Making a drum and giving birth to a baby may sound worlds apart, but when I first made a drum with my friends Gabriela and Paddy, I felt it had so many echos of birth and the early postpartum days with your baby. I have since guided a number of people in drum birthing and each time I feel echos of the similarities between drum birthing and childbirth. They really are on many emotional and psychological levels such a similar process. When my friend Kevin, who is a shamanic druid, played a heartbeat for my youngest daughters birth, it kept me both grounded yet able to keep my mind with spirit while my body birthed. I found birth an incredibly shamanic experience.
Making a drum can be a deep healing, trans formative journey, just like birth.
In modern life many of us never use our hands to craft anymore, to fix things. Many of us have never pushed ourselves to the outer regions of our emotional limits...both drum making and birth can take you there. Both are an incredibly empowering experience!
The life line you cut for the weave on the drum to bring your drum together, metaphorically is your life’s journey, the cutting of this long thread (if you make this style of drum) can be hard in places, it can be long and tiring, feelings of impatience may arise, and your natural habitual emotions and reactions may surface, patterns laid down within childhood. The preparation of the wood, can bring up similar experiences, then the weaving of the thread through the skin heads.
The journey of the drum birth has no time, just as birth of a baby, its a process that is different for everyone despite the actions being the same of making the drum, or birthing your baby, you have to give into time and allow the experience to unfold. Trusting the process. Trusting drum will come together just as you trust you will birth your baby.
The emotional roller coaster, you may be nearly there, near the end, but the last part of the journey may take a different form to one you expected. You might meet parts of yourself head on you kept at bay, you may breeze through with ease.
Your ancestors guide you in both. Drum is as old as our heart beats. She is the heart beat of our earth. A beat your oldest ancestor would know.
A beautiful drum then takes form, early hours spent with it, literally skin to skin, imbuing your love into it as its new form develops. Early days watching, waiting, for her song to come. Wondering at times if its ok, did you make it right?
Then after 3 days, your drums voice comes, you can get to know her, you can now feed your soul with her medicine. Three days after birth, our milk comes in too creating intense emotion for many. Its very much like child birth on many levels.
Making a drum is a beautiful journey to undertake when you are carrying a baby in your watery womb. Its a good experience in being with yourself, and creating a medicine tool with your own hands, you have a drum at the end to use for your pregnancy, birth and with your baby. The frame drum is so deeply rooted into our ancestral lands throughout the world for healing. I feel it is also a part of our deep ancestral roots heart to heart with childbirth for many reasons; protection, relieving the intensity of childbirth, and grounding yourself and your baby.
If you are interested in birthing a drum as a part of your pregnancy journey please do get in touch, I would love to support you.
You can read more about drumming for pregnancy and birth in my other blogs, and watch a you tube clip from two years ago (its dated compared my research today but you might like to watch to find out more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoyjLKFq4TI
Gratitude to all my relations, ancestors, my family, my four children, my Sacred Drumming teachers, Steven and Renata Ash, my friends Kevin Richardson, Gabriela Aluna and Paddy Mooney, my drum family, Jeanie, Ally, Susan and Mirijam. Gratitude to everyone on my journey who has supported my passion for supporting childbirth, adapting my training for this work and belie in a dream.