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

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Drums for strength and calm mind

These two new drums from the Journey Oracle are spirit companions and family.  Both drums came from the same deer hide, which is very rare in my experience as a drum maker.

And so is their numerology and symbolism related like a sister and brother.  Sometimes I think I make these choices with my conscious intention, and sometimes it just happens.

The interlacement patterns are a "knotless" design to prevent negative forces from attaching to the drum or the drummer when being played.

This 14" drum brings energy and inner strength. 

It helps the drummer have courage, strength, and self-control by bringing the power of 11 to being and staying in one's own center. 

The handhold features a 5-pointed star for clarity and illumination.  While drumming, the drummer experiences a harmony and closeness to spirit.  

This 12" drum brings clarity to thought, calms the mind and is a guide for inner peace.  It helps the drummer find new inspiration by bringing the strength of 9 to help one recognize one's talents. 

The handhold features a 9-pointed star for the power of faith and kindness toward oneself.  The cedar withe is wrapped with traditionally prepared smoke-tanned leather.  While drumming, the drummer experiences meditation as sound.

  These drums will be a big or little sister or brother to the drummer in every realm.  Listen to the 14" drum of inner strength being played with a felted beater by clicking on this link:  Listen to the 12" drum of calm mind being played with a felted beater by clicking on this link:  You can hear the  unique voices of each drum, and also the family resemblance.

It's good to go on a journey with your sister or brother. 

These drums are available for purchase in my webstore, or contact Kristen at for more information.  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mystical cloud drum for shamanic journeying

This new drum from the Journey Oracle has its head in the clouds! I am never too sure how a drum will dry and what kind of surface pattern of lights and dark will result.

I have been thinking about cloud forms as a kind of oracle card or divination technique.  I notice an image in the clouds, and try to remember the thought that just occupied my mind at the same moment.  The image and the thought together will bring a message, a confirmation, a revelation.  I believe this kind of conversation is not an accident but the other-than-human realms using all of nature to communicate with us.

Usually I expect to paint a drum, but sometimes the drum face itself is more varied and interesting than anything I can imagine.  Leonardo da Vinci spoke of a method of "quickening the spirit of invention" by advising, "You should look at certain walls stained with damp, or a stones of uneven colour....In such walls the same thing happens as in the sound of bells, in whose stroke you may find every named word which you can imagine."

This drum is a mystical oracle that combines both vision and sound.  And takes you to the stars.


It was not until after this frame drum dried that I realized the connection between its cloud surface and the pentacle design on the reverse.

Playing this cloud drum will take you into sacred sound while holding onto a star.  How is that for a journey to the alternate realities!

You can hear this shamanic journey drum being played with a felted drumstick by clicking on this youtube link:  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Tom Tom drum on fire-hardened cedar wood

This drum has a voice and inspires a rhythm that can join heaven and earth. It is not only oracle cards that call old wisdom. The art of divination may allow us to glimpse the will of the gods, but this drum allows us to dance with them.

The design of this tom tom or kettle drum is thought to be Native American or Asian in origin.

The two drum heads are goat skin.  A hide which is remarkable for its strength and thinness, giving a percussive, "bright" sound.

The shoulder strap and braided thongs are made of elk skin.  Elk is one of the keepers of old wisdom in my family.  My father was a skilled and respectful hunter of elk in the forests around my childhood home on the Oregon coast.  When he died, his grave was located along the edge of woods where he often hunted.  For years the elk would come out of the dense stands of trees along the border of the cemetery, and paw the grass off the top of his grave.

Perhaps the most remarkable part of this drum to call old wisdom is the cedar wood shell.  Like oracle cards whose history travels back into the mists of time, the process for making  fire-hardened wood is ancient.

The bark is tied onto the outside of the log to prevent the shell from being scratched.  Then the inside is hollowed out with a long handled chisel until the thickness of the rim is twice what the finished drum base will be.  And then the really exciting part of the process happens.  The inner wood chips and strips are put back inside the log and set on fire.  The drum shell is rolled continuously for several hours to keep the fire constantly moving so the inner rim is evenly burned.  The outside of the bark-covered log is regularly sprayed with water to prevent "hot spots" from burning too far into the wooden rim.

When the drum shell is cooled and the charcoal is chiseled away from the inside of the rim, a spirit hole is burned into the wood so there is a doorway between this world and that one.  This becomes the threshold where the drummer and the gods may connect without connecting, as the drum's voice is the translator that is always in between.

You can hear this tom tom drum being played by the talented hands of Immanuel McKenty of the Merry McKentys family band, by clicking on this youtube link:  This drum is available for purchase in my Etsy webstore, or you can contact Kristen at

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A frame drum for the love of cats

A new drum all about the love of cats.  This Cat Goddess has appeared with one eye looking into the possibility of kitty comfort and one eye looking with a predator's gaze.  

Bast, the Cat Goddess of ancient Egypt, also has this multi-dimensional nature.  She is both a Sun and a Moon Goddess because of her sacred and all-seeing eye.  She is the Goddess of sensual pleasure, protector of the household, bringer of health, and the guardian saint of firefighters.

Sometimes she is shown holding a sistrum, a rattle used as a musical instrument in ancient times and associated with Hathor.  Agile and lithe, Bast was recognized as the goddess of music and dance.

The Priestesses of Bast dressed in the color red, because Bast was the daughter of the Sun God, Ra.  She would ride through the sky with her father, protecting him from his enemies.  And here our Cat Goddess sits atop a Priestess's red robe.  

The interlacement pattern tied into the back of this cat drum represents the Ninefold Goddess.  Nine is sacred in Arabic numbers because the digits of every multiple of nine add up to nine again.  

And how perfect for the love of cats, who are said to have nine lives.  This myth may have begun in ancient Egypt.  Atum-Ra, was a sun god who gave life to the gods of air, moisture, earth and sky, who, in turn, produced Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys.  These gods are collectively known as the Ennead, or the Nine.

You can listen to this drum being played with a felted drumstick by clicking on this link:

This drum is available for purchase in my Etsy webstore, or contact Kristen at