Tag Archives: drum circle

See You At The Healing Festival, July 16-17, 2016

thunder valley drums motto
An illustration from the new TVD Website, coming soon! (That’s the bottom of a Thunder Drum with a drumstick, smudge sachet and its outside lacing folded over.) The symbols on either side of “Live Free,” which is the TVD motto, are Ogham letters which I interpret to represent the motto.

The next Healing Festival is coming next weekend, July 16-17, at the Pritchard Center here in Elizabethtown. I hope to see you there!

Vendors, speakers, healers, psychically gifted seers, and yes, even a drum circle (not sure of the times, but you can check the sponsor’s site for that). I’ll have several drums on hand so you can try out your favorite during the circle. New this year will be some very nice drum bag/backpacks, small to medium hand-sewn purse/carry-alls for toting your smudge and other stuff, some tea light candle holders, a LOT of medicine bags, plenty of new drums, and a unique SQUARE drum made in Peru (and only $44) through a Fair Trade arrangement.

We’re packing up everything this week in anticipation of having a great time meeting new and old friends. Hope you are one of them!

See you then!

Aho & Namaste,

Comic Books and Heroic Drummers

Reprinted From
The Shaman Drums And More Website
(The Sister Website of Thunder Valley Drums)
Image clipped from an early coloring book.
Image clipped from an early coloring book.

Okay, okay, I have to admit it…again! Since this site and blog are new, I have to restate it in case you haven’t followed the old blog (psssst…..that’s the one you are now reading!). I love old comic books, pulp novels, etc. And occasionally I see a chance to combine them with my profession.

There is so much to admire or to despise in those old publications, beginning with the wonderful art and spanning over to the sometimes despicable money-grubbing publishers who were much worse than even the nastiest villains they featured in their books. They cut every corner they could, way underpaid the often incredibly talented artists and illustrators of the day, printed on the cheapest, shabbiest paper they could find, hoodwinked advertisers, and always promised more than they could deliver. But in the process, and even including the nefarious publishers, a form of folk story-telling emerged which would challenge and even occasionally change the world time and time again.

What I most admire most, though, and continue to focus on when it comes to blogging about it once in a while, is the art. It has given me a sort of hobby, lots of fun, and a mission. In my own little way, I try to help recall the artists and/or the art they created. After all, so much of what we see today in the comic book industry and the increasing spin-offs into television, motion pictures, gaming and practically anywhere else a pixel can reach began with these pioneers. So I key on the art, mostly garnered from Comic Book Plus, and pass it on, sometimes mashing it up for fun and in the spirit that I think it was intended. It makes for wonderful illustrations for my little drum business, too. But it’s most fun when one can take an iconic image of, say, something that once represented the powerful elite’s self-interest and turn it on its head. Like the following for example.

19th Century Illustration
The goddess of…soap?

Oh, Britannia!

The image of the Roman interpretation of one of their conquests, parts of the British Isles and environs, came to be embodied in the warrior goddess figure you see here (minus the flag). She endured to become an icon of a united Britain many centuries after her depiction of Roman power, when she often held a trident, which many believe represents power over the oceans, and a shield. Oh, how far she fell when featured in this soap ad from The Penny Illustrated Paper from the 19th Century.  There’s a lot more info about the Britannia figure here (Wikipedia).

Well, being a part-time comic book geek type, I was impressed by her stance in this depiction with an impressive shield. Surprised it was not drawn to resemble a bar of soap!

“Heroes” Logo”Heroes logo”. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heroes_logo.png#/media/File:Heroes_logo.png

And it just so happened that I discovered the image at about the same time we had been watching reruns of the 2006 TV series “Heroes.” So it seemed the perfect combination to promote a cause we can all agree on. Well, most of us anyway. Maybe.


Heroes Drum For Peace
The Britannia figure outfitted with a drum and drumstick against the background of a mashup of an eclipse, a black fill and some lightning. Ka-pow!

Well, I hope we can all at least agree that the drums of war have sounded too often in our world, and that they can be better used to refresh and renew the rhythm of life. If you can find a good drum circle in your vicinity, you’ll know what I mean. Group drumming is good for your health. (Two sources of note: Study 1, Book Excerpts)

Drum on, Hero.

Aho & Namaste,

The Warrior Who Drums for Peace

Who's Next?
The original image (since modified) came from “Cartoons by Homer C. Davenport,” De Witt Publishing Company, New York, 1898. Source: ComicBookPlus.com


(This updated article first appeared in my previous blog, but it is still timely, as once again the talk of war, this time in the Ukraine and/or a dozen other places, is in the air. Will there ever be a time when it isn’t?)

I’m making a drum for a sky warrior, a pilot who, as I write this, is deployed in a far off battle zone. He flies in defense of freedom and to thwart tyranny. We held him in our drum circle the other night, and continue to hold a sacred seat for him, even knowing that it is doubtful he will ever visit America and physically join the circle. He lives in and flies under the flag of his own country. But he is in the circle nonetheless.

I’ve written much in the past about quieting the drums of war, and in fact, just mentioned it in my previous post about the drum circle. And I think he would agree. The last thing warriors want is conflict. But if it comes, he and comrades like him around the globe stand arm in arm against the forces of oppression.

However, the fact is that there are those who profit handsomely from war, and it is a very large part of our economy. And it seems as if wars are sometimes waged in the name of profit, as oppression is merely a feigned reason for taking up arms. And thus people of the world so often go to war because of its economic benefits.

He told me he wanted to use the drum when he goes hiking with his family, or when he needs some time by himself to replenish his energy and spiritual connection. He enjoys the freedom of it, he told me. What a beautiful idea, and what a wonderful example of warriorship.

