Monthly Archives: December 2013

Lightning and Thunder Shamanic Drums for Sale

In the previous post, I outlined the shamanic hoop drums I offer. Today I’d like to share some Lightning and Thunder with you!

Thunder Valley Drums began when I started making lightning-struck drums, and only years later did I expand my work to include hoop drums with lightning wood grafted to them. I can’t recall how many lightning drums I’ve made over the years, but I am working on two more to be introduced early next year.

We’ll start with a prince of a drum!

Celtic Prince lightning-struck Drum
The Celtic Prince is such a playful ally!

The Celtic Prince Drum is made from a red oak that was struck by lightning sometime in the 1990s. It’s a fanciful drum, based on an original fictional story of a Celtic clan leader who wanted a drum made for his young princely son.

It is certainly a high energy “fun drum” to have around! It features carvings of a fishing expedition (photo, left), a dragon, a woodpecker, apple wood slices, emeralds, and a very special hammered brass medallion, all of which were made for the leader’s son in honor of the clan’s traditions.

This is not a drum you will see everyday! Fact is, I suspect many people are surprised to learn that it is a drum in the first place, that it was made from a real lightning-struck tree, and otherwise that it was loved into existence in such a playful way. Moreover, they are surprised to discover that such drums are made by hand in the old fashioned way of the ancients. I can certainly understand their mindsets, given that everything today is made by robots and other machines. So these drums are major retro!

The lightning-struck Celtic Prince Drum from Thunder Valley Drums
The brass medallion was originally a cow bell from the 1950s, and used on the farm where I grew up!

I believe this is more of a collector’s item than it is a drum for use anywhere other than in sacred ceremony (where we have used it many times). The 10″ drum head is small, so it doesn’t have a big voice. It is a lively voice in the drum circle, though!

Here (photo, left) is a close up of the engraved, hammered brass medallion I made for the Celtic Prince Drum. It features engravings of a stag between the outline of an oak tree, fish, sun, moon, stars, a bird of prey, and Celtic Ogham script that stands for “Live Free,” the motto of Thunder Valley Drums. In context, though, the medallion represents that which is most sacred to the fictional Celtic clan. And lastly, the medallion is beautifully displayed on the drum as the centerpiece of a braid of hand-spun locally grown sheep/alpaca wool and hemp cord.

You can see a lot more photos, watch a video and generally learn more while listening to this collector’s drum on the site.

The Eagle Drum from Thunder Valley Drums
The Eagle Drum was made from a lightning-struck maple tree, cowhide, deer lacing, natural shells, beads and wooden tree limbs, all from right here in Kentucky.

Next in the lineup of lightning-struck shamanic drums is the Eagle Drum and Drum Stand. The Eagle is made from sturdy and quite resonant maple.

Its slightly elongated shape lends an interesting tonal quality to the strong voice, and you will hear different tones depending on where you strike it. Very interesting! This is standard for a drum made from a real tree, and another reason why I love these drums. (There is an emerald buried in the frame of each drum, a sure sign of love and the transmission of loving energy.)

The Eagle is tied in a traditional style, with crosspieces on the bottom that form a cross shape and a natural handle, just as with most frame drums. You’ll find many feet of sumptuous deer lacing around the drum and on the bottom, accented with ancient sea shells.

It comes with the sturdy stand pictured here, which is made from some lightning-struck and other wood I’ve gathered over time. Fly on over to the site to visit the Eagle Drum.

As I said earlier, I’m working on other lightning-struck drums and will have some ready in early 2014. They sell pretty fast, because, frankly, they are very personal drums. I simply make them, for whom I generally do not know. More often than not, it seems as if once a drum is made, it sends out messages to the owner, and the union is made, often after a long period of waiting. It’s all very beautiful and mystical, but just right for a spiritual medicine drum and the healer who will use it. That is Spirit in action. (I admit that on limited occasions, I have had some inkling of a drum’s future owner while I’m working on it, but certainly not every time.)

