Last Saturday (12/13/2008), I held a drum circle ceremony at my apartment. The theme was prosperity because the economy sucks and I want to make more money. It was an inaugural event, a test-drive, if you will. I wanted it to coincide with Friday’s full moon, but I had things to do on Friday night and so did a few of the other potential participants. I think it went relatively well, especially for a first-timer. Here’s how it worked:
I spent the week prior preparing in small ways, so that I didn’t have to do everything on Saturday. The guys that were joining me didn’t all have drums, so I stopped by a couple of local music supply houses and purchased some small percussion instruments (a couple of small drums, a rattle, and a guiro). I also picked up a second rug for my floor so that nobody would have to sit on the wood. I cleaned my house thoroughly on Saturday, making sure that everything was put away – I like good feng shui anyway, and energy flow was an important consideration of mine for the drum circle.
I made a small medicine wheel in the middle of my floor with chop sticks and rocks and crystals I’d acquired over time while hiking. I put a saucer in the center with a green candle in it. I used a regular combination of white sage and cedar (helped along by a self-igniting charcoal tablet) to clear the space and later to smudge the participants before entering the space. My apartment is in a carriage house, so the studio area (where we held the ceremony) is upstairs, and the kitchen is downstairs where one walks in. We hung out in the kitchen, talked and drank coffee/tea while we waited for all the participants to arrive.
We had six guys altogether (I invited some women as well, but they couldn’t make it – I would have preferred their balancing energy, but maybe next time). None of the guys had been involved in this type of ceremony before, so I explained the overall purpose once we were all seated (on the floor) and the rudiments of how the ceremony would work. I had my hiking partner Scott explain the purpose of and meaning behind the medicine wheel as well. Then we just started drumming.
Once we had a decent groove going (as decent a groove as 6 white dudes from Bergen County NJ can manage, that is), I called to the Great Spirit to pay attention to us: six dudes making a lot of noise under the light of the full moon. I explained that we were thankful for the fact that we have roofs over our heads, food in our bellies, and money in our pockets – that we were thankful for the prosperity that we were enjoying. I asked that our prosperity continue and increase. I offered my own personal prayers for a decent bonus and a good raise at the end of the year, and for further opportunities in the new year to make more money and be able to be an active participant in my level of prosperity. We then went around the room (clockwise), each man offering his thanks for his current level of prosperity, and prayers for the future.
We drummed for a while until it seemed like a good time to stop and then Scott led us all in a short guided meditation session. Then we went to the diner and ate.
This was a good test-run. I think it worked out well overall and I have some ideas for the next one, which I plan to hold on the date of the next full moon (1/11/2009).