We pray for his — and all warriors’— safety, and hope, with all due respect, that the day will come when all warriors will know the peace they fight for and seek.

Is it possible? In such a calamitous world, it certainly seems not.

But we are not of this world, merely visitors on extended stay. So, we have powers as yet unknown to our conscious selves, but capable of influencing this place. And when we enter the altered state of awareness through the active meditation practice of drumming, we can learn of the ways to engage these powers in the service of peace.

People don’t understand that peace is good for the economy, too, and offers far more benefits  to citizens than any war machine. So call forth your power now and be the change for peace along with this warrior. When the drums of war are silenced, and when all warriors drum for peace, we will know peace.

We pray for it happen this minute, this second.

peaceful drum
A medicine drum leans serenely against a tree in the springtime.

The warrior for whom I make a drum, and others like him, are leading the way. May Hawk and Eagle fly with them. And I ask Spirit to guide my hands in making his drum, that it may sound peace for all.

Aho & Namaste,


Copyright 2014, Thunder Valley Drums, All Rights Reserved

The Simple Beauty of a Drum Circle That You Can Join

make friends
The circle grows…

There are too many drums of war. Not enough drumming for peace. Let’s change that.

It’s A Love Thing!

A drumming circle is beautifully simple because it doesn’t matter where you are! You can join in our drum circle, or one that is near to you, or you can even start your own. And the beautiful part is– you don’t even have to be in the same room, or even the same country!

Our drum circle typically has about 10 to 20 people, including locals and other friends around the world. What? Oh yes, the circle can encompass any people, anywhere. So far we have not connected via Skype or other service yet, but we hope to in the future. We all just agree on a time (adjusting for different time zones around the planet), and then start drumming!

It’s intention that matters, and when people join together with the intention of sharing peace, healing and joyful celebration of life and All That Is, it becomes a sacred circle around the planet and around the universe.

We drum for those who suffer, for those who have lost their mooring, for those who lead, for those in need, for LOVE, for help and healing, for the Earth, for each other, for anything… for JOY! Drummers will add the names of those who need special help and attention into the center of the circle, and you can do the same. Just hold the person in your mind while you drum. And one can do the same for a precious pet that is ill, or a country, or the planet.

Be sure to surround yourself with spiritual protection before you begin, and to generate your inner Light into the sacred space where you are. Light a candle. Ask that the surrounding space be cleansed and protected, and ask the Mighty Warrior Angels of Light (or substitute the names of your own guardians) to surround and protect you and those around you and the sacred space you occupy. If you are familiar with smudging, it’s a perfect time for that, too, along with a ritual water cleansing. Or do the things you normally do to set your intentions and clear the space.

And here is another cool thing. You don’t even need a drum! You can clap your hands, or tap your feet, or drum your fingers on your knees! Or perhaps you would prefer to sit in the circle and add your beautiful energy without drumming. It’s all about intention, so join in!

It’s a love thing.

Aho & Namaste,

Two New Pots of Gold for Rainbow Drum Lineup

If you’ve been searching for a reliable, lightweight and colorful shamanic drum for your drum circle or for use in sacred ceremony, you may have just found your pot of gold at the end of the drumming rainbow right here! I’ll let Mary Marvel explain. (Then you can scroll on down to see TWO new Rainbow Drums below.)

Rainbow Drums and Mary Marvel
Find your own pot of spiritual gold at the end of a Rainbow Drum from Thunder Valley Drums.
There is more than gold at the end of the rainbow! There’s red, green, blue and lilac drums there, too. And even some brass!

For the first time ever, I’ve used metal as an integral component of a drum, and I guess you could say it’s time to get down to brass tacks about it! Enter the Jade Green Drum…

Jade Green Rainbow Drum
Each Rainbow Drum is different, though this photo gives a good idea of what yours will resemble.

You not only get the gold, but the entire rainbow with this drum!

The Jade Green Rainbow Drum features a deep green drum head and all the colors of the rainbow on the frame and trim. The
colorful composite webbing is tacked on with brass tacks, then accented with sumptuous suede deer lacing and colorful, hand-painted and polished wooden beads.

Such a lively voice! But of course you would expect no less from a Thunder Valley Drum!

All of TVD’s shamanic Rainbow Drums are 10 inch drums, very lightweight so you can play them for a long time without tiring, and easy to transport in a backpack, suitcase or even a large purse. There is also a lightning-struck wooden charm tied to each drum. Each also is accompanied by sacred herbs and sweetgrass that you can use in a smudging ceremony for your new drum.

Blue Rainbow Drum from Thunder Valley Drums
The Blue Rainbow Drum from Thunder Valley Drums seeks a balance of texture, color and spiritual expression.

Now for the second new drum— a personal favorite— the Blue Rainbow Drum. Oh! I love this drum, too!

Right off, this shamanic drum aspires to a strong expression of balance, at least as many people interpret colors and textures. Blue is a traditional color of masculinity, while the pretty and soft crochet tiara is of a definitive feminine texture.

There are strands of suede deer lacing and hand-painted, polished wooden beads, too, repeating the female/male theme. (The photo fails to show the true richness of the actual blue color of the drum head.) It has the lightning-struck wooden talisman on the bottom, too, even though it wasn’t present when I photographed the drum.

You can see more, read more and even hear more about these shamanic drums on the main Thunder Valley Drums site. How about buying one today? I can make it for you and have it on your doorstep in 10 days or so (for the typical U.S. address). I would LOVE to make one of these drums for you!

Aho & Namaste,


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