The Shield and The Drum

by Robyn

 When a woman heals the breaks in her circle of wholeness, she also heals her path to power.
The shield and the drum are both ancient instruments of transformation  and healing.
They are also both instruments of war.
The shield is more than a weapon of defense. Some Native American
spiritualities make use of the shield as amirror onto the Self. Mirrors are important tools of transformation, because theact of creating a concrete reflection of ourselves allows us to see what we haven't
seen before, and therefore to realize parts of ourselves that we haven't known before. As many an incest survivor has reported, doing the work of healing the traumauncovers among other things rage, grieving, sadness, shame, and ravaging pain.
The same action quite often also recovers strenth and energy, important componants ofpower.
Many considerations must be taken before embarking on a path to reclaim
trauma. This must be done in an atmosphere of safety and trust, with someone wise and compassionate and knowing in the ways of painful journeys.
However, the act of reclaiming parts of the self is an ancient practice, and ways of medicine that heal the heart, mind and soul are found the world over.

There are many paths to healing. Many of the most ancient methods of
reclaiming the Self are simple but effective actions that change perception for a time. Changes in perspective, in our personal vision of the world and especially ofourselves, act as catalysts that "shake up" our beliefs and ideas. In that sacredplace of transformation, mending can begin; the first step on the path to powerbegins like any other journey, with the first hesitant step.

Many women writers have been an inspiration to me. Like many others, I have
had no tough, wise Grandmothers. My Grandmothers had no sacred wisdom to pass on to me, unless it is sacred wisdom to "marry a nice boy with money and do what he says,". My ancestors, as I see them, were programmed by a societythat only a few generations earlier would have had them tortured and burnedalive for speaking out against their owners, their husbands.
I began reading authors like Starhawk and Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Lynn V. Andrews, women who's journeys made sense to me, who's wisdom was useful to me, who were asking more of themselves and the world, as I was. I began toseek out other women who felt the same way I did, who felt the sacred powerwithin themselves,a power that would no longer be contained by someone else'sidea of who we are "supposed" to be.

With this page we hope to connect with many women and their own healing journeys, as they wish to share them.
I will use text quoted from some wonderful authors and share my own expirience in using the metirial, as well as other women's expirience with the metirial, and submit it for your consideration, hoping that you might in turn reply with wisdomof your own.
It is very important to us that these shared exersizes be no-cost, or very low-cost.
Healing, enlightenments, all the things that we can share to help ourselves and each other, should never be restricted to income, any more than it should be restricted to faith or background. It is time for all women to get on with the work
of healing ourselves, healing our people, healing Mother Earth herself. Time's a-wastin'.

"We are the only ones who can heal ourselves, sometimes woth assistance,
sometimes not. Trust yourself. Listen to your own voice."

Agnes Whistling Elk
From "Jaguar Woman"
by Lynn V. Andrews

Have you ever listened to sounds inside yourself? Many ancient and modern shamans practiced the simple exersize of listening inside, to tones or sounds inside your own mind and heart. The time to explore this is NOT when you aredriving a vehicle or even when walking down a street. A good warrior is stealthyand alert, and knows when to find a safe, quiet place that's appropriate.
It can be a very pleasing sensation, just to listen for sounds happening inside yourself. It is not necessary to perform any ritual, and it is not particularlydifficult. I had some nice visuals result from this, and even some nice audio,although sometimes it turned out to be gas. Just sit quietly and listen to yourself.
It doesn't even take very long, and if you try to hard, just as when you try too hard at anything, it only results in a headache.
It is a small act, an easy one, and serves to remove you, if only breifly, from what some medicine people call "slavery to the frontal lobe". It is not so much ameditation as a moment to listen inside.......

Let us know what you discover! If you find something useful, pass it on!

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