Shamanic Wisdom: Drum and Rattle Opening Ceremony
>Drums and rattles have a lot of power in them, and they continue developing more power as you use them. They are committed to you. Building a relationship with them is the same as building a relationship with a powerful ally, for that is exactly what they are.
The activity I am describing here teaches you how to journey into the drum or rattle. This is a world unto itself, just like the lower world or the upper world that is typically ventured into during a shamanic journey. We are journeying to the world of the drum or the rattle. When you travel there, ask to meet the spirit of the instrument. Understand that just because you have a horse drum doesn't mean you will be meeting the spirit of a horse; likewise, if the rattle is made of elk, it doesn't mean you will meet an elk. There is a spirit who lives within the instrument independent of the animal that provided the hide. In shamanism, everything created is believed to have a spirit or soul with the ability to communicate. Drums and rattles have spirits within them, a house has a spirit, buildings have spirits, and so on.
You enter the instrument by envisioning a portal that moves into the instrument. You can count down from ten to one, if you like. If you are versed in the shamanic journey, take your power animal with you for companionship and counsel. If you are not versed in the shamanic journey, you can guide yourself through visual imagery. During the journey, introduce yourself to the spirit of the instrument. Ask the spirit whether it will be in communion with you and whether it will live in your instrument to provide healing. That way, every time you use the instrument, you are giving and receiving a healing for yourself, for those you are drumming or rattling with, for your community, and for the world at large. You and the spirit of the drum or rattle make a connection and commitment to one another.