“I lost my drum in the divorce!”


It was a time of great distress and it took a while before I noticed the void in my inner life after I sacrificed my drum. I realized how much I wanted to bring that part of myself back and that I wanted to make my own drum, although I didn’t know how I would accomplish that.

I thought about Boise, Idaho, which is the nearest city that might have a retail outlet carrying drums and I was to be there soon. My friend, Polly Peterson, met me for lunch that day in Boise. During our conversation, I asked Polly if she knew where I could buy a drum—she is a trained shaman and uses drums in her work, so I thought she might know. In fact, Polly co-facilitated a Women’s Retreat on my land in Jarbidge Canyon years back and we worked with drums throughout as we participated in the Sweat Lodge and Pipe Ceremonies. It was an incredible and rich experience!

Polly said, “My sister, Judy Rhodes, has been teaching people to make drums for the past ten years!” I got in touch with Judy and enjoyed an immediate connection with her. Her story about how she came to this work is interesting and moving. During that conversation, Judy said she would be happy to lead the drum-making part of a workshop here. (See Judy’s brief bio on our flyer.)

When Polly heard about my plan with Judy to host a Drum-Making Retreat, she agreed to attend and support us both. I asked her if she would do a brief (because drum making takes several hours) presentation on the subject of Dreams, since she has been trained by famous Dream expert, Robert Moss. She agreed immediately. (See Polly’s brief bio on our flyer.)

After that, I called my friend and Drum Keeper, Jeanene Hafen, and she was open and excited by the opportunity to facilitate the Drumming during the weekend. Jeanene has dedicated herself to some amazing work with Elders of various tribes from all over the world. Along the way, she met Drum Elders of the Lakota tradition who initiated her as a Drum Keeper. She will bring her Mother Drum, Travelin’ Gal, and lead us in the powerful experience of drumming in unison with a group. Jeanene’s participation is a special gift to all of us because those of us who make our drums won’t be able to use them for the three days curing time. So we’ll be able to participate in drumming with hand drums, rattles (several women will be bringing extra drums and rattles) and the Mother Drum.

This group of fascinating and powerful women have made it possible and affordable for you to join us. If you aren’t familiar with drumming—one of the most ancient musical expressions—you may find it is a transformational experience. Drumming has been central to the spiritual and communal lives of humans about as long as our species has lived on this dazzling planet—a way of praying, meditating, communicating, celebrating, healing, processing, grieving and connecting. When I think about how far removed we have become from this beautiful Earth, our only home, I think of the drum that calls us back. I think about how the drum reminds us that we are a part of the universal heartbeat—that vibrational flow of energy running through the cycles and rhythms of Nature and through our human nature. I think about how drumming can have the unique effect of transforming consciousness. And I look forward to making the drum a part of my spiritual practice once again with a drum that I have fashioned with my own hands! Maybe next year, we can gather again and we’ll be ready to paint our drums?

September 30, 2015

We've had to cancel our When the Women Were Drummers event . . . things have come up for our facilitators and for some of our participants. So we're disappointed but open to rescheduling in the future. If you have an interest, please let us know and we will revisit this. Thank you to all the wonderful women who wanted to participate!

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