by Vena Sunland
The large drum I bought last year is a spiritual power. Spirit directed me to buy the drum, the size, the Eagle painted on top. It was to be used for healing, despite the fact it’s a pow wow size drum. Spirit was very definite about my getting the drum from Cedar Mountain Drums and nowhere else because of the high vibration of drums, drumsticks and everything I’ve bought from Cedar Mountain.
Turns out the drum heals body, mind and spirit. I never ask for any specific healing. Everything I do is in the context of “God’s will be done.” I don’t want to put my two cents worth in and get in God’s way.
Getting to know the drum
The first time I used the Drum some people had come for healing/spiritual help. We took down the drum and set it up as the Spirit of the drum preferred, with the Eagle facing
East. It also wants to be stored with the Eagle facing East.
A Spirit Eagle Appears
We did some praying, drumming. Then suddenly this gigantic Eagle of golden light was standing behind me, tall to the ceiling, and he spread his wings over us, covering us, nearly filling the spiritual space I’ve set up. I was so moved, tears ran down my face without my stopping to dry them. The power was so powerful and beautiful. The people who came for help were awed. One is part Indian, but never had anything to do with the spiritual aspect. Now he thinks of little else.
The Eagle Spirit has continued to be present whenever the drum is used. At a recent gathering around the drum, the Eagle spirit stood behind a man of about 40 who has spent his life quietly in the background, never expecting recognition. He is helpful, considerate, caring, hard working, shy, humble and good to the core. The Eagle of golden light stood behind him, and I sensed it was time for him to get a Spiritual name. I told one of the people at the drum “this one is yours.” We have no ego problems around the drum. When Spirit shows preference for one or another to handle a task, that’s the way it is. We just work with God/Spirit. The rest of us drummed while she tuned in, then she came up with a name that suited him perfectly. After we finished prayers for the sick, for our Warriors and their safe return, etc., we stopped drumming for a time. Before I did some hands on healing, I walked across to the healing area and brought the man a picture of his name animal, totem. I told him I’d had the picture about a year, and didn’t know to who it would go. That’s how Spirit works. Whatever people need, I usually have on hand. He was so touched. When they left, they were crammed into a pickup with the tight little back seat. I told him the picture would fit between the front seat and his feet, but he wouldn’t let go of it, afraid it would be damaged. He is part Cherokee. All his life he had yearned to sit at a drum, now he had a name, had been at the drum, and he was in another world. Afterward I tuned in that he has healing power. I talked to him on the phone and when I described how hands on healing works, he recognized that he has had it all along, didn’t know what the occasional heat in his hands meant. When they come up again, I’ll let him work with me, get confident, so he can take it back and help others. Those drum sessions are such a spiritual high it usually takes a couple hours and eating something heavy to get me “down to earth.”
The Nature of the Eagle Drum
Anyhow, Patrick, I’m finally letting you know how the Eagle Drum I bought from you last year is bringing people to Spirit, it has such power. It opens hearts, quiets the noisy brain. Beautiful experiences happen. When a person touches the drum, they get a message by looking into the eye, a message just for them. The Drum tells it true. One person was told “you’re not ready for me yet.” Another was told “Long have I waited for you.”
The Eagle Spirit and healing spirits have taken me in hand and are teaching me simple ceremonies. I never wanted to be a “wannabe” so I avoided any Indian type stuff when I healed. I simply would put my hands on the person, ask God to give healing if that was God’s will, and the heat would pour through my hands and help the person. I’ve done this since 1965. I’d heal anywhere, any time, no preparation, just a willingness to be used to help others.
That began to change. The Eagle Spirit let it be known that when the drum was being used, smudging was preferred. So I got smudge stuff. Smudged people, smudged the drum, smudged everything in the area. One person came over and said I should offer tobacco to the drum. OK with me, so we added that.
With that accomplished, the Eagle Spirit let it be known that acknowledging and honoring the powers of the four directions was a good thing. So we added that. That’s when I discovered those powers work through me in healing, as needed by the person being healed. I had just been grateful for the healing spirits, never tried to pin down who and what they were. So I learned to thank the spirits of the four directions, and above and below, and the spirits of nature. And especially Turtle Mother, who gave me a pretty powerful experience in order to get my attention years ago.
The Eagle Spirit then started showing me little ceremonies around the drum. Here are some:
Harmonizing the circle around the drum: Those seated around the drum quietly begin tapping on the drum, nobody leads. Very quickly we are all tapping in unison, and we drum harder. After that, there is no dis-harmony among us, it’s as if all our spirits become one unbroken harmonious circle.
Healing long distance or healing someone who is present: If long distance a picture of the person asking for healing is set up somewhere where the drum circle can see it, and if not a picture, we say their name and think of them. Then we drum with the thought of healing, God’s will be done. We never heal without permission, it violates a person’s free will, the gift we are all given by God. If the person is present I often follow up with further hands on healing.
