Drum birthing. Photo: Merike Mitt

Reindeer Skin and Branch of the Mother Tree: Shamanic Drum Birthing

The shaman’s drum is alive and has a spirit. This helping spirit is intimately connected with the shaman’s healing work whether for self, others or place. Within numerous cultures over the world the shaman’s drum can be heard pulsating in earth and sky and ourselves.

If we speak of tradition of shaman’s drum-making then we can speak of many years of it coming into being. These drum’s were not born overnight nor in a weekend. A shaman might dream of their drum for years or even days, and the work needed to birth it would last over days, nights, even years.

You are invited during this week-long retreat to bring your dream with you and become a co-creator, a doula, a birther. This drum may be your drum you use in shamanic healing, it may be your initiation onto another path of your Life, it may be a community drum.  Your path may be revealed through birthing of a shaman’s drum during this week-long intensive into the Spirit World, Spirits of Nature and your own world.

The Spirits, stories and traditions handed down through time guide us as they have guided our ancestors in making the shaman drum. We explore various stories and traditions from Northern Europe, Siberia, and North America while learning to work intimately with the Spirits in the making of our own healing drums during this intensive week. Shaman drums are often made by the shaman healer and relatives so we work individually and as a community. Drums are born from reindeer skin and split-pine frames, fire, water, earth and sky.

During this focused weeklong period we work through our spirit helpers and the shamanic journey, connecting with the spirits of nature, of direction and place to assist our work. Participants have opportunities to make out-sitting or vision quest, some say meditations, during the northern night. Through the help of our Spirit helpers we learn how to honour our drum and begin the path of intimate cooperation. The past and present through the shaman’s healing drum are our guides for living everyday life and healing.

No previous handicraft, “artistic ability,” or woodworking experience necessary.

A basic workshop in shamanic healing/journeying is necessary to participate in this workshop or you have worked privately with someone. Please check with Christiana if you are uncertain.

There are maximum 12 places available on this workshop.

Co-taught with Tanja Kangas

Course is in English and Finnish with some Swedish, Norwegian if necessary.

Drums are made from reindeer skins and solid pine boards. There may be a selection of other wood boards to choose from depending on our little forest and Christiana’s two hands. More details when you reserve your place.

We prepare food together and take in all the rainbow variety of individual food needs as best as possible.

This workshop is alcohol- and drug free.

Link to shamanistic story of healing drumming (in finnish).

Open your heart to the drum,
Let it rest there
Together you play your life stories
For the benefit of everybody

A little child is born
beautiful little drum
My heart and the drum´s heart
Are beating in the chest
Happiness in the yard

Tuvan algysh, collected by Christiana, 1994

I am wind, I am rain
I am thunder in the storm
I am fire, I am earth,
I am island rising from the sea,
connected to my spirit guide
I am confirmed –
I am one with everything.
I come, I go, on earth I stay
Guided by the purpose of my life.
Arriving here is a long journey,
Never forgotten.
I see an eagle flying
in the clouds,
great is my gratitude,
I give thanks to all on my way,
My drum, my drum
My precious beloved drum
There is a sun inside you
There is my spirit in you.
When I beat my drum and sing,
the woods are singing along.
Mother tree is my drum’s body
Reindeer’s journey is its skin.
I’d like to tell you of my journey
And what lies still ahead.
Fields and lake and trees,
I give kisses to you all
So great is gratitude in me
I give thanks to all on my path
And deeply bow in front of you.

Signe, Estonia 2017

Oh! My many-coloured drum
You who stand in the forward corner!
Oh! My merry and painted drum,
You who stand here!
Let your shoulder and neck be strong.
Hark, oh hark my horse – You!
Female maral deer!
Hark, oh hark my horse – you bear!
Hark, oh hark! You! Bear!

Tuvan algysh collected by Christiana, 1994