Spirit of the Rattle
Indigenous shaman believe that everything which exists is alive and has a spirit. When we extend this way of thinking to all those who live in harmony with the Earth, we see their daily rituals of being, eating, working and living in community are anchored in Spirit. One way we can experience Spirit is through healing tools such as - a drum, rattle, stones, feathers and sacred plants. Learning to work with these healing tools is learning how to listen and connect to its Spirit and sacred cosmology. Today we will explore the Spirit of the Rattle.
The practice of using your rattle is an exercise in exploring the space beyond the boundaries you have created for yourself. A basic rattling ritual and the first one that was passed onto me is calling in the Spirits of the cardinal directions and below, Mother Earth, and above, Father Sky. It simply involves facing each of the 6 directions and shaking your rattle four times, calling to the Spirits of that direction and asking them to come.
Beginning in the South, stand with both feet firmly rooted in the Earth and take 3 deep breaths. Shake your rattle about and call in the Spirit beings of this direction to come to you. As you call in each direction with your rattle, experience the presence with all of your senses - the colors, sounds, scents, visions... perceive the existence of the Archetypes and the Elementals of that direction supporting you. Continue turning 90 degrees and call to the Spirits of the West, North, and East. Then touch the Earth below and next, the Sky above. After fully experiencing each direction, give gratitude.
You will see that after exploring this practice for sometime, you may be guided to move in a new direction and incorporate dancing, whistling or song. The Spirits are always teachings us, and we honor them by opening ourselves to their wisdom. Through this practice may you remember what it is to be a child again, to play, to dance, to be free. To trust in what you feel, even when it cannot be seen.