Indigenous cultures have been observing community drumming for thousands of years. Now people all over the world are taking up drumming in astonishing numbers. At a grass roots level, small communal drum circles are springing up. While some drum circles are content to jam and make a lot of rhythmic noise, others choose to explore Shamanic drumming.
Shamanic drumming is a time-honored method of healing and helping others. A drumming circle is a place for shamanic practitioners to get together for learning, healing, and the revelation of spiritual guidance. It is usually a assisted circle, but the leader is enabling a shamanic ceremony rather than a musical event.
Shamanic drum circles provide the chance for like minded people to come together for the attainment of a shared goal. There is much power in drumming alone, but that power magnifies on many levels in a group of drummers. The drums draw individual energies together, unifying them into a strengthened force. Synchronized drumming is the most effective, so individuals should alternate the responsibility of setting the tempo and leading the group.
Shamanic drumming has the purpose of inducing a range of ecstatic trance states in order to connect with the spiritual dimension and often uses a recurring rhythm that begins slowly and then gradually builds in intensity to a tempo of three to seven beats per second.
Sound is considered to be one of the most efficient ways of establishing connections with the spirit realm, as it travels through space, filters through visual and physical barriers, and carries information from a hidden world. Shamanics connects with the spirits of nature who possess their own sound world, and it is possible for humans to communicate with them through the sound of a drum.
A shamanic ritual can sometimes begin with heating the drum head over a fire to bring it up to the desired pitch. Shamans may also strike specific parts of the drum or drumstick/s to summon particular spirits. All elements of drum music such as timbre, rhythm, volume and tempo play a vital role in a shamanic drum ritual but different rhythms transmit various meanings and assist with contacting different spirits in different realms.
It is understood 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 whole universe is created through vibration and whilst there are other ways to connect with this energy, it can be influenced through the vibrations of shamanic drumming. The shamanic drum can be used as a tool for changing the vibrational state of the shaman and/or the patient or a particular situation in the community. To put it simply, shamanic drumming is an ancient form of rhythm healing.
Shamanic Quest holds regular Drum Circles at The Clophill Centre, Bedfordshire. A full list of dates can be found on our website at www.shamanicquest.co.uk or on our Facebook page here
About the Author
Melanie Tomsett is a Shamanic practitioner and owner of Shamanic Quest based in Hertfordshire in the UK. Shamanic Quest offer a range of opportunities for you to explore and learn shamanic practices. These include Introductory Workshops, Foundation Course, Practitioner Course, Drum Circle, Sweat Lodge, Sun Lodge and Moon Lodge, Student Clinics and Consultations. Full details can be found at www.shamanicquest.co.uk