Initiating a drum.
Initiating or in other words connecting to the drum starts with the intention to purchase a drum. You intend, in this case, to purchase a drum for certain purposes, to which you want to give a personal value or have an intense interest. You see this very seriously and it will have to have a holy character. It is the intention that you make it completely your own and that it suits you or becomes part of you.
Make or buy a drum yourself.
Is it better to make your own drum then? The answer to this is, no. A drum that has been made by someone else or has been acquired second-hand is also independent of the value it has or will receive for you. Let’s start on how to do initiation for a non-self made drum. The first moment of contact with the drum. If you go to get the drum either in a shop, from the maker or seller himself, you will feel whether the drum suits you. Even if you buy one via the internet, you already have a feel for the drum. The moment you receive the drum you make contact with your inner self and the drum. Be still for a moment and observe what is happening. This could be anything so don’t rule out anything. At that point the connection is already there and you go home with the drum and you can then do a ritual to inaugurate the drum. You can do this your way and there are no regulations attached to it as you sometimes hear from this or that one.
Initiation for a drum not made by yourself.
An example could be; that you take the drum out of the box when it was sent or out of the bag and welcome. You may have already lit a candle, incense, sage or another herb before performing this act and have a bowl of water and soil ready. You then take the drum and feel it with your hands and rub it, turn it around and look at the back. You then take the drumstick or beater that you have also made contact with. You will then gently introduce the drum and stick to each other. As I said when we at NatuurlijkZijn still gave drum making workshops and made drums for sale: the drum is the female element and the drumstick is the male element. And if the man is allowed to touch the woman gently, they can sing together. You then keep your attention on the action you are performing and when you are done you thank the drum and the drumstick. You can then put the drum in a bag or wrap it in cloth to protect it. And you end the ritual in your own way.
Drum making initiation.
When you are going to make a drum, the connection starts with the choice of the animalhide and the frame. The moment you actually receive the frame, you connect with the wood and tree. The frame represents you as a person and is the backbone of the drum. If you have to sand the frame, it’s best to do it silently. This way you can come into a cadence through the abrasive movement and your thoughts will be taken along by the sanding dust. The wind will then bring this thought material to where it is needed for you. This way you make an even deeper connection with the frame. You then place the frame in a place where it is located in such a way that no one has to touch it. At our workshops it was not the intention that you touched someone’s frame. You stayed away from that or if you had asked the owner of the frame if it was necessary to move it. When you receive the hide, you will connect with it and it is best to sit on your own for a while. It also applies here that you do not touch another person’s hide, provided that the other person has given permission. If you want to perform your own rituals while making the drum, such as using herbs or prayers in between, you can do that. If the drum still needs to dry, you can add tobacco or herbs such as sage, sweetgrass, rosemary, bay leaf, lavender and other herbs. You can also do this at home if the drum still needs to dry.
So you don’t need anyone to initiate your drum, but the facilitator of a drum building workshop may use a joint initiation ritual that has the point of view that you can connect with your drum. We did that by doing a drum circle at the end where the drum was beaten softly.