It is Magical, Mysterious and Wondrous..
The Spirit & Soul of the World Drum seems to expand with each
The World Drum arrived on Wednesday afternoon.. My husband & I
felt the Energy of Love and excitement as we opened the package..
This was Wednesday, July 25, 2007. That evening it was as if the Drum
itself, guided me in putting together thank you gifts “giveaways”
in gratitude to the Drummers, and organizers, hosts & hostesses
for their help and support…..
This is just a continuation of an incredible series of events starting
with the New Moon Drumming on the 14th. Drumming and the on the 15th
at Patty’s Pick’s in the morning in Michigan. Patty gifted us the
Sage for the World Drum Ceremony. Followed by an afternoon of Drumming
& Singing at International Friendship Gardens in Michigan City
where we practiced & decided to eliminate one song ( the Owl Song
– Honoring the 13 Grandmothers) and replace it with the Sundance Song
to Honor the Shamans & Medicine People that followed their Vision
to help the Earth, they are Sundancers in their own way and All of
the Sundancers past, present and future.
Then there was the healing I received on the 17th while “Firing the
Grid” was happening world wide. My first drum was made in the Spring
of 1993 and painted with natural paints made with buffalo hooves.
The colors were dull, drab and murky color wheel with little light
emanating.. After the healing, my guidance was to paint the drum in
a rainbow of colors.. I did this on Saturday July 21. While painting
the drum, I received guidance to paint an Altar Cloth that is being
sent on with the World Drum.
As I was painting the Altar Cloth a picture floated out of no-where
with a picture on one side and a quote on the other side. The picture
was of John “ Many Voices” Armbruster who was trained by Hollis Littlecreek.
John passed into Spirit in January of 2004 after leaving a legacy
of songs and ceremonies for the Earth. His quote was read at the four
public Drum Circles.
We were so blessed to have had four circles. Unplanned as it was,
it turned out that each circle was in one of the four directions –
magical, mysterious, marvelous and mystical are words that barely
describe the wondrous experience of the World Drum Project. Together
the four circles directly touched over 100 people.
Words, Comments, Experiences, nothing describes the Power of the World
Drum. Each day was a completely different experience from the time
it arrived on Wednesday, July 25 until we dropped it off at UPS and
did the Water Healing Ceremony a week later.
Just after working a with an elderly cancer client of Native American
Heritage, the World Drum arrived.
As I found out later, even though she wasn’t physically at any Ceremony
– she joined us in Spirit and experienced a healing for her cancer
as the Thursday Night Circle came out of the mist with the World Drum
to circle around her family circle where she was in the middle receiving
prayers of healing.
In her dream/journey she drummed the area of concern as she woke from
her dream. She even described what I was wearing and the Drum. A week
later we journeyed and she was told that she was to have on more treatment.
The World Drum has found a place in the heart of each person that
has touched it and experienced its Power of Community and Love for
World Drum Circle # 1 – East for New Beginnings
This Circle was in the evening on Thursday, July 26, here at Sage
Spirit Terra, the East location. We had 13 people at this Shamanic
Journey Circle. Before we started the Ceremony Tibetan Prayer Flags
were hung and a fire started in the center of the Circle and the Smudge
shell prepared. The World Drum was placed on the white deer skin altar
cloth. The Prayer Flags, altar cloth and a folder filled with notes
from participants and our written ceremony was sent on with the drum.
A Redtail Hawk feather was added to the altar cloth on night one.In
preparation prior to receiving the World Drum, guidance was given
to prepare a special blend of resin to be sprinkled over the White
Sage. This blend was to honor all parts of the Earth. The blend consisted
of ground Frankincense, Nag Champas, Copal, Tobacco, Sage, Cedar and
Sweet Grass. We called in the directions & read John Ambusher’s
quote. (For the words see final ceremony). We drummed and passed the
World Drum so everyone had time with the Energy of the Drum. There
was open drumming to raise the energy & unify the group then we
journeyed. Our journeys to the Spirit & Soul of The World Drum
What new beginnings does working with the World Drum mean
What does the Drum want to communicate to me individually?
