Interviews and Book


"Your book is stunning, Jaime. Thoughful, insightful, practical and poetic at the same time, honest, brave, and, unlike any other book on shamanism, laugh out loud funny! Thank you!"  -Jeanne

Click the book to read an excerpt!


Remember Me

Ancestor Mask by Jaime Meyer, 2012

We live in a time of disintegration, of disassembly that fills us with feelings of disappointment, disaffection, disarray, disgrace.

That prefix, Dis, is the name of the old European spirit of the underworld, the one who rules the darkness and the realm of death. Dis is the energy of reversal, un-doing, deconstruction, the swing of the pendulum, the inevitable dusk of each day. Dis comes to us regularly in life, in small and large ways, but in autumn we palpably feel its power. It takes us downward, inward, toward darkness. The shamanic term: dismemberment.

It’s helpful to trust that much of the disarray we feel caught in – personally, nationally, globally, even cosmically - is actually a spiritual dismemberment, guided by the Unseen, pointing us to a new, deeper life. It’s not easy at all to trust that, but it’s helpful.

But not all of this disarray is spiritual dismemberment. Often it is merely disconnection, which is a symptom of our toxic culture and the driver of so much anger, selfishness and compulsion we see each day.

This is why ancestor work is important to me. Like each of us, I am always in some process of dismemberment, always in conversation with Dis. But, like each of us born into this culture, I am trained from birth in disconnection: from nature, from one another, from history, from my own soul’s purpose, from what my Celtic teachers call the power of Sovereignty – the ability make my own decisions.

For me, shamanic work, as I see it and do it, is about re-membering. It’s about protesting the powers of disconnection injected into me by my culture and it’s about the slow, often confused and clumsy pathwalking back to a place of connection that my soul knows exists, but the maps were stolen long before I was born.

Ancestor work is a map. It is not the only map, but it’s a good one if we want to remember who we are and remember our connection to the web of life, to the creatures and the unfathomable beauty in which we swim.

So I offer you an easy ancestor ceremony: take something you love to eat or drink, and offer it to your ancestors. For me it might be good whiskey. I pour a few drops in a glass, I take it outside, I leave it overnight in the garden or yard, or pour it on the earth, or over a rock, or into flowing water.  I sit and drink mine, and I just try to remember as much as I know (which isn’t very much) about my blood ancestors. Mostly I thank them for living hard lives and passing on the life force so that I can live.

If you want to go a little deeper, try this open ended prayer below. The prayer acts in two directions at once: it is us talking to the ancestors, and the ancestors talking to us:

My blood is your blood

My skin is your skin

My heartbeat is your heartbeat

My tears are your tears

My loves are your loves

My fears are your fears.

On an on you can go, Thinking of everything physical and emotional and remembering that these things all belonged to your ancestors as well as to you. You could sprinkle in this line:

Remember me. Remember me.

Spending a few moments with your ancestors, especially at this time of year, but also regularly, can help to re-member in you what has been dismembered by the culture.





Drumming the Autumnal Equinox

If you chose to come to drumming this Friday, you will be treated to an extraordinary evening.

 The autumnal equinox is one of the major holidays for earth-based and indigenous people in many places. It’s a time of balance of day and night, but unlike the springtime side of the wheel, this equinox has us descending down into the meditative, internal darkness, the womb of the Great Mother, the place where Mystery re-cooks us in the universal cauldron. You know those pictures of distant galaxies that the Hubble telescope has delivered to us over the years? This is how I imagine the inside of the womb looking – the human woman’s womb, but also the womb of the Great mother – packed with whirling galaxies.

 In that darkened place we are composted, re-shaped, re-combined with universal energies, the life force is re-breathed into us, and we re-emerge anew at the spring equinox. If you feel autumn calls you down into melancholy, into silence, memory, yearning and grieving, this is why: we are moving into the Great Womb to be re-configured and reborn. For me, it is the Autumnal Equinox that marks the real beginning of this dark passage.

 And that’s why I’ve been planning a whopperly beautiful drum for you this Friday. A whappin’ whompin’ Womb-Wahoo! Oh yeah.

 We will be in our new Minneapolis drumming location: Spring House Center, on 28th and Garfield. Come and check it out, and tell me if this feels like the new home for us. It’s run by cool people.  

