Drum Journey (Recording): ~15 minutes
Note: I had a difficult time beginning the journey because I was thinking about the workshop I led the day before: Introduction to Shamanic Journeying. There were five women, all of whom were new to shamanism.
After a few minutes, I was able to make it to Upper World. From the moment I arrived, I felt an urgency to see Reeds Blowing. I ran all the way to his tree cave, leaving an offering of wildflower heads surrounding the triangular Taos stone I had brought to the workshop the day before (to use as a "talking stone").
I was distraught, concerned that I had not done the workshop well by spirit standards (!). I felt I had not been able to answer well the challenging questions and comments I got from one workshop attendee: Why power animals? Is there danger in the spirit world? The drum callback sounds threatening to me...
Reed Blowing took the stone and blessed it. He smiled and said that I had answered fine; I explained (there is no real danger, only what you may not yet be ready to see) gave examples (I was bitten by a snake on my first journey. Later it was explained this may have been an early dismemberment.), I told her what she needed to know (According to the teachings, there was a time when animals and humans spoke the same language. Journeying is our way to reestablish our connection.). Next time, I could say that "these are the teachings" and leave it at that. As for the threatening callback (which I did not address), I could say that it is a matter of perception.
Come, he said, it is time for your drumming lesson.
We walked behind his tree and into a clearing at the base of a mountain. There was a large pow-wow drum on the ground. Great Walker stood at one edge. Reeds Blowing stood near him at the drum. I stood opposite Reeds Blowing. We began drumming in unison. Soon, Bell'anna joined us. The sound of the drum was incredible. The vibrations shook the land and air around us. The vibrations turned deep pink and rose in a column to the atmosphere. It surrounded Upper World and encased it in a circle of sound. The vibrations shook us and all around us.I envisioned the cells in my body all moving and re-energizing. The field enveloping UW released and the column went back into the drum, then moved out forcefully into each of the drummers.
Once the drumming stopped, I sat on the ground. Great Walker handed me my drum, and told me to drum now. As I did, I saw the vision of the buffalo whose hide covers my drum. He was majestic and black-furred. I saw his watery eyes. He grazed and ambled through the field. I was amazed by his beauty. I then saw his death and the process of his skinning—blood and sinew. I tried to imagine the shift from living to dead, from spirit inhabiting the body to the skin on the wooden worktable, drying. I saw Lee Lujan receiving the skin. Working it. Making this drum.
I saw the Cottonwood tree. I moved through its seasons. Buds and leaves and decay and buds again. I saw bugs and birds making homes in it. I saw its bark forming and shedding over the years. I saw it being cut down...
I thanked my teachers and returned.
Return to Ordinary Reality.