Getting To Know Your Shamanic Drum

Shamanic DrumHello Friends. I’m almost back in the shamanic world again. Spring at “The Grove” is always a busy time, and a lot of things get postponed (like meals, accounting, blogs, housecleaning…) This spring we’ve been putting up over 300′ of field fence around the garden (including cutting trees for around 40 fence posts), getting new beds made and planting, as well as building a pen for our baby chicks and caring for the land. Keeps us out of mischief 🙂

So this morning over tea, I got a chance to catch up on one of the blogs I read, Shamanic Drumming by Michael Drake. We’ve known Michael for years and enjoy his blog and the book (The Shamanic Drum: A Guide To Sacred Drumming) and CD (The Shamanic Drum Instructional ) he has on shamanic drumming.

As you all know, we do drum making playshops/workshops and help people create their own drums. Many of these drums are used for shamanic healing and some are simply instruments used to make joyful sounds (hmm…I bet that’s still a form of shamanic healing…)

During our drum making playshops we introduce ceremony many times during the workshop, offering thanks and healing to the spirits that offered themselves to be used in creating the drum, and welcoming the spirit of the drum.

By the way, Gary will be facilitating Creating the Sacred Drum – A Drum Making Playshop in Mt. Laurel, NJ in July. You can check it out on our website.

Now back to the Shamanic Drumming blog…Michael has written a great blog that I’m including here (with permission of course). It’s a great introduction on how to get to know your drum.

How to Connect with Your Shamanic Drum by Michael Drake

As a drum circle facilitator, I get asked a lot about how to work with shamanic drums. Drums are an essential part of shamanic work; we use them for journeying, healing and celebration, both for ourselves and for the community. Additionally, the shamanic techniques of extraction, soul retrieval and divination can all be performed with the drum. Yet many people I meet who acquire a drum say they want to work with it but they are not sure how to. Connecting with the spirit of the drum is the first step in learning how to work with it.

There are many ways to connect with a drum. Some shamanic practitioners craft their own drums. A drum of your own creation will be imbued with your own unique essence. It will become a powerful extension of your essential self. Moreover, the spirit of a drum will pass through your hands into the drum as you make it. Other practitioners may choose to purchase drums, and then decorate them in ways that infuse their own energy into it.

One of the best ways to connect with a drum is by journeying to meet the spirit of your drum. Begin by smudging the drum, and then call upon the spirit of the drum and ask it to come to you and become your ally. To support your journey, you can play the drum you are working with or listen to a shamanic journey drumming recording while holding the drum.

When you meet the spirit of the drum, it may teach you some special ways you can use the drum for your shamanic work that you did not know before. It may have a specific name, purpose or type of energy (for example some feel very grounding, others more ethereal). Your drum may wish to be played, decorated or stored in a particular way. It may teach you a rhythm for invoking and enlivening it. When a helping spirit is invoked, there is often an accompanying rhythm that comes through. Be open to the possibilities.

If the initial communication with the spirit of the drum is not very clear, that’s OK. Journeys like this can be repeated a number of times, in fact it is a good thing to do just to develop an ongoing relationship. You can journey to connect with the spirit of your drum as often as you like. To learn more, read “Waking the Drum.”

I hope you find this blog helpful in getting to know your drum’s spirit.

Until next time –

Pleasant Journeys —