When December finally arrives, a certain hush moves through people as they reflect and remember the events that marked the turning of the seasons throughout the year. For many, the end of the year gives plenty of time to relax and reminisce, to share stories with family and friends, and to begin looking toward the New Year. With the mellow nature of this month, more people feel a spiritual connection to others and to the holiday season, and may look for ways to deepen those ties. With the inherent spiritual qualities of drumming, the magic of the season can easily translate into a transcendental rhythm, just through simple beats on a Djembe.
The connection between drumming and spirituality can be found in cultures across the world. Drums, often used in ceremonies and festivals, easily mimic the same sounds of nature and the heartbeat, well known rhythms used to invoke feelings of wellness and delight. These natural rhythms were used in order to produce feelings of relaxation, joy or reverence, to mark important events and even induce trance-like states.
The spirituality of Djembes and other drums is not only heard in the rhythm of the solo drummer or drum circle, but can also be found in the construction of the drum. Many of these hand percussion instruments are carefully constructed from timeless methods that incorporate the beliefs of West African tribes. From the wood used for the shell of the drum, to the spirituality of its craftsman and the essence of the animal used for its drum head, a Djembe holds a spiritual value that either accents, or even creates, rhythms that can resonate on a different level, entirely.
As drum circles can be a festive and fun addition to any holiday gathering, the native spirituality found in drumming and the drums themselves can create a new spiritual essence throughout the season. Whether celebrating the end of the year, or ringing in a brand new, clean slate in 2012, the beating of a Djembe or other drum can give the holiday season a brighter tone and more profound resonance for years to come.