Page Three
Advanced I-Ching Drumming
The Advanced Program
Working Through the Program
Insights Gained as a Result of Experiencing This Program


You may become so enamored (addicted ?) to drumming the I-Ching patterns that you will want to do further exploring with this technique. See what other techniques or rituals you might use to combine with this drumming for even more powerful clearing experiences.

One combination that Don G. Campbell developed for use in his Sound Schools was to combine the drumming with toning on the long vowel sounds. He wrote out a program and distributed it to his mentees. Each of us had to overcome our own feelings of inadequacy as we tried to cope with learning this different drumming technique, while combining the breathing necessary to do the toning with the drumming rhythms.

Later I wanted to explore using this drumming with something else in addition to toning. Eventually I developed an advanced program for myself, combining several other disciplines I'd used in the past. As the program ended up becoming rather more complicated than I'd anticipated, I wrote it out, spelling out what I was going to be doing each day and for how many days.


The program consisted of 43 days: 8 weeks of 5 days each followed by one week of only 3 days as a wrap-up. For each week I used a different long vowel sound for each day, in a specific order that remained the same throughout the program. Each week I also worked with one of 8 universal symbols: the circle with a center, triangle, wave, square, boxed triangle, 5-pointed star, infinity sign and a circle with 5 smaller circles around its edge (not listed in the order in which I used them).

I made up a worksheet form containing two circles side by side. In these circles were to go the intuitive before and after mandalas. At the bottom of the sheets I made spaces to record the week and day numbers, the vowel sound and the date. Then I wrote the number of the cast hexagram and the derived hexagram, if any.

For drawing the mandalas I chose broad tipped magic markers in about 16 colors. A timer, a notebook and a pencil, plus the drum and stick completed the paraphenalia I gathered for each session.


Before starting each day I filled in the week number, etc, on the worksheet. Each session started by standing and drawing the symbol for the week in the air a certain number of times at certain sizes while toning the vowel sound for that day. Then I sat comfortably with all my paraphenalia around me within easy reach and drew the first mandala in the circle on the left side of the worksheet. This turned out to be whatever popped into my head and I drew it quickly.

Each session I asked the same question: "Which hexagram am I to work with today with the (vowel sound) and the (symbol)?" Then I cast for the hexagram. I drew the lines of the hexagram at the bottom of the worksheet. Then I drummed this pattern over and over while toning the day's vowel sound, for ten minutes.

Next step was to get up and stand while toning and again drawing the symbol of the week in the air according to the prescribed plan. The final step was to draw a second mandala in the circle on the right of the worksheet.

Afterwards I jotted notes on what had transpired during the session: any feelings or thoughts, any images or anything else that seemed pertinent to that session. I usually took the time to look up the hexagram and write the meaning in my notebook. Each time the hexagram applied directly to whatever I was trying to be more aware of in my daily life, or what I'd let slip past me unnoticed!

At the end of each week of five days, I reviewed the worksheets, paying attention to the before and after mandalas, interpreting them according to the currents running through my life. Also, I kept a tally of which trigrams showed up and how many times. Each week seemed to produce particular trigrams. About the fourth week, I wondered why certain trigrams had hardly appeared, so tallied them, too. I was amazed at the amount of information about myself I picked up by doing all this.

During the sessions of the final three days, I used the circle as the symbol again, having worked with it the very first week. The vowel to tone these last three days was a HUM, rather than the long open vowels of the previous eight weeks. I didn't cast for hexagrams these three final day, but instead drum/toned the whole I-Ching symphony several times through. The HUM, the circle and addressing all 64 hexagrams brought closure to this program.


  1. That casting for the I-Ching hexagrams pinpoints with great accuracy what my Higher Self suggests that I pay attention to that day: usually this concerns the thoughts, emotions, attitudes, beliefs and ideas that I have most recently expressed.

  2. That when I flub up on the drumming, it is usually on the same trigram and/or hexagrams for several days in a row; therefore, I pay attention. This usually concerns 'work in progress' on stored past emotions, attitudes, belief systems, etc.

  3. That when I 'hear' a reversed order of the hexagram patterns while drumming, I will profit by paying attention, also, as this usually brings to light a hidden moving line--a hidden agenda.

  4. That paying attention to trigrams that are consistently missing from one or more weeks of these sessions also can reap rewards of understanding.

  5. That each of the eight universal symbols I worked with really is specific for accessing specific 'layers' of my conscious. subconscious and body memories and for bringing them into focus so the attitudes, emotional charges and belief systems residing in these specific layers can be transformed through the drum/toning process.

  6. That some, and perhaps all, of the symbols create specific energy effects when 'drawn' over my palms.

  7. That the drumming married to the toning is effective in accomplishing this 'inner work' more efficiently and gently on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels than any other method or technique I have tried.

  8. That specific to each vowel sound there seems to be 'hidden' information, wisdom and creativity that we can access, understand and use: symbolically expressed as the following:

AH - the 'Father,' the original expanding force.

OU - (pronounced as in boot) the 'Mother,' gatherer and molder of these expansive energies.

HUM - the 'Womb,' the gestator, the nurturer into form.

EE - the 'Birthing Agent,' brings forth the outer form from within.

EH - (pronounced as in day) the 'Offspring,' second generation expansion.

OH - Life's en-cod-ing (en-cOH-ding), balances the Trinity of expressions, balances 'inner' and 'outer,' stabilizes while allowing orderly change.

  9. That there is an additional useful tool for interpreting mandalas: use of the Nine Eye Modes, which allows accurate identification of particular emotions that are 'on line' during this drum/toning process.

 10. That while drumming the I-Ching patterns, we probably are also addressing deep issues of ONENESS versus SEPARATION brought 'on line' by using the Eye Mode of holding the eyes straight down.

 11. That sometimes I can feel/intuit the energies underlying the concepts symbolized by the particular hexagram patterns I am drumming.

 12. That a Blue Buddha exists somewhere. (Later I learned that in Tibet a Blue Buddha is used in healing!)

 13. That there are twelve Buddhic Circles - 'somewhere.' I still haven't learned anything more about this insight.

 14. That even though my physical body is white Caucasian of western European genetic heritage, and I was born and live on the North American continent and was raised in the Protestant Christian faith, two 'foreign' symbolic themes kept recurring during this process:

ASIAN BUDDHIST: the Blue Buddha (Tibetan), Borobudur Temple (Indonesia) and other Chinese symbols.

NORTH AMERICAN NATIVE: A personal chakra totem pole, from crown to root consisting of: great horned owl, American eagle, gray owl, thunderbird (which has since transmuted into the Andean condor), wolf, cougar, brown bear; Sioux braves and Eastern Native canoes. My usual feline symbol, the lioness (the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet), became a cougar this time, shifting from African/Egyptian to North American.

 15. That when I just trust and have faith in this drum/toning process, all will work out for my highest good, without my having to use the 'left brain' process of rehashing THE STORY.

 16. That the most valuable aspect of drum/toning the I-Ching patterns over time may turn out to be that this process allows us humans to sustain an altered state of consciousness - similar to a shamanic state - along with and in support of our daily waking state of consciousness! In time and with regular practice, we may notice that we are sustaining this combined or enlarged state of consciousness for longer and longer periods of time, thus benefitting all aspects of our lives.

Click on the number to go to that page

Index ~ 1 ~ 2
I-Ching Symphony Chart

Florence W. Deems
© January, 1999, revised November, 2001; January, 2006; January, 2013
all rights reserved

ani-gif of two hands drumming