Ritual and Rapport on the Path of Drum
Rapport is the state of being connected, of being noticeably “One with another”, feeling at the same time being one of two and also, of being only one with the other…
When I prepare to go to my sit spot, my private natural world observatory, I try to dress in the same clothes I always wear for this, so that I will become familiar to other creatures around, who will hopefully learn to treat me as a non-threatening element of the furniture. When I sit in my sit spot, and gradually become calm, I realize first the silence of earth and growing life around me, then perhaps a few birds and other creatures bring moving manifestations given life by the plant and tee and earth/water life in which they move and have their being. As I meditate and observe I am conscious that my frequent visits to this spot have become a ritual for me, something of “rapport” that I use as an entry into contact with what I call spirit. I am thinking now of the spiralling of leaves around the trunk and branches of the trees, of the minute exactly identical small leaves of the cedar that comprise the larger leaves… each a faithful replication of the ones previous. Is this display of the life-seeking leaves not a ritual, a performance in the sun and air? So I and these trees are connected in our forms of ritual, we are “in rapport”, mirroring each other’s way of taking part in the dance of life.
So this is why I do ritual, to reconnect with Earth Mother, with the universe of life.. I sit in a safe container of my own construction, safe from the busy chaotic world of city life endeavour, which is connected only to its own busyness, and would have no life were it not for the mindless activities, or the excessively thinking activities, of the human brains that swirl in its chaotic dance… And when we do ritual or ceremony together, we create that safe space, a wall of trust around us, for deep sharing, or prayer or celebration.
Sometimes we do the Warrior Dance, 200 or more of us fasting and sleeping by day and dancing and fasting for four nights under the full moon in the wide Prairie sky, drums beating, singers singing, healers, fires blazing. This is our ritual display. The sight is glorious. And then we see overhead the blazing green and yellow and white of the Northern Lights, Mother Earth displaying her ritual.. as we respond with ours, showing her we recognize her gifts, feeling deep in our bodies the welling emotions of connection to all life around, all weathers, all mountains, all waters,, all forests and plains…
So when I drum or do my Pipe, or call in the Four Directions, or conduct the Lodge, or Smudge myself or others, I am creating a formalized ( a “form”, repeated) safe space connection to Mother Earth. Feeling all the emotion of that living power flowing through me.. To be in connection, in rapport with the natural world and the spirit world that animates it, I must engage my body/mind and that I do with my ceremonies and rituals.
It was Earth Mother that birthed me here at this time. She gave me as my tasks to speak my thoughts in the truth of poetry, and to support my connection to life through gifting my drum-making, making the sacred hand drums, which then led me to all my spirit-encounters and my life enhancing friendships, ceremonies and rituals.