Meanings of the Hides Used in our Drums
by Patrick Pinson
When we are working in the West on the Medicine Wheel – the Water, emotions, shadow self – then Elk Medicine gives us the stamina and endurance to get through the edges, from the known to the unknown. As we go through our fears, we expand ourselves and add more trust to our circle. Trust is the lubricant that helps us take the “leap of faith” that leads us to unity with spirit and to a reclaiming of our original grace.
Elk is powerful medicine for healing child abuse and addictive patterns. The Elk will bring up our unresolved grief and help purify and cleanse us through crying and grieving our sweet tears. The vibration of Elk opens the third Chakra, the belly, where we carry our fears and undigested values that interfere with our pure will. The Elk is a communal animal, hanging out with members of the same sex except during mating season.
When we are working on the natural laws of circulation – the circulatory system, the heart – then Deer is our Medicine. Many of us are taught to “figure life out”, so we live in our heads with little attention to our hearts. Deer opens the heart Chakra, teaching us to trust and to empower the feminine qualities of Love and Wisdom.
When we are healing “poverty consciousness”, the belief that there is just not enough time, money or love, drumming with Deer reminds us that we live in an abundant universe, with more than enough of everything. Deer helps us learn the Laws of Circulation –when we feel unloved, then it is time to love others, and that love comes back many-fold.
Horse takes us on the Shamanic Journey, keeping us in third dimensional reality so we may ride the vibration to the spirit world to get the healing we need for self and others. Horse is pure energy – like lightning, it can transport us quickly through the cracks and crevices to the other side. Drumming with Horse will lead us to trance states and to the higher vibrations.
When we seek wisdom and guidance from the Ancient Ones, the Ancestors who came before us, drumming Buffalo opens the door to that vibration. Buffalo is associated with Wisdom and Abundance and is the source of the Sacred Pipe, as White Buffalo Calf Woman brought the Pipe to the People. When we pray with the Pipe, we are joining the masculine Sky Energy with the feminine Earth Energy, and whatever we pray for will be given. If we are manifesting from Spirit to Form, drumming with Buffalo is an ally in that intention, reminding us of the connection of Prayer (spirit) to Form (physical).
Drumming with Moose is empowering the Feminine Energies, as Moose hangs out hear the water, and can stay under water for up to a minute while eating from the bottom of ponds and lakes. Moose reminds us to go into and through the feelings and to take the nourishment available in emotional honesty. Moose is also associated with self-esteem, learning how to get our nourishment from the inside, and spontaneity, trusting ourselves to act in the moment rather than controlling future decisions through planning results. Moose is a great protector of the child, and working with Moose can teach us to nourish and protect the little one inside.