12th Annual Winter Solstice 

The Great Mother Comes to Bless Us

December 19-21 (Friday - Sunday)

Part Theatre performance, part interactive shamanic ceremony. Unrepeatable, untweetable, cannot be downloaded.




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!


"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 here to buy it!

Scroll down to read an excerpt.  


 Praise for Drumming The Soul Awake by Jaime Meyer

A smart, penetrating, and laugh-out loud funny exploration of modern spirituality by one of the foremost shamanic practitioners in the upper Midwest.  It overflows with “crazy wisdom” born of Meyer’s unusual inner mix of seminary training, Celtic shamanic studies, and life as a playwright. True to his Scottish nature, his writing marries irreverence and lyrical beauty. You are in for an adventure led by a man who has thought long and hard on what it means to be awake in our culture. His writing will wake you up too.”  -- Tom Cowan, author of Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, and Yearning for the Wind: Celtic Reflections on Nature and the Soul


“Drumming The Soul Awake is not really a book about drumming. It’s about how the Holy Spirit is at play in our lives, how it cajoles us to become something different, something more, something we know we already are. It’s about how that Spirit dresses up in a variety of costumes in order to move us and change us. Meyer takes us into that ephemeral place where play meets prayer, where laughter meets awe, where the soul speaks clearly.” --Kevin Kling, National Public Radio commentator, author of The Dog Says How

 “Jaime artfully blends the world of the shaman and the showman, the preacher and the teacher, the tree-hugger and lover of God. His quirky personal stories mix seamlessly with profound theological insights about what he calls ‘the sensuous God,’ the one woven into all of nature, the one that heals and breathes comfort into us, the one we need to get to know right now. His book provides more than great reading. It offers up ideas, prayers, poems, songs and meditations that you can use in your own drum groups.” --Kathryn M. Bellows, Drum Circle Leader


Excerpt from the introduction to Drumming The Soul Awake

It is the richest silence on Earth, perhaps matched only by the silence of the deep woods an hour before sunrise and the silence after ecstatic lovemaking. We sit, the thirty of us, in a circle of chairs after thirty minutes of drumming and dancing, panting slightly, many with eyes closed, an underground den of mid-sized animals, the silence wrapping around us like walls of fragrant earth. The moon pours waves of silver light down through the winter blackness, flowing over and between the bare elm branches that reach up like praising giants, pulsing waves of silver light streaming through the basement windows of the church, over our faces and down our bodies, past our pounding hearts, down our still-pulsing legs, onto the floor.

It’s been six years now of leading these twice monthly “experiences” that combine drumming, shamanic healing, community ceremony and irreverent fun. Some people in the room are regulars, and this is their church. Others come and go. There are always a few new people, some of whom fall into the drum and stay, some who move on to other new experiences, looking for fun, or ecstasy, or God dressed in just the right clothing.

After a few minutes of floating on each other’s breath, I repeat the poem that we began drumming to a half hour ago:

The soul, like the moon,
is new, and always new again.

And I have seen the ocean
continuously creating.

Since I scoured my mind
and my body, I too

am new, each moment new. 

My teacher told me one thing,
live in the soul. 

When that was so,
I began to go naked,
and dance. 

-- Lalla, Kashmir, early 1300s.[i]

And for a brief moment, this world so full of pain, disappointment, confusion and sorrow, shines in holiness. For a moment, those thousand torments that whirlwind through each of us all day are quieted. Though none of us claim to know what the soul is, it is the only word any of us can come up with to describe what is shining in us, and between us, at this moment. For a moment we are living in the soul.

This is why I began leading these drumming groups five years ago, and it is why the people in the room have made two Friday nights per month their holy time. The reason to devote oneself to some kind of spiritual life is to decide how we will measure our lives, measure each moment, measure our purpose. 

Thomas Berry wrote that the universe is a “creative disequilibrium” where the solidity of order is held in tension with the wildness of disorder. The universe’s structure is sufficiently closed to allow for order, and sufficiently wild to allow for creative processes to continue. The planets in our solar system are all made of the same substance, but Mars, which took on too much order, became solid rock where nothing fluid — where no new movement — may exist. Jupiter, which took on too much wildness, is all gas with no firmness. Earth floats in perfect balance, in unending creative disequilibrium, between closed order and free wildness, and the result is a home that teems with stone, air, ocean, and uncountable forms of life.[ii]

I always hope that I am Earthy in this way – sufficiently wild and sufficiently ordered to allow for a life-creating balance. Creating ceremony replicates this universal structure: we set a space with just enough boundary and order that there is firmness, and just enough wildness that The Holy Spirit of creativity may freely and safely dance its ever-loving heart out, through us.

