Archive for January, 2013

I want to give thanks for people who host shamanic drumming circles, who face the monthly or weekly challenges that working with a group of people can bring.  Facilitating a drumming circle can be like herding cats as you try to accommodate members who range from those can be very rigid in how they expect things to be (who can only do shamanic work to one particular drumbeat, for instance), to people who have never journeyed before, to those who are ready and able to go with the flow.


And I want to thank everyone who shows up weekly or monthly to drumming circles, building community with others who may have very different view and experiences of Spirit.  The healing and wisdom you bring through from Spirit is magnified in a group, and blesses everyone there.  The testing our egos might feel is well worth the gifts of being in community.


I want to encourage everyone who is feeling called to shamanism as a spiritual practice to find a local drumming circle to participate in.  Some groups are focused on healing, others on divination, others on a combination of the two or some other format, so it’s a good idea to try more than one group until you find one that feels right for you.  (Note to our egos: don’t immediately dismiss a group just because it doesn’t feel exactly right – a challenge might be just what you need).  It’s great to have a private practice, but also very important to participate in a spiritual community.


Here are some websites to help you find a local circle.  They also have some great information about drumming and shamanism in general.




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(originally posted on 12/17/11)


Making New Year’s Resolutions can be a pretty harsh way to bring in the New Year, so I’d like to suggest making a Prayer Stick as a gentler, more loving way to motivate yourself to make changes in your life as well as to invite the universe to conspire with you.  I am posting this a couple of weeks before the New Year so you’ll have time to make one if you’d like.

(If you do end up doing resolutions, and your resolution is something you don’t want to do, I would suggest also resolving to do something as well so that you’re not leaving a vacuum where the old behavior was.   For instance, if your resolution is to quit smoking, I would suggest also resolving to take up yoga or some other form of exercise that focuses on the breath.)

Spend some time in quiet self reflection to think about what changes would you like to see in your life next year.  Focus your intention on positive, life-affirming changes.  Set yourself up to succeed, not to fail.

To make a prayer stick, you’ll need at least one stick, usually at least a foot or so in length, as well as ribbons, string, feathers, and anything else you’d like to decorate your stick with.*   Then, as you decorate the stick, focus your intention on your prayer for the New Year.  When you’re finished, place the stick somewhere where you can see it on a regular basis, such as in a potted plant near a doorway in your home.  Each time you walk by your prayer stick, take a deep breath and refocus your intention, sending your prayer to Spirit.  At some point, maybe in a few weeks, maybe in a few months, when you feel your prayer has been answered, release your prayer stick to the earth by burying, burning, or in some other way letting it go.

*A prayer stick can be as simple as a stick and a feather, or it can be an elaborate piece of art – just remember that if you plan on burning it, make sure the items you decorate your stick with are burnable.

Have fun!  I wish you a very peaceful, healthy, and blessed New Year.  And I’d love to hear about your prayer stick experiences if you’d like to share them.

Here is a picture of a prayer stick I made a few years ago.   They are a great tool to help focus your intention, any time of the year.

© Lynda Skeen

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