Thursday, December 20, 2018

Winter Solstice make a shaman drum

My winter solstice celebrations are full of traditions in nature, and sometimes there is also a celebration indoors when I make a frame drum to honour the sun's birthday.

My solstice celebrations begin the night before when John and I make "bird cookies" of suet and seeds.

These become ornaments to decorate a solstice tree at the location in nature where we have our shortest day feast.

My drum preparations begin months before these cold days and nights.  I prepare a Cortes Island deer hide while the weather is still kindly toward working outside with almost bare hands.

This may be the last year my winter solstice drum will have an ash wood hoop.  My planks have come from the east coast, and I only have enough ash for three more frames.  However, there is an exciting possibility of working with yellow cedar in the new year--making drums with a truly west coast spirit.


Winter solstice morning finds me first in the garden making a ceremony of greeting the sun and asking that all my human and other-than-human family be well and happy.

The shortest day finds me then out at the beach or in the forest with whatever weather is happening, creating a feast of thank you to all the creatures that keep us well and happy, both in this and in the alternate realities.

My solstice drum will be made in the gathering darkness of mid-afternoon, near the woodstove, and lit by glowing green lights.

Even though we will not have snow yet this year, I will remember the peace and comfort of  its deep silence, as I reflect on the gifts I have received: the blessings from friends, the  kindness from students, the love from this place.

Happy Solstice from the Journey Oracle