Creative work as a Sacred Drummer health practitioner has come from my love of masks and all that is theatrical and visually expressive. I have always valued the off beat side of life , things that don’t match perfectly but throws off angles that are thoroughly wonderful with intriguing influences to explore.
I have been particularly influenced and inspired by the work of Elise Dirlam Ching and her partner Kaleo CHING in America . I loved their work captured in The Faces of the Soul. The book describes the use of guided imagery to support individuals to access an internal dialogue and different realms of the subconscious during deep relaxation . Sacred Drumming with Steven and Renata Ash took me on a physical external journey connecting me deeply with nature while getting to know my face and its shadows, its crevices to reveal its own beauty. I as a Sacred Drummer saw the potential to integrate the use of the drum into Mask ritual.
I now use Sacred Mask Drumming as part of coaching freelance work , introducing imagery, ritual and sound which has a potential to provide a very enriching holistic experience for individuals in todays modern society.
They are Beautiful, elaborate, fierce, grotesque , elegant, and are extraordinary objects that demonstrate creative skills and aesthetics of many different periods and cultures.Masks are a near-universal phenomenon, and their uses and meanings are strikingly different around the world.
“Animal’s breath and guidance of flow through your being shaping and shifting into sacred art. Giving voice and form to inner discoveries and thus confidence to those who are disconnected from their inner world and internal resources.”
Masks are used in ritual so why not in sacred drumming? After all Masks are traditionally used In ritual and religions in different parts of the world for example Africa. Mask- wearers may be thought to be possessed by – or even become – a spirit or a god. In ancient Egypt, funerary masks were intended to equip the dead with divine powers and attributes.
Sacred drumming with Mask adds to a sense of theatre and drama generating physical energy and trance like focus: I trained as a Drama-therapist and we studied the role of Shamanism and its connection to modern day Drama-therapist , we used sound with drums as part of a process of personal development, masks were also used . A Mask can be made to portray a character such as a goddess or a totem animal/spirit and bring a sense of magic.
In Sacred drumming journeying is part of the process to generate images, but not all participants generate imagery that feels spiritual. I for example have a great imagination that generates ideas, but images in guided journaling are like clouds they come and go very quickly. Mask making brings form to internal images.
Techniques used for mask making create realistic facial sculptures(based on your own face) and once made is used with guided imagery (Essentially journalling) Guided imagery for example leads gently into the realms of the spirit world to connect with inner guides (ancestor, totem animal, guardian angel, inner healer). Your guide then inspires you to paint, decorate, and transform your personal mask from the mould of your own face. A bit like the painting of the sacred drum. Your mask like your sacred drum can be a legacy, a life companion, a gauge of your personal growth, a guardian for your altar.
Caring, you give and receive a facial massage as you apply and sculpt plaster gauze facial moulds with a partner. The massage itself affects the energetic physical emotional mental and spiritual bodies
Develop skill of generating internal images into form via mask making.
Masks have both Sacred as well as ancestral links.
They also have a part to play in expressing human qualities in the magic of theatre with the potential to support self awareness ,
Develop internal strengths as well as transforming physical energy for healing purposes.
“Open the doors of perception of the life force that surround us”
“To experience magical living and the ability to see magnificence shining through the mundane”
Find a sacred space or sanctuary in daily environment , a place for quietness and introspection ….discover insights into your deeper self.
The opportunity to express human qualities in magic of sacred drumming and mask making in the woods with the support of the medicine wheel.
Why: People are working from home more than ever , or they sit in cars and other traffic bumper to bumper all the way to the office like a rat run, more like a rut run. When at home, time is spent slumped in front of the TV boredom creeping in to every cell of the aching body . It wants more , the creative juices are like a dried up pond aching for growth. They have a feeling of being cut off from the rhythm of life and their place and connection with nature.
How: Learn how to Create a Sacred space through the use of the Medicine wheel for self development and connection with Nature leading to Mask work and its creation.
Going on an internal journey through guided imagery meditation supported by the drum thus preparing your inner sanctuary and link to the external terrain.
Get to know your face and its shadows its crevices to reveal its own beauty and magic using sound shadow screen ..taking photos…video-montage
Experience the world through animal sense and action by Meeting your totem animal (your inner advisor) supported by the mask work and drum.