Category Archives: Images

A WOW New Powwow Drum!

I cannot say enough about this new Native American powwow drum I just added to Thunder Valley Drums site. It’s WOW!  https://www.naturalshamandrums.com/compact-powwow-drum.html 

wow powwow drumIt’s double-sided (meaning there is a rawhide drum head on both the top and bottom of the drum), and measures 20″ x 7″ with a laminated maple frame. The buffalo rawhide assures a beautifully rich, deep voice. Native Americans are master drum makers, and they have supplied this beauty through a company I deal with.

It is classified as a four player drum, but more drummers can join in, no problem. And it is so lightweight– less than SIX pounds! Wow!

powwow drum stand with brass bells

I made the rustic-looking drum stand from Kentucky hardwood limbs trimmed in my neighborhood, then added scrumptious bunched yarns, suede lacing and beads. The drum is held in place on the stand with leather lacing secured to the four corners and anchored by four brass bells.

It is such a joy to play! This one will sound above and below and all around with the slightest stroke. You can hear a recording of it on the site. I hope you will take a look at it and luxuriate in its sound.

There are sacred rhythms in the ol’ drum shop today. Every day!

Aho & Namaste, my friend,
Bob

A Note From Stian in Santa’s Playground

A scene from Bodo Norway
(Photo courtesy, Stian Berg)

I’m sure that this is Santa’s playgound!

And some people have all the luck by getting to live there.

It was great to hear from friend Stian once again this week. You’ll recall it was about a year ago when this shamanic practitioner began sending notes from his hometown in Bodø, Norway following his purchase of a drum.

This time he writes:

 Hi my friend. Now Christmas is coming again so I wish you a happy Christmas. Here in Norway, I'm doing well. Drum is also good ? Now is the dark time back. Even though it is dark, there is a lot of nice light out with reddish sky when it is day. It has been snowing a lot today so it will get a little lighter outside. This year I will celebrate Christmas with my old dad. It will be cozy. Hope you and your family are doing well.

Your friend Stian
Bodo Norway harbor
The harbor in Bodo Norway. (Photo courtesy Stian Berg)

I keep replying to Stian that he lives in paradise. What a spectacular country! Surely it’s where Santa goes to hang out and have some fun.

Thanks, Stian!

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

Running Around In Circles

Drombeg Stone Circle Ireland
Dromberg Stone Circle, Ireland, courtesy of Tracey (see story below)

Sometimes the best thing you can do is to run around in circles! There are sacred circles around the world, some of standing stones or little stones, some of old groves, some of cut wood, some of the boundary between a fire and the chill, and nearly all of the heart.  The circles are a place for reverence, ceremony, protection, connection, love, family.

And that’s one reason why people treasure drums so much, I think. The round frames with the deep sonorous sounds resonate deeply within our cellular memory, our DNA. In shamanic practice, the drum can reunite us with ancestors in the great circle.

And that is why I love to make drums– for the circle. They always create circles of friends!

Here are some examples. The customer purchases a drum, and a friendship begins. The drum extends the circle to the customer/friend. The friend takes the drum and the circle to more friends. Beautiful! So, you will always find many friends in the circle, like the one pictured above, Dromberg Stone Circle, in Ireland. It’s located near to Tracey and Barry’s home in West Cork.

And here are Tracey’s photos of Barry opening the new Hummingbird-type drum she gave him as a birthday present and to help start him on his way to the study of shamanism.

customer barry opening his drumlooking at his new drum

The drum was painted of course by Glenn Lewis, our resident artist, and features the image of Green Man.

Here is Tracey’s reaction upon receiving it:

Hi Bob,
Just to let you know…the Green Man arrived this morning!! We are absolutely thrilled- it’s SO beautiful and the sound is AMAZING even now.

Barry would like to email you personally and will do so tomorrow. We will get some nice photos at the weekend and forward them on. In the meantime I attach pics of Barry receiving the drum today…

Can’t thank you enough Bob – it’s everything we expected and much more 🙂

Be in touch soon.

Kindest regards

Tracey

Here is our photo of Barry’s wonderful drum…

close up of barry's drum

Tracey followed up with another email after I had asked her about Celtic shamanic practices in Ireland, since our Advanced Shaman Training Class here is studying that subject now. She sent the photo above of the circle, along with these fascinating insights:

Hi Bob,

Great to hear from you !

