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Sound in Shamanism and Shamanic Drumming

One of my profound inner experience with sound was during a shamanic journey with drumming. Shamans used to alter their state of consciousness using drumming and rattles which is one of the most ancient use of sound in human evolution. In addition, the use of sound is a technique a shaman may employ to empower the healing energy delivered to a person.

Specifically, the sound of a drum is commonly associated with the north direction, earth, human body and physical healing. The common playing technique is a beating drum, much like the sound of a human heartbeat.

In modern shamanic journey, it is possible to awaken your ability to connect with your inner self and retrieve information that can help you improve or heal. Many spiritual paths state that we’re already knowledge in our essence, you only need to journey within yourself to find the answers.

Another example of use of drumming is to enhance creativity. Even now when I’m writing these lines, I’m listening to one of my recording of shamanic drumming, which help me focus and connect to my creativity. It is even possible to feel the sensations running throughout your body.

So how it works? Does listening to drumming really change our state of consciousness?

After researching this phenomenon, I found that there are several factors why shamanic drumming has this affect on our consciousness:

  • The drumming over flood our brain with signals, which helps us to block out sensory distractions and focus our attention inwards.

  • Our brain waves sync with the drumming signals and tune in to a low theta frequency (~4hz) which associated with deep meditation and dreaming.

  • Repeated and monotonic sound doesn’t stimulate the brain, as the brain knows what to expect.

How to do it yourself? here are short instructions on how to journey to the lower world and meet a power animal that might give you a message:

For a journey to the lower world, visualize yourself standing in nature, and explore your surrounding for an opening into the earth. Common ways for an opening could be hole in the ground, roots of a tree, dive deep in the water, cave and so on. It doesn’t have to be a real place but one you know exists like a mouth of a volcano. When the drumming starts, you will go down the hole and a tunnel will appear, enter the tunnel and you will get to the lower world, the home of the power animals and spirits. When you start seeing animals, go ahead and ask them “Are you my power animal?”, if the answer is “Yes”, ask your power animal for a message. If the answer is “No” keep searching for the animal, or you can ask the animal to take you to your power animal.

Once you hear the drum callback with different rhythm, say thank you to the spirit and try to retrace your steps back; this is helpful for remembering the journey. Once you back, you are invited to write down your journey and search Google for the animal with the words “power animal” or “totem” (i.e. black panther power animal). It is always interesting to correlate between the dream and the interpretation on the web.

To start, you can use the recording session below. The track start with rattles to invoke the spirits and continue with 10 minutes monotonic drumming with the soft and deep sound of the famous Remo Bahia Buffalo Drum which is used by many shamans around the world. The recording was done with binaural microphones for multi-dimensional & realistic listening experience.

Step by step and further instructions for shamanic journeys are included in my album “Shamanic Journey Drumming” which includes 7 tracks starting from 10 minutes to 70 minutes journey, so you can chose your favorite length of journey. Click here to view the full album or click the image below to try the 10 minutes journey for free.


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