Tag Archives: Live Free

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.

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.