Frame drumming is a big part of my sacred feminine life - I never cease to be amazed at the power, the beauty and the inner freedom that these ancient humble instruments bring. The beat of the drum is thought by many indigenous cultures to be synonymous with the heartbeat of the Mother Earth, just as the heartbeat of the mother is one of the first sounds a baby hears in its mother's womb. When I first moved to Suffolk over 15 years ago there were very few frame drummers that I knew of, and so decided to put out a heart felt prayer to those around me. Soon I started meeting regularly with a small group of friends I had recently made in this new move to the flatlands and together we drummed - in the woods, by the sea and in our living rooms in and around Felixstowe.
When I finally left my beachside home and headed with my family towards the eastern woodlands, I felt moved to create a women focused community drum circle that would be open to all women regardless of age or ability. A circle which could offer up a place for much yearned for community - a place where as wild spirit women we could sit with our own kin. A space that allowed women to journey freely within the soundscapes of their drums and their own sacred tribal voices, where it didn't matter where you were at upon your journey, but that you were recognized as a fellow sister walking the well trodden path once again and could be met and seen and held within the circle as an expression of Love - connected once again through the heartbeat and the voice of the Divine Feminine, of the Eternal She that lives in each of us.
Hands of Gaia is not a '' how to drum'' circle, it is free form musical space, a meeting place - where hearts open wide, where honesty and joy, and a felt sense of homecoming and vulnerability meet. I bow deeply to the Sacred Feminine Love that never fails to reveal Herself here, to hold me and these ancient sisters as we drum, sing, dance, laugh, cackle, consult the Oracles and drink tea - together. I invite you to join us if the Mother Drum is calling your name.
We currently meet around the quarter days of the Spring & Autumn Equinoxes and the Summer & Winter Solstices - a way to celebrate the natural turning of the Wheel of the Year, to honour and realign with our own internal rhythms. No need to book, just show up - if you need to borrow a drum then let me know.
Women have been frame drumming it is believed for at least 40,000 years. Cave art depicts matrilineal focused shamanic cultures as holding the frame drum to be a sacred medicine with which to gather community together, honour the ancestors and call to the Great Mother to lean near. This to me is at the very heart of Hands of Gaia, and why we gather and do what we do. We drum for the healing of our Earth and for humanity, we drum for those we love, for the living, for the dying, for the young and the old alike. We drum for the sick and for the wounded, for those in war torn lands, for those with no voice and no power, we drum for all of Life itself. To give thanks, to ask for guidance, to help us draw courage from our fears and strengh from our pain, to be shown how to live our lives in a sacred way.
We drum in this time and place, in this small Suffolk village because at last we can. No longer hiding to the threat of losing our lives to the Patriarchy and the Burning Times that our fore mothers suffered - those wild women, who dared to drum, who were brave enough to sing aloud, who would gather under moonlight alone or in closed company to dance out the ever present beat of their own Longings. Their stomping feet beating down the ever pulsing rhythm of their own hearts deep into the earth. With open hands, ochred faces and swaying hips they would break free, for a while at least - setting the land alight with their sacred fires and blazing passions, an ecstatic communion of woman meeting woman within her own truth and power - the warp and the weft of Life itself . It is to these women - our ancestor mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunties and daughters to whom we honour and bow deeply to at Hands of Gaia.
May we never forget the lives taken and sacrifices made of those who refused to give up their Love. Walking the sacred spiral of Life, knowing one day that their time would come again, that each would be Remembered - their spirits at last sung out loud, freedom, all the way Home - the Way of Woman lives on .
Hands of Gaia is currently taking a rest having come to the end of a natural seven year cycle.
The circle will be opened again once a new venue has been created. Moving away from meeting in local halls towards a space within the natural world is a vision that is currently being dreamed into Being.
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