Medicine Drum of Many Colours, by Martha Lucier
A voice within my own heart calls to me. I follow the voice each step on the Soul pathway, even though I don’t really know where it leads, or why I have been called; even though the voices around me, might question, seed doubt or plant fear. I simply answer the calling I hear from deep within.
When I find myself amongst those who are suffering from depression, from the weight of losing a child, from anger and resentment, from oppression and deep loss, I hear the calling from within to become the medicine. I become the drum beat of Mother Earth Herself. I surrender myself, my agenda, my expectations, my fears, my doubts, my apprehensions, my judgments. I surrender all of me to become the medicine; the hollow bone.
I do not know how this medicine will use me. Sometimes, I am a song that carries deep vibration that moves, transforms and clears heaviness. Sometimes my body is sculpted into shapes, forms and movements, like a clay figure, bending and contorting, being molded and shaped. I become the medicine dance, swirling, twirling and twisting, clearing new pathways for the soul to stretch and find itself again.
Sometimes the artist within me paints the colours of my heart. I become the Medicine of the Rainbow; colours exploding and blending, changing and merging, until an image begins to take shape, sometimes with words or a title; the colours themselves expressing the story of my heart and soul. Sometimes the medicine flows through writing, ceremony, my nighttime dreams, prayers and journeys.
I do not know when I will be called to be the Medicine. Here is one such story from my experience with the World Drum.
Throughout this past year I have felt like a cello string, holding space for healing the mother wound in my ancestral line, as family members undergo immense life change, creating ripples throughout the family structure. I feel the old walls crumbling as a new generation and way of being is born.
With death and birth, emotions are heightened, providing openings for old wounds to heal. I feel my ancestral line shifting, stretching, expanding and growing, increasing the tension causing some to break or explode. Together we are carving out new pathways home, like roots, breaking through new ground, coming together to the One root that connects us all.
I am on my way to a community gathering with the World Drum. I am feeling overwhelmed by the suffering around me. Through my tears, I ask the ancestors for assistance and support, surrendering the burden I’ve been carrying to Spirit. I turn the conflicts and war within my own heart into a prayer for peace, asking my birth father, now in the spirit realm, for assistance.
The gathering is comprised of a mix of community members; elders, children, women and men from many nations. Among the soft quiet voices, there is a feeling of tentativeness and uncertainty in the room. The world drum is introduced and we all have an opportunity to feel her, play her, listen to her and sing with her.
We are guided in a ceremony to feast the drum with strawberries, bless the sacred water, and offer our prayers with tobacco. When the formal ceremony is almost complete, I feel a gentle nudge, recalling a vision of my drum and the World Drum kissing, face to face, exchanging medicine. I share this vision, and invite all those who are called to participate with their drums and shakers to welcome the medicine of the drum into their hearts.
I sit down with the World Drum at the centre of the circle, with my drum in hand. I expose my drum’s wound that has been growing gradually over the last year, growing bigger and more severe, like the wound of the Mother I am healing. I place my hand on the frame where it is buckled like my Hungarian Grandmother’s arthritic knuckles, twisted and stretched beyond recognition. The drum is made of moose hide stained with walnut dye and the frame is cherry wood, a significant tree of my ancestors from Hungary.
As I place my hand on the tear I begin to caress the drum. The tear for me symbolizing suffering and hurt between nations, brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, communities, and families. Prayers for healing separation, flow through the palm of my hand as words from my heart rise to the surface like a healing balm, re-connecting mind and heart, body, and spirit, awakening our deep soul connection to the Great Mother.
I feel my drum opening to receive the medicine, while healing vibrations extend out into the room. My 6 year old grand-daughter, witnessing the vulnerability of her Grandmother, without hesitation in the midst of a group of people she does not know, responds by entering the circle and sitting next to me. She gently places her hand on my drum next to mine, joining me in the prayer that flows through my heart.
The medicine of the World Drum, a drum that has touched the hands and hearts of many people from all around the world flows through us. Her medicine is universal, connecting people through her heart beat. The drum cannot do it’s job on it’s own and needs people to become it’s medicine.
When the ceremony was complete, we feasted on Pumpkin bread and apple cider, and sang songs. A member of the circle asked me if the blanket the world drum was sitting on, was from Hungary.
Last summer, while on my way to visit my mother, who was not feeling well, my father’s spirit joined me for the ride. He beckoned me to stop on the way to visit his closest relative, his cousin ‘Rose’. He wanted me to ask Rose for a ‘rose’ from her backyard, to gift my mother so she knew my father was with her during this challenging time.
When I shared the story with my Aunt Rose, she said that my father always stopped by her house to visit when he was troubled by something. She did indeed have a rosebush with only one bloom left, that together we picked. Before I left, she gifted me the most beautiful cloth of embroidered roses, over 100 years old from our ancestors in Hungary.
As I shared the story of the cloth the drum was sitting on, I suddenly realized that that very day was the 17th anniversary of the passing of my father. He was indeed with me that day, and did truly answer my call for healing help. All night, the World Drum had been silently sharing it’s medicine while sitting on the blanket of roses, a symbol of the divine feminine.
I do not know what other people experienced that night. I do not know what they were thinking or feeling. All I know, is I was called to act and become the medicine. I do not know how far this medicine may reach or what depths it will travel. I trust I was guided for a reason to be the vehicle for the medicine to be shared. I expanded my own heart that night as I healed a part of my ancestral line, and the vibrations like a tossed pebble in a pond are still rippling out. When I listen, respond and surrender, I am the flow for the medicine of many colours.
* Soul Pathways of Shamanism: One Year Program (begins February 20, 2015)
Connecting with your own heart beat, invite your pulse to carry you down your soul pathway.
What does your soul pathway look like? Feel like? Taste like? Smell like? Sound like?
What medicine flows along your path?
How are you called to nourish yourself, family and community with the medicine you carry?