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Our Drum Birthing Ceremony

The Drum is the ancient spiritual implement found in many indigenous and earth-based cultures. The drum connects us to the earth's steady pulse and is directly connected to life force energies. For a drum to be birthed it requires the sacrifice of both flora and fauna, plant and animal life. The drum is the perfect balance of feminine and masculine energies, drawing on both the sun and the moon. In many cultures the drum houses spirits or spiritual helpers to assist the practitioner or medicine carrier. The drum is also in many ways a spiritual vehicle to seek visions, healing, and deep communal connection. For these reasons we see the drum essential to any healing practice as well as alive and full of consciousness.

The birthing of a drum is a sensitive space and for that reason we do things in particular ways to assure the spirits we welcome to the space are respected and honored. Our goal is that when the day comes for the drum to go back to the earth, it can do so without harming her, the waters, or any life. Water is Sacred and a critical element to the ceremony. Here as such a few of our disciplines but certainly not limited to:

  • Materials used are ethically sourced or earth consciously acquired.  

  • There's no slave labor, no prefabrication, no premade hoops stacked and neglected.  

  • We do not mix animal medicines for the sake of cutting costs.

  • Water is gathered ethically and returned to the earth after ceremony.

  • We make offerings as appropriate to the local spirits and other spiritual helpers along the way.

  • Hoops are only cut, bent, and utilized for one drum.

  • Hides are intentionally limited to two or three drums of similar intentions (Also known as sibling drums).​​

  • We maintain and often speak the intention of the drum during each part of the birthing.

  • We keep you up to date with photos and messages to help you maintain a relationship with your drum.

  • We bless the oils and the waters used with the sun and the moon.

  • We make a birth certificate so you can hold on to the drums story.

  • The Artwork for each drum is specific to that drum, stencils are often drafted for each drum.

  • Our drums are BIG! This is done intentionally to create vibrations and sounds that many have never heard before. 

  • We work intuitively and will make recommendations along the way.

  • Each Drum is completely unique and cannot be remade, customization is paramount.

  • We allow the drum to tell its story! Whether it's some tool marks, twisting, or stretching. 

  • Many Materials with be wild-crafted or ethically gathered, being sure to leave offerings when doing so.

  • No Rush orders or time constraints, it takes what it takes to allowing the drum to be birthed in a nurturing environment.

Ready to design your personal Shamanic Drum?

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Image by Robert Lukeman

The Calling to the Drum

Many will feel it's time for a drum, either by vision, dreams, or simply a deep feeling that calls them to it. We see this as a calling from your ancestors and helpful spirits, calling you to your roots and original teachings. This is not something easily ignored and, in many cases, will keep reaching out to you. It's time to step forward into your power and connect with the energy present. 

Consulting the Spirits

You have heard the calling and now its time to welcome the insights and directions of the ancestors and helpful spirits. Bring the thoughts of the drum before your altar or places that are sacred to you. This is a good time to give offerings, connect with the energies, and listen. 

Image by Taylor Heery
Image by Pritindra Das

Setting the Intentions

You have reached out to us for your drum to be birthed, now what? 

Now we begin cultivating, what you are feeling for your drum. You may know every part of what it may look like or you may only know a few parts, that's great! We can work together to birth your drum and work intuitively along the way. What is most important is knowing the intentions or prayers you feel called to for this drum. We can help you with that!

Accepting the Cosmic Design

To fully accept what is needed for your drum together we fully accept this drum the way it needs to be. All the means, materials, and medicines are seen as a gift to the drum doula or drum birther, to intuitively cocreate all the elements necessary for the intentions of the drum. You will of course be informed of any changes and with that we ask that you trust the process.

Image by Marcos Paulo Prado
Image by Sergey Kotenev

Gathering The Medicines

Drums require flora and fauna; as much as we can, we collect and wild-craft materials from nature being sure to leave offerings when we do. We then order materials such as the hide and leather from ethical or earth conscious sources. 

Praying over the Medicines

Holding your intentions or prayers for the drum through the ceremony is important to us. Before any part of the materials are worked with, we bring them together and pray over them. We start with gratitude, clarity, and patience for the journey ahead with the spirit of this drum.

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Image by mrjn Photography

Gathering the Waters

Water is Sacred. All the life of this planet is water-based and as such holds all the medicines, prayers, and memories needed to heal. We consciously gather water from the places needed for the intentions for the drum. This may mean from a river or stream, maybe gathered from the rain or snow, or maybe there's a water you have felt called to like the ocean? 

Milling the Wood

The wood that is chosen for the drum fits both supporting the intentions of the drum and the physical structure. The Hoop of the drum is the portal that houses the energies. Carefully preparing the wood to the right size, shape, and thickness is critical for your drum. This is especially true for the larger drum sizes. 

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Image by Tincho Franco

Soaking the Wood in Solar Water

Solar water is mostly easily understood as water infused and blessed by the rays of the sun. Calling on the Divine Masculine energies to the water, we then soak the wood for the hoop. The wood will stay in the water for as long as it needs to, bathing in the energies it will need for the next step.

Bending the Hoop

This is the most physically demanding part on the hoop, swelling and bending the wood to the correct shape and size. This is also where we begin to really see the physical characteristics of the spirit or energies of this drum. The wood will make noise, crack, fray, and even twist revealing its nature as it settles into the size and shape of your drum. Thus its solar sign is born. 