What does working with the World Drum mean for our Community and the
The answers were all a little different for each individual, but
all spoke of change. For me personally it was an initiation, I was
honored with a new guide in human form, the fire and an old friend,
one of my Power Animals who spoke to me with kindness and great clarity.
It is truly difficult to describe an experience where there are no
English words that work. However each of us tried our best to describe
what we received from the World Drum. In addition to guidance for
the New Beginnings there was an incredible Love & Compassion very
near what I experienced with my NDE. Working to bring the World Drum
to this area renewed me, gave me hope, excitement returned for what
I chose to do in this time.
When we journeyed for the Community and the Earth – I was shown the
Earth in the Emergency Room of a hospital getting CPR/difibulated
to re-start her heart beat when we drum. Each person in the Circle
was told or shown in some way the importance of drumming for the Earth,
that it assists Her harmonizing and balancing HerSelf.
It doesn’t matter whether we are alone, in a journey circle, a healing
drum circle or singing & dancing in ceremony with the drum. The
more drumming the better. We were also told to connect with each Circle
as the Drum travels around the country. This way we will continue
to support the Earth in each location the Drum is used and played.
World Drum Circle #2 – West – Healing with
the Water of Lake Michigan
This Circle was called for 10 in the morning in the Indiana Dunes
National Lake Shore Park at Dunbar Beach on the shores of Lake Michigan,
Friday, July 27. We chose this beach because of the “Singing Sands”
that are 90% quartz crystal. We had our own radio station going. Lake
Michigan flows into rivers that flow into the Mississippi River and
out into the Gulf of Mexico and into the oceans of the World. This
ceremony was a healing ceremony for that reason. Ten people attended
this World Drum Circle Ceremony at the beach.For healing of ourselves
and the Earth, we did an African Shaman Water Healing Ceremony that
I learned the previous Sunday from Nancy Curulewski of Frankfort,
IL. Our ceremony opened with reading of the World Drum Letter, calling
in of the directions and reading John Armbruster’s quote. Then we
drummed and journeyed.
Connect with Healing Spirits of the Water – meet your particular
water spirit guide.
What do I need to Release for the Highest & Best Good of All?
Inside the World Drum, when it arrived, was a beautiful polished
abalone shell which we used. We passed the shell and everyone took
a turn putting into the shell that which no longer serves them (the
feelings, emotions, traumas, judgments, etc). As each person held
the shell Chris Etchason drummed behind them with the World Drum.
This was done in silence and when everyone was finished the shell
was passed to me and I took it to the Water to cleanse the Shell and
everything in it and returned to the Circle with a shell glowed like
a pearl with a golden orb.Each person was invited to find a rock to
return to the Lake as an offering and invited to the waters edge to
have the water poured over their hands in forgiveness and wholeness.
After each person had been to the water’s edge, we gathered again
on the sand to sing. We sang the same songs that we sang at the Main
Event on Sunday.
Truly this was a spirit driven day. I was late for a multitude of
reasons, trees blocking the road, getting lost, getting up late. It
seemed really difficult to get there. Maybe that’s why it was so Power
Filled for everyone. One of my Shamanic Teachers once told me that
the more difficult the travel – the deeper the healing.
It must be true because my offering was several rocks, my glasses.
Plus, my smudging abalone shell broke into three parts which were
offered to the Lake.
This last Sunday I took a friend that couldn’t attend the World Drum
Ceremony to the same beach to repeat the WD Ceremony and connect to
the Hampstead, Maryland Circle. This time my ceremonial shawl released
dye and bled as it was releasing of all of the healing from five &
half years of ceremony into the Lake for the completion of a cycle.
The Lady of the Lake gave me a prayer that is also a song. The Blue
Heron Peace Drummers and Women’s Wisdom Keepers will be invited to
put it to music as a part of their repertoire.
All may use the prayer/song, especially in Ceremony – just acknowledge
the Source and Marilee A. Snyder-Nieciak’s Journey to the Spirits
of the Water on the shores of Lake Michigan in the Indiana Dunes National
Lake Shore Park.
