I was fortunate enough to be able to birth my own drum a couple of years ago. She and her beater are made from sustainably obtained ash wood and goat skin.
She has a wonderful sound and has travelled, to share in celebrations, as well has clearing energy at home.
Over the last few months I have had the yearning to add to my sacred noise, wanting a rattle. Easier to transport as smaller, obviously, but still something our ancestors may have used.
There are many options for those who want to buy a ready-made rattle, I did consider this, as I would cleanse and consecrate it once received. However, having experienced the joy and connection of going through the process of making something, I waited until the time would be right.
Sure enough, I was led to someone who makes drums/rattles, but also supplies the materials for you to create your own rattle. Everything is sustainably and ethically sourced, with a choice of what hide/wood you wish to have. Not only that, some of the price is donated to help Red Tent women in need. (Moontimes shop on Etsy).
When my package arrived I was delighted. I had chosen deer skin and actually have enough to make two rattles, the ash wood stick also long enough to halve. Included was a cardboard template, a metal hole puncher, cord in my chosen colour (green), as well as a sage smudge stick and a packet of incense. The instructions were to look at YouTube videos of how to make a shamanic rattle.
It was at this point that I had doubts about my ability to make my rattle, it wouldn’t be good enough, I’d make mistakes….why hadn’t I just bought a ready-made one!!!!!!
So I sealed up my materials and hid them away for a while!!!
However, I kept getting the feeling I should just do it! So after watching a few videos, going through more periods of lack of confidence, I woke one day and thought it doesn’t matter, it will turn out how it is meant to with my energy in it.
My favourite YouTube video was a short one by rdmartin posted in 2010, it has relaxing pan pipe music, no words, made the process look simple.
Once I started, this project turned out to be easier than I had been anticipating. The hide supple to cut, punching the holes with the wet skin gave me the opportunity to add my intention, of gratitude and harmony, with each hammer blow. Sewing with the cord another chance to attach my intention.
The videos used sand to get the shape of the rattle, not having any, I used rice, pressing it in with the thought that I would be using this grain anyway, (I used rice as this added the intentions of prosperity, protection, grounding and stability to my rattle), so if any got stuck to the wet hide, it wouldn’t matter.
The making of my rattle took place over five days, I could have done it in less time, but this is what felt right, I even found some beads I felt would be a fitting addition.
Is it perfect, no, but it is just right for me. It has my time, love, energy and intention within it!
Sources: A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Food by Rachel Patterson YouTube rdmartin 2010 Moontimes Etsy shop