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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What is a shamanic drumming circle?

What is a shamanic drumming circle you may ask? You might say that all drumming provides healing benefits and all drum circles provide the opportunity to also experience the group energy of drumming together in community. In this post, however, I am speaking of a circle whose focus is on connecting with spirit and each other in ways that promote healing and learning. This is a place for shamanic practitioners to get together for learning, healing, and the direct revelation of spiritual guidance. It is a facilitated circle, but the leader is facilitating a shamanic ritual rather than a musical event. Unlike a free-form or polyrhythmic drumming circle, shamanic drumming is generally simple and repetitive, often considered as a form of prayer or method of trance induction, rather than as music or entertainment. Musical considerations are minimal in shamanic circling. The group's focus is on the spiritual intention or the energy of what is being played. The objective in shamanic drumming is for everyone to play in unison, which facilitates shamanic trance and entrainment, synchronizing each participant's heart and metabolic rhythm with the drum beat. Shamanic drumming circles serve many functions. Foremost among them are:

1. Providing a consistent, safe and supportive space to practice shamanism;
2. Acquiring shamanic knowledge through collaborative sharing and from helping spirits through direct revelation;
3. Deepening the participants' relationships with their helping spirits through shamanic practice;
4. Providing help, healing and support for individuals and for the community;
5. Developing key drum skills such as rhythmicity, ensemble playing and therapeutic drumming.

Click here to look inside my "Shamanic Drumming Circles Guide."

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