Joyful Warrior Journal

A Shaman's Lullaby

MEANING: I began playing the shamanic buffalo drum in 2006. I found my first drum, a Remo, in the window of East West Bookstore in Sacramento (so sad this place closed, it was a true treasure). I had no idea how to play it. I hadn't heard this kind of drum played live before, just on a borrowed CD. I just felt drawn to it - you know the feeling. Something within you recognizes something even though you don't really know why. You feel magnetically drawn to it, and so you just follow your nose towards exploring it, and in through the stopping and slowing down to notice and process you find a connection that brings you to another level of your spirit's unfolding...

When I first "banged" the drum with a mallet, it sounded too loud. I didn't yet know how to woo the drum to sing, for me. So I just tapped it with my hands. Maroon 5 was my mentor, really. I would put on their acoustic tracks and feel into a groove or two, usually in my bathroom as it had a lot of space and echo at the time.

I would sit on the floor of the bathroom and just tap, tap, tap.... And then I remembered something about the river that helped me learn how to belly dance. When I first learned belly dancing, I felt awkward in my body. I couldn't keep up with the teacher and I felt too cumbersome. So I took my body to the water's edge and found some rapids along the river's edge. Here, I let the river show me how to ripple, to flow, to work my own waves into circles and in this way I let the movements of the current teach me how to move again, after losing the abilty. I had lost my ability to walk and to move with ease, as the result of giving birth to my daughter. But that is another... story.

I thought of the river's ability to teach me how to dance. And I thought, perhaps it could teach me how to drum, too. So I began taking my drum to the water's edge. At first, I just listened. There are so many nuances to the sound of a rapid. There is a push and a pulling. There is rush and a roaring. There is a silence and the constant expanding...

Eventually, I took up the drum mallet and began playing. At first, with timidity and then eventually with abandon not caring who was listening. The river and I eventually learned how to make music, together. We played for the wind, the animals and whoever happened to stumble upon us.

I started to travel with my drum to different places in nature. I learned that the drum would sound much different depending upon the temperature and altitude but also my attitude, and the mood of the landscape. I even remember sitting on the side of a mountain in Scotland hearing a high pitched whirl coming through the overtones and then seeing in my minds eye a flying saucer hovering above... but that is another story.

I am not formally trained in any way, but I have learned by listening to nature, and my own True Nature. I find the Spirit that moves me, stirs us all to a frenzy because it must find a way... to come through us. It is dying to, really. The desire that burns in our belly, is this feeling. A need the Spirit has to push through and express itself in a way that can be seen, tasted, heard and touched!

We must find the open channels within us where Spirit can envelop and become us. When we do, it is the most intimate relationship and the purest of Love.

As I have grown in listening to the Spirit of my drum, sometimes here simple melodies come through. I do my best to capture them in simple little melodies. You could call them my shaman lullabies, as they are soft, sweet and offered to me by spirit for the purpose of healing.

Music offers us deep meaning. When we hear it, when we play it, when we let it wash over us as the rapids of a river... As a shaman, music also allows me to channel my focus while I am communicating with the unseen. I know at this time in my own journey, the music that has come to pour through me is only a very small beginning, the trickle of a much larger stream. I am excited to open myself even more and let the music move me.

https://soundcloud.com/holly-baade


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