"Recommended to anyone seeking to connect deeply with the drum as a tool for personal, interpersonal, or group spiritual and healing work." --Nowick Gray, Alternative Culture Magazine
"I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the practice of Shamanic drumming. Lots of information, easy to read. Thank you Mr. Drake." --Cindy (Drumheart) Green, Lulu Reviews
From the Author
Most people will never have the opportunity to meet a shaman, let alone learn from one. Though no substitute for an apprenticeship situation, a handbook can convey the fundamental, methodological information. The information presented here is the culmination of my quest to understand the power of rhythm. It is a synthesis of rhythmic knowledge from many of the world's shamanic traditions and personal shamanic experience. Truly significant shamanic knowledge can only be acquired through individual experience; however, one must first acquire the methods in order to utilize them.
Shamanic drum ways provide the opportunity to acquire shamanic experiences. The techniques are simple and effective. The resurgence of shamanism nationwide can, in large part, be attributed to the fact that shamanic drumming offers a relatively easy means of controlled transcendence. When a drum is played at an even tempo of some 180 beats per minute (or about three beats per second) for at least fifteen minutes, most novices report that they can journey successfully even on their first attempt. This ease of induction of altered states and related experiences contrasts dramatically with the months or years of practice usually required by most meditative disciplines to induce significant effects. Today's drummers are rediscovering the trance or ecstatic aspects of drumming. This new rhythm consciousness is oriented not toward performance and musical virtuosity, but toward personal transformation, consciousness expansion, and community building. By employing the drum ways described in this book, you will have an opportunity to personally experience shamanic states, power, and healing. These ways do not require faith or changes in your definition of reality. No change in your subconscious mind is required either, for the drum only awakens what is already there. It will awaken the shaman that lies dormant within you.
The most effective way to learn shamanism is to adopt the same basic concepts shamans do. For example, when I speak of "power," it is primarily because the term is basic to shamanism. Power can represent many different things. To some shamans, power is understanding energy and how to utilize it. To others, it is a measure of one's ability to manifest a vision in the material world. However, it is best to avoid any preoccupation with seeking a scientific understanding of what power may really represent or why shamanism works. I practice shamanism myself, not because I understand why it works, but simply because it does work.