Sunday, July 19, 2009



Kayla Finlay's healing Native American white buffalo drum

Judy, Jade and Leslie

Showers came and left but did not deter the First Annual Goddess Drumming Ceremony held at Woodloft. There were 17 powerful women who joined in our evening of wonderment.

Goddess Ceremonial Necklaces lined up and ready for the Goddesses who will wear them

The evening was off to a grand start as each of the women wore one of my Goddess Ceremonial Necklaces with names such as “Wayward Woman,” “She Who Knows Her Own Sacred Sound," "She Whose Voice Is As Old As The Stones.”

Trish, kitchen fairy goddess

Unusual drums of all shapes and sizes were brought in by the excited participants who were anticipating magic to take place before the evening was over.

Val with her new drum that "called to her"


Drumming has gained tremendous popularity lately and drumming circles are working their way into our society at an amazing rate. There are many types of drumming which include healing, shamanic, solstice, and global, just to name a few. Our group chose the Native American approach to drumming. We brought in the four sacred elements of earth, fire, water and air. We sat inside my seven-circuit labyrinth which represented earth. The lit torches surrounding the circle served as our fire which is considered a protector among many tribes. The lily pond behind the labyrinth and swimming pool brought in the water aspect and there was a gentle breeze providing the air needed to complete the four elements.

Deb Hillman lights sage

Deb Hillman used sage to cleanse the area of impurities. Fanning the smoke traditionally is supposed to bring in the energy of the Winged People, according to Native American belief. We used fresh sage that I grow at Woodloft but dried sage can also be used and probably burns a little faster. The air was pungent with the heady aroma of this potent herb.

Sherrye Lantz distributes tobacco to mother earth

Sherrye Lantz distributed tobacco to mother earth. Some Native American elders believe that this symbolizes tobacco roots growing deep into the earth and smoke extending to the sky, invoking a connection between the material and the spiritual..

We introduced ourselves, and I quoted an e-mail message from one of my guest's friends, Laura. She wrote, “May this circle bring release, voice and connection to all.”

Kayla Finlay wearing new Goddess Ceremonial Necklace, "Questing Woman"

Medical research has shown that drumming can be therapeutic. It can boost the immune system and increase cancer killing cells. Drumming can also have physiological effects because by enhancing awareness and releasing emotional trauma.

Drumming is the heartbeat of mother earth and a way to reach deep states of meditation.

Drumming is rhythm and rhythm is language.

Drumming succeeds when voices fail.

Drumming is music and music is the heart of the earth.

When we drum, energy rises and time stops.

Dottie and Vie

When a group comes together to drum in a circle, everyone benefits in some way. Everyone takes home something special. Magic? Did we accomplish magic? Probably not this time around, because the humidity in the air did not allow for our drums to resonate properly. We also had an array of unusual drums, some homemade, which were charming, but probably do not lend themselves to the vibrant sound of synchronous beating.

Sherrye and Judy

Connection? We did achieve connection: most definitely. This diverse group of women, including healers, business women, professors and artists had much to share and learn from one another.

Dian and Jean (seated)

Beautiful array of delicious food brought by guests

A gathering of this sort is not complete without food, at least as far as I’m concerned. We certainly had an amazing array of culinary delights including my own Le Gateau Sans Rival, a cheese slaw, several curry dishes, fruits, olive bread, oriental noodles, tiramisu and much more. One dish that was quite delicious was the Cowboy Salsa. Judy Bechtold renamed her recipe, Cowgirl Goddess Salsa, for our ceremony.

The evening continued with conversation, swimming, piano playing and a ‘Give-away’. I gave each woman one of my “Grandmother Tree” books as they left our gathering.


Next year, for the Second Annual Goddess Drumming Ceremony, I plan to encourage everyone to bring a "Give-away." This is a Native American practice of giving a gift to honor an occasion. They believe that it is always the giver who receives the most blessings. Of course, next year, we may try a different type of drumming ceremony. I watched a video on YouTube of a Tuvu healing ceremony that I was very impressed with. Can you imagine how powerful the drumming would be with one member sitting in the center of a circle and all the others surrounding her and drumming? It's something to think about for next year.

Alchemy! Dirty dishes transformed into clean dishes

The next morning, even though extremely exhausted, I was also exhilarated from our wonderful evening. I was able to go down to the market where I sell my artwork. As the day wore on, I started having memories of that huge stack of dishes left in the kitchen. I just told myself I would worry about that the next day after I was rested. When I got home, I walked into the kitchen and had a very big surprise. There, on the counter, was a stack of clean dishes, glasses and silverware in place of the dirty ones. It was as if a fairy had been to Woodloft while I was gone. I then looked around to find tiny rose soaps everywhere! Little red and pink flowers adorned my table, counter tops and bathroom. Surely a fairy had been here!

Then I saw the multi-colored message shown above which explains who the fairies truly were. They were my Kitchen Fairy Goddesses, Trish and Kayla. Thank you so very much for the wonderful finale to our First Annual Goddess Drumming Ceremony!

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