One woman comes who knows Sioux healing songs and is a Sun Dancer. She sings her songs. Spirit tells me I will be given songs in English to be shared, that this will begin happening in about July. Meantime, maybe someone else will get a song. I’ve gotten a couple, but not to share, just for my personal connection with Spirit.
Healing and connection with Mother Earth: This one came from Spirit as we were sitting around the drum. I brought a globe of the world to the drum and was showing in which direction the earth would tilt, where different lands would lie. I said “let’s use this globe as a symbol of Mother Earth for sending her healing.” I held the globe in one hand and drummed with the other. As I drummed there was a connection made between me and Earth Mother. It was so strong, pure, beautiful that as usual tears were coming from my eyes. Then I got the impression to pass the globe clockwise to the person next to me. I did and explained what to do. This went on, one after another, and the connections were, no surprise, as strong as the individual tune in ability of each person. I explained the ability grows with time, so just keep working with Spirit and the connection gets stronger.
Prayers for our Warriors, to keep them safe, bring them home safely, or for their Spirits to be carried by God’s love to our Eternal Home: This started as just praying for the safe return of our Warriors, men and women, and asking God’s love to surround those who lose their lives, that their journey Home be beautiful. Then one day something unusual happened. I had been building portals between worlds in my own way as part of healing for years. But never with the drum. Suddenly, a column of white light rose from the drum, connected to the white light at the core of Earth, and continuing up. In this column of light came Spirits who had been “stuck” between worlds. Not just Warriors. Others too. I believe this is now to be a part of the prayer for warriors around the drum. Spirit will direct.
Parting song for the drum, and prayer for safe journey home: At the end of the healing / drumming session we thank God, the Spirits and the Drum and ask for a safe journey home for those who came to share the healing gathering. Then the drum is “put up” facing East, the smudge and other supplies are put away, and nothing remains except the smell of sage, which takes a couple of days to fade away.
Songs: Spirit tells me more will be given, the songs are important. Songs are more powerful and meaningful if people understand the words. So using songs from the past, if one doesn’t understand the language, is not what Spirit prefers. I will be encouraging people to plead for songs, songs to share and songs for themselves only.
Ceremony: Spirit let me know that those who wish for Indian ceremonies to be kept within tribes can do as they wish. Spirit is the source of all song and ceremony. Spirit has not retired or quit working. Spirit tells me “new ways for new days” and Spirit has never directed me to imitate old time ceremonies. They have power and meaning only in the right context. For this time, with people who wish a harmonious working connection with Spirit, songs and ceremony will be given. There is no reason to steal from the past. We should honor the past, and the people of the past, while today we create the songs and ceremonies of the present, to be honored and replaced when the time is right at some time in future.
Spirit wants those upset by the restrictions on old ceremonies to simply let that go, the Spirit will fill the hearts, minds and spirits of those who are sincere with new ceremonies, new songs, and these will have power and meaning.
Asking for a Vision: In today’s society, it is difficult to get away for a few days to have a vision in the old way. When I started I simply set aside three day weekends for Spirit. No phone, TV, no lights, no eating, didn’t even pick up my mail. Except for feeing my pets and using the bathroom, no nothing but being open to Spirit. It worked. Today I have visions anywhere, any time, not restricted by formality. Even waiting in line at the grocery store.
Smudging: In an apartment smudging will often set off screaming smoke detectors. Sandalwood Incense works just as well. In other parts of the world it is used like Sage. You do what you must. If Spirit is satisfied with Sandalwood, and it fills the need in restricted conditions, the word is use it.
Having a spiritual time disrupted by a screaming smoke alarm does nothing to enhance the spiritual experience!
Community and Family: We are a separated society, families split by jobs and moves to far away locations, even countries. Families divided by issues of religion, most often by those who choose to have direct contact with God, with Spirit, rather than have a religious “leader” speak for them. What to do in a case like that? Make a family by choice. Gather those of like mind, those who need help, those Spirit puts in your path, and share the gifts of Spirit within each. A group becomes unified at the drum, a bond stronger than today’s family bonds is forged. It isn’t a tribe, it isn’t a blood family, but we ARE all related, which is taught in every Shamanic tradition in the world. We find that out quickly, find out how we care about each other, how we feel joy at the good fortune of others, share their pain, their loss, encourage their growth. This is today’s new family, new tribe. Today is different than yesterday. Live for today, we cannot go back to yesterday. But we can make tomorrow better than yesterday. We can accept the whole human race as family, all colors, all nationalities, all who yearn for Spiritual growth and experience. We can stop finding fault with others of different ways, and look for our sameness.
That’s what the Spirit of the Drum is about. Not divisiveness, but gathering all together as one circle, all that lives. And caring for all that lives. The Drum, Spirit, nothing is retires, Spirit is alive and challenging us to grow. Wow, what a great time to be alive.
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