Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Shamanic drumming for courage

This is a story about a special little drum named Courage.  In its present form it looks quite ordinary.  A 12" spruce wood frame is covered with blacktail deer from Cortes Island.  Nothing particularly remarkable about this.  Looks like many of the drums I make and offer in my webstore. But Oh the story of how it came to be.

This drum began life carrying a medicine bundle filled with sweet food for spirit--to honor a dear woman who died, and a group who both needed to release her energy and create a new form without her presence.  During the time the group learned and shifted and finally decided to disband, the little drum received the food of song every day, every day.

The drum was dismantled, and its face was honored, and I came home with the hoop.

During those years of the group holding together and coming apart, the little drum worked very hard.
This does not mean that the women were wrong, or unskillful in their decisions, it just means that holding the door open between this world and that world is hard work.

A small hoop needs a thin skin for a strong voice.  I only had one really thin skin from a small deer taken for food by an island elder.  When I soaked off the hair and fleshed the membrane, I was startled to discover this healed wound.

How could a creature survive such a terrible hurt?   And yet it did.  I began to think of the little drum as a drum for courage.

I wanted to give this little drum even more strength in its new form, and so I tied a symbol of protection, the magic hexagram, into the cedar ring on the back of the drum.

This is a "gateless" pattern made with one continuous length of thong.   This means there are no knots or gates where negative energies can stop or get stuck.

The scar from the wound melted back into the golden skin as it dried.  But the voice of the drum knows it is there. And because it is there the drum knows a special song.  You can hear this drum named Courage being played with a felted drumstick by clicking on this Youtube link: https://youtu.be/DElAeGHM9kw