf the zeitgeist and could manufacture “juice,” which is what the emerging hip hop kids called telepathic energy and star power.

The East Village art scene was pretty complex and dynamic, but I seem to remember a time when Patti was dating Jean Michel and I guess everyone considered them the King and Queen at that point. Patti had divorced Steven Kramer, who was another incredible artistic force at the time in his own right. It takes a tribe to make real culture happen. And when that tribe forms, these magical creatures appear to channel the energies of the group, creatures like Jean Michel, Fred, Patti.

I remember sitting in back of the Fun Gallery with Fred and talking about Congo Square. Fred knew the real history of the counterculture. It started in the one place where slaves gathered on Sundays in New Orleans, a site that quickly spawned the most fascinating cultural eruption in North America. The French slaves from Haiti had merged with the local Native Americans to create multicultural forms of song, fashion, dance and gesture based on spontaneous improvisation and freedom of expression. Soon people from all over North America were traveling to New Orleans just to visit Congo Square on a Sunday and watch the incredible ceremonies that unfolded every weekend.

What those visitors found were dance circles. Sometimes many would form, but at other times, when something really immense was going down, there would be only one circle and one or two dancers in the center. Some of these dances were considered wildly erotic in their day and I’m pretty sure the drum section was probably the best in North America at the time. Many of the dancers wore shells and bells that added a musical element to their performances.

Congo Square is the birthplace of blues, jazz and rock’n’roll. And the thing that always struck me was how close those Kool Herc parties in the mid-1970s were to the vibe and spirit of Congo Square. In one case you had these slaves who only had one day off, and in the other you had these teens in the South Bronx, a place recently branded as the worst slum in America. And part of the baptism of this oppression includes the birth of new styles of song, dance, fashion and gesture? And the fact Jean-Michel was Haitian just seemed to fit right in.

At the height of the East Village scene, Patti was constantly throwing these soirees, and you never knew who was going to be attending, just that the mix would be wild and fantastic. Often the point of these events was to sell some art on the spot to save the Fun Gallery, but real collectors were strangely somewhat short in supply at the time, although I’m sure many regret that absence now. I remember being at one of these events, when I was single, and I suddenly found myself in nose-to-nose direct eye contact with the most amazing dark-haired goddess. And believe me, I’ve met many amazing, totally amazing goddesses and usually I can command some sort of instant rapport, or even a semblance of normal behavior, but, in fact, in this case I was just a deer in the headlights, speechless. Meanwhile, she stood there staring me back, not saying a word, but certainly not showing intimidation, quite the opposite, in fact, this girl radiated tons of self confidence.

I remember thinking at the time, I guess she knows I’m the famous Steve Hager who wrote Beat Street and has the first book on Hip Hop ready to come out any day now. But the next day, I was talking to Patti and she asked me if I’d met Phoebe. I was like, Phoebe? Yeah, Phoebe Cates.

That’s when I realized the incredible goddess I essential blew off by not being able to speak a single word, was an actual emerging movie star. And the funny thing is, I also stupidly blew off the blonde goddess Madonna at the Fun House (but that’s another faux pas, and one already covered on a different blog).

I began plotting my next move and spending a lot of time thinking about Phoebe Cates, which wasn’t hard since she had a movie being covered daily on the newly created Entertainment Tonight (a show I embraced at first but have come to hate for creating the template that destroyed the media). Of course, I returned every afternoon to the Fun Gallery, but that was nothing new, as checking in with Patti and Bill had been part of my daily orbit for weeks. And then D-Day arrived. I walked into the Fun Gallery and Phoebe and a girl friend were lounging in bean bags looking at some Fab Five paintings that Bill had set up for them.

But for some reason I veered over to the desk and found myself on the phone talking to Kenny Scharf. I’d just come from the office of Vanity Fair and been given an assignment to write about a different gallery in the East Village, as the editor didn’t want to give the Fun any juice even though he knew that was my personal headquarters. I didn’t tell Kenny about these politics, I just said, “I got a gig with Vanity Fair,” hoping I said it loud enough for Phoebe to hear.

I don’t remember much on the rest of the moment, just that I never tried to introduce myself (and I think Bill offered to do it for me) and probably just slunk out of there eventually and then wandered around in a mindless daze of indecision. I thought I’d see Phoebe around again, but in fact never did. A few years later, she would marry Kevin Kline and move into Hollywood royalty. Years later, I discovered Kenny had told a bunch of people that I’d been hired as an editor at Vanity Fair and was embarrassed after a bunch of them told him that wasn’t true. In fact, I never “worked at” that snooty magazine and that one little gallery review probably comprised my entire output in their pages. But that was okay, because I’d soon take over High Times.

10 Most Sacred Spots in America

1) Congo Square, New Orleans. This is the actual birthplace of the counterculture, where Native Americans, African slaves, and a wide mixture of European whites first gathered to create an improvisational culture, blending elements of all their histories to create the popular, non-violent, hybrid-vigor culture we know today as the counterculture.

2) Hippie Hill, San Francisco. Located at the base of Haight Street, just steps from the corner of Haight/Ashbury, Hippie Hill was the ceremonial gathering place for the birth of the hippie movement.

3) Laguna Beach, California. Just as important as Hippie Hill was the influence of John Griggs and the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. There is a little-known surfer-hippie connection that has not been fully explored yet. Surfers who took LSD early in the sixties were among the first people to reach true enlightenment. The real center of energy may have been the auditorium on Newport Beach, but unfortunately that temple of surf rock was torn down.

4) Woodstock Festival, Bethel, New York. The first Woodstock was a true gathering of the tribe, and a place where the counterculture first realized itself in enormous numbers. It was our hippie version of the Sermon on the Mount. Also worth mentioning is Magic Meadow, Woodstock, New York. Located near the start of the trail to Overlook Mountain, Magic Meadow is the main ceremonial location selected by early beatniks and hippies who flocked to Woodstock as a haven for counterculture spirituality. Overlook Mountain also had a long history of use by Native cultures as a primary site for vision questing.

5) Strawberry Lake, Colorado. Located on the continental divide, Strawberry Lake was the site of the original Rainbow Family Gathering. The authorities tried to close all access to the site when they learned ten thousand hippies planned on camping there over the week of July 4th, but despite the roadblocks and police presence, all the hippies managed to sneak into the site via the back trails.

6) Camp Winnarainbow, Laytonville, CA. Wavy Gravy is the foremost master of ceremonies of the counterculture and he built the second most successful counterculture community in America. Wavy is the master of improv energy and channeling the fun vibe. His camp is the perfect place to send your kids to learn about counterculture spirituality.

7) Ken Kesey’s farm, outside Eugene, Oregon. The original bus, Further (or Furthur) is parked here. Kesey is our counterculture version of Odysseus, and his magic bus ride was a seminal moment in counterculture history. Wherever that bus resides will always be a most sacred spot in counterculture history.

8) Mount Tamalpias, CA. The birthplace of 420 and the site of the original April 20th ceremonies. Since cannabis is the primary sacrament of the counterculture (and has been used since its birth in Congo Square), the birthplace of 420 will always be a most sacred location for the counterculture.

9) Owl Farm, Colorado. Located a short drive from Aspen, the home of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson radiates with intense vibrations from all the ceremonies held on the site.

10) National Rainbow Family Gathering. Every July 1-7, the gathering is held in a different National Forest so this is a mobile sacred spot that moves around every year. The Rainbow Family is the heart and soul of the counterculture. Everyone needs to make a pilgrimage to this event at least once in their life to see what a world without violence and bigotry actually feels like.