The song/prayer is given below and its title is
“ Water Healing Song – I Am the Lady of the Lake”
The Water Healing Song – I Am the Lady of the Lake:
I am the Lady of the Lake,
Feel me on your skin bringing Healing, Purification & Forgiveness
Feel my brother the Wind on your skin caresses & nurturing while
carrying away that which no longer serves.
Feel my Father the Sun bringing you warmth, nutrients and knowledge.
Feel my Mother the Earth under your feet providing unconditional Love
and Acceptance while she offers food & shelter for All
Notice the tides, the ebb and flow of Life coming from my Waters,
All guided by my Grandmother the Moon, Keeper of the Seasons of Life
for All Beings on Earth.
I am the Lady of the Lake
Feel me in you, around you and on your skin as you bath in my Waters..
I am the Lady of the Lake, the Life Blood of the Earth and Giver of
I Am the Lady of the Lake….
I Am the Lady of the Lake….
World Drum Circle #3 – South – Joy and Abundance
Great gratitude goes out to Carol and Don Shaykin for host the third
World Drum Circle at the Center – Whispering Oaks in Crete, Illinois.
There were 30 people gathered around the fire pit on a very hot humid
day typical weather for the Midwest this time of year.
The third World Drum Circle was on Saturday Morning at 10A on Saturday,
July 26, 2007 in the beginning of the energy of the Full Moon.
As with each of the four Ceremonies, we smudged, passed tobacco to
make an offering to the drum. The tobacco burned in the sacred fire.
We are grateful to Mel Thomas for organizing this event and for assisting
with the last two ceremonies. Mel did the reading as we passed the
World Drum so that everyone had a chance to play it for a minute.
Nancy Curulewski and Jean Cox were helpful with passing of tobacco
and Smudging late comers.
Songs were sung and we did more journeys to the Spirit &
Soul of the Drum.
Ask to meet the Soul & Spirit of the World Drum.
Ask the Drum how do I experience more joy and abundance on a daily
There was silence after the journey to integrate the information
as a counter point to the singing. It was the last part of the Ceremony
before closing. This ceremony was joyful and abundant with travel
expense donations followed by a bountiful feast after the “Shungo”
closing. Shungo is an Inca word meaning my heart to your heart.
Truly heart connections were made and new friends made as we reconnected
with old friends.
Truly an exhilarating experience and memorable.
People from this Drum Circle joined us on Sunday at our last Ceremony.
World Drum Circle #4 – North – Wisdom &
Here we are on Sunday, July 29, 2007 in the 24 hours of the Full
Moon that completes the Energy Cycle starting on the New Moon Drummings
here on the Land, in Michigan and at International Friendship Gardens
visioning a series of Drum Circles for the World Drum with a clear
cool day on Sunday near the Park and beach in Michigan City. The day
was perfect in the mid to upper 70’s a cool breeze blowing through
the trees as sun beams danced in the tree canopy.
Approximately 65 people were present as we drummed and sang. Most
participated, some observed.
This day was inspirational in its synergistic synchronicity. The
agenda below is how we planned it but as more and more people arrived
the songs and some of the order of things changed. Everything on the
agenda below happened, just not as we planned, but how Spirit/Creator
After the Event at the Lubeznik Center we gathered at Sage Spirit
Terra to break bread by sharing food and our experiences, sign the
alter cloth and prepare the Drum for it next journey to Maryland on
the East Coast.
The Ceremony outline is attached so you can see what was done at
the Lubeznik Center, the final gathering in the North.
The World Drum Project Ceremony
on Sunday, July 29, 2007 – 2pm to 4pm
The Lubeznik Center for the Arts at 101 West 2nd Street, Michigan
Gathering the main participants and facilitators started at 1:00pm,
with the Final Michigan City World Drum Ceremony beginning at 2:00pm.
Open with Smudging every one in the Circle or as they enter – Lisa
Kull & Cilla Griffith are responsible for the Smudging & Passing
the Drum with each person offering a tobacco prayer to the World Drum.