So if you haven’t connected with one of these drums, perhaps it’s because I haven’t made it yet. Many customers have told me they find their drum within a few days of my posting it on the Thunder Valley Drums Website. They report being led to their drum, and in some cases to actually hearing it before even seeing it. Pretty amazing…

Aho & Namaste,


Copyright 2007-2014 Thunder Valley Drums. All Rights Reserved.

Shaman Drums For Sale

Premier Hoop Drums from Thunder Valley Drums
Three Sizes, Four Styles and Five Good Reasons For Buying A TVD Hoop Drum!

Here is a quick overview of all of the shamanic drums for sale from Thunder Valley Drums! It’s like a walk through a most unique boutique drum shop from the comfort of your easy chair, or on the go with your smartphone. You can see and hear each of these on the TVD Website and know that each drum comes with lightning power for sacred ceremony or your favorite drumming circle.

We’ll start with the Shamanic Hoop / Frame Drums, today, then later I’ll add the LIGHTNING-STRUCK Drums.

The Firefly Drum
The idea for the Firefly Drum came one summer evening around a drumming circle while fireflies swirled around us.

Light Up Your Life!

This is the 10-inch Firefly Shaman Drum that comes with optional decorations. It’s lightweight, easy to pack, exceptionally durable and a joy to play!

You will be thrilled when you can play a drum for a long period without tiring. It’s like holding a firefly in your hand. And that always brings joy to the heart. Check out a Firefly Drum today!


Hummingbird Drum
The Hummingbird Drum is the best-selling hoop drum offered by Thunder Valley Drums.

Take Flight

Here’s the most popular drum I sell, the Hummingbird Shaman Drum. It’s a 12-inch shamanic drum with a beautiful voice, a wonderful array of optional decorations, and extremely easy to play over long periods because it’s light weight and has a stringing pattern that makes it easy to hold. A real beauty! See it and hear it now on the TVD site.

The Thunder Drum from Thunder Valley Drums
The Thunder Drum’s deep voice lends texture and prominence to a drum circle, and in sacred ceremony, it resonates deeply within and without, in Earth and Sky, in heart and Spirit.

Big Time Expression

Now, let’s talk thunder! This is the Shaman’s Thunder Drum from Thunder Valley Drums. Big and bold with a deep voice, this drum reverberates with the slightest tap!

When you purchase a TVD drum, I will contact you via email to seek your input. This greatly influences the energy flow that will be imbued into your drum partner.  Hear the Thunder on the TVD site today.


Hoop Drum Buying Guide
You’ll find the Drum Buying Guide right on the TVD site to help guide you to the perfect shamanic drum.
Variety and Quality With Every Drum

You’ll find plenty of options for these sacred shamanic drums, too, like personal art provided by artist Glenn Lewis, more variety than I could show here, and economical choices for the budget-minded drum buyer.

I provide a Drum Buying Guide on the site to help you choose the perfect drum.

And, by the way, every drum you purchase also comes with smudging herbs, sweetgrass and even a guide (.pdf file) to help you use and care for your new drum partner. And here’s a secret ingredient added to each one too…LOVE! I make each drum, decorate it, and do everything else I can possibly do to provide you with a special, handmade shaman’s drum. I would love to make a drum for you!

Personal service is my sacred vow.

Aho & Namaste,


Copyright 2007-2014, Thunder Valley Drums, All Rights Reserved

Is There A Rainbow Waiting for You?

It’s time to express your true colors! To follow the rainbow! And perhaps even to march to a different drummer!

Yes, I’ve been hinting for some time about offering a new kind of drum. So, welcome to TVD’s “Rainbow Drums!” (You can learn more and hear the drums here.)

Rainbow Drums from Thunder Valley Drums
Many wonderful colors to choose from! (Even more than shown here!)

