I recently attended a spiritual retreat for a weekend on which I was introduced to the ways of our Shaman ancestors, and I was shown how sound therapy is a powerful tool in healing ourselves both physically, mentally and emotionally. We all acknowledge how music and song can affect humans in different ways. We all remember favourite songs; those that trigger happy memories, sad memories, or even those memories that formed part of our growth into adulthood and other experiences. Sound therapy is an extension of that. It helps us on a spiritual level, calling to our souls, helping us to step beyond the physical boundaries of daily human life.
My first introduction was to the sacred shaman drum. My sister already has her drum, and she is very attached to it. She has previously offered me the chance to use it myself, to try it out. I declined because it never felt right to do so. The drum is made from deer skin, and I was under the misguided illusion that as a vegetarian, I should not associate with anything that is made from animals. I soon learned the error of my assumptions. The drums used by Spirit Visions are made in great reverence, with total respect to the animals. No animal is killed specifically for that purpose. Their skins are used after their death, as a way of harnessing their spirit, their essence, and connecting with the land and with nature.
So, on my first proper drum session, I had an amazing experience. We were ushered into the course room, one at a time, and were initiated in a scared way. Nothing scary, it simply involved the use of incense, smudge sticks and rattles to clear our energy field and prepare us for our circle work. Some people already had their own drums, left out in preparation. I picked up a drum from Spirit Visions. It was quite a simple instrument, and I must admit I didn’t fully connect with it. I am not sure what skin it was made from. On the next drum session I used a deer skin drum very similar to the one owned by my sister. I really connected with that one, and indeed I may find myself acquiring it at some point in the future…
Aside from the drums, we were shown how to use gongs, and we experienced a gong bath. This requires a separate post or two, because the experience is almost indescribable! We were shown how gong therapy works to heal the body and the mind, and we were also introduced to conch shells, the didgeridoo, the Native American flute, rattles and Tibetan singing bowls.
Our facilitators demonstrated a singing bowl healing session while we sat in a circle in the course room. As I sat quietly watching, I began to feel an incredibly strong urge to jump up and take over with the therapy. I was literally itching to join in and use the singing bowls myself! My spirit guides and my own instincts knew what these bowls were, and I knew how to use them. My urges were so strong that I know I will use singing bowls in the future. I simply have to wait until I find the right ones.
I also discovered a strange kinship with the didgeridoo. This is an instrument that I have always admired but never felt particularly drawn to use. However, on this weekend, I found myself in a small group of people, receiving a lesson from our resident didgeridoo master. He showed us how to make different sounds with the didgeridoo, and he demonstrated how it is used for sound healing purposes. I have now decided that this is my first instrument of choice, so watch this space!