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Steven Ash
from: Steven Ash
Category: Drumming

Tapping into past lives

“Victor Schauberger liked to say that birds don’t fly, they are flown by air currents, just as fish do not swim they are swum. Similarly, the heart does not pump, but is pumped by the continuous flow of blood, an idea that Alexis Carrel, winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine, had already proposed in 1912”Paolo Consigli in Water Pure and Simple


It is fascinating exploring the use of the drum in medicine work, especially where most of us have been trained to stay within set parameters and attempt to keep a very clinical and yet complementary approach to the medicine we are practicing. Using the drum breaks the rules and shakes loose this dogmatic way of applying energy, this is truly an alternative rather than a complementary approach. In treatments I have found that the drum and rattle can be as effective asacupuncture needles in shifting obstructions.

TraditionalChinese Medicine and Indigenous shamanic medicines are very similar in their basic approach in that the human body’s functions are governed by the energetic rather than by the physical components, in other words when the energy is inbalance the physical functions and structure will follow suit.

As an example of this I am going to tell you a recent experience of a treatment that happened using the drum in conjunction with Cranio-sacral release.


A very close friend who has been seeing me for years was having a problem with the atlas bone which supports the cranium at the top of the spine. She had been in complaint, discomfort and pain and had tried acupuncture, cranio-sacral therapy, radiaesthesia (now known as Reiki) and massage, she had also been to see numerous other therapists over the years attempting to rectify this neck problem, but always it resurfaced. We decided to try drum healing to see if we could get to the bottom of the cause - drum sound gets into the psyche at a very deep level, thereby causing the energy body to release any resistance or blockages that hinder the way of seeking out the therapeutic solution.


We carried out the routine ritual that introduces drum healing; this ritual allows the patient to feel very safe and fully empowered within the drum healing process. I called up the Medicine Wheel, also known as the Powers of the Sacred Directions, then smudged with sage and she selected intuitively the Rainbow Essences of her choice.


Lying on the couch I began drumming down by the feet, around her body left side, top and right side, exploring the energy field and at the same time getting the patient to feel comfortable and at ease. Having done this circle of drumming three times, I then came up the front midline and settled into beating softly in the region of the atlas joint where the drum sounded dull, which for me says“acupuncture point” put a needle in! Instead I used the drum beat as a needle,and with my eyes closed began picturing the individual sound beats penetrating the cloud of obstruction, all the time calling in the seven powers to assist me. The sound became clearer and clearer as the minutes went by until I could see the cloud disperse and the bones resonating gently with the drum beat.


Putting away the drum I sat holding her head in my hands and she began to talk descriptively about the picture she had seen during the drumming - her head being separated violently from her body as she was beheaded in a past life experience. She stayed very calm, almost detached, whilst she described her experience, and as she re-ran the internal film, she made a strange, small movement with her head to the right, not a twist or adjustment, just a shift to the right, as if her head was lifted, moved across and placed down very fast with a click! I did not do anything - I was just observing, holding and supporting the head. When I felt her neck afterwards, the vertebrae including the atlas had gone back into perfect alignment. We both laughed at the simplicity and beauty of the experience which seemed to bring the session to a close. She has not had any problems since in that area of her neck.

It seems to me that all the walls, pains and resistance surrounding this problem had been removed sufficiently to allow the true picture and initial cause to be seen at its most central and important point of focus.


For me as a healer and shaman, I am never alone when I work with my clients. There is a guiding force which is beyond logical understanding. I need to be humble in order to call up all the forces available, allowing that source of energy which is beyond my tiny belief and experience to come through and do what is needed.


The drum is the vehicle that takes us into the space where we can connect with these higher powers, she is like a neutral and yet positively effective force, which invites us to become an observer who is willing to be instructed and directed. The drum, when used in a sacred way, speaks a language, a feeling within the beats that carry intention; opening a space within which something grand and magnificent can, will and does happen. But it does not occur on demand because the timing relative to the patient’s growth and soul journey has a part to play. All we can do as sacred drummers is to know beyond doubt, that the forces of universal truth and healing are available to us, and that we can tap into this huge and unfathomed inner world with an open, compassionate and humble heart. This is in essence the Teaching of the Sacred Drum – passed on to students who are willing to let go of their preconceived ideas and open their minds to the world between the veils. A place of power, beauty and wisdom beyond words.


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