Tag Archives: shamanic journey

Shamanic Rattling and Drumming and the “Schumann Frequency”

How to make a shamanic rattle
A rattle I made for someone.

Shamanic rattle, shaker, noise maker— no matter its moniker, this sacred tool is a valuable ally in a shaman healer’s intention of service through sacred rhythm. Like a shaman’s drum, the rattle is used to aid in achieving the “altered state of consciousness,” (ASC), that brainwave frequency measured between 7-8 Hz which is the threshold to journey work, reportedly in the Theta/Alpha range. That is roughly the same as the Earth’s natural frequency, known as part of the “Schumann Frequency” range that I’ve written about before. The lowest in the range, according to Wikipedia, is 7.83 Hz.

But here’s something new to add.

I know this is tangential to my subject, but it’s so cool. You can actually hear Mother Earth’s heartbeat. There are a lot of amateur radio buffs who monitor the Schumann Frequency range, which results from lightning strikes around the planet.  Once on the site, you can choose to listen to lightning strikes from many places. Associated Websites are also listed so you can learn more.

You can also see near real time lightning strikes on a map from this monitoring site at the University of Washington. (An updated real-time map here, too.)

Estimates are that lightning strikes the earth about 100 times a second from an average of around 2,000 thunder storms occurring on the planet at any one time. That translates into more than 8 million strikes a day! And that is what helps produce the Earth’s measurable heartbeat at 7.83HZ, the same frequency you need to enter into the altered state. But don’t worry, you won’t need quite that many beats on a drum per second to do so!

Thunder Valley Drums rattle with Mary Marvel
From a May, 2014, post here on the blog

In fact, no one knows the perfect number of drum or rattle beats per minute (bpm) needed to entrain the brain to hone in on the altered state of consciousness and thus to lock in to Mother Earth’s frequency, as estimates vary widely from 200 to more than 300 bpm. After many years of journey drumming and rattling, though, it seems to me that as long as you maintain a rapid beat for anything over 10 minutes, you will at least begin to flirt with the ASC. Some people require more or less time, of course, so you will have to experiment to find your optimum.

Lightning Drum in a knothole
A Lightning Drum in a huge knothole formed in a beautiful tree here in Kentucky.

I’ve found my preferred beat, and you can download it here if you like. I made the recording while playing my Lightning-Struck drum.

But it is a fact that the rattle, like a drum, works to help your brain tune in to this frequency range while playing it rapidly.

You can use a rattle for many different purposes, too. For example, a Hopi healer teacher taught me that she uses her rattle to summon powerful spiritual allies while simultaneously warding off negative energies that can’t tolerate her rattle’s sound (frequency). A logical extension of that is where healers will also use their rattles to cleanse an area and the people within that area during ceremony.

To many modern day people, this may all sound rather strange. But if you are willing to try it, I think you will find a whole new experience of awareness awaits you. (You should, of course, provide yourself and the immediate area and people around you with loving intention and a smudge protection before you start any such ceremony.)

ancient rattle
World’s Oldest Rattle? See article cited below

I’ve often wondered if humankind has always known the value of rattles, but only recently has forgotten their spiritual value in modern times. Like, why do we automatically buy a rattle for a new baby? Oh, sure, modern psychology suggests it’s good for helping the baby learn about sight, sound and tactile experiences, but humans have been making rattles for their babies for a LONG time, long before psychology developed, by knowing the instruments hold the power to provide comfort and contentment. A baby rattle was discovered in an Indus Valley town that dates back to 3,300 BC. In those times, the shamanic tradition was all that existed to help people heal, so the rattle was also a sacred instrument. Giving one to a baby, then, had to hold extra significance.

Whatever the case, you should hear a rattle before buying it, as you definitely need one that is pleasing to your ear. That will help you find a comfort level and open the way to your own connection with the heartbeat of All That Is.

Aho & Namaste,

Links to ancient rattle info:

  1. Article link to Rattle shown in above photo
  2. 2500-year-old baby rattle (another article)
  3.  2010 article
  4.  Rattle photos on Pinterest

Final Note: Even better than buying a rattle is making a rattle! There is nothing better than making your own sacred shamanic tools. Look in the column on the right for an eBook about how to make your own rattle, and even how to get it free with the purchase of a Rattle Making Kit from Thunder Valley Drums!

Sound file and content, Copyright 2015, Thunder Valley Drums; All Rights Reserved

Shaman Training Class To Start Soon

A new shaman training class  for beginners will start soon, so if you’ve felt an urge to explore the shamanic path, or even if you have been curious about it or wish to experience its sacred ways,  I invite you to consider enrolling right away.  A few people have already reserved their places for the five-month course, and there is still room for you.  I prefer small class sizes (four to six people) in order to devote more time to each student, so you can be assured that you will receive personal attention each time the group meets.

