Drums & Dreaming

I still haven’t adjusted to daylight saving yet and as usual I’m stuck in a dreamy, otherworld kind of place, listening to hauntingly beautiful meditation music. I went on a SOuL Searchers investigation/house clearing last night, so I know I’m tired from that too. I can never get to sleep straight after a house clearing so I usually end up online for a while  or reading a book far too late into the night as a result. Last night was no different — too many thoughts about the evening running around in my head. Prior to that there was SOL’s Dark Moon Circle on the night before — that was a very ‘otherworldly’ experience which also went very late into the night.  I stayed up far too late after that as well — again too many thoughts/dreams/images in my head to sleep easily. The dark/new phase of the moon seems to affect me this way.

So, instead of doing something constructive (or at least useful and necessary, like housework :-() I’m sitting at my computer, lost in thoughts and dreams of a new drum, inspired by the music I’m listening to. For a quite a while now I’ve felt that I’d like another drum — one with a much deeper voice than any of the 3 I have — to use at home and also at Circle for trance drumming.

My bodhran, with a drum beater I made recently for a friend.

I feel a strong connection with my very first drum, a bodhran, which does have a reasonably low voice (depending on the weather/humidity) compared to other similar drums owned by friends. I want to decorate the drum with a design involving dragons, but even though I’ve had the drum for a few years the exact style of artwork hasn’t developed fully in my mind yet …it will happen all in good time.

My Water Dragon healing drum.

My second drum, which I made and blogged about here, has a very feminine feel with a much higher voice. She is connected to the Water element and evolved as a healing drum during her creation, and is decorated with my own impression of a Water Dragon.

My hairy goat djembe.

My third drum, a lovely hairy goat djembe, is a very down-to-earth little fellow with lots of personality. I probably enjoy playing him the most, tapping out whatever rhythm comes to me at the time. I am by no means an experienced or necessarily good drummer but I think I can hold a steady beat …and I enjoy it, so I guess that’s what counts the most. 🙂

However, even though I’ve tried using these drums for trance drumming both at SOL circles and at home, I just can’t quite get into the right state of mind with them. Maybe its just me, or maybe it really is that the pitch of the drums is too high. In any case, I really feel that I’d like a deeper voiced drum.

This desire has suddenly become much stronger after reading 2 books by Caiseal Mor, What is Magic? followed by his autobiography A Blessing and A Curse: Autism and Me. Donna Williams — renowned autistic author, artist and autism consultant — says in the  ‘Foreword’ she wrote for Caiseal’s autobiography:

International bestselling novelist, Caiseal Mor, was born into a larger than life 1960s family and diagnosed as autistic in childhood. His book captures the nostalgic romanticism of the Australian bush in the 1960s but also the deep ignorance and the culture of ‘see no evil’ in which almost all who could and should have changed things, looked the other way. Assessed as severely brain damaged, then progressively labelled behaviourally disturbed and psychotic before being diagnosed as autistic, all looked the other way as he was brutalised, neglected and traumatised into a range of co-morbid disorders, abuse even sanctioned by the family doctor. But Caiseal’s book is as beautiful and magical as it is shocking and movingly honest as he takes the reader beyond childhood into a surreal existence as an international traveller, perilous adventurer, and seeker. Caiseal’s book is a mirror held up to the most ugly and the most valuable things life can show and offer us and this makes it an important book not only to those involved with autistic or deeply disturbed or abused children, but to those inspired by the resilience of the human spirit. Those who have appreciated international bestsellers like Nobody Nowhere, Forest Gump and Sybil, will be inspired by Caiseal’s story and transported to a deeply spiritual, philosophical understanding of how a feral autistic child can survive the almost unsurvivable and yet thrive to become such an exceptional and exceptionally multi-talented empathic individual.

I’m also enjoying listening to some of his wonderful music which I purchased online recently. I was fascinated while reading about the process involved in creating his drums, with how he  tunes the drum shell (something that appeals to my pedantic Aspie sense of perfectionism) and also connects with the spirit of each drum he makes. Even though I’ve never seen what Caiseal’s drums look like, apart from an amazing painting done by his partner, Helen (see video below) I know I’d really love to have one. You can also hear some of his beautiful music in this video. 😀

I don’t even know if he’s still making drums, or if he’d even consider making one for me. I guess I’ll eventually find out when I feel the time is right to actually ask — I’m feeling too chicken-hearted to do anything about it at the moment though — I’ll eventually work up the courage to do it. I guess some people might find that a bit odd, or even silly — but that’s just how I am. If it’s meant to happen I suppose it will, all in good time. In the meantime I’ve put my intentions out into the universe and created a sigil to help things along. 😉

5 thoughts on “Drums & Dreaming

  1. I love this post, the descriptions of all the drums, the photos….I’m quite drawn to shamanism,but haven’t gotten started yet. I found a class. The teacher is native American. Not sure when she starts the next series…


  2. Wow! Drums too, this is too funny. Talk about finding some common ground. 🙂

    I love drums and I am very eclectic with the music I enjoy listening to. I have managed to find various artists of the Christian faith who use various instruments from all over the world and cultures and mix it up a bit. One of my favorites uses the drum beat in a rhythmic beat, I find that it has a very comforting sound for me, it also gets me up on my feet dancing. 🙂

    Many Believers feel that worship music has healing power and that the instruments hold spiritual significance because they are guided by the Holy Spirit. There are a lot of similarities in different beliefs that Christians are unaware of and they practice the same things without even knowing it.

    I have not made my own drums but I definitely love to actively worship to the sound, I sometimes have clear visions/pictures in my head and have had answers to prayers through worshiping/praising. (Being in awe or act of thankfulness while singing or praying.)

    It is really a great gift to create your own drums and I really like the Water Dragon. 🙂


    1. Thanks Angel! It really is amazing how many things we have in common! 😀 I love how there are so many similarities between our different belief systems …it’s a shame more people don’t focus on that rather than fighting or arguing over the differences. I think it’s wonderful that you enjoy worshipping to the sound of drumming and can get visions and answers to your prayers this way. The vibrations from drumming and other rhythmic sounds like chanting and singing have a profound effect on brain activity and have been used all over the world to transport people into an altered state of mind within the context of their various spiritual beliefs. As you say we’re really all practicing the same things, only calling those similar acts by different names …prayer, praise/worship, meditation, trance, vision quest, shamanic journey etc. Maybe you could find a drum making workshop somewhere in your area. I think you’d really enjoy it. 🙂


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