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As I told you all in my last post, I attended a shamanic drum making workshop this past weekend. It was the culmination of a number of aspects of my path, a harvest so to speak.

Day 1: All of the women gathered to receive our supplies and to begin soaking the hides for our drums. I had carefully chosen Elk because of their role in my life, they are power animals that show up for me at various times in my journeys.

We also journeyed to meet the spirit of the wood and the animal that gave themselves to the making of the drum. When I met my elk, I lived his whole life in reverse. I also saw the life of the Willow tree. We all became one; the tree, the elk, and I….

Here is a picture of part of the drum frame I painted. I put my two magickal runes on the inner circle, framed by ankhs, and accompanied by a poem.



 Day 2: We pulled our hides and sinews from the water, punched holes around the edges, then assembled the drum and the beater. The whole time I did it  in reverence, concentrating on letting the spirit of the drum awaken in my hands, as I worked. Here is a photo of a number of the drums drying on the “rack.” Mine, of course, is the one most prominently displayed.


Day 3: We gathered to journey and meet the spirit of our drum, awaken and introduce it to the community, then hear its voice. In my journey, I began walking by a creek. As I did so, a snake came and wrapped around my body, winding its way up until it came to rest upright around my head as the Uraeus depicted in Egyptian art and paintings.

As I walked along the creek, I passed behind the water into a cave where a group of elders sat in a Circle. They welcomed me in, robing me in the elk skin and handing me a staff made from the skin. Then a bird, which I later found to be the black shouldered kite, came to alight upon my right shoulder. These animals are the totems of the drum, the serpent and the Kite.

The elders told me that I needed to move further into the cave to commune with the spirit of my drum. (Before journeying I had placed physically placed my drum upon my power center and the beater across my heart.) I moved deeper into the cave, coming to a chamber I am quite familiar with from earlier journeys. This place is a chamber of crystals, many of which are the pale blue of celestite. While in that chamber I began to play both my drum and my didgeridoo (which I had not considered in some time…)

As I played these instruments, the crystals began to light up and sing. I was told that I need to use these two instruments to put spaces and places back into harmony with the rest of the world, put them to “rights.” I was told that the drum is in perfect tune, but that I need to use my vacation traveling to Sacred Spaces and familiarizing myself with what a Space feels like when it is “in tune.” That way, when a place is out of tune, I will know.

I was also told that this drum will be used most often in the cases of psychopomp work, preparing the dying for the next leg of their journey.

Above is the altar that each of us approached to invoke the various elements, awaken the drum, and present her and her voice to the community.