Shamanic Drum Journeying in Shrewsbury

Shamanic Drum Journeying in Shrewsbury

Drum journeying is one of the greatest connections to our ancient ancestors as well as to the earth. Frame drums are the earliest type of drum believed to have been used for ritual and connection to the spirits. Today a drum journey is not just a way to connect to the spirits but also to connect with ourselves. In the past the connection with the self would not have been an important one for those journeying as connection both to self and the earth would have been an everyday and indeed an every minute association. We now live such different lives with artificial light, without planting or tending the food we eat or collecting the water we consume and our connection to the earth, moon and self have been unplugged. A drum journey today can bring us back into our bodies, showing us our intuitive senses, showing us our dreamscape or inner world and bringing us back in touch with the earth.

Shamanism dates back over 100,000 yrs and has been practiced all over the world in very similar ways despite there being no known trade or travel routes between many of those practicing. We all have ancestors who practiced the shamanism of our native land. It is a direct connection with nature, our land, the skies, our bodies and the spirits that are in each of these places. It shows us that we are connected with everything and thus we need to keep balance in all of these places not just in our bodies. Journeying is the key activity to take us to those spirits and retrieve lost power, lost souls and to take out blockages that are not needed for our greatest good. Remembering how you work with spirit (because it something we can all do and our soul knows how) is deeply satisfying and empowering.

Science is just beginning to catch up with the shamanic journey. In 2006 a paper was published at Stanford University that showed the results of an MRI scan of someone being drummed for. The steady, rhythmic beating of the drum at 4-4.5 beats per second changed the subject’s brainwaves and brain network activity. Increases in theta brain waves seem to be pathways to the subconscious mind. When the brain works at a low frequency of 4 to 7 Hz, it produces theta waves on EEGs. This state of consciousness is associated with deep physical relaxation, mental clarity, dream-like states, hypnosis, stage 1 sleep (disconnection from the conscious world), imagination, creativity and lucid dreaming. I also like to point out that the electrical resonance of the earth is between 6-8Hz and thus comes the idea that we are becoming one with the heartbeat of the earth when we are in the shamanic state of consciousness. The Stamford researches stated that these changes in brainwave activity “promote an extended train of thought wherein integration and insight may occur”. The integration part interests me particularly because it shows not only does drumming allow insight but it also allows a space for these insights to be healing. The drumming frequency also blocks outside sounds as well as internal thoughts thus decreasing a ‘busy mind’. Often clients say how surprised they are that such a loud thumping sound makes them feel so incredibly calm and well, one would think it would increase a headache not cure one!

During a drum journeying workshop I guide everyone through the basics of how to journey including simple safety instructions. The participants then get the chance to lay down for 3 journeys while I drum for them, ensuring they can enter their journey, ask their intention and explore their shamanic state of consciousness. We work in the Lower and Upper worlds to find our power animals and guides while asking pertinent questions about our own lives and healing. The responses range enormously between people but they are almost always clear (if metaphorical at times) and amazing, often described as similar to a lucid dream state.

Everyone is welcome to attend including children with an adult. Children are closer to source and thus journey simply and easily. They do not over think things. They have their own set of relaxed rules which includes them coming back from the journey whenever they are ready because they usually are so fast and in-tune. Parents have told me their children sleep very well and have increased concentration after journeying.

To see further details of our monthly journeying sessions take a look at or Ruth Cato on Facebook. Please book in advance to ensure your place.


Ruth Cato

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About the Centre

The Centre for Integral Health was started in 2013 by director Ben Calder after studying Integral theory since 2011 and over 10 years of professional practice of kinesiology and Bowen fascia Release Technique, coupled with the desire to explore the application of the Integral Model in relation to health.

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