Lyall Watson - Drumming for rain
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Lyall Watson – Lightning Bird
For six days they sat there at the feet of the elders, learning the special rites, the koma songs and the secret whistling language. And in the afternoon of the final day, when all was done, the teachers together made a prolonged sound ‘rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr’ as a sign of the finish and said ‘Ho ofa, it is flown. The komana is done’
That night the sacred drums started again and were played, some of them by the new initiates right through until dawn.
On the seventh day it rained.
The use of terms such as supernatural with reference to Africa is misleading. They imply a dichotomy between the natural universe which is subject to the laws of science and another superimposed realm of the spirit, in which the laws do not operate. This dichotomy is an artefact of our European literate culture, it does not apply to African belief.
A member of a tribal society sees the world as made up of things plain and things hidden and draws no distinction between them. He understands that they present themselves together mixed into one common reality….In Africa it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference. Both proceed on the belief that cause produces effect.
A herd of sacred drums, properly anointed with the blood of the earth is beaten, it rains. Our training leads us to doubt any such causal connection. You ‘know’ that you cannot make it rain simply by beating on a drum, that wanting something does not necessarily make it happen.
Or does it?