The Sacred Path

Journeys through the mist

Strange energy

These past several weeks I’ve been cranky. Not cranky with other people or cranky with myself about anything in particular, just cranky. According to friends, there is some stuff happening astrologically with an energy shift – Washington DC is in retrograde or something like that. I don’t follow astrology too closely, but whenever I notice energy shifts or something, astrology typically says something is going on.

In times like this, my journeys become quiet and I end up spending time just hanging out in my garden mostly. Even after all these years experiencing these cycles, I still find myself asking if I have “lost” the connection. It always comes back.

One thing I’ve started doing is drumming for 5 to 15 minutes a day. It’s always been difficult for me to drum and journey at the same time. The saying about not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time would apply. What I noticed the other day though, is that I had entered a light trance while drumming and that led me to the realization that I had been doing it, without knowing it for a while. It just takes practice I guess (Duh!).

I have a drumming CD that came with Hank Wesselman’s book, Journey to the Sacred Garden , and I use it from time to time, but I miss the vibration I can feel with live drumming; it penetrates and awakens me down to a cellular level. What’s even more magical is experiencing a large group drumming. Many times at the Shamanic workshops I’ve attended, after five minutes or so, I feel indigenous spirits moving in and around the group and I begin to hear their singing and chanting. The first time that happened, I opened my eyes and looked around the circle to see who in our group was singing. No one was.

My next workshop is in May, and I can hardly wait.


  1. As I look out my window today I see the cloak of winter draped over the trees and meadows but I feel the promise of spring, the promise of growth. And as I placed another log on the fire before reading this blog post I reminded myself of this:

    Just as the fire of the sun is central to our solar system, the fire in our heart is the center of our physical universe. Spirit of Fire radiates warmth and light as does the human heart and connects us with our divine nature and wisdom. Spirit of Fire dispels loneliness and teaches us the value of community that assists with our emotional transformation.

    I purify myself with sweetgrass and simply drum and then drum some more. Soon I am entranced and on my spiritual way again but nothing compares with the mystical and magical experience of drumming in a large group. Shamanic drumming journey work, the ancient art of conscious dreaming, enables me to enter a state of flow of the stream of consciousness, the alpha state of the brain. While in this flow my imagination functions with an intensity that I experience in no other state.

    Today I long for the opportunity to drum with others and usually I can do this once each month in the warmer seasons of the year. However, at this time of the year everyone seems to be too busy to make the required arrangements so we can come together. So I long for community and get lost in the beat of my drum and the beat of my heart.

    This week if I feel “testy” or “off” I will remind myself of the lessons I have already learned:

    “When you are uncertain, listen to the Dream Drum inside you that is your own heart — there-in lies your true vision…”
    —Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa’s Mentor.

  2. Hmm, me too. I am cranky, my house is cranky (oddness in the wiring, leaky roof) my friends are cranky (like you!)–what’s going on? Apparently the time/space continuum is speeding up again and we are more comfortable when we can match our vibration to it. I’m posting about the partial solar eclipse tomorrow, and from what I’ve read there are things going on astrologically, as you say, in conncetion with that. Drumming and chanting are so, so helpful in times such as these. I’m sudying chant as a shamanic practice just now, coincidentally (!) I’ll report more on that later.
    @brightfeather: what a lovely and poetic response. It was a pleasure to come here and read, and I am inspired.

  3. A fellow (actually female) blogger friend sent this to me after reading this post. Since I’m a Capricorn #4 is of particular interest to me. She kindly offered to do a astrology chart for me. Can’t wait to see it.

    1) Mercury is retrograde til 2/17: Communication is hampered; appointments shift; satellites and communication devices break; short-distance travel is difficult. We are encouraged to not sign contracts, have meaningful heart-to-heart talks. Best to just go with the flow…maybe even study something you’ve always wished to explore.

    2) Today [Wed 2/6/08] is a New Moon in Aquarius. Women have gathered for centuries on this auspicious occasion. It is a very good time to put our your intentions for the next moon cycle. What do you wish the universe to help you create?

    3) There is also a Solar Eclipse today. Very dramatic. Big Shift. Has been coming on for a while and will continue for another month. Especially as we will experience a Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse in two weeks (they always come in pairs, usually twice a year). Read this.

    4) Pluto just changed signs from Sag to Capricorn. Huge. Last time this happened was 250 years ago. Here’s an article connecting current politics with this shift.

  4. I’ve been cranky for 2 days. Not a pretty sight.

    I didn’t know you drum. Are you into Steve Gadd? I was just listening to some of the old stuff he did with Grover and with (late, lamented) Richard Tee. Hard to stay cranky listening to music like that.

  5. Ella, the cranky is all around us it seems.

    The drumming I do is shamanic; a regular four to seven beats per second, but I always wanted to be a drummer in a band (nearly every little boy’s dream at one point). It just isn’t in the cards though (can’t get all four limbs to do different things at the same time). I love African rhythmic drumming, and have sat in on several circles that were totally incredible. I even have my own Djembe which was hand-made in Africa and imported by a friend and drummer, William “Whit” Whitten. I drag it out every month or so and pound on it till my hands are numb. I still remember a few of the rhythms Whit taught us.

  6. Mercury has been retrograde for three weeks, which wreaks havoc with communications, machinery AND one’s mood.

    Thankfully the retrograde phase ended on Monday, so things should flow a bit more smoothly soon.

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