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Steven Ash
from: Steven Ash
Category: Drumming

Distance Drum Healing

“Drum holds your attention, you cannot sleep, you cannot drift away, drum keeps you present, in the moment, focused on the gift ofgiving”

Absent healing with drum or rattle is a strong retreat. I set a time each evening to sit down with a drum and focus on the people who have asked me to help them. I first smudge, tell Renata that I am doing some healing so she will not disturb me, and switch off the phone.

Lighting a candle and an incense stick and making myself comfortable on the sofa with Neda our spaniel curled up beside me snoring away like a steam train I begin my healing journey.

I get beating drum with my hands and call in the powers of the sacred directions; I go round and round stirring the pot of calling in all my available helpers until I can feel a blanket of support, strength and protection above, below, all around, and most importantly inside because that is where the energy of healing is going to be pouring from.

I then breathe about fifty conscious breaths. It is difficult to count them accurately but who cares as long as I do about fifty which takes ten minutes or so then I am sure to be focused.

I stop drumming for a moment and I feel for my heart beat through the radial pulse at the wrist. With this slow even beat I begin to focus on each case at hand one at a time. This is the start off beat, you might find it begins to get fast or the rhythm begins to change, that is ok just go with what ever is happening. You are in the driving seat so steer the shape of the healing by observation, knowing and trusting that the beat is appropriatefor the situation.

I learnt a great method from my Pa who taught me healing as a youth. Imagine a cornflakes box, with a pair of scissors cut out the shape of a human being from the thin cardboard; this is the patient’s body template. Whilst drumming I scan the human cut out shape whilst focusing on my friend Brian. As I drum I can feel the beat change when I get to the place that needs attention. Looking in with x-ray vision I go in with the drum beat ever so gently and do what needs to be done. In Brian’s case I see the blood vessels being cauterized with light so that they do not leak blood into the brain. When the shape is full of light and the drum beat is even all over as I go from head to arms, to legs and to body I finish by seeing Brian walking and talking normally and “blissed” out of his bonnet! I know the job is done and I go onto the next person going through the same procedure as with Brian.

Drum holds you into where you are meant to be, if you stop drumming before you know it you are away with the fairies as the mind drifts out of focus. I do not beat drum hard especially when I am in there doing the vision work, drum is my companion holding me into the job to be done. Grandfather Wallace Black Elk says that the drum contains the whole universe, so the whole universe is beating with me.

It is really interesting listening to the sound shapes and how they differ with each person, sometimes hollow, sometimes muffled, each one different. I let drum help me as if it has a mysterious way of helping me see my way through any confusion. It is the way the spirit world can communicate. Hear with your eyes, and see with your listening.

When I am finished I go around the medicine wheel again thanking all who have helped me, and then I thank the spirit of my beautiful drum for being such a good friend and for being a “doorway” for me to work most effectively, happily and with humour. I give drum some olive oil as a gift rubbing it into the wood to make it shine.

Waking the dog from her slumber, I smudge myself with some smoke from white sage, Artemisia or holy wood and trot off to wash my hands and make a cup of tea.

The great thing about absent healing with drum or rattle is the way the sound and vibration keeps the space clear like a bubble, other people can enter and leave, they don’t disturb you unless they poke you on the arm or yell in your ear; drum creates a safe and yet inclusive space, I welcome others to come in and take part if and when they want.

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