Beating Of Drums

Posted June 11 2013


I remember, many years ago, I wanted to buy a djembe (A hand drum, originating from Africa). I cannot recall what I experienced that made me want one, it was that long ago! But there was always something that intrigued me, called to me, set a fire within me. I had not felt that fire for some time until I went to FPG and was reminded of what I loved about drumming. The Florida Pagan Gathering is held in Ocala, FL. Four glorious days camping in nature with fellow Pagans. My most favorite part is the fire circle held at night, dancing and drumming to the wee hours of the morning. I can try to explain it but the explanation will not do the experience justice.


The bonfire is the biggest bonfire I have ever seen, every so often men bring huge logs and gently set them in the fire to feed it's energy. As I danced around this magnificent fire I could hear the beating of drums run right through me, my soul, my very being. The energy I felt within cannot be compared to anything. There was at least thirty people, at any given time, dancing around the fire but I felt as if I were the only one. All inhibitions are gone, it's me and the elements. My body moves to the beat of the drums, I felt like I was in a trance. But I knew, I knew it was more than that. Every cell in me was connected to everything and everyone around me, I could feel every cell alive. When the drumming slowed, I slowed. When the drumming sped up, I sped up. Moving closer and closer to the fire, I could feel the intense heat on my face but that only furthered my intoxication of energy swirling around me. Around and around, moving in a circle. My bare feet sinking into the soft earth, sand between my toes, hips swaying, snake arms, beckoning the beat of the drums. Yes, that, that is what reminded me of why I wanted a djembe.

After months of researching what a good djembe should be and what to look for, I dropped hints to my boyfriend, hoping he would catch on. And, of course, he did! A big package from UPS was delivered to my door for my birthday. I already knew before even opening it what it was, I was so giddy with excitement! The djembe I have is beautiful! Hand carved in it's base is an elephant, tropical leaves and a giraffe. It was not the design that was ordered but I always feel like things like that are just suppose to be, I was delighted with the design...especially the elephant because I had just finished a painting of Ganesha, a Hindu god known as the remover of obstacles. Perfect!!

I attended my first drum circle, the Full Moon Circle held at the Florida School of Holistic Living in Orlando. I, naturally, was nervous. It was the first time I played my djembe in a circle and not danced. I didn't know what to expect. I am a beginner and not that great yet, but as soon as everyone started to play I found my rhythm. As I played in the circle, people danced around a fire, small fire but it didn't matter. Being on the other side of the circle and playing instead of dancing took a bit to get use to. Towards the end I felt completely comfortable and danced sitting while I played my djembe. It was truly amazing to be part of that. There were djembes, doumeks, shakers, tambourines...all sorts of different instruments. People, young and old, male and female, and come to find out different religious beliefs as well. It was truly amazing, indeed, to see everyone come together from around the community raising the vibrations of positive energy and love. Not to mention, there were fire twirlers, hooping and pin juggling! Oh, and the moon, how beautiful she was. Rising up, so full and bright. As I said before, it really is hard to explain the experience and do it justice. For a moment, just for a moment, it felt like our own little world. Even though the circle was nestled in between concrete buildings and congestion of cars and people just a block away, it felt like I was in a different place. Where the fast paced life so many have become accustomed to just didn't matter. 

I came home that night, after the circle, feeling so energized. I felt light, happy and motivated to take on the world! I really cannot explain it, be it the energy that is created with others of a like mind (whether it be dancing to the drums or drumming to the beat) or if it creates a higher vibration within us and the elements/Mother Earth all around us. I cannot say for certain, but it is magical.


I am very happy to say that my four year old has taken a liking to the djembe as well. I ended up giving her a little djembe I found at the farmers market for $18, the base is clay which is interesting and the sound is good. I encourage her to express herself and to be in touch with her inner goddess. What do you do to express yourself or encourage your children to do? What would you like to do but have not yet? Don't let anything hold you back, take baby steps...and just go for it! Even though I was nervous at my first drum circle, I am so happy that I just went for it and didn't listen to those little voices holding me back. Self doubt is our worst enemy. 

Until next time, Blessed Be.