So the saga of Lupa Remembers Hir Body continues apace. I’m over the cold, but apparently my stomach did NOT care for the extra acid from the vitamin C in the multivitamins I just started taking a little over a week ago. This has quite firmly entrenched in my mind that what I put in my body does indeed have an effect on it. I’m now taking a closer look at what sorts of things I put into my body on a daily basis. Some of them are environmental and can’t really be helped on an immediate level, though continuing to pressure my elected reps and choosing to lower my everyday use of chemicals can have a long-term effect. Others, though, are much more in my grasp, such as what coats or combines with the food I eat. Do I really need pesticides, wax and other such things on my produce? Or hormones, antibiotics, and additives in the meat I eat, meat from animals that probably weren’t particularly healthy to begin with? The effects may not be immediately apparent, but on a more subtle level, they’re there.
I’ve been exclusively working with Earth energy in my meditations and finding that although I haven’t grounded on a regular basis in the past, it comes quite easily. It’s an almost instant connection, sort of a “thwump” wherein my energy sinks into the ground, and I literally feel like I’ve gained a few pounds. If I’m doing a walking meditation, it actually gets just a *touch* harder to walk, like I’m walking through mud. A good way for me to connect my Earth energy to that of the ground is to visualize wolf claws digging into dirt, or to think of the calcium in the dirt as being connected to the calcium in my bones and teeth.
And I’ve been learning some from my drum, and my spirits. When the drumskin first dried, I picked up the beater and began playing rhythms on the drum–without asking the spirits in the drum and beater permission to pick them up and play them. This was made quite clear to me. So tonight I went back up to try again. I was told, “Your drum is not a toy; you don’t just pick it up and play with it”. So I started by looking at the drum and beater on the floor before me, simply observing. I then asked permission to pick up the drum, and s/he agreed.
I ran my fingers over the smooth goatskin, and thought about the goat that once wore that skin. Leather is a more abstract form of animal remains in my mind than, say, fur. And rawhide is even moreso than other sorts of leather, because the texture is entirely different. So rawhide seems a lot more “manufactured” and I have to remind myself that this wasn’t just fabricated in a building somewhere. I spoke to the goat spirit (a billy goat) and asked him to show me his old home. I saw a barnyard, with other goats, with him a brown and black and white goat with horns in the middle of it all.
Next I talked to the cow rawhide that made up the strings binding the goatskin to the frame. I saw a red cow in a stockyard, just briefly, and felt my hands running over smooth-haired hide and warm skin. I felt the goat and cow spirits merge in the drum, separate yet combined in this one instrument. I looked at the pale roundness of the drum, and saw the Moon in my hands for a moment. I thought about what I should rub into the skin, which was a little dry.
Then I asked permission to pick up the beater. I spoke with the deerskin pieces that I wrapped the head in, and felt where the coarse hairs once sprouted from the surface of the skins. I thought about woods and fields, cold winters and warm springs, mosquitoes and ticks and musk in green leaves.
And I brought these all back together into my ritual space, and into the drum and beater, two parts of a whole, sacred and not entirely recognized. Then I laid them back on the floor before the altar, and said my goodnights. I would play another night, I decided. Each time I pick up the drum, I need to remember to thank the goat, cow and deer spirits. This may be a drum dedicated to my work with Wolf and Earth, but there’s more to it than that.