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Locking the Intentions to the Hoop 

After Many days or even weeks, the hoop is finally dry. The intentions of your drum are spoken again and again as we glue and clamp the hoop closed. This becomes the irreversible moment where the intentions of the drum are sealed into the wood and the hoop. Its still quite rough looking from its last journey however the shape and size are clear for all to see. We also get an Indepth look at all that transpired from the last step. 

Sanding and Carving the Hoop

The hoop is ready to have its edges carved and faces cleaned up. This is as much for aesthetic as it is for function, left in this state it would likely harm the hide and anyone who tried to play it. The hoop must be nurtured and attended to, preparing it for artwork and the handle. 

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Drawing and Carving the Inscriptions

We like to refer to the inscriptions as the tattoos of the drum. Whether its runic bands, knotwork, or something altogether personal, the artwork is for as much the physical as it is for the spiritual reasons. It announces your drum's energy and calls it to you when you play it. We always recommend an inscription that best suits your intentions. 

Making the Handle

The Bigger the drum the more structure and stability it may need. Wood Handles are highly recommended and encouraged if you would like to play for longer periods of time. In combination with leather, they can reduce fatigue and are marvelous in complementing your drums naturally beauty. The handle is laid with the top part of the drum toward true north to honor the 4 directions. 

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Laying the Bindrune

Our Drum Doula's personal Bind rune is laid in every hoop over the connection point. This is carved by hand using a hot knife. Some drums will also get copper peens at this time for the energy copper brings and the strength of the peen. 

Making the Moon Water

Moon water is mostly easily understood as water infused and blessed by the moon, typically a full moon. Calling on the Divine Feminine energies to the water, certain metaphysical properties come through. The water is left out all night and gathered before the morning sunlight touches it. The moon water will then be kept away from sunlight until it's time to use it. 

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Image by Conrad Ziebland

Soaking the Hide in Moon Water

With the moon water in hand, we then soak the animal hide. The Hide will stay in the water for as long as it needs to, bathing in the energies until it is fully engorged with the moon water. The hide will stay this way until it's time for the drum to be birthed. 

Meeting the Spirit of the Drum

Now that the hoop is ready and the hide is fully soaked, the day has come to birth the drum. This is where the hide is stretched and attached to the hoop. It is also at this time where the spirit of the drum reveals themselves, often in vision. In a way we learn more about its characteristics, maybe what they look like, and sometimes a name. 

Image by Oliver Hotakainen
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Resting and Drying

One of the most critical times during the entire ceremony is when the drum is drying and the spirit settling into the drum. The drum may twist, turn, and make noises. This happens over the course of a few days, and we check on the drum regularly. We keep the intention or prayer known and often spoken to the drum as it settles. Emotions can come up during this time and it's important to honor them as the drum mirrors us. 

Blessed Oils for the Drum

Now that all has settled, the drum is thirsty! We bless the oils and by hand lay the oils over the whole of the animal hide. We check in with the spirit and the drum at this time, listening to what it may need and making adjustments if needed. The Drum will often be literally dripping with the oils and we set the drum aside to dry. 

Image by Subro Roy
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Handle Inscriptions & Leather Wrap

Since the handles are often made of wood, they can also be decorated with artwork and inscriptions. Personal or important symbols can be burned into the center of the handle as this is where your hand will reside. To reduce fatigue, various leather wrappings can be used to really bring both beauty and functionality to the handle. This is also a great place to hang prayer braids or attach animal medicines to. Feathers especially look fantastic!

Choosing the Beater 

The Beater brings the masculine component to the drum. They can be made from all different cores like driftwood, cedar, bone, or something you found in nature. They can also be made with leather wraps and animal furs. In some cases, the beater can also have carved artwork on it

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Drum Birth Certificate

The birth of a drum is not complete until the birth certificate is made. The certificate lays out the solar water used, the moon water used, the intentions of the drum, a brief description of the spirit, and of course the birth date! 

Gratitude Prayers 

This is a step that cannot be skipped, going back to the altar or sacred spaces to give thanks and offerings. Being guided along the way, it is paramount that we thank the spirits and ancestors who assisted us. 

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The Drum Prepares to go Home

This is where we make final checks on all that was created. We check over the drum, the beater, and the birth certificate to ensure that all is as it should be. We take some pictures and play the drum so we can hear the harmony of its breath. This tells us about the timing for this drum to go home. 

The Gift 

As when we started, all was gifted to our drum doula to birth themselves a drum. Now the extending that energy, the drum doula gifts the drum to you. This brings with it communal energies and support. 

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Teachings with the Medicine

Our Drum Doula offers a complementary lesson and teachings with the handling of your brand new shamanic drum. Plenty of Do's and Don'ts as well as mindful practices with your drum. We want to encourage you to take your drum to new places and treat it as thought your drum is alive, that's how we see it! 

Returning to the Earth

What happens with the remains of the wood, leather scraps, left over rawhide, and the water you may be asking? Most things will be buried, burned, or find a new home in things like rattles. We do our best to reduce any waste and for what is left, it goes back to the earth with offerings and our gratitude. 

Image by Gabriel Jimenez

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