The Holy Spirit got the shaft in the Western religious tradition. For the first 381 years, the early Church fathers were most concerned with the conundrum of how Jesus could be both divine and human at the same time. The Holy Spirit has always been told to sit at the kid’s table while the adults drone on and on from the other side of the room. One day I looked over and her face was squinched up in fake seriousness as she rubbed her no-bearded chin and nodded in irreverent, false agreement with the droning adults. When I went to sit with her, I realized that the Holy Spirit is everything that the Church fathers said about human women: disobedient, sensual, trouble-making, seductive, and not allowed to speak in church. I like the fathers — they made a lot of great points. But I fell in love with the Holy Spirit, and everything I do now is a clumsy love-song to that mocking troublemaker.

What if we are being renewed by the Holy Spirit, which has done the same work again and again throughout our religious history? What if, as Thomas Berry says, we are on the threshold between geologic eras? The Cenozoic era came to an end with a complete ecological collapse. The dinosaurs died, but then the first blooming flowers appeared, as did animals and humans. Berry says that our period is coming to an end with another great ecological collapse, and a new era is opening: the Ecozoic era, where humans, who up until now believed their role in nature was to dominate and subdue creation, now turn their spiritual hopes toward integrating themselves with the ecosystem. What if this immense, frightening, hope-filled idea is true?

What if I’m part of a massive shift in consciousness? What if the church basement drummers and the woods-gathering chanters are the equivalent of the early Christians who needed to gather in small groups in secret in the back rooms and basements of people’s houses in order for the religion to take hold and grow? What would happen if we all began to trust these spiritual experiences that tell us that we are in the midst of a massive change of consciousness — from the smallest “aha” we feel while walking along the inner city lake to the shattering ones where the crow comes to eat your heart, or the old woman in the waking dream puts her face close to yours and says, “You need to learn how to be taken” and you wake with a sense that you have been visited by God or Brigit comes and gives you her hands to touch people where they hurt, and it works and you have a frightening sense that God has just been using you for a moment.

What if God is more than what the brilliant scientists are telling us — more than seratonin dripping onto brain cells? What if God is more than the burps of the collective unconscious, more than Id farts? What if God is far more than what the Bible says, far more than what the flappy-tongued preacher men can understand? What if God is far larger than our fears? What if God really is present? We love to say this but we don’t seem to really believe it. What if we experience God in ways radically different than we have been told is possible – so different that to even use the word God at all seems inaccurate and ludicrous?

Plato said that wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something. I am often unsure which applies to me. Plato (in the voice of Socrates) also said that an unexamined life is not worth living. The shaman says that an unlived life is not worth examining.

[i]From Naked Song, tr. Coleman Barks, Maypop, 1992. Used by permission of the author. Sometimes, when using this poem in a drum group, I change the phrase “Since I scoured my mind” to “Since you scoured my mind.” This presents a different theology. The original words are more focused on the meditative spiritual practice of the human seeker, and carry an idea of the will overcoming obstacles. My change throws that attention away from the human and toward the non-human, implying that the scouring is more of an act of grace. Lalla was an ecstatic follower of the dancing god Shiva, known in Hindu cosmology as the Destroyer of Worlds. I don’t think my change of words is a total violation of her poem or of Shiva.[ii] Thomas Berry, The Great Work (New York; Bell Tower 1999) 52  Alan Watts describes the world similarly by calling it  “a harmonious system of contained conflicts.” The Book On the Taboo Against knowing Who you Are (New York: Vintage, 1996) 85.[iii] To make this perfectly clear: I am not ordained, so I’m not a Reverend. Well, actually I am ordained, through the internet, so I am a Reverend. After spending $29,000 on a seminary degree, but deciding not to go the route of official ordination, I sent $10 to a web site and got an ordination certificate. It’s an interesting question to seriously ask: what does “ordained” really mean? Even at the seminary they like to say only God ordains you, and only a community confirms you. They don’t say it too loudly though, in case nut cases like me take them too seriously and stop paying tuition and go to Google U instead.