Thursday, January 12, 2017

Should I paint my shamanic drum?

Every drum carries a story in its making.

The muse comes in numbers, in shapes and symbols.  The cedar, the snake, the star all contain meaning for the drummer who has a spiritual companion in the form of a shamanic journey drum.

Symbols must be translated. The meaning shifts and slides according to experience and the ability to listen.

The drum's inner face belongs to the hand of the drummer.  The voice that comes through the ring enters the hand and speaks in the body.

But what of the drum's outer face?  This is the voice that goes into the world.  Think of a song. Martin Prechtel taught me that when a song has words that we and others can understand, when this is sung, it only has this flow of words and meanings.

But when a song has sounds we do not translate as words and meanings, then every time it is sung it carries the meaning of that unique moment--in its emotional tone, its intensity, its surrounding.  Every time the song is new.

This is true when painting a shamanic drum.  If I paint a drum then its power is in this image, and not in any other.  When a drum remains unpainted, then its power is in every moment unique. In every turning of direction it has a new face.