The Horse of the Shaman
Many Spirits Sing through My Drum
In some shamanic cultures the drum is called the horse of the shaman. The shaman rides the sound of the drum into shamanic consciousness. There is scientific reasoning behind this. The drumbeat of shamanic drumming is a very specific beat -- approximately 180 - 200 beats per minute (in some cultures this is known as the Eagle's heartbeat -- I am happy to take their word for this. Putting my ear next to a large raptor's chest to listen to its heart seems like it would cause its heart rate to increase and cause me to lose an ear.)
This drumming is boring, boring, boring -- no accents, no variation, nothing musical about it. While the drums are being played the shamanic practitioner's eyes are covered and the only real sensory input is from the drum.
This drumming frequency somehow entrains the brain to operate in the theta wave frequency range. Theta waves are one of the brain frequencies that create the state of deep dreaming.
The shaman are known as the dream travelers. In fact, the realm of dreams is considered one of the many gateways to the realms of Spirit. In some shamanic cultures dreaming is an opportunity to tour possible places that your soul can go to live after you die. Dreaming is everyone's natural talent for shamanic experience.
However, when I sat down to do the art I was completely blocked.
Fortunately, one of the major philosophical foundations of shamanic work is, of course, to learn to listen to the guidance of Spirit -- which sometimes takes the form of being stopped cold when traveling down a chosen road.
So, I listened to my being "blocked artistically" and realized that Drum had its own ideas about how it wanted to be "tattooed". After all, in shamanic belief everything is alive, conscious and responsive!
So, the designs that you see on my Drum are from a shamanic journey/ "conversation" I had with Drum. What a gift!
There are many, many Spirits that sing through this Drum -- the design has given them an opening to enter our world.