As a sacred drum-maker it is not often that I am called to make drums for myself much these days, after all I already have close to 10 personal drums, so unless I am really called by spirit, all of the drums my hands make are going out into the world for others.
Just before the change of the new year I began to feel an inkling of what 2016 was to bring and part of it was an inner knowing that now is the time for me to get out and into my local community more. To create more in person drum workshops, more ceremonies and more offerings in general.
Some of these inspirations will take some time, while others such as my Red Drum Workshops were as easy as setting a date and booking them.
During this time I was out and about at my local suppliers when across the room I spotted a large, no make that giant handmade drum frame, the kind that some of our first nations people might use to make pow-wow drums.
As I stood there looking at this frame, spirit began speaking to me, whispering into my ear that I must build a community drum--a womb drum to be specific!
And so it was that the frame came home with me, followed by a series of wonderful synchronicities that not only brought me the most perfect piece of Elk hide from a dear friend, who cut it for a drum similar to the one I was making, but also many small confirmations that I was on the right track that came by way of my community.
And so I began, first by honoring the beautiful cedar drum frame and spending some time getting to know it's spirit, which is very gentle and loving, and her medicine is that of healing.
Of course these things take their own sweet time and although I already had the hide, it too needed to be honoured and the time perfect for the creation of such a sacred healing drum. This is why the frame sat with me for close to 2 months before anything more was done.
And then finally, the day came when everything felt right to make the drum, and when I looked up into the night sky and realized that the moon was making her way into fullness I knew why! The February full moon was one of the most powerful moons in a long time, and each night that she was full the skies here were clear and bright with her light.
The first step was to stain the beautiful frame, or rather the bones of the drum with natural water-based wood stain made by a company called Saman that I use for everything. The colour of course was a deep burgundy red and instantly transformed the bones of the drum. next I drilled holes into the sides and made four handles for her so that she could be held on all sides, as well as making sure that she would fit the frame that a friend is making for her to hang on.
And then she was ready to come into form!
I made lots of rookie mistakes because I have never made a double sided drum this big before, so she is perfect is the most imperfect way, kind of like most of us, wouldn't you say?
Once she was made I was so overcome with joy, honestly there was nothing to say or do but admire her and slowly get to know her.
She dried in my kitchen surrounded by the sounds of our family life, as she say perched in the kitchen window with the eastern facing sun shining on her for days and days as she dried.
During this time I began dreaming of hall the ways she could join us in our community, and how she might be able to heal women in her work, and she whispered stories to me, and inspirations came in from friends who told me stories of other healing drums, and so as I prepared for two big ceremonies I knew that she would come along and that we would consecrate and bless her and her work in our community.
This past week-end I was joined by many, many wonderful women whose hands and stories blessed our grandmother drum. She held us in circle as we birthed more red drums out into the community, and as the women from our Red Moon Mystery school were initiated, and were held by each other is a full day of ceremony and spirit work.
We sprinkled libations of sweet honey mead onto her, we smudged her, and adorned her with cedar, sprigs of Heather, and our ancestral spirit bundles, and she held us as we touched her and welcomed her into our community.
It was a full week-end, but she is now ready for the next piece in her creation.....
I know there is so much more about her yet to come through, and I have seen how she might help to heal women if they could somehow slide under her frame as we drum her, so that their wombs can feel the vibrations of her healing heartbeat.
And so the unfolding of Grandmother Womb drum continues.....