Drumming has been used for thousands of years by indigenous healers to shift people out of stuck energy and re-connect them to the flow of life, opening a pathway for healing and transformation.
The power of the Sacred Drum lies in its ability to connect you with your bones, your heartbeat and your natural rhythms. Repetitive Drumming, for example, is meditation-inducing and slows down our brain rhythms, helping us to experience trance-like states. This is because of the action of the reticular activating system located in the brainstem, which alerts the brain to incoming sensory stimulation. Loud repetitive sounds such as drumming flood the brain with input and override the other sensory channels. As normal brain activity – often, thinking and worrying – is suppressed, this frees the consciousness to explore other forms of perception.
Studies show that repetitive drumming, combined with instructions for shamanic journeying, has both physiological and therapeutic effects, including a positive impact on the immune system. Drumming is fun, it’s physical and it’s a great diversion from the stress-filled activities that so often plague modern life.
Sacred Drumming is for everyone. It does not require advanced physical abilities or specialised talents. As a participant, you don’t need to be able to read music or understand music theory. Drumming, even a simple rhythm pattern, offers benefits to a huge range of people.
It’s a universal language that transcends gender, race, age, and nationality. In fact, nearly every culture on earth has some form of drumming tradition. In our fragmented modern society, where close family and community ties are in decline, the re-awakening of drum healing in ceremony is fulfilling a deep need for connection and sustenance.
In Sacred Drumming, we explore our relationships with the powers of the sacred directions of the Medicine Wheel (hyperlink Medicine Wheel blog post), using the drum to speak the language of what we are seeking. These sacred directions are a way to find our inner compass so we can navigate our way through life more authentically and joyfully. In the words of Bear Heart, “The Elders had a way of tolerating uncomfortable places when they travelled. They would stand facing either South or North and sing certain songs over and over until the people felt better.”
The voice of the drum carries our friendship and our willingness to listen, going far beyond the limitations of our conditioned human concepts. When I drum, I feel like I have my friend with me, giving me feedback: she knows my tension and she calms me.
When I am feeling off-beat in my life, my drum speaks and takes me into the garden where the radiant thread of nature re-weaves my body and mind back together. The birds appear in the sky above me, bestowing me with their blessing of curiosity as they’re drawn to my sounds. The rhythmic beat of my drumming spills out to my neighbours, who also come into the garden with interest and delight. Even a spider comes out from the dark corners inside my home to seek my drum. As I drum, a palpable energy fills my body and I feel alive and deeply connected. At these moments, I feel that all creatures are my friends: I touch a delicious reverence inside my being.
In my Sacred Mask Drumming workshops, I invite you to experience the beauty of bliss, depth and integration with all of life. We will explore your connection to the other life forms that surround us in what the shamans call the Middle World we humans inhabit.
I learned from my teacher that all individual life forms have a heartbeat that keeps their lives coherent and regular. He says: “As every cell moves, as every thought ventures, as each tooth strikes, as bone connects to bone.”
As we breathe, everything breathes around us; each time our feet touch the soil, there is an answering echo from beneath. Every tear that flows from our eyes connects with something else. It is this deep undercurrent that we have the power to sense through drumming.
As you drum, you will hear the voice of nature and of other realms as you pat the drum-skin. Let the Sacred Drum listen to what’s inside you, and search for your heartbeat like the stretch of loving hands. Let the Drum bring you back to the serenity and wisdom of your heart.
To explore how my workshops can guide you on this fascinating path of discovery and re-awakening, find out more here.