Steven Ash
from: Steven Ash
Category: Drumming

Staying safe whilst medicine drumming


Protection is called Staying Safe


Being in safe space when you do medicine drumming is essential for both you the drummer and the person receiving the drumming session. Sacred Drumming is medicine drumming - I regard it as not entertainment but intertainment. The drumming and rattle methods are there to let sound waves carry in a message, the message and intent going in is: “return to your natural state, listen and feel your heart, you flow with the energy of nature, let go and listen to your blood flow, let me remind you with the drum of your sacred and earth experience, let go of your fear”. At the same time with the drum you will discover doorways into the consciousness where energy, memories, emotions like anger and disappointment lie dormant; these experiences can be released and they will if you as the sacred drummer look in and draw out the festering“stuff”.


But the point of all this is to be safe! If the drum is such an effective tool of transformational medicine used by countless generations into the past then the healing methods should have a strong, super strong level of protection built in…and they do!


Always smudge yourself with aromatic herbs before you begin; we use white sage, artemisia, frankincense and a mixture I make up myself containing juniper, sage, yew, copal and sweet grass. Do not be shy about filling the house and room with sweet smoke or getting the smell on your clothes. Relative to the spirit world the smudge notifies any unclear or earthbound spirits in no uncertain terms that there is an opportunity about to happen where they can be released!


And then there is the medicine wheel. Before you do any work on anyone you must invite in the powers of the sacred directions, this goes for both the giver and the receiver! Go around from south to west and north and close the horizontal plane with the door in the east, then address the earth mother and the sky father and finally the inner world inside you. Make sure that you go round and round inviting all the attributes of seasons, colours, times of life, archetypes, elements, archangels etc. Get this medicine wheel so strong that when you begin drumming you have hosts of support and nothing uninvited can get past in or out without being noticed and dealt with.


John Fire Lame Deer describes putting 405 little roundstones from ant hills into the medicine rattle; the number 405 represents the tree nations and the number of spirits available to help us in our healing work.


“Even the angels cry for the gift of a human body” is a wonderful saying that makes it very clear where the power of healing lies. It is our natural human love that is our power.


We are only powerless when we do not call up the support system available to us. Look at this picture. Imagine the great pyramid of Giza, have you been there? It is absolutely huge and solid, slanting rock surface reaching upto the heavens. Imagine turning to the south face looking over the yellow dessert under the blazing midday sun, imagine Archangel Raphael standing there looking out with his flaming staff surrounded by children, healing plants, trees and horses. Go to the west face, look at the setting sun and imagine Archangel Michael with his gold and silver sword, indigo eyes ready to kick the earth like a football, stand with your ancestors, see flowing waters far beyond the dessert with black ravens and bears. Go around to the north, with your back to the pyramid’s slope, look towards the cold white Arctic Ocean, call in all the angels, archangels, spiritguides and ascended masters, polar bears, white owl and buffalo. Know that you are born alone but you can call for help when you are in need; in this feeling of aloneness call in Archangel Gabriel to help you sing clearly. Walk around the base to the east, see the round red sun rise, and call in the golden eagle and all the birds, see all the living teachers and imagine Archangel Uriel with the book of knowledge clothed in red flames. Know that this imagined picture is real in your heart and head. This pyramid is strong and grounded; see the earth below solid earth and rock, look up and focus on the triangular face going up to nothing, going to sky, the universe and beyond.


What an amazing picture this is. Now place this picture over your house, place it over you where you are meditating or working. Imagine now each face of the pyramid falling out pointing out into the dessert and thewhole structure being filled with the energy of your imagined protective love,all that support that is available to you. Do you feel safe?


Remember that “Even the angels cry for the gift of a humanbody!”


“The medicine wheel is an elusive thing, and because of this elusive nature, since it began being taught, it has had to take on limitations through progressive generations. These limitations were put there to help in the understanding of the whole. When I begin to show you these limitations, when I begin to define the wheel, it is very important for you to understand that these definitions are not set in stone. They are not hard and fast fixed rules. They are only my perceptions, my way of explaining to you the way in which I perceive the wheel of Life”


Earth Signs by Grey Owl


In sacred drumming we need to use tools that work and adapt the tools to our needs and beliefs. It does not matter with the medicine wheel which colour or element goes where; what is important is that we use it, staying safe and protected as we work with the drum or rattle. It would be crazy to forget to put your trousers on before you go out! So why forget to call up all the powers available when we do healing? I call this spiritual hygiene; it’s like washing my teeth - it’s a sensible morning habit for good living.


Posted: 07 Jan 2013 By: Lisa French

Thank you Steven, this is very helpful..

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