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For thousands of years indigenous peoples of all cultures have used the drum to alter consciousness and travel into alternate realities to receive answers to their questions.

These questions would perhaps be around finding food or for healings. The Medicine Man, or Shaman, would travel to the upper, middle, or lower world, to plant or mineral, to receive these answers. Many, but not all, would use the drum to move into this altered state. Many scientists, and doctors are coming to understand this altered state of the drum, and meditation, to assist in the healing process.

Types of drums used are primarily made from a wooden circle that has a leather hide stretched across it and tied tightly.

To do this, you cut the hide so that it stretches one inch over the back of the circular wood base. You then punch holes evenly around the edge of the leather. Soak it until properly wet and loose. Then, stretching it over the wood frame, lace it tightly with a wet leather strip, and let it dry completely.

It is much easier to buy one already made. This type needs to be set at the right tightness to produce a clear tone. To do this, one either wets the drum or dries it to the proper tone. It will neither be high pitched nor a dull thud when one strikes it. Vellum drums, either of lambskin, paper or cloth coverings, are also used; these require no adjustments. Some drums require a beater, others need only hands. There are one-sided drums, two-sided drums and tall drums. They will come in small, medium, large or group size. Some drums may even contain water to enhance the tone of the drum.

Now we will focus specifically on how one uses the drum and its power. Drumming requires that you beat the surface at approximately 240 beats per minute. This can be a steady monotonous beat -a four beat rhythm all being the same. One is then assisted in moving out of conscious awareness into to the altered state for a healing or guidance. As one traverses the three worlds of Shamanism, one may receive assistance from higher guidance including angelic, ancestral, animal, vegetable (herbs) or mineral spirits. This list is not exclusive, but is a good idea of connection by using the drum. One may also tune into the body in such a way that a healing may occur. Note that the term healing does not necessarily imply a cure itself but may assist in such.

Drumming may involve a slow Earth beat or a fast Eagle beat. This is determined by the type of work done separately or combined. Each state brings differing results to the process. If using a mallet (beater), any part of the surface of the drum may be used. The upper, lower, left or right side, or middle will produce different tones. Sometimes the edge of the drum may be used. One may also use the palm of the hand or fingers. If using the beater, one may lightly touch the inside of the drum with the fingers of the hand holding it. This adds a vibratory addition to the regular drum beat.

Drumming may be done by one person (the Shaman), by using a CD, or in a drumming circle. The drumming circle involves several drums producing many different sounds at the same time, beneficial for healing or stress relief when in the altered state.

Stones that may assist in the drumming experience.

Sand Stromatolite – A quartz (sand based stone which allows the vibratory sound or the drum (or Chimes) to pass throughout its body acting as an amplifier   to produce clearing or healing vibrations.

Journey stones to be held or placed on the body.

Lemurian Jade – Used to connect with the Earth Mother or Nature.

Jaspers – Facilitates shamanic journeying and dreaming.

Lepidolite – Aids shamanic journeying as well as connecting to the Akashic records.

Rhyolite – Helps provide a deeper state of meditation.

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