Category Archives: Images

Direct from the Land of the Midnight Sun

By now I’m sure you consider Stian Berg to be your friend, just as I do. The shamanic practitioner from Norway has sent along his thoughts and photos twice since he first purchased a Thunder Drum back in December, 2016. And now he offers this update:

midnight sun in norway
Midnight in Norway! (Photo by Stian Berg)

Looks like sunrise…but it’s midnight!

“I love midnight sun,” he says of the area near his hometown of Bodø, Norway in an email that accompanied the photo. That’s quite a difference from the scenes depicting his surroundings last December (article) when it’s dark as night at midday.  (You can see more daylight scenes from his update a few months ago in April.)

Thinking about this can really alter one’s perception of time and place, and reveals just how parochial our thoughts can be. Here in Kentucky we are keyed to the shifting light of the four seasons that swing from long to short days through the equinoxes and the resulting influences that affect our bodies and attitudes. Heck, I admit that even this time of year, when the days are deliciously long, I occasionally experience a fleeting worry that winter and diminishing light aren’t far off.

Not so for Stian, as he enjoys the plunge into month’s-long darkness and the re-emergence into equally long periods of loving sunlight. He is, in other words, in perfect alignment with his environment.

So the next time you may experience stress at the gradual loss of daylight, like will inevitably begin this September and deepen until late December, simply remember Stian. His nighttime last for months. But so do his days. And he loves the seasons as they present themselves in his area, no matter how much or how little light.

He is the living epitome of the old saying, “Bloom Where You Are Planted.” Even if there’s no sun, he’s proof that you can flourish from the light within.

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

 

 

Smiles And Joy For Her New Thunder Drum

karen with her new thunder drum from thunder valley drums

Here’s wonderful customer-turned-friend Karen with her new Thunder Drum! This delightful Pennsylvanian will be journeying and also joining a drum circle this month now that she has her own drum ally.

She loves the drum, and so do I! I had never before used a color scheme that Karen had suggested, and it turned out that both of us were pleased!

It’s a good thing to know if you are considering purchasing such a drum. I am not rigid! Always open to ideas, and I want to assure that you get the drum you hold in your imagination. You are in the lead. I always ask a customer for a suggested color range then try to implement it. In Karen’s case, I ordered new lacing in colors never tried here before, including periwinkle, soft purple hues and deep greens.

hoop drums flipbook from thunder valley drums

I loved it so much that I chose it for the cover of the new Thunder Valley Drums Flipbook, “Some Drum Love” in the previous post.

Then came a surprise!

Here’s our most recent email exchange…

Karen
April 29, 2017:
“Here’s the picture I promised, Bob. I love my drum. What I didn’t tell you earlier is that purple is my favorite color – you can tell by my hair color. That color wasn’t on my color pallet but you chose it anyway. Remarkable!
–Karen

My Reply:
Wonderful, Karen! Wow! I will be so proud to place the photo on my sites sometime this week. It is always such a thrill to see a drum with its rightful owner!

Many, many thanks to you.

And I’m so happy that you love your drum. Yes, the purple just somehow seemed right for your drum! It highlighted the other colors, which were similar to the color palette you outlined, and I am sure I was influenced by your very strong connection to the drum on the day it was born. Wonderful how that works sometimes!

Thanks again, my friend.
–Bob

I must repeat myself– I absolutely love to make drums for a LOT of reasons, but chief among them is the joy of coming to know the people who share a desire for service and heart expression…and who love drums, drumming and drummers!

a closeup of a thunder drum owner by a Pennsylvania customer

Thank you, Karen!

And thanks to you, too, my friend.

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

 

NEW! Flipping for Drums!

I am so happy to bring you an experiment. Just discovered a very cool site that turns files into a FLIPBOOK, so here goes… “Some Drum Love”!

(Simply press the “Click to read” button below)

You can see many Thunder Valley Drums photos that I don’t have room for on the website, as well as learn a little more about where the drums are and what they’re doing with healers around the world. Fun!

This started as an experiment for me, but you can bet I’ll be using it again! You can do it too, and share with family and friends just like I’m doing here. (Best of all, the basic service is offered for free!)

Enjoy.

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

Ice Drums!

How fantastic is this?! These are definitely the most all natural drums you can find!

More info: http://themindcircle.com/ice-drumming/?utm_content=buffera0db3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

It’s said that this region of the world is the birthplace of shamanism (per the previous article), and no doubt I can see now that it is a candidate for the birthplace of drumming, too. What a wonderful world we live in.

Aho & Namaste,
Bob

Where In The World Is Shamanism?

Bodø Norway harbor
The city and harbor of Stian Berg’s hometown, Bodø Norway.

This is a continuing story of a shaman friend from Norway, Stian Berg, who first appeared here back in December, 2016. His country was the first in the modern world to officially recognize shamanism as a bona-fide religion, and to devote public funding to sustain it. This extraordinary and unprecedented gesture is, I predict, only the beginning. And it reveals something bigger. So that is why I will enlarge upon Stian’s story and kindness in submitting additional photos of his beautiful country to include a larger overview of how the world is changing, coming into a new spring so to speak.

I can start by offering you a very short answer to that question in the headline, Where In The World Is Shamanism?

It’s everywhere. Always has been.

While Stian lives in a geographic stretch of the world where many researchers say shamanism was born, an assertion that certainly underlies the ease with which a modern day government in that region can openly underscore its importance, it is widely recognized that the practice of shamanism is at the base of mostly all of the world’s known civilizations throughout history and right up to today. It’s not always as easy to spot elsewhere as it may be in Norway, but you can find it if you want to.

Most holidays, days of the week (and being a maker of Lightning Drums, I most admire Thursday, named after the Norse God Thor, “Thunder”), place names, planetary designations, and countless cultural and mainstream religious practices and celebrations bring forward the expression of shamanic cultures. And even this though may affront some, there is certainly ample evidence that it was practiced in ancient Palestine by none other than Jesus. For the purposes of this short article, I should point out that I am using a broad personal definition of “shamanism” to collectively refer to nature/spirit-dependent healing practices based on altered state spirit journeying. In that regard, it is still in use today in any number of places and settings.

Norway's beautiful scenery
A scene of serene and stark beauty of Norway’s coastline, courtesy of Stian Berg.

Simply put, there is a rise in the practice of shamanism because there is a decline among believers in mainstream religions.

Founder of the Four Winds Society, Alberto Villoldo, PhD, recognizes the need for shaman storytellers and healers to bring forward an updated mythology to replace the outdated religious stories written when “the Earth was flat…and before the Hubble space telescope showed us that we are one of a billion galaxies in the sky. The old stories [written 2,000 years ago] have exhausted themselves.” (Excerpted from pg. 287, Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation, by Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselman, Sounds True, Inc., 2010)

Indeed, according to an influential book published in 2000, upwards of 140-million people in Europe and America, so-called “cultural creatives” are challenging long-held beliefs about religion and practically everything else that underpins Western civilization. (Wikipedia link.) For sure, a small percentage of them embrace shamanism, and a larger percentage honor the Earth and other shamanic concepts. It’s a tiny ripple now, but it nourishes the wave about to come. Just ask Stian Berg up there in Norway.

Spring returns to Norway 2017
Once in darkness, Norway has now seen the sun return in Spring. Photo, courtesy Stian Berg.

And with the return of Spring in the far north, we find that the light of shamanism spreads everywhere, even in the hearts of moderns who usher in a new dawn of a different sort.

Aho & Namaste,
Bob