Drumming and Devotion

Something that has really caught up with me since I began, is drumming and singing spontaneous songs to my Gods, Ancestors, landvaettir, and Disir (I know Disir are part of my Ancestors but I place Them apart for the roles They play in my life).

This is how a usual session will go:

I put down a pillow, and cover it with a towel I only use for rituals.  I sit on it, after making sure my altar is set up how I and the spirits like it.  I start to drum a steady heartbeat rhythm.  I tend to start to trance as soon as I hit the drum.  I rock back and forth, making the drum beat, and wait for inspiration to sing to well up.  As the heartbeat rhythm goes on, I may falter on occasion, but I am learning to keep the beat while singing, or to just keep going as if nothing happened.  As I sing the rhythm tends to stay with me, but I don’t notice it near as much, if at all, when I falter.  The singing comes from the heart, and I honestly wish I remembered anything beyond how I sung the names of all the Gods and spirits.  The words don’t stick with me, but I know when I come out of trance that all I have sung to are pleased with my offering.   I encourage anyone who has a musical instrument or will to sing to try it; try it even if you don’t.  The results are amazing.

When I come out of trance, I thank my drum spirit horse, kiss the drum and put it along the altar where it belongs.  For now, because I cannot burn incense or candles where I live, I have a glass offering plate of Northern Tradition herbs and plants, as well as local plant vaettir who asked me to bring them home for this.  When I wake up, come in the room, or do ritual work, I pass my hands through the herbs, stirring and mixing them up and putting my magic into them.  I offer the aroma this brings to my Gods, Ancestors, Disir, landvaettiri, and so on.  It works well, and pushes me to know the herbs and plants I work with better than “this plant is for this”.  It makes me spiritually connect to the vaettir of those plants, to honor them when I work with them, and to take in their Presence.  There is a peace with having an altar in my dorm.  It brings this peace, comfort, power, and/or Presence every time I do ritual, even the small ones like the herb-mixing.

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