These little 10-inch drum beauties sound as good as they look, lively and passionate! The laminated frames are quite resonate, which I believe is enhanced with a new stringing pattern that adds more than a quarter to the tension I had previously relied on with smaller drums. This new pattern retards the loosening effects of “wet weather blues” that all natural drums so often experience. I also use buffalo or deer lacing, and will never go back to cowhide ties if I can avoid them, because the new lacing resists sagging in humid conditions, too.

With that said, I did use some very nice cowhide for the drum heads, as buffalo hide is simply too thick to use on smaller drums. The heads are going to have a hard time bending against those buffalo or deer ties, so I’m sure they will stay tight and clean. And after experimenting with different hides, I found that the cowhides held color better, too.

Closeup of Rainbow Drums
Special decorations add even more color to the Rainbow Drums

To compliment the new colors, I chose decorations that not only highlight the bases, but that also express a celebration of life. This reflects a decision I made years ago when I dedicated the remainder of my life in service to all, and made a vow that became the slogan of Thunder Valley Drums. So it was time to make some drums that turned the vow into a colorful exclamation— Live Free!

I’ll be adding more of these exciting helpers over time, for sure. Now that they have told me how to make them, I can’t imagine missing the thrill of watching them come into being and expressing their beautiful voices in the circle of life, as well as in the drum circle.

There are a limited number available now on the Website, and each is a one-of-a-kind, impossible to duplicate. So while I may repeat some of the color schemes, the actual drums will be as varied as any other group of shamanic helpers. Each is an individual, just like you and I. Together, though, we are all dedicated to service.

Live Free, my friend.

Aho & Namaste,


Copyright 2007-2014 Thunder Valley Drums. All Rights Reserved.

How To Get Rid of Bad Energy by Walking The Warrior’s Path Around The Medicine Wheel

sacred passage
Bringing balance to your soul and peace to your head.

The Medicine Wheel is rooted deeply in antiquity, its presence evident in most every ancient culture, though it is known by many names. The symbol of a circle which comprises the Medicine Wheel carries great power and mystery, from microcosm to the macrocosm. The paths of protons/neutrons, of planets and galaxies, the shape of unity (as with a wedding ring) or of destruction (as with a tornado)—few symbols can match such complexity or breadth. Traveling around the medicine wheel, though, can sometimes seem like walking through a labyrinth with our eyes closed.

Discovering the holiness of the Medicine Wheel comes with what I call the Sacred Passage, and is a way for the spiritual warrior to at least approach life with his or her eyes wide open. I thank the late British shaman Kenneth Meadows for inspiring my thoughts about this.

Entering onto the path of the Wheel does not guarantee an instant fix. Rather, it’s an outline for developing an effective means of ridding yourself of negative energy as well as returning to your center. It can become a way of life, a way of the spiritual warrior. If you would like to try to walk the warrior’s path around the medicine wheel, give a few minutes of reflection before starting.

Also, as options, if you have a drum, give it four loud raps when you arrive at each of the cardinal points (or clap loudly four times if you don’t have a drum). You can light a candle at each of the points, too, as you reach them, while also lighting a larger, prettier candle in the center.

 sacred drum graphic

Playing a drum can get you started on the journey.

Starting the Journey

The warrior’s journey begins in the North, the place of battle.

For this short piece, not meant to be the end all of discussions on the subject, concentrate on the North in terms of the ego. That is the trigger point for bad energies to begin with. Bad energy begets bad energy.  If you truly wish to be in harmony—and, after all, all warriors would rather have harmony than war—you should understand the importance of sublimating the ego in favor of healing and service. It’s not an easy task, for sure, nor quickly accomplished. Sometimes, it is not even obvious that you are in a battle! Rather, you merely sense that something is amiss, you don’t feel centered, or you sense bad energies.

For now, be content with beginning in the North and simply acknowledging that you may have to return here often to face the battle with our own ego, prejudices, angers and other emotions which require attention. You will automatically find yourself here when you perceive yourself surrounded by negative energy.