Sage donated by Patty Prino
THE WORLD DRUM PROJECT LETTER
TO MOTHER EARTH – Reading of Project Letter By Edwin Shelton,
Educational Director of the Lubeznik Center
Calling in of the Seven
Directions Lisa Kull of Farmington Hills, Michigan near Detroit,
read the following Prayer:
Creator/ God/Great Spirit/ the ONE known by a 1000 names, we have
gathered to, thank you for today’s sunrise, for the breath and life
And for all of your creations.
Creator, hear our prayers, and Honor our prayers.
As the day begins with the rising sun,
We ask the Spirit keeper of the East, Brother Eagle, Be with us.
Fly high as you carry our prayers to the Creator.
May we have eyes as sharp as yours,
So we are able to see truth and hope
On the path we have chosen.
Guide our steps and give us courage to walk
The medicine wheel circle of our lives with honesty and dignity.
Spirit Keeper of the South, Brother Wolf & Coyote, Little Wolf
Be with us.
Help us to remember to love
And feel compassion for all mankind.
Help us walk our paths with joy and love
For Our Selves, for others, for the four legged,
The winged ones, the plants and all creation
Upon Mother Earth.
Show us that it is right for all of us to make decisions
With our hearts, even if at times, our hearts hurt.
Help us to grow and nurture our self-esteem & self worth in all
Spirit Keeper of the West, the Great Bear,
Be with Us.
Bring healing to the people we love and to our selves.
Bring into balance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts
of our Being,
So we are able to know our place on this Earth,
In life and in death.
Heal our Bodies, our Minds, our Souls and Spirits,
Bringing light, joy and awareness to All
Spirit Keeper of the North, White Buffalo and Snowy Owl, Be with us.
As each day passes, help us surrender,
With grace, the things of our youth.
Help us to listen to the quiet, and find serenity and comfort
In the silences as they become longer.
Give us Visions so that we are able to make wise choices
In all things which are put before us,
And when time for our change of worlds has come,
Let us go peacefully, without regrets, for the things
We neglected to do as we walked our life's journey/path.
Father Sky - Thank You for Your Healing Light
that carries nutrients, knowledge and wisdom. Thank you for helping
Grandmother Moon Shine Her Light on us as the Night Sun, telling us
when to plant, when to harvest and when to honor the Earth with Ceremonies.
May Your Light Always Shine on Our Mother The Earth.
Thank you for your beauty and all the Abundance, Food and Nurturance
that you give to all of us.
Remind us never to take from you
More then we need, and
Remind us to always give back more than we take.
Written By Vera Dery and Edited by Marilee Snyder-Nieciak, who began
the Ceremony as Mistress of Ceremonies.
At this time we also want to honor each of
you for being here & participating by reading a quote from John
"Many Voices" Armbruster, Earthkeeper, who passed into Spirit
in January of 2004.
“The Earthkeeper Ceremonies are a way of Sanctifying
the Land with our prayers,
our love and our gratitude.
It is a way of Being in this World with one another, of Honoring Life,
of Honoring Each Other, by Loving and Honoring the Divine Gift of
Life on this Planet.
We invite You to Join us in this keeping of Life, Keeping of Spirit,
in this celebration of Mind, Heart, and Human Passion.
Join us as we dance into this uncertain but Mysterious Future Together.”
Everyone was invited to Drum, Sing and Dance
for Mother Earth, family & friends.
Folks gathered with their drums & rattles, water, chairs or blankets.
All joined the fun of the Good Vibrations and aligning the frequencies
with the frequencies of the
Ceremonial Drumming & Singing
was lead by Karla Etchason as the leader of the Blue Heron Peace Drummers
& Women’s Wisdom Keepers Drum.
Cherokee Morning Song – Drummers & Everyone – This is how
each day is greeted, first softly by the women, the first to rise,
then a little louder as the children are awakened then the singing
gets very loud to wake the men.
Chay Key Eye Oh – This
song calls in the four directions
Brown Skin Women – This
song is about the five colors of women who keep the Plants & Animals
for Mother Earth, ending with Rainbow Women, Keepers of the Earth.
Pass Basket – Ask for Donations
to Send Drum On so that everyone can contribute to the World Drum
Project giving them selves full participation by giving and receiving.
