Across all time and in every culture, persons of power have traveled to alternate realities on the vibrations of a journey drum.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New drums from Journey Oracle

Here are two new frame drums from the Journey Oracle.  Before I paint a frame drum I pay attention to the story in the deerskin, and also to the choices I make while assembling the drum.  In this case, the story of two drums in one deer skin.  This is very rare since the deer must be big, long bodied and young--not a usual combination for our small Cortes Island blacktail deer.  The deerskin also had quite a few scratches on the hide, the result of the animal rubbing against trees.  This was an interesting connection to the image I saw when I first gazed at the inner side of the raw hide, before I began to remove the hair and flesh, and saw the image of a tree trunk with deer teeth marks on its bark.  So the deer "playing" the tree is a strong message for me.

The last time I made two drums from one skin was to create a pair of drums called water sister and lightening brother, who in their images told part of the story of the Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun, written by Martin Prechtel. In their deeply patterned surfaces these drums are also joining together to tell a story and I find myself calling them old sister and young brother.

The image of a rattlesnake is quite clear to me in young brother.  Find the three rattles in the lower center and you too will see the snake coiling upon itself in a tight ball of energy. What a powerful symbol of healing and transformation.

Old sister is more of a puzzle.  I see the face of an old woman with a sweet grandmotherly smile in the left center, but what is she holding? I think this is Ixchel, the Mayan Jaguar Goddess of Midwifery, so then she is likely holding a rabbit.  And if this is so, and the rabbit is food for the rattlesnake, then the two drums together tell a story of regeneration--of death and rebirth--in both heaven and earth.

The interlacement patterns on the back of these two drums echo this message.  The old sister drum has a pentacle flower, which represents heaven and earth, while the young brother drum has a handfast of the magic hexagram, which represents protection from spiritual danger.

I think, sometimes, that the most fun of painting a drum is before I paint a frame drum.

14" frame drum of blacktail deer and Spruce wood
Cedar and copper fittings
Magic Hexagram interlacement pattern
$300. unpainted
shipping additional

12" frame drum of blacktail deer and Spruce wood
Cedar and copper fittings 
Pentacle Flower interlacement pattern
$250.00 unpainted
shipping additional

If one, or both, of these drums are yours, email Kristen at

Learn more about Kristen's drums at