Once there is a sufficient number, we will all find a compatible start date via an email exchange, and that way you get to choose a day and date you are comfortable with.  All materials are included in the cost, and a payment plan is available.  I will also provide a drum to play (and will teach you how to play it) if you don’t have one.

Shaman Bob from Thunder Valley Drums
Shaman Bob

Each class includes extensive experiential training where you will learn how:

  • to play the sacred drum and rattle
  • to make your own medicine bag
  • to do your own shamanic journey
  • to help yourself and others spiritually heal
  • to retrieve power animals for yourself and others
  • to perform soul retrieval
  • to extract and negate negative energy from others
  • to perform divination in a variety of ways
  • and to learn many other techniques intended to benefit yourself and others

When you have completed the course, you will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment.

So, if you have felt Spirit leaning into you, urging you to grow and to awaken the healer within, now is the perfect time to step onto the path. I hope you will join the circle today!

Aho & Namaste,

MORE INFORMATION: Shaman Training With Bob
MOBILE FRIENDLY INFO: Shaman Training With Bob


How to Prepare for a Shaman Training Class


completeting the circle
Joining a shamanic circle is helping to complete the circle of transformation currently happening among many people around the world.

What can you expect on the first day of shaman training? How to prepare? What to bring?

Each shaman teacher will approach the start of training in a different way, of course. But the one thing all teachers and students have in common is the anticipation of the beginning of a sacred
journey of exploration, discovery and spiritual healing. So right off, you all have a common purpose, which begins to build special power for the work ahead.

For most people who begin shaman training, there comes the realization that the journey is one you began long ago. And it’s a journey without end. In other words, and as some of the old shamans have taught, the journey continues long after the body has melded back into the body of the Earth Mother to be re-formed.

In my experience as a student, the first day of training answered a dilemma that had long intrigued and confused me— why did some of concepts of shamanism seem so familiar to me? You may experience the same thing. I was shocked to learn that I had been a healer in previous lives! And more likely than not, you too practiced and taught the healing ways over many lifetimes. Otherwise, you would probably not have felt the urge to join a class.

It works something like this. Your shamanic memories are buried deep inside, and when you step into a new life, that part of you remains asleep. It is only when something occurs, perhaps something so small that you do not consciously know it, but that nonetheless needles the start of an urge that builds over time. It is a quest that calls to you, and it’s unrelenting, even though you can’t identify it. And then, quite by surprise, you discover a budding interest in helping people heal. Perhaps you even discover some healing talents, like placing a hand on someone’s shoulder and wishing them a speedy recovery from a disease. And then to find out later that the person did indeed have a speedy recovery!

The job of the teacher, then, is to help you to remember who you are and thus to help awaken the healer inside. That is the basis of the first class!


Preparing for your first shamanism class is a very personal undertaking. I always ask students to spend as much time as possible in nature and to perform a few tasks during the week leading up to the class. It is in nature that you will receive your Ph.D. in shamanism and spiritual healing!

Being in nature is the most important thing you can do because teachers await there who will help you prepare. They are the trees, grass, sky, a stream, birds and other animals, a breeze, a sudden silence. They are separate and whole simultaneously, each carrying a spiritual message and providing help and support to you. Other guides and spiritual advisers will join the circle there, too, even though they may not inhabit a body that you can see.

You honor them all by going where they are, and they honor you for being there.

I can think of no better way to prepare than to sit up against a tree after a long walk in the woods. If you will do this once a day for four or five days before your first class, you’ll be good to go!

What To Bring?

Your teacher will probably suggest a number of items you can bring to class, including a drum, rattle, blanket, sleeping mask (to help keep light out of your eyes while learning the shamanic journey), a journal and so forth. I ask students to bring a few “souvenirs” from their time in the woods, like small pebbles, a bit of a leaf or tree bark, a flower petal, a feather or any other small item that calls their attention. I suggest they perform a short ceremony to ask permission to retrieve the item beforehand. Then, once in class, they will find comfort in holding the items and in recalling their peaceful experience in nature. If you do this, I guarantee you be in tune with whatever your teacher has to offer for the day when you form the healing circle. (And you will have a head start on the sacred items you may want to add to your medicine pouch.)

Though teachers differ in their approach and priorities, I believe you’ll find that these few steps of preparation will serve you well at the start of your journey.

Brightest blessings to you, to your teacher, and to all of those around you, my friend. You are about to change the world…for the better.

Aho & Namaste,


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