Medicine Drum of Many Colors
By Martha Lucier
voice within my own heart calls to me. I follow the voice each step on the Soul
pathway, even though I donít really know where it leads, or why I have been
called; even though the voices around me, might question, seed doubt or plant
fear. I simply answer the calling I hear from deep within.
When I find myself amongst those who are suffering from depression, from the
weight of losing a child, from anger and resentment, from oppression and deep
loss, I hear the calling from within to become the medicine. I become the drum
beat of Mother Earth Herself. I surrender myself, my agenda, my expectations, my
fears, my doubts, my apprehensions, my judgments. I surrender all of me to
become the medicine; the hollow bone.
I do not know how this medicine will use me. Sometimes, I am a song that carries
deep vibration that moves, transforms and clears heaviness. Sometimes my body is
sculpted into shapes, forms and movements, like a clay figure, bending and
contorting, being molded and shaped. I become the medicine dance, swirling,
twirling and twisting, clearing new pathways for the soul to stretch and find
Sometimes the artist within me paints the colors of my heart. I become the
Medicine of the Rainbow; colors exploding and blending, changing and merging,
until an image begins to take shape, sometimes with words or a title; the colors
themselves expressing the story of my heart and soul. Sometimes the medicine
flows through writing, ceremony, my nighttime dreams, prayers and journeys.
I do not know when I will be called to be the Medicine. Here is one such story
from my experience with the World Drum.
Throughout this past year I have felt like a cello string, holding space for
healing the mother wound in my ancestral line, as family members undergo immense
life change, creating ripples throughout the family structure. I feel the old
walls crumbling as a new generation and way of being is born.
With death and birth, emotions are heightened, providing openings for old wounds
to heal. I feel my ancestral line shifting, stretching, expanding and growing,
increasing the tension causing some to break or explode. Together we are carving
out new pathways home, like roots, breaking through new ground, coming together
to the One root that connects us all.
I am on my way to a community gathering with the World Drum. I am feeling
overwhelmed by the suffering around me. Through my tears, I ask the ancestors
for assistance and support, surrendering the burden Iíve been carrying to
Spirit. I turn the conflicts and war within my own heart into a prayer for
peace, asking my birth father, now in the spirit realm, for assistance.
The gathering is comprised of a mix of community members; elders, children,
women and men from many nations. Among the soft quiet voices, there is a feeling
of tentativeness and uncertainty in the room. The world drum is introduced and
we all have an opportunity to feel her, play her, listen to her and sing with
We are guided in a ceremony to feast the drum with strawberries, bless the
sacred water, and offer our prayers with tobacco. When the formal ceremony is
almost complete, I feel a gentle nudge, recalling a vision of my drum and the
World Drum kissing, face to face, exchanging medicine. I share this vision, and
invite all those who are called to participate with their drums and shakers to
welcome the medicine of the drum into their hearts.
The World Drum at Manataka Gathering 2008
I sit down with the World Drum at the centre of the
circle, with my drum in hand. I expose my drumís wound that has been growing
gradually over the last year, growing bigger and more severe, like the wound of
the Mother I am healing. I place my hand on the frame where it is buckled like
my Hungarian Grandmotherís arthritic knuckles, twisted and stretched beyond
recognition. The drum is made of moose hide stained with walnut dye and the
frame is cherry wood, a significant tree of my ancestors from Hungary.
As I place my hand on the tear I begin to caress the drum. The tear for me
symbolizing suffering and hurt between nations, brothers and sisters, mothers
and daughters, fathers and sons, communities, and families. Prayers for healing
separation, flow through the palm of my hand as words from my heart rise to the
surface like a healing balm, re-connecting mind and heart, body, and spirit,
awakening our deep soul connection to the Great Mother.
I feel my drum opening to receive the medicine, while healing vibrations extend
out into the room. My 6 year old grand-daughter, witnessing the vulnerability of
her Grandmother, without hesitation in the midst of a group of people she does
not know, responds by entering the circle and sitting next to me. She gently
places her hand on my drum next to mine, joining me in the prayer that flows
through my heart.
The medicine of the World Drum, a drum that has touched the hands and hearts of
many people from all around the world flows through us. Her medicine is
universal, connecting people through her heart beat. The drum cannot do itís job
on itís own and needs people to become itís medicine.
When the ceremony was complete, we feasted on Pumpkin bread and apple cider, and
sang songs. A member of the circle asked me if the blanket the world drum was
sitting on, was from Hungary.
Last summer, while on my way to visit my mother, who was not feeling well, my
fatherís spirit joined me for the ride. He beckoned me to stop on the way to
visit his closest relative, his cousin ĎRoseí. He wanted me to ask Rose for a
Ďroseí from her backyard, to gift my mother so she knew my father was with her
during this challenging time.
When I shared the story with my Aunt Rose, she said that my father always
stopped by her house to visit when he was troubled by something. She did indeed
have a rosebush with only one bloom left, that together we picked. Before I
left, she gifted me the most beautiful cloth of embroidered roses, over 100
years old from our ancestors in Hungary.
As I shared the story of the cloth the drum was sitting on, I suddenly realized
that that very day was the 17th anniversary of the passing of my father. He was
indeed with me that day, and did truly answer my call for healing help. All
night, the World Drum had been silently sharing itís medicine while sitting on
the blanket of roses, a symbol of the divine feminine.
I do not know what other people experienced that night. I do not know what they
were thinking or feeling. All I know, is I was called to act and become the
medicine. I do not know how far this medicine may reach or what depths it will
travel. I trust I was guided for a reason to be the vehicle for the medicine to
be shared. I expanded my own heart that night as I healed a part of my ancestral
line, and the vibrations like a tossed pebble in a pond are still rippling out.
When I listen, respond and surrender, I am the flow for the medicine of many
Connecting with your own heart beat, invite your pulse to carry you down your
What does your soul pathway look like? Feel like? Taste like? Smell like? Sound
What medicine flows along your path?
How are you called to nourish yourself, family and community with the medicine
Reprinted with permission of the