Twice a month in Chappaqua and Mt.Kisco, August Cardinale orchestrates healing drum circles in the tradition of indigenous peoples of the world over. “It’s a gathering of people to come together to drum in the energies of Mother Earth,” he says from Star Visions in Chappaqua. So if you go for that sort of thing, the appeal almost speaks for itself, but what of those like me who can only acknowledge things that can seen, touched and measured.
"Even if you don’t subscribe to the mother earth energies that arise, you will get rid of stress and come away feeling relaxed,”he says. After a full week of work in my after school program, which turns into an eight hour day during school breaks, I was the perfect candidate.
Closing the lights, sparking candles, a warm fire and some sage, I was certainly hopeful at the prospect of removing the negative energies, while not having my already diminished strength zapped from me. You almost feel like there’s this charge going through your body that balances you out between stimulation and relaxation, said drummer Kristine Fornaby.
Tilting the drum supplied of African origin, I was ready to pound away. Not soon after, though, I began to tire and wondered if I was being energized or worn out. I picked up a rattle to stay on beat and alternated between the two instruments in my efforts to keep up.
Whether the spirits picked me up or not, I got my wind and hammered the beat home in a session that lasted about an hour. Along the way, it seemed that keeping the beat with Mr. Cardinale’s lead, elevated my energy like an electric amp, which may explain how Charlie Watts can look in his 70’s and play like it’s the 60’s.
On the other hand, the beat is secondary to the outcome. Putting you in a meditative state, he says, “Just get out of your head and don’t worry about how you play.”
As the drum beat slowly fell off, we instinctively coordinated into a communal silence. Out of my exhausted work week, a gap emerged in my head, where only chaos had reigned since Monday.
I was not the only one, as Mr. Cardinale was pleased thatseveral parents included their kids in the healing circle of about 20. Otherwise, among those who would have seemed to be the most averse to this were just fine with the outpouring of percussion. Frightened off when she first started hosting the circle many years ago, says healer Helen Escoffier, “The cats get very mellow.”
Back on two legs and beyond worldly considerations, Mr. Cardinale “Respects the Drum” in taking the pounding to another level. “Drumming has been my connection with the spiritual,” he says, and it raises your frequency to where the angels are, he adds.
Additionally, achieving a trance like stance where you might hear the sound of other instruments or receive a vision means you’ve made a connection to those who have passed on. Sorry, not from me, but a good night’s sleep didn’t sound like such a unwelcome side effect. “You’re energized and calm and you will receive the deep sleep of the unconscious,” he said.
Feeling it, I hung in for a slightly slower second round in which bringing in a positive future is the goal. “We want calm energy to come to us now,” he said before easing into it again.
Keeping the beat a little easier this time, I had to tear myself away as my hunger level and extended leave from my couch outwitted my desire to drum. Leaving, I’m certain the spirits didn't hold it against me.
Drum circles : STERN CHIROPRACTIC - 27 Radio Circle, Mt.Kisco. 864 2222. Star Visions 7 Orchard Ridge Rd, Chappaqua email@example.com 238-9640