Welcome to shamanic pathways, tonight I will talk about the
Shaman and the Drum.
A shaman's drum is an important tool and should be made within certain
parameters to obtain the maximum effectiveness. The rim should be made
of wood, Cedar is preferred but any local wood with a high resonance
quality is fine. The coverings should be of deer or elk hide but the
synthetic skins that are available will do as well. The rim should be
no less than 17 inches and no more than 18 inches across, and the rim
should be no more than 4 inches and no less than 3 inches in height.
When made within these measurements, when struck, the drum gives a sound
like no other drum, even better than the one handed drum favoured by
most shaman today.
When struck on one side the drum will produce the beat and also a primary
tone, as it is impossible to tension both side exactly the same, one
side when struck, will produce a higher tone than the other side. The
tone on the tightest side will have a 'ring' to it and the tone on the
other side will have a ‘drone' to it, This sound quality is that
which is required, also the reason why the two skins are close together
is so when one side is struck the other side is hit by the sound waves
and causes it to resonate. This gives each strike three unique sounds.
We hear the 'beat', the 'drone' and the resonance of the other skins
Knowing that the human mind fixates on the repetitive and monotonous,
the shaman strikes the drum in a pattern repeated again and again. As
the mind fixates on the drumming the internal chatter begins to quieten,
eventually, silence is complete, also any emotional noise ceases as
well. The high pitched over tone stimulates the brain into an 'alpha'
wave state. This state is described as a daydream like consciousness.
The physical state is one of relaxation.
A daydreams content is driven by our emotions, but as the mind is fixated
on the drumming there is no emotions to drive the daydream, so the shaman
has an alpha state without content.
The undertone stimulates the brain in to a 'theta state' which is one
of deep dreaming, however the drone opens up our spiritual heart allowing
our spirit to move freely.
Shamanic drumming produces all three states together (alpha, theta,
silence). This allows our spirits to freely express themselves. The
spirits will use images, symbols, song, poetry, sensations and knowledge
to express their desires.
For us to see, hear and sense these things the spirit will use the
now empty alpha daydream state and as the mind is fixated we cant
help but notice what the spirit is saying and doing, so once more
we are able to communicate with our spirit in the sacred language
It is also said that the shamans drum's undertone is the same frequency
as the earth's spirit and allows us to talk to the spirit.
Are there any questions? This is Very interesting! If spirit communicate
in language we understand etc how do we work out what is spirit and
what is ourselves? They speak very close to home sometimes so to speak.
Many people wonder the same thing and the answer to this I feel is
that the drum has silenced all internal chatter so that our spirit
can talk to us. For me I don’t have a drum but spirit still
chatter away to me I think. Yes you’re right some people dont
need the drum, they just know what is spirit and what is not.
So the Knack is not taking it too personal when that happens then,
or is that wrong assumption? Well I would hope if the spirits are
talking to us that somewhere it is a personal thing, even though the
message may not be for us. But if that is so, how would we work out
our own problems, which would make it very confusing wouldn’t
it? I think you know if it’s for you or meant for someone else!
Possibly, though I feel we will know what is ours and what is to be
shared with another. How we would know is up to the individual, but
I could well be wrong as it is a personal choice we make.
Thank you for listening and thank you for your time.