The goal in the North is to be both strong yet humble with the heart, at which point you can overcome the negative energies. Put your mind in neutral and open your heart, the place of your power. Ask for help! Say it out loud, like this: “Grandfathers, grandmothers, I need help. Great Spirit (or whatever term you prefer for the divine), please help me to find the answers to your mysteries so that I may be in service to all.” Then be in silence and contemplation.

In time, which can range from minutes to even hours or days, you will be led around the circle to the West, the place of change and transition. Often associated with death, this direction marks the end of things, closure. It is a relief when you can move the battle here, for you will be empowered to let go of the negative and allow for positive change, if you are open that is. It’s the place where you leave old baggage behind, the graveyard for things which no longer serve you. Light a candle then write down a list of things that are bothering you. Then burn the list, or bury it. Stand over the remains and say a prayer of thanksgiving for what you learned. Symbolically, you have buried the dead. Blow out the candle then turn your back and walk away.

Next, to fully integrate the change, you must then move to the East, the place of fresh new beginnings.

That will move you through the Center, a most holy place long known in Celtic lands to represent the “King’s” or “Queen’s” position, or the “sovereign center.” Other traditions know this space as Wakan Tanka, Great Spirit, Mother/Father, God, or the “sacred center.” Light your candle there, then move on, as you’ll discover more about the Center later on in this outline.

Arriving at the East, light the candle and watch the rise of the bright light of promise and the start of a new way of being. It represents the rising sun. So, linger with the light and allow it to chase away any darkness. Offer gratitude. If possible, have a small bowl of fresh spring water placed beside the candle, and after lighting the candle, symbolically wash yourself with it after first raising it upwards and asking that it be energized and empowered for your use. Dip your fingers into the water then close your eyes while you slowly run your fingers up your arms, up along your neck, cheeks and to the top of your head. Allow yourself to feel the cleansing power of the silvery water. Be with the silence. Grace will be your reward.

And if you nurture it, you will soon find yourself moving to the South, the position of creation, expression and abundance. Such a lovely place to be! Light the candle, feel its warmth like that of the sun, of growing things, of life itself! The South is the place of music, too, so sing aloud and feel the up-welling of beautiful positive energy embracing you. Oh!

But life seldom remains the same, and before you know it, you may be drawn around the circle to the West once again, where change awaits. Whereas the East gave a new beginning to fresh ideas and inspiration, and then the South gave rise to the full flowering of your intentions, all things diminish over time.

This time, the change may be the falling away of things you would rather hold on to, but you must recognize the lesson inherent in such circumstance. If you can do so, then you can move once again through the Center and back to the East where, inevitably, the promise of something new awaits. Should you remain open, perhaps you will grow faster than you ever imagined. If not, and if you instead choose fear or become confused as to what to do next, you will once again find yourself returning to the North, where you must renew the battle.

The Secret of the Wheel

Life has a way, as do our choices, of moving us around the Wheel and of teaching us these wonderful, if sometimes perplexing lessons. And throughout our journey, we do occasionally find ourselves in the Center, the place where we are in union with All That Is. It is a great irony that although the Center is our true nature, who we are, we seldom feel worthy of staying there.

Then again, if we feel overly worthy via our ego, we cannot occupy that place, no matter how hard we try or may desire to. Thus, to “find one’s center,” one must actually not look for it! You will simply know when you are there. And that is the place where healing occurs, where the warrior comes to know peace and discovers a higher purpose in service to others.

All together, these travels over our lifetimes form the shape of a figure eight, (8) the sacred symbol of infinity. No beginning or end. It is the sublime symbol of existence that we carve while making our Sacred Passage. Being in the flow of it is the secret to your spiritual warrior’s heart and the beautiful expression of beautiful you!

Aho & Namaste,


Copyright 2007-2014 Thunder Valley Drums. All Rights Reserved.