SEPTEMBER: The Beat Goes On
Pagans have been using drums since the beginning of time for connection with the gods and with each other. Almost every culture in every country has some kind of drum or percussion instrument, from rattles to hollow logs, to ornate carved drums with heads made from the skins of sacred animals.
The beat of the drum mimics the beat of the human heart, as well as the living pulse of the world around us. It can connect us with spirit, draw us deep within to help us find the path to our inner journeying, and take a scattered group of strangers and turn them into a cohesive and connected whole. It can sooth and create trance states or inflame our bodies in a frenzy of passion. There is much power in drumming, whether done on your own or in a group.
The purpose of this drumming ritual is simple: to connect us with our ancestors—the Pagan folk who went before us—and to connect us with our own inner wisdom and the power and pulse of the universe around us. If you chose to do this ritual with others, it will connect you with them as well.
If you don’t have a drum, you can use a drumming recording and clap your hands or stomp your feet instead. But I believe you will find this traditional Pagan activity so addictive, you will almost certainly want to get a drum of your own.
· A drum (any kind—you can even make your own from materials you find around the house, although the sound from home-made drums is rarely as deep and rich as that from a real drum) or a drum CD if you don’t have a drum
· Sage smudge stick
This is as simple a ritual as there is. You don’t need to cast a circle, unless you want to. Simply sit outside under the full moon, or inside in a darkened, comfortable space if you can’t be outside, and open your heart and spirit to the beat of the drum.
Cleanse yourself before starting by wafting the sage over your body. You can sage your drum as well if you wish.
Hold the drum loosely in your hands and close your eyes. Feel the moon overhead, and sense the presence of the goddess. Reach back through history and think of all those other folks whose hands beat upon a drum—hands of different colors, and sizes and shapes, but all with the same intent as you have on this night.
Start beating the drum slowly (you can leave your eyes closed or open them) or start the music and begin clapping. As you drum, feel the echo of your drumbeats in the rhythm of the world around you. Feel your heart beating in time with the drum and matching the pulse of the natural world beneath you. If you are drumming with others, reach out your inner senses to feel them too. As you beat the drum faster, you can sense the beating of the goddess’s heart, filling and surrounding you. Go as fast or slow as feels right to you, feeling the beat of your drum carrying your spirit out into the universe to connect with everything.
When you are ready, slow down your drumming gradually until you are only beating once or twice a minute, then stop and take a deep breath. Come back to the mundane world, but take a moment to internalize that feeling of connection, so you can carry it inside yourself from this point onward.
Magic’s Mischief, Meddling, and Merriment—
To go a step beyond, try attending a local drumming group. These can be found in many areas and even those which are not specifically Pagan can help you connect with that primal energy.