Posted in women

When women were drummers

Thoughts from Laune Redmond’s book, When the drummers were women: A spiritual history of rhythm:

Women often feel missing from history. They also feel they are missing a part of their psyches. Scared drumming began as an echo of the human pulse. The pulse of our mother’s blood was our first continuous experience as we quickened in the womb. Women who drum feel  more connected to history and to themselves.

The goddess is often pictured with lightning. Lightning is the energy of pure self. This is why so many women are drawn to lightning storms.  There is a purity, a refreshing energy about them.

The goddess is often pictured with 4 animal archetypes:

  • The bull head (reproduction)
  • The vulture (death and resurrection); she does not kill, she consumes the dead to produce life  (the egg)
  • The queen bee (death, birth, reincarnation); a queen bee lays 2,000 eggs a day but only a few male drones mate with the queen, and only once since he dies afterward
  • The leopard or lion (divine felines); guardians of the passageway to the realm of power and wisdom.

In a woman’s hands, the drum offers divine guidance. In a man’s hand, it becomes a military tool drummed to incite martial rather than spiritual fervor.

People who are experiencing grief or depression are unable to create and maintain organized patterns of behavior. They have lost their personal rhythm. As well, some of our physiological and psychological ills may be the result of being out of sync with environmental time. It is the tension between the internal clock and the clock on the wall that causes so much stress in today’s world. Shutting ourselves off with steel, concrete, and glass prisons, insulated from rhythmic fluctuations in light and temperature, we block ourselves from seasonally appropriate changes in physiology and behavior.

Ancient religions acknowledged that a woman’s power arises from an understanding of the interconnectedness of all people and all life, of the cycles of nature and the cycles of our bodies. Unearthing the goddess within begins a journey back into the labyrinth of our feminine being in search of the golden illumination at its center…by pulling the fragments back into the whole, we can trace our way back to the sacred.

“I have discovered an entirely new place within my rhythm , the simple heartbeat,

the place of moving soundly from left foot to right,

the place I must breath in before flying. “


For a list of Sheila’s books, check out



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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