Cilla Griffith passed the basket that was then placed on the alter
to be blessed by the rest of the Ceremony.
Ya Bo Ya Bo Acoombey Wa – African Song honoring Mother Earth
Universal Dance for Peace – This song speaks to the Oneness of All That Is - We are All Related.
There are hand motions and twirling with this song.
Hole in the Bone – This
song is about Spirit flowing through each of us – we are the old people,
we are the new people, we are the same people different than before.
Dance into Spirit – This
song invites everyone to fly
Shamanic Journey & Drumming
– “What simple thing can I do to help myself and the Earth?” led
by Rev. Marilee Snyder-Nieciak
The Sundance Song with the
In Lakota Tradition this song can only be sung if a Sundancer is present.
Mel Thomas had gifted Marilee the Buffalo Skull on the New Moon in
May. It was at this Drum Circle that that the Spirits/Creator guided
Marilee to bring the World Drum Project to Michigan City. The Buffalo
Skull was pulled by a Medicine Man during a Sundance. That Buffalo
Skull sat on the West Alter blessing everyone in the Circle. We sang
this Song to Honor Whitecougar, Birger, and Morten/Wolf for their
Vision, for what they are doing for the Mother Earth and her entire
Family with the World Drum Project. The World Drum Project is much
like Sundancing – It takes courage and perseverance to keep the Dream
of Health, Wellbeing and Peace on Earth for All. Sundancers pray for
the People. The World Drum prays for the People. The words are attached
as an addendum.
SHUNGO CLOSING – Everyone
is invited to join the Circle – all holding hands. Shungo is Inca
for My Heart to your Heart (to the right around the Circle then to
the Left around the Circle) My Heart to the Heart of the Mother and
SHUNGO (my heart to the Heart of the Universe) In the Inca language
they make no distinction between “Pachamama” the Earth and “Pachamama”
the Universe. As Above So Below, As Below, So Above.
For their help assisting and coordinating
the songs and ceremonies and leading the singing & drumming on
the Ceremonial Drums with the World Drum are:
Drum Mother Karla Etchason, who led the drumming songs,
with Anne Thomas along with Vera Schweiger and Julie, all from Valparaiso,
plus Brenda Pitt from La Porte, IN. All these ladies sing alto and
were on the Blue Heron Peace Drum. Charlotte Vellines helped with
emails and ideas and is great friend as well as a drummer.
Kelly Wilhelm, of La Porte, was the drum leader on
the Women’s Wisdom Keepers Drum along with Laurel Izard, Sandy Bendt
of Michigan City, Cheri Lundstrom of Wanatah and Juanita Miller of
Sawyer Michigan. These ladies sing the soprano part of the songs.
Melvin L. Thomas of Beecher, IL helped on Sunday as
well as at the Saturday Circle. Mel has a ministry with the Native
American Community in the State Prison in Michigan City. All of his
Clan joined us in Spirit – another 50 men that connected with the
World Drum Project.
Debra Sawyer of Michigan City is the official photographer
for The World Drum Project at the Lubeznik Center in Michigan City.
Additional Thank You to Cilla Griffith for all of her pictures before
and after the Ceremony and to Black Wolf/ Chris Young for his pictures.
Great Gratitude goes to Dee Dunheim for taking pictures
and writing about the World Drum Project for the Senior Life Newspaper
in Porter and La Porte Counties.
With Deep Appreciation and Great Gratitude to All
that helped & participated and especially to the Visionaries Dreaming
the Drum into Being,
thank You to Whitecougar, Birger, and Morten for the gift of the World
Blessings to All,
Rev. Marilee A. Snyder-Nieciak, B.Sc, RMT
Certified Shamanic Healing Practitioner and Drum Circle Facilitator;
Internationally Certified Quantum Biofeedback Practitioner (EPFX/qxci/SCIO)
Sage Spirit Terra, 9464 North Meer Road, Michigan City, IN 46360
219-879-3906 or Marilee@sagespiritterra.org
Our Goal is to Live in Harmony with All
That Is –
Empowering Individuals to Empower ThemSelves