 Bring a drum, rattle, or other wahoo maker, or just show up. I have plenty for you to borrow. We will drum a little wildly – okay, maybe a lot wildly – and I will speak a little about how the equinox aligns with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and how it aligns with the Lakota concept of “right relationship” and the Buddhist notion of “ahimsa” (non-violence.) Then my friend, colleague and teacher Teresa Riley Baecker will partner with me to guide you through a lovely ceremony meant to help realign you with your inner, strong core of peace, that place where we are wrapped in Shalom (Hebrew), Salaam (Arabic), Ah-Sith (“Ahn-Shee,” Gaelic), Ahimasa (from the Sanskrit), or, as our tongues pronounce it: peaceful balance.

 If you come, please consider bringing an item to give away. That item can be anything that represents beauty for you, or peace, or “harvest” (this is the other major image of the equinox.) So for example, an apple or piece of corn would work. But so would an object of beauty, a poem, a photo, whatever. These objects will be placed on the altar, and part of the ceremony will be to go home with a different object than you brought. If you can’t get to this, or forget, please don’t worry, I’ll have plenty of extra items for you to work with. Wahoo.


I look forward to seeing you on Friday!


It's like intense orgasmic sex, but even more complete...

What I love about drumming

(by Kim who has been twice so far)

When you first arrive, and the drum circle is already in progress, I love the beckoning of the tribal rhythm, feel drawn by the power. It calls me to enter, it says, come - be part of the beauty and the power!

Finding a spot & getting comfortable, all the while feeling the beat emanating through my body, I pick up my drum. Slowly, allowing my hands to pick out an underlying rhythm, I start to drum. At first, I find myself making minor adjustments, trial and error of a few different beat patterns. I love that if I do happen to err and go out of sync, at Jaime's events there are so many people there, drumming, that my "mistake" is just superimposed into somebody's rhythm. After a time, I always seem to settle into a drum beat, that I can work with, and is comfortably sustainable, yet allows for improvisation without losing focus.

Then the magical moment begins. When I realize that my hands seem to no longer be moving through any effort of my own. Like I'm somehow disengaged from my body, and have become part of something greater than myself. No, correct that - like I've become somehow MORE of myself, or brought forward the part of myself that is connected to all else. At this point, the rhythm of the group transforms. The group seems to be united. It becomes alive, really alive. It becomes it's own living and breathing thing. A fantastic, wild, loving, powerful, raw and pure thing. It reverberates through the group (the tribe), it is composed of elements that we all have a part in contributing to. We let go. And just "be" with it. This amazing rhythm we have created yet creates itself. 

After a time, the intensity starts to soften, without losing the unity. Gently, gradually, we allow it to come to a stop. The feeling thereafter is of complete and total peace. Similar to the feeling after wonderfully intense orgasmic sex, but even more complete. The rhythm has been satisfied. My soul is glowing, happy, and at peace. 


Crazy Wisdom!

Dear Drummers

Do not come to this Friday’s drum if you are not ready to laugh until you weep, if you are not ready to have the lemon juice wrung out of that old rag of your ego, if you are not ready to put your finger to your lips and say “brb-brb-brb-brb-brb.  Do Not Come. (First Universalist Church, 34th and Dupont, South Mpls, 7 PM).

If you don’t want to be turned upside down to have the loose change shaken out of you, stay home. In honor of April Fools, in honor of the ancient tradition of Crazy Wisdom, in honor of the trickster, the fool, and the village idiot, we drum. I swear to you, no one will escape intact. Don’t come if you want to stay the way you are.

Don’t come, I beg you, if you are invested in that frown. I beseech thee, oh gentle hearted, beautiful-souled worshiper of cosmic Love, dreamer of delicate lace, if you swoon with pleasure at the sound of your own moaning, go hide in the box with the old clothes.  If you show up, you will be eaten by a giant vulva. Yes you will.

Bring your pliers, loved ones, that throbbing tooth is going to get plucked out. Ah! The song of the crescent moon, at last!  Ahhhhhh….!

If you do come, try to bring a small paper bag that has room in it for a doggy turd. If you don’t remember, don’t worry, I’ll have some. Dress either sloppily or super-duper-seductively. But no perfume or Brut.  If this is your first time at our drum, you’ll likely never come back, so be ready to pay full price. If you’ve come to the drum for years, be ready, this you ain’t never experienced.

 I really need some folks to volunteer to bring some incredibly juicy fruit, washed and ready.  Ripe pears or oranges, or those grapes as luscious as Adonis’ testicles. I also really need two volunteers to help me with the bags. Email me.

