Shamanic Drumming Blog

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sending Out a Sound

Sound is regarded as one of the most effective ways of establishing connections with the spirit realm, since it travels through space, permeates visual and physical barriers, and conveys information from the unseen world. Sound, therefore, is a means of "relationship" as well as a "transformation" of energy.

Sound does not just travel out into oblivion. There is a call and then a response. When Iroquoian people of present-day central and upstate New York discuss "sending out a sound," they mention blowing on a conch shell and using the turtle rattle to attract attention, signaling the start of a ceremony, notifying the community, and drawing the Creator's participation. The conch is sounded at the beginning of important rituals because the sound is believed to have the ability to drown out any negative words or noises that might disturb or disrupt the harmonious atmosphere. The sound of the conch is understood as the source of all existence -- a cosmic womb, for when the conch is blown, it is said to emulate the primordial sound from which all else emanates.

According to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), when the turtle rattle is shaken, "the earth stops to listen." The turtle rattle is a symbol of the world on the turtle's back, Turtle Island. The Creator is said to have loved snapping turtle best. When Mother Earth hears the sound of the turtle rattle, all of creation awakens and moves to its shaking beat. The crack of a turtle rattle, which shakes the earth, draws the attention of the spirits at the beginning of a ceremony or meeting. "To Shake the Earth" is a metaphor often used in Iroquoian communities to describe the purpose of the turtle rattle.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Link Between Shamanism & Quantum Physics

The key to understanding the shaman's world is to realize that the universe is made of vibrational energy: that it is a single, flowing, rhythmic being. According to quantum physics, everything in the universe, from the smallest subatomic particle to the largest star, has an inherent vibrational pattern. The entire universe is created through vibration and can be influenced through the vibrations of shamanic drumming. The shaman's drum is a tool for altering the vibrational state of the shaman and/or the patient or a particular situation in the community.

The quantum theory of physics states that our material world is created over and over before our very eyes each instant we perceive it. We can change reality just by changing the ways we perceive it. Our world is not real. It is a fantastic illusion of genetic and cultural imprinting. There is only energy -- infinite and creative. We can't resist energy because we are energy. When we practice sacred drumming, we feel that primal energy. We become one with what we are made of. Read more.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Cosmology of the Drum

An excerpt from the book The Shamanic Drum by Michael Drake

Humans have always looked beyond the factual world of ordinary reality for something solid on which to ground their lives. The models of the mystery of life have always been based on the myths of an immemorial imagination. "Mythological cosmologies do not correspond to the world of gross facts, but are functions of dreams and visions," writes the late Joseph Campbell, one of the great mythologists of the twentieth century. Dreams and visions have always been, and will always be, the creative forces that shape cosmology. It is an inherent product of the psyche, a symbolic language of metaphysics recognized by shamans and seers. The personal vision of the shaman becomes the collective vision of the group.

Mythological cosmology is evocative rather than referential. It is not science or history, but rather symbolism that serves as a catalyst of spiritual well-being. Like the beat of the shaman's drum, it disengages the individual from the integrating component of ordinary thinking consciousness and invokes the mysteries of the imagination and intuition. The realm of cosmology and the domain of shamanic trance are one and the same.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Shamanic Skin: The Art of Sacred Tattoos

Tattooed Maori
It has been estimated that 500 years ago perhaps 1,000 indigenous cultures practiced tattooing. Today, most of these groups have completely vanished from the face of the earth, and only a few continue to persist in the remote areas of Asia, South America, Africa, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Only fragments of this once rich heritage of body art remain in our modern world, but they allow us to gain a glimpse of a culture that connected tattoo, ritual, religion, myth, and nature from which indigenous tattoo culture ultimately sprang.

Why was it important for indigenous tattoo artists to create permanent designs on the body? Were they made for purely aesthetic impact or for other more sacred reasons? What deeper significance did these elements have for their makers and owners? And what did they communicate to others? Read more.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Bridge to Eternity

The spiritual traditions of the Hopi, Cherokee, Tibetan, Hindu, and other cultures teach us that there are seven vibratory centers located along the center of the human body. Known as chakras, each vortex of energy is associated with a particular function of consciousness. They are the interface among the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of one's being. While the sacred teachings of many cultures recognize seven chakras, Amazon and Andean shamans teach that there are nine chakras. Seven of them are within the physical body, and two are outside the body. The eighth chakra is called the Wiracocha, which is the name of the Creator or Great Spirit (the word means "sacred source"). This chakra resides within the Luminous Energy Field (LEF) and hovers above the head like a golden spinning sun. It is our connection with the Great Spirit, the place where God dwells within us. When we shift our awareness to the eighth chakra, we experience a deep union not only with all of Creation, but with the Creator. Read more.