Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Receiving a drum honoring ceremony

While I was in Edmonton this last week to present a Journey Oracle card workshop I had an opportunity to meet Jay Saka, a man of Japanese ancestry who has been building drums and teaching others how to make and honor the drum. He first telephoned me some months ago because he saw my segment on the Vision TV series Guides and Gurus. At first we spoke tentatively because I am uncomfortable sharing my drum making experience in a 'pick your brain' request. I have spent many years gathering my direct experience with drums and drum making, and feel that effort is dishonored when given away with no corresponding effort from the person making the request. However, Jay offered to send me a gift for my knowing, and began calling me periodically to share stories and experiences from his drum making workshops. Just before I left for Edmonton I received a large box of prairie sage bundles from him, one tied with prayer flags to honor my teaching.

Jay and I almost missed each other, since I was calling and calling a telephone number that I had copied incorrectly. We connected just one night before my leaving. Jay brought drums and beaters, smudge, tobacco, photos of his ceremonies at several Alberta medicine wheels, and a workbook of his teachings that he shares with his students. He began by offering me a smudge and praying with tobacco to the four directions, then by singing an honor song for the Directions. He sang me many songs from the Cherokee, Blackfoot and Ute Nations, and finished our time by asking me to autograph his copy of the Journey Oracle cards.

I felt very honored to receive such a blessing from someone who considers me their teacher. I I found myself thinking about special teachers I have had, and wondering if I ever thanked them for shaping the directions my life has taken. The Journey Oracle has been such a teacher, so thanks to the Oracle, and thanks to you, Jay, for reminding me to always be grateful for learning.