 I’m telling you; please stay away if you’re not ready to take the Corvair off-road.




Earth-Eros, the Sensuous Divine, and Original Blessing

Berta A. DanielsPrepare yourself for a whopper drumming evening this Saturday, March 17 at First Universalist Church in Uptown.

If you want to learn more how to love this earth, if your sexuality has been damaged by religion and advertising (which is our culture’s sacred liturgy), if you want to renew, transform and open the erotic in you, this Saturday is for you.

We will drum our way into the Earth-erotic, into the wriggling, twisting, yearning, desire-infused life force, as represented by the mythic image of the serpent. This is the sensuous divine, the one the church fathers warned you to steer clear of. The one who swells the buds and bursts the fruit with sweetness. It is the Irish Duileamh (pronounced DOOL-yev):  the One inside the elements who shapes everything from within through the power of desire.

Friends, I am shy to say this, but a long time ago I was devoured by the serpent. Not once, not a few times, but again and again until I learned what it was trying to tell me. I’ll be devoured more than once between now and Saturday. (This is the difference between shamanic experiences and shamanic practice - going back for more of the same to get the deeper message.) This Saturday, Ill offer you the opportunity to shamanically come into contact with the serpent as you want to, understanding that for many of you this may be a very tender sacred area and a wound. This drum is for healing that wound, or for breathing joy into these energies – whatever you need. For those who want to, I’ll offer you a whopper vision opportunity.

If this is tender for you, just come, drum, and be as open as you wish. Don’t worry; Spirit will not demand more of you than are ready for. If you want to go deep, bring a blindfold, scarf, yoga may or blanket to lie on, and tell yourself you are ready to dance. I’ll have a few extra mats and blankets too. If you can bring extras, please do.

The legend of St, Patrick says he “drove the snakes out of Ireland” which is the poetic way of crediting Patrick with the obliteration of the earth-revering, nature-integrated worship practices of my Celtic ancestors, supplanting it with a theology that told us that the earth is an ugly realm of punishment, that we were born spiritually sick (Original Sin) and that we must spend our lives praying to escape our soul’s entrapment in this corrupt flesh and villainous natural world. Before Patrick, the Celts saw the serpent as the image of the life force, twisting and winding its way through everything, and we were born with Original Blessing. Patrick teaches us that the serpent is something to fear and eradicate. St Patrick shines in those whose mantra is “Drill Baby Drill” and “Frack the Earth.”

So I ask you to arrive with the courage to become open to the Sensuous God. If you’d like to bring an offering of flowers, fragrant herbs or fruit or chocolate that would be great. If you want to bring some light snack to share, fabulous!  If you’d like to arrive with a desire-charged poem that can be spoken to God and another drummer, that would be great too. If you can arrive wearing a bright color, that would be great. If you can’t do any of that, it’s all fine, just show up. If you want to, send prayers out this week to the Sensuous Earth-Eros Spirits, and pray for beauty and joy for the community who shows up, and for those who don’t for whatever reason. Pour some drops of milk, wine, beer or whiskey onto the earth, or a rock as an offering of joy and openness. Ask to be opened.

Wahoo indeed.

I leave you with this:


Don’t listen to those who tell you it’s wrong to love me.

Untie those perfectly starched clothes

and open your soft animal body.


Seawater wears down the jutting rocks kiss after soft kiss

Then takes such pleasure moving a slow hand

over that smooth roundness.


The spring breeze runs its fingers through the trees

And they can’t hold back their bursting:

One after another fragrant sighs fill the air.


And that flame—how it teases the spaces between trembling logs.

Can you hear them crying out:

“Glowing like this is what I was made for!”


How I enjoy stealing up behind you

On your peaceful walk through the shady woods.

How I love your surprised moan, and the way you fall open to me.

And how I love to sing to you from the night branches

Holding my distance until you beg me

In that particular voice

to climb in your window and

utterly own you.


But, beloved, you know a secret dance—

the one they warned you not to learn.

When you open your soft animal body

You become my favorite wine

And before I know it

I come begging you for that particular kiss.[1]


[1] © 2006 by Jaime Meyer. All rights reserved. I am compelled to admit that the “soft animal body” line is a reverent reference to Mary Oliver’s poem The Wild Geese. I also feel compelled out of sheer embarrassment to say that the overall approach of the poem is trying to model the radiant voices of Rumi and Hafiz—luminous suns to my quiescent candle.