Creative Writing Energy Podcast, Creativity, Soul, writing

The Creative Secrets of Shamanic Drumming

You’ve got to feel the beat.


“It is of the first order of importance to remember this, that the shaman is more than merely a sick man, or a madman; he is a sick man who has healed himself, who is cured, and who must shamanize in order to remain cured.”
― Terence McKenna

Shamanic drumming is a purposeful soul journey usually undertaken in the company of like-minded people. The experience is intimate and personal, yet it is also qualified by an undeniable element of unification — deliberate togetherness.

Before social distancing kicked in with COVID-19, I was regularly attending drumming circles and learning from my very cool Shaman teachers, Bastian and Tiger.

Each session offered an insightful and unique experience in a profoundly personal way. There is just something about letting yourself go with the beat of a drum, and then connecting your energy with the vibration as it reaches in your heart-space, uplifting and energizing your being in such a critical way that it becomes a part of you.

It’s like smudging for the soul.

After each session, I always left the studio with a renewed sense of creative flow — it’s as if those sacred experiences existed to further open my awareness into my sense of self, which spilled over into my creativity, helping to keep those vital bonds between imagination and reality ignited.

Shamanic Drumming

From Shamanic Drumming:

“Shamanic drumming is drumming for the purpose of inducing a range of ecstatic trance states in order to connect with the spiritual dimension of reality. Practiced in diverse cultures around the planet, this drum method is strikingly similar the world over.”

Shamanic drumming uses a repetitive rhythm that begins slowly and then gradually builds in intensity to a tempo of three to seven beats per second.

Admittedly, it usually takes me a little bit to shake off the ‘real world’ feels and relax into the changed, esoteric-like atmosphere. Though, once we begin, it feels as if I have crossed an invisible threshold into a different realm — one that I am always reluctant to leave behind.

You have to intentionally let go of any inhibitions that may prevent you from benefiting from the spiritual medicine offered by the drumming session if you really want to gain insights from the journey.

More from Shamanic Drumming:

“The ascending tempo will induce light to deep trance states, and facilitate the shamanic techniques of journeying, shapeshifting, and divination. Practitioners may progress through a series of trance states until they reach the level that is necessary for healing to occur.”

What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is universal and not bound by social or cultural conditions. It is the most ancient and most enduring spiritual tradition known to humanity. Shamanism predates and constitutes the foundation of all known religions or religious philosophies.

In essence, shamanism is the spiritual practice of ecstasy. Ecstasy is defined as a mystic, prophetic, or poetic trance. One of the core beliefs of shamanism is that innate wisdom and guidance can be accessed through the inner senses in ecstatic trance. Practitioners enter altered states of consciousness in order to experience direct revelation from within.

Shamanism is about remembering, exploring, and developing the true self. Shamanism places emphasis on the individual, of breaking free and discovering your own uniqueness in order to bring something new back to the group.

Shamanic practice heightens the ability of perception and enables you to see into the deeper realms of the self. Once connected with your inner self you can find help, healing, and a continual source of guidance. To practice shamanism is to reconnect with your deepest core values and your highest vision of who you are and why you are here.”

How it Works

Shamanic Drumming circles come together all over the world with the sole purpose of healing the human spirit as a collective. I think that now, more than ever, the world can use those who have the ability to see beyond the chaos and pain enough to uphold the positive transformations which are bound to take place when the dust settles — that which will rise from the ashes of this prophetic era.

And make no mistake, Shaman teachers and students alike; and those in touch with their spirituality work quietly and tirelessly to help keep the vision and vibrations positive for the future. Regardless of your beliefs, collective consciousness and mindset plays a vital part in the unfolding future — and is there a better way to release the negative tension than pounding hard on something?

A nice thick layer of animal hide?

With thanks and gratitude.

Susan Z from 7th Sense Stories knows about Shamanic drumming and explains how the process works:

“How it works is the healing drum pattern projects onto the body a supportive resonance or sound pattern the body can attune to. This sympathetic resonance forms new harmonic alignments, opens the body’s various energy meridians and chakras, releases blocked emotional patterns, promotes healing and helps reconnect us to our core. The sound patterns also enhance your sense of empowerment and stimulates your creative expression.”

The journey aspect of a Shamanic Drumming circle involves a guided odyssey into another realm; a rumination to the soulful beat of the drums accompanied by other beautiful sounds, the burning scent of incense, essential oils and a dedicated altar.

The practice essentially leads us into an induced trance where boundaries cease to exist and clarity comes calling, as we give and receive from earth energies. It is here that completes the modest, yet significant finale of the entire journey — where secrets abound and creativity unfurls through group Shamanic Meditation.

Healing

The healing power of drums, is, in my opinion, phenomenal.

The drumming has a way of grounding and reacquainting you to your primordial beginnings — when the deep resonating beats strum through your being, you get a glimpse of yourself as a part of the greater whole.

It is a most humbling experience which soothes and heals from the inside out, and also helps to activate your own natural healing powers.

The Powerful Benefits of Shamanic Drumming Healing Include:

  • Reduces stress.
  • Enhances creativity.
  • Improves your concentration.
  • Encourages the body to desire a healthier lifestyle.
  • Makes you feel happier.
  • Opens up acceptance of self.
  • Slows the aging process.
  • It is beneficial to your cardiovascular health.
  • Boosts your overall immune system.
  • Induces a deeper self-awareness by prompting synchronous brain activity and promoting alpha waves.
  • Helps to release negative feelings and emotional trauma.

Shamanic Drumming really does help to connect you with your creative resources as the process cleanses and purifies lower vibrational feelings that may have been dwelling deep within. It’s like shedding the BS and releasing the ego long enough to sense who you really are beneath the crud we so often present to the world.

