Shamanic Drumming

The rhythmic use of drums in shamanic practices for spiritual healing and altered states of consciousness.


Shamanic drumming is a spiritual practice that involves the rhythmic beating of a drum, typically a hand drum or frame drum, by a shaman or shamanic practitioner. The steady, repetitive drumming is believed to induce altered states of consciousness, enabling the shaman to journey into non-ordinary realms for healing, insight, and communion with spirit guides and ancestors. The drumming rhythm is often monotonous and ranges from 180 to 220 beats per minute, which corresponds to the frequency of theta brain waves associated with deep meditation and visionary experiences.

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The use of drumming in shamanic practices can be traced back thousands of years, with evidence of its use in indigenous cultures across the globe, from Siberia and Mongolia to the Americas and Africa. In many of these traditions, the drum is considered a sacred tool, often referred to as the 'shaman's horse,' as it is believed to carry the shaman's consciousness into other realms. The drumming patterns and techniques used in shamanic practices have been passed down through generations of shamans and are often specific to the cultural context in which they are practiced. Today, shamanic drumming has gained popularity in the West as a tool for personal growth, healing, and spiritual exploration.


  1. Altered States of Consciousness Shamanic drumming can induce altered states of consciousness, enabling access to non-ordinary realms for spiritual exploration and insight.
  2. Stress Reduction The repetitive and rhythmic nature of shamanic drumming can promote relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety levels.
  3. Emotional Healing Shamanic drumming can facilitate emotional release and healing by allowing individuals to process and integrate past traumas and experiences.
  4. Enhanced Creativity The visionary experiences and insights gained through shamanic drumming can inspire creativity and problem-solving in various aspects of life.
  5. Spiritual Connection Shamanic drumming can foster a deeper connection to one's spiritual self, as well as to spirit guides, ancestors, and the natural world.
  6. Improved Focus and Concentration The repetitive nature of shamanic drumming can help improve focus and concentration, as it encourages the mind to enter a state of deep presence.
  7. Boosted Immune System Studies suggest that the rhythmic stimulation of shamanic drumming can positively impact the immune system, enhancing overall health and well-being.

How It Works

Shamanic drumming involves the use of repetitive rhythmic drumming to induce an altered state of consciousness. The shaman enters a trance-like state by listening to the steady beat of the drum, which is typically played at a tempo of around 220 beats per minute. This rhythm is believed to synchronize with the brain's theta waves, facilitating a deep meditative state. In this altered state, the shaman is said to journey into the spirit world, accessing wisdom, guidance, and healing energy. The drumming continues throughout the journey, acting as a anchor and guide. Shamanic drumming is often accompanied by chanting, rattling, and singing, creating a powerful sensory experience.


While shamanic drumming can be a powerful tool for personal growth and healing, it is important to approach the practice with respect and caution. Entering an altered state of consciousness can be disorienting and emotionally intense. It is crucial to work with an experienced and trusted practitioner who can provide guidance and support throughout the journey. Individuals with a history of mental health issues or trauma should consult with a mental health professional before engaging in shamanic drumming. It is also essential to set clear intentions and boundaries before the journey and to allow ample time for integration afterward. Shamanic drumming should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment or psychological therapy.

How Much It Costs

The cost of shamanic drumming sessions can vary widely depending on the practitioner's experience, location, and the length of the session. On average, a one-hour shamanic drumming session can range from $75 to $200. Some practitioners may offer group sessions at a lower cost per person, typically ranging from $30 to $75 per participant. Multi-day workshops or retreats that include shamanic drumming can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,500 or more, depending on the duration, location, and amenities included.

Virtual & Online Options

Shamanic drumming sessions are available both online and in-person. Online sessions offer the convenience of participating from the comfort of one's own home, eliminating the need for travel. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who live in areas where shamanic practitioners are scarce or for those with mobility issues. However, in-person sessions provide a more immersive and intimate experience, allowing for direct interaction with the practitioner and other participants. In-person sessions may also incorporate additional elements, such as smudging or energy work, that can enhance the overall experience. Ultimately, the choice between online and in-person sessions depends on personal preference, accessibility, and the level of comfort with technology.


There is no universally recognized certification for shamanic drumming practitioners. Shamanic traditions vary widely across cultures, and the training and initiation process for shamans can differ significantly. However, many practitioners have undergone extensive training with experienced shamans or have completed workshops and courses in shamanic practices. Some organizations, such as the Foundation for Shamanic Studies or the Shamanic Healing Institute, offer training programs and certifications in shamanic techniques, including drumming. When seeking a shamanic drumming practitioner, it is essential to inquire about their training, experience, and lineage to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to facilitate safe and effective journeys.

Complementary Practices

Practices that complement shamanic drumming include meditation, chanting, dancing, journeying, visualization, and working with sacred plants or herbs. These practices can enhance the spiritual connection and therapeutic benefits of shamanic drumming sessions.

Practitioner Types

Shamanic drumming is typically facilitated by shamans, shamanic practitioners, or trained facilitators. These individuals often have extensive experience in traditional shamanic practices and may have studied with indigenous shamans or completed training programs in shamanic healing.

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  • Q: What is shamanic drumming?

    • A: Shamanic drumming is an ancient practice that involves rhythmic drumming to induce altered states of consciousness, facilitating spiritual journeys, healing, and connection with the divine. The steady, repetitive drumbeat is believed to synchronize brain waves and promote relaxation, introspection, and access to inner wisdom.
  • Q: What are the benefits of shamanic drumming?

    • A: Shamanic drumming offers numerous benefits for mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, enhance self-awareness and intuition, release emotional blockages, and promote a sense of connection with oneself, others, and the natural world. Shamanic drumming can also facilitate personal growth, healing, and spiritual transformation.
  • Q: Do I need experience to participate in shamanic drumming?

    • A: No prior experience is necessary to participate in shamanic drumming sessions. The practice is accessible to individuals of all backgrounds and beliefs. However, it is essential to approach the experience with an open mind, respect for the tradition, and a willingness to explore one's inner landscape.
  • Q: What should I expect during a shamanic drumming session?

    • A: During a shamanic drumming session, participants typically lie down or sit comfortably while the facilitator drums a steady, monotonous rhythm. The drumming may last for 20-30 minutes or longer. Participants are encouraged to focus on their breath, let go of thoughts, and allow the drumbeat to guide them into a meditative state. Some people may experience vivid imagery, emotions, or insights during the journey.
  • Q: Are there any risks or contraindications for shamanic drumming?

    • A: Shamanic drumming is generally considered safe for most people. However, individuals with a history of mental health issues, such as psychosis or severe trauma, should consult with a mental health professional before participating. It is also essential to inform the facilitator of any medical conditions or concerns beforehand. Pregnant women and those with certain heart conditions may need to modify their participation.


Shamanic drumming is a powerful ancient practice that offers a pathway to healing, self-discovery, and spiritual connection. By inducing altered states of consciousness through rhythmic drumming, individuals can access inner wisdom, release emotional blockages, and promote overall well-being. While rooted in indigenous traditions, shamanic drumming has gained popularity in modern times as a complementary practice for personal growth and transformation. As with any spiritual or therapeutic practice, it is essential to approach shamanic drumming with respect, openness, and discernment, and to work with experienced practitioners who can provide guidance and support along the journey.