Earth Drum Council Weekend

Earth Drum Council Weekend was held once or twice a year from 1990 through 2005. Over the years we were privileged to host a long list of distinguished drummers and dancers at the Weekend, from West African, Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, Middle-Eastern, and other cultures, as well as skilled U.S. teachers. EDC Weekend also included a Heartsong Council and an evening fire circle. As part of its founding vision, EDC was conceived as a place for drummers of EarthSpirit to hone their craft, to return in service to the larger community. Drummers and dancers who developed the style of fire circles and the deep bonds of community through the workshops, weekends, and councils sponsored by EDC, brought their results back to Rites of Spring, EarthSpirit’s main annual event. There the Fire Circle developed a distinctive flavor that became the inspiration for many other circles and events around the world.

Read our Earth Drum Council flyer from 2003. Click here to view the PDF (1.6 MB).


A 1992 EDC Weekend Remembered

I will always remember the night our sweat lodge at EDC was hit by lightning. Well actually, lightning hit the wet ground outside the sweat lodge during an intense thunder storm and traveled along the stream of water pouring into the lodge. Rip and his friend had just left the lodge and were momentarily blinded by the bolt of lightning that struck between them as they were walking toward their clothes, they had left outside the lodge. They screamed but we did not hear their screams inside the lodge due to the crack of thunder. We were too busy focusing all our attention to the woman receiving a healing in the lodge. In addition to the 2 facilitators there were about 4 of us left inside the lodge, who decided to remain and participate in the emotional healing the woman had requested. The facilitators had asked the elements to join us in the lodge and heal this person. They got what they asked for. We were all physically connected, as we all put our hands over each others hands, or in some way made physical contact to provide a chain of energy; with the person closest to the woman placing their hand on her heart. As the lightning struck the water and traveled into the lodge and through our chain of people, we all felt the slight current course through us and into the woman. She absolutely felt the power of the lightning and was forever transformed by the experience, as I was later told. We were concerned about another lightning strike, so we all quickly and unceremoniously left the lodge, ran to and jumped into a nearby car. We felt that the tires would ground us and not allow us to be struck by lightning again. We all laughed at ourselves, the 7 or so naked people in the car... we thought it would be odd to explain the situation to the authorities. Later we learned that at the same time we were asking for the elements to join us in the lodge, there was a drum circle in the cafeteria and they were summoning Shango, the god of thunder, with drumming and singing; so no surprise about the course of events. Be careful what you ask for. It was a very special night and a very special EDC weekend. Special bonds were always created there. Much gratitude to Morwen and Jimi for creating and sustaining a magical, loving, drum and dance experience for so many years, touching the lives of many people in a profound way... helping to create many drumming communities all over the northeast. I feel blessed to have been a part of it.


Olympia Avignone Ward