In terms of Celtic healing, the druids were of course keenly attuned to the cycles of nature – much as tribal cultures all over the world are. Trees are richly symbolic in Celtic druidism and it’s interesting to note that the Oak is associated with the month of May, which is the month of the Bealtaine fire festival heralding in the summer and the fertility it brings. This imagery carries over to the Green Man as you know, the vines associated with him are many times of oak. In ancient times, each Celtic tribe had it’s own sacred tree or totem and druidic wands were usually made of rowen wood.

When Christianity arrived in this part of the world, the old Celtic feasts were quickly overlaid with “new” Christian feast days – one such example is St Brigid’s day, celebrated on Feb 1st (Imbolc fire festival, half-way between winter solstice and spring equinox). When I was growing up in the 1980’s it was still traditional, even among staunch Catholics, to leave out a scarf on the eve of St Brigid’s day. It was said that if one had a sore throat the scarf was to be wrapped around your neck and you would be healed. It’s really interesting how the old Celtic traditions merged with the Christian feasts here, and even more heartening to see a revival of more intuitive, wisdom based spiritualism here.

I have a nice picture of a stone circle in West Cork called Drombeg that you might like which I attach – It’s a really special place, like a mini Stonehenge I suppose but very accessible and only about an hour from where I live. Of course, celebration of the winter solstice at Newgrange and Dowth is a massively important in the Pagan calendar here, we are hoping to go this year. The stone circles were almost like a giant sundial, tracking the cycles of the year. Most contained an altar stone, used for ceremony and, possibly sacrifice in ancient times. Many times human remains were found there, so they were possibly burial grounds also.

Here are a few links that you may find informative also
http://www.slianchroi.ie/rites.htm
https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/ancient-wisdom-on-the-curriculum-at-ireland-s-only-druid-school-1.1840019 (article in the Irish Times)
http://www.celticdruidtemple.com/

I’ll think some more on this and forward on any other info I have – please be aware that Barry & I have only recently began to explore a neopagan belief system and are by no means experts.

Be in touch soon.

Kind regards,
Tracey

I have always loved to make drums! And now you see why. Friends around the world…in one big circle! Special thanks to Tracey and Barry… and to you too!

Slán leat!

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

 

Recent Customer Photos of Their Drums!

What a thrill to see drum photos from wonderful customers!

The above is from Kim, a new friend in Oregon, USA, who sent along this picture of her new Hummingbird-style drum shortly after receiving it last week. It is right at home with many of her other sacred helpers. The seagull painted on her drum, the first painting by Glenn Lewis since his return to work following an extended absence, is the likeness of one of Kim’s dearest totems. I’ll let her explain in these email excerpts:

“The gull has been coming for breakfast now for two years and I have named him Houdini. He brings his mate in the summer who is now named Francine. The two of them keep other gulls away and often bring us presents. I couldn’t think of a better totem to start out with.

I chat to Houdini all the time.”

Many, many thanks, Kim, for sharing the photo of your drum and for being such a good friend to all of those around you.

Next is a photo from Rebecca and an email excerpt from the day she received this Hummingbird-style drum beauty in her Pennsylvania home.customer supplied photo of her new drum

“Hi, Bob,

I have received the Drum! And oh do I love it! It’s beautiful and so well made. I have let it sit for a little while with my tools in my reading/healing space and I’ll be smudging us this evening.

I’ll introduce it to the backyard and the rest of the space Saturday (weather depending) with a small fire ceremony and a couple of close friends.

I appreciate the detailed instructions, an ounce of prevention…!

I have a attached a picture of just the drum right now so you are sure of its safety and I’ll send some pictures of the 2 of us together after the fire ceremony.

Thank you so much for this wonderful creature, I know we’re going to do good work together in this world and others.”

Again, sincere thanks to you, Rebecca, for sharing the photo and your beautiful sentiments.

I’ve always said this is the most fulfilling occupation a person can have. Making sacred drums for spiritual people is so rewarding, and the bonus of friendship with an ever-enlarging circle of healers is absolutely sublime.

Aho & Namaste,
Bob