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Steven Ash
from: Steven Ash


We have arrived at Lammas a special time in the years turning. The meadows have been harvested for sweet smelling silage and hay; golden green, yellow and brown are the colours creeping into the landscape between us and the huge Karawanke mountains due south. This is the time of tall medicine herbs, artemisia, mugwort, mullion, marigold and yarrow are reaching up drawing down into the earth the sun and star light power of the heavens.


Lammas is not only an annual event between summer and autumn, it also reflects our own place, age and season in the universe, where are we in our lifecycle?


Renata did a very brave act this early July she marked for herself the change of season between being a mother focusing upon survival, nurturing babies, keeping home for children, making sure enough money was coming in to pay for clothes and schooling. She marked for herself stepping into becoming a wise woman and an elder, her body, mind and spirit evolving with humour and sanctity into a new and yet to be explored chapter. The experience hit me like a sledge hammer, telling me a truth. She and I are now firmly in the west, our children are safe and free, independently expressing their empowerment in the south of the wheel. We have our journey now foreword into this next west chapter, the other, the south is past, done and dusted.


As I sit facing west in my morning meditation, I look to where I am in the medicine wheel. I am looking at my ancestors, I’m being taught to let go of my tension, let go of my trying, let go of my need to be important. Being clear and honest enough to look in the mirror and accept without judgement or shame what I see as the ageing me reflecting back. Move myself willing and enthusiastic into the same transition as Renata, focusing on using my energy wisely, being steady, being steadfast to what I know is true, and bring unity. 


Bringing others together in unity, not in belief which is personal and abstract, but in unity which is worthwhile and of real benefit. In the power of unity we are all the same, we all have life, we all share breath, beating on a common drum; we all want to be happy and feel that our life has a purpose. In this we can unite, with drum we can focus our inner eye upon this reality, drawing the circular feeling in and then projecting it out, sharing our essence and our soul. Sending this feeling consciously into the inner world where we sit in the source of the breath, and then when ready pouring it out to benefit others and the world around us, is to me our greatest gift to share.


Try this exercise: 

Sit and face the direction of Lammas in the medicine wheel, it is south west.

You are facing the transition between youth and maturity, in Indigenous First Nation medicine it is the direction of visions and dreams. Behind you is the power of Imbolc in the north east, the power of the natural law, this is when you set forward your projections and hopes for the coming year, how are you doing? Have you achieved what you set out to do, can you smile as you look back over this half year and feel grateful and happy with your progress?  Have you been able to grow through spring and now are able to give of your self, give forward into the universe as it flows towards you breath by breath.

As you face Lammas your left side is receiving the dance of Beltaine, the full and brimming May Day, are you still dancing and can you remember and draw in the vitality that you absorbed in the fresh green of spring. Your right hand is giving to Samhain, the doorway to the underworld, where mystery begins, can you give of yourself at this moment into the unknown, and trust in whatever outcome you will be faced with. The third law of Druid knowledge is to accept philosophically whatever life throws at you, can you do that?

Here you are sitting or standing on the earth, feet down. Are you solid and are you grateful, is your body, your gift from the mother, are you giving it what it needs as a temple. Autumn and winter are coming, gather your nuts and seeds, prepare yourself for the coming shorter days. Be optimistic wonderful autumn colours, cooler nights and bright fires, just get strong for its presence and potential. Above you is the sky father raining down on you the solar and star, rainbow and universal breath. All this is merging deep within your depth of breath, in your conscious moment, right blinking NOW. Receive and enjoy three breaths and be grateful to be facing this Lammas whole and full of empowerment. As Ammon Andrews used to say on TV “This is your Life”


Is it to much to imagine that we are each in control of the way we see our lives unfolding? Here we sit with so much to be grateful for. At this Lammas find your gratitude and help others find theirs. The harvest is upon us. Nature in her beauty and generosity has filled the fields with foods to eat, burdened the trees with ripening fruit, given to us, manifested for us abundance beyond measure, and we can say thank you. Sending a big Thank You, I love You, please forgive me in all the directions of the eight winds. Pulsing with the heartbeat on the drum or on the rattle, or just on the sound of the blood whooshing in the ears, can be an internal recognition, not showy, just powerful. 


Dates for UK 2018 Sacred Drumming Practitioners Training with Steven and Renata


Module 1 : 17 & 18 March

Module 2 : 28 & 29 April

Module 3 : 2 & 3 June

Module 4 : 15 & 16 September

Module 5 : 20 & 21 October  

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