And what lies beneath is where the magic really begins.


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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A Shamanic Soul Journey

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“Hey Kim, my other half is interested in attending this event. Wondering if it might interest you.”

A fast click on the link to check it out reveals a compelling headline: A Shamanic Journey and Drumming Circle. Truth be told, I didn’t need to dive in any deeper on this one. My usual tendency to procrastinate the pros and cons of deserting my comfortable lair in favor of stepping out into the big wide world took a backseat. I was in.

“Tell your other half she has a partner in crime,” I replied.

By other half, my friend and author Catherine Evans was referring to her pseudonym, Cate Ellink – her less subdued self. This is the part of herself that loves to explore strange phenomena and pushes back against the social norms. The same part of herself that I seem to energize. I must admit, I do have a knack of unleashing and fueling those underlying qualities in those closest to me. Go figure.

Maybe it is because I tend to view the world through the lens of acceptance. I have no interest in judging others, idle gossip or sifting through tedious social bullshit. I am the first to laugh at myself and do so often; I like to play too; especially when the game involves a worthy adversary – in the nicest sense, of course. Yep, overall, you could say that I Go with the Flow. I work at keeping the faith and trusting that the universe has my back even during the times when the reality appears to the contrary. And I love to ponder and explore the more mysterious side of life. Who doesn’t?

Yeah. Back to the drumming.

Honestly, given all I just divulged about my interest in mystic exploration, it isn’t a long shot to conclude that taking a Shamanic Drumming journey is right up my ally. Even though I had never drummed before.

“Don’t you just smack your hand down?” Cath responded when confronted with the above comment. “Rhythm. We have rhythm, don’t we?”

Well, yeah. I’ve got rhythm honey, but as far as I’m aware, rhythm tends to favour my hips and not the ability to chime on a musical instrument.

Hmm. I didn’t express those thoughts out loud. Instead, I shut my mouth and charged forth into unknown territory; the world of Shamanic Drumming and meditation.

Did you know that the medicine drum is a tool used for healing and transformation since ancient times? And that drumming has the power to synchronise brain hemispheres and create altered states of consciousness in which healing and wisdom from the higher self can be obtained?

We were anointed with pine oil and smudged with sage and other pungently burning incense. We were cleansed and balanced with some kind of spritzy concoction; we listened to our hosts talk about the moon’s energy and shedding old habits that no longer served us; and we each gave an offering back to humanity in the form of soft tobacco leaves and syrupy whispers.

They gave us a medicine drum; mine was of deer, Catherine’s, kangaroo. Turned out, we didn’t have to just smack our hands down and wing it. We had drum sticks to guide our… erm… rhythm.

Oh, and we found it! Maybe not right away, but when our hosts began the steady tempo and the sensual sounds of our hostess’ voice rose above the thick incense curling through the room; rhythm had not eluded us. In fact, it became our friend.

The beat seemed to seep into my being like a sacred mystery unravelling the invisible threads binding me. It was glorious and liberating, utterly beautiful, and it created a sense wellness within. Sometimes, all it takes is an unexpected moment to arrive to show us what we didn’t realize we needed. I hadn’t realized that I needed to merge with the beat of a drum and fuse with the sacred energy accompanying us in the room that night. And I certainly didn’t realize that I needed to join hands in a circle made up of like-minded strangers and express my wishes for the greater good of humanity. It was like soul therapy.

After which, I felt renewed and energized. Were you aware that rhythm is a primordial vibration that pulses through our bodies with the beating of our hearts? Yep, consider the following quote:

“Ancient sources tell us that the frame drum was not just a powerful symbol of spiritual presence, it was an important tool for many spiritual experiences. Priestesses of the goddess were skilled technicians in its uses. They knew which rhythms quickened the life in freshly planted seeds, which facilitated childbirth and which induced ecstatic trance of spiritual transcendence. Guided by drum beats, these sacred drummers could alter their consciousness at will, travelling through the three worlds of the goddess: the heavens, the earth and the underworld.”

~ Layne Redmond

They spoke about our connection to the land and the universe, and how most of us are living beneath a veil of ignorance; and how the ideals and beliefs of humanity have turned upside down. The need to get back to our roots and remember the truth of who we really are is becoming imperative if we wish to see change in the world.

I agree. I guess that’s why I found myself in a dimly-lit area breathing incense, smelling like pine oil and gazing in wonder at the oh-so-interesting altar-mat splayed mid-center of the room and adorned with totems.

We sat upon blanketed mats with pillows and listened to words of ancient practices and beliefs surrounding the Bone Dance. Syllables strung together to form sentences fell upon my ears and swirled around my euphoric mind – the concept of shedding the outer layers and becoming a skeleton resonated someplace deep within me. The notion being that beneath our fleshy exteriors, our material-based desires, and our personalities, we are all mirrored. Take it all away and we’re left alike; an identical process of bones.

Have you ever meditated to the sound of the drum with interluding bouts of the didgeridoo? D – d- did you do-do?

Sorry, couldn’t help myself. I hadn’t either. Admittedly, I’m not used to participating in group meditation, preferring the solitude of my own soft and quiet space when practicing stilling the mind. But there was something extremely transformative, uplifting and moving about tuning my senses into those soulful beats, that I almost forgot how hard the floor was becoming beneath my butt. Almost.

Okay, I might have to work on that part of the whole Shamanic Drumming journey experience.

All in all, the night far exceeded the expectations I actually didn’t have. It began with a picnic beneath the stars and great conversation, and ended on a naturally induced high – the likes of which cannot be achieved without transporting your spirit to the higher-realms where mysteries abound and dreams are for the taking.

Shamanic Drumming was more than just a meditative journey. It was a soul journey and I can’t wait to do it again.

 

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