Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Eightfold Path in a new drum

This new drum from the Journey Oracle has an eightfold interlacement pattern woven into the cedar holding ring. Such patterns have long been popular magic charms because the endless line draws the eye around the figure without a break so that the design can be used for meditation or trance. The magical properties of this design focus on the central diamond around which the apexes of four larger triangles interlock. Therefore the pattern includes not only eight points but also references the mystic threes and fours.

The eightfold interlacement pattern is related to the Buddha’s concept of the Eightfold Path consisting of: right conduct, right contemplation, right effort, right faith, right occupation, right resolve, right self-awareness and right speech. There is also a connection to the Eight Precious Things: a book, coin, mirror, pearl, Artemisia leaf, jade gong, musical lozenge and rhinoceros horn.

Eightfold Path Drum

14" frame of spruce wood
blacktail deer hide
cedar fittings
eightfold interlacement pattern in raw hide thong

$300.00 cn
shipping additional

Email Kristen at to purchase

View more drums at

You can listen to this drum being played with a felted beater by clicking on

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Selling my drums on Youtube

This post is much more than just saying that you are now able to hear my Journey Oracle drums on Youtube. It is a story of how big a village it takes to help us, or at least me, learn something new. It all began several weeks ago when a fellow wrote to say he was interested in the Singing Child drum but could he hear it first? I suggested he listen to it over the phone but he replied, "get a good mic, record the sound and post it on Youtube. Easy."

Well. Perhaps if you are under 30 years of age but I am in my 60's and have never even visited Youtube. But I know where to begin. I asked help from my nephew who probably grew up clutching a computer along with his sippy cup in his crib. My nephew sent links to good mics and off I went to find a Canadian equivalent. Avid Pro Tools SE won but then the whole project went sideways down a vocal studio rabbit hole lined with compressors and equalizers and reverb. Back to my good nephew who joined me in a series of on line meetings so we (mostly he) could navigate through the labyrinth of audio files and media converters. Next my musician-neighbor was willing to get involved with translating the sound board dials for me—explaining what low shelves and high shelves are, as well as gains and gates. More hours were spent listening and movie making and deleting and un-movie making.

There were plenty of times when the whole project was tilting dangerously toward the wastebin, and yet I didn`t give up…mostly because the people helping me didn't give up on me. Much more than learn how to post a sound clip on Youtube to share the sound of a journey drum, I learned to just keep with the present moment—not thinking beyond the current step until I was indeed stepping off from it…sometimes out into confusion and frustration but also eventually up into accomplishment. Just do each step. I began to understand that the frustration was created by my thinking into the future with statements like,"this will never work", and,"no matter what I do I'm failing at this".

I know from working with intention that the universe gives me what I ask for. And when I was saying its not working and I'm failing…I received that. Someplace during the sound board lessons I started saying, "this is like a puzzle and I'm able to fit all the parts together into a beautiful sound." And this is what I received. Now, if I could only find the phrase of intention that would enable my headphones to work….

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Preparing for change in 2012

When I think about preparing for changes that are coming in 2012, I remember a chalk pastel I did titled, “feeding the homeless.” It has three symbols for welcoming change within its image. I think first we must find the natural parts of ourselves that are still living in the wild terrain of our possibly over tame and certainly over controlled lives. Maybe this is the feel of sunshine on a cold January morning, or the sound of rain rattled by the wind against the window, or the tenderness that comes spontaneously to our faces and hearts when we watch babies sleeping. This natural part of us has a sturdiness and vitality that lives with a simple grace beneath the fantasy stories of aggression, cynicism or fearful alarm we can tell ourselves. Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote so beautifully about this wild woman and man in each of us that I am reading Women Who Run With the Wolves again after these many years for insight about ways to be the change I want.

Once we find the tracks and traces of our natural self, no matter how faint or smudged, I think we need to leave food inside those footprints that will strengthen our wildish natures. I believe that food is our willingness to create; to dance, sing, paint, and tell stories, read Oracle cards, join drumming circles. I feel that when we do something that makes us afraid, that upsets our comfort with staying hidden, that lifts us out of our ruts and potholes—we discover we can fly. We discover we are capable of anything. The change that meets us is the wind that lifts us; it is the change that we ourselves create.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What is your goal for this New Year?

I saw this question in the window of a shop in Campbell River today, and found myself asking, “What is my goal for this New Year?” I decided to watch myself during my interactions in town, and see if I was shown a goal through my experiences. Perhaps oddly enough, a trip into a lingerie store gave a good hint. Some months ago I had ordered an item but subsequently decided I did not like the fit and so did not want it. I felt too guilty to respond to the message saying my order had arrived; I guess I just hoped if I waited long enough the situation would go away. After the second call reminding me of my order I realized I could no longer ignore my responsibility, and so today I went into the store—determined to apologize for my lack of contact. I thought that the least painful way to begin was to just admit to the clerk that I no longer wanted the special order, rather than find some way of excusing my long silence. The shopkeeper was completely understanding and friendly about my change of mind. The anxiety and criticism was all in my mind.

So what is my goal for this New Year? To tell the truth--to myself first. Although this seems both self-evident and fairly simple, I am imagining for most of us it is not. In the short term it seems far easier to create a story or a context that gets us out of feeling bad about ourselves. And yet when we stay in that deception, it grows into feelings that have consequences out of proportion to the original situation.

This goal for the New Year reminds me of one of my favorite questions from the Journey Oracle Card Deck: “Is the nail straight that I am hammering?” When I think of this question in terms of my New Year’s resolution, I realize that the life structure I am daily building depends more on the quality and straightness of the nail—on the straightness of my words to myself, than on the hammer—the external pressures from others. This means that every situation, no matter how apparently trivial or momentary, has the power to guide my awareness toward inner truth.