Shamanic Drum Birthing Retreat

Create your own shamanic drum & needle-felted beater in the sea-tree environment of Argyll, Scotland - just 25 miles west of Glasgow

2024 dates:
August 25th & September 8th - 1 Day retreats (NEW option!)
October 11th-13th, November 8th-10th - weekend retreats for the full creative & time-out experience

Bespoke dates by arrangement
Min 4 people if residential, Mid-week options available

This weekend, small group experience on the stunning Argyll coast, is for spiritually aware souls who want to enjoy the deeply transformative and restorative feeling of playing and journeying with your own, personally hand-crafted shamanic (frame) drum, imprinted with your own energy.

Spirit of the Drum

Drums have been used for thousands of years by indigenous peoples as an instrument for making music, for celebration and dance and for shamanic journeying, vision seeking and ritual.

Having a deep relationship with your own personal drum is transformational. As you use it and work with it you become the drum, the beat resonates with your heartbeat, you become one with your drum and are easily transported to non-ordinary reality from where you can journey to meet with your guides and receive healing and guidance.

The drum is Great Spirit’s favourite instrument, that is why we were given a heartbeat ~ Mano, Navajo Elder

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"I would highly recommend this workshop with Dawn. She was welcoming and held a gentle and loving space throughout the drum birthing process. Dawn guided me with compassion and allowed my creativity to show which was a surprising experience. She connected us to each part of our drum and beater creating a unique connection with them. This was a highly transformative experience for me which is really hard to put in words. Thank you Dawn for the delicious food as well, and allowing us into your beautiful home and garden!  I love my drum! J Regina, March 2023" 

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What a fabulous weekend we had  with Dawn. The magic of creating my own drum under Dawn’s caring eye. We also chatted and laughed all the way and it was a very restful and lovely experience. Thank you Dawn. Tom from Rhythm to a T, October 2022

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Watch the birthing process!

Please note that the drums being played are not fully dry so not at their otpimum sound yet.

It takes 4-5 days for your drum skin to fully dry out :) 

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The process of birthing my first drum was so much more than I had expected. I felt gently guided and held by Dawn in this first experience of making my own tool for my work as a healer. Without pressure or rush we floated through the process and the whole retreat was deeply relaxing and enjoyable. Preparing the skin, connecting to the materials and working with them touched and moved me on different levels. It awakened my inner child, the accurate and determined woman and my creative spirit. Seeing the results taking form empowered and strengthened my self esteem and confidence, that I could really create something beautiful and meaningful. I realized after the retreat how much energy had shifted within me. Stuck emotions had started to flow again and I felt happiness and gratitude after the retreat. Dawn is a wonderful guide in this and besides that, she also created wonderful meals. I had a deeply connecting and joyful experience I am truly grateful for. Thank you Dawn! Andrea Zahle, Nov 2023


I attended Dawn's first Drum Birthing retreat in Oct 2019. What a wonderful, gentle and loving experience I had! Dawn's compassion and dedication to drawing in spirit while birthing our drums was extraordinary! She allowed us to connect to our drums on a spiritual level; helped us to draw out our drums individual characters. I love the drum I made with Dawn. Every time I pick it up I feel it's love for me too and the relationship we are creating together.

Thank you Dawn for holding such a wonderful space while we went through this process. For guiding us so beautifully and gently with your loving heart ūüíď. Thank you for welcoming us into your home and taking such tender care of us. It's an experience I will treasure. Clara Hill, Oct 2019

Check out what's included!

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Your Drum

During this weekend retreat you will be birthing a 40cm/16inch (approx) frame drum covered with deer or goat hide. 

You will also make a needle-felted drum beater made of wool to accompany your drum - no experience necessary!

In the summer months you will be mostly working outside¬† ‚Äst weather permitting! We will retreat to the bell tent/outbuilding if the weather (or midges) dictate. At other times of the year we will mostly be indoors - as the weather in Argyll dictates!


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Shore Road apartment in Innellan, Argyll in twin (shared) rooms 


1 en-suite room available to those who book first!

Towels included, please bring toiletries and hairdryer

Enjoy simple, home cooked food provided by the Coorie Cooks - most diets can be accomodated, please enquire before booking if you have complicated requirements or severe allergies

Easy access via road or train, or even plane!




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The weekend

Starting after the evening meal on Friday and working through to around 9pm is your preparation time.  Breakfast is self-service in your accomodation, giving you plenty of time for an early morning stroll on the beach.

Then from 9:30am-5:30pm approx on Saturday you will be birthing your drum. Saturday evening will be more relaxed.... though you will still be creating as you get started on your drum beater.

On Sunday morning you'll be finishing your beater before we awaken your drum through ceremony. You're drum and beater will be complete by late morning, giving you plenty of time to travel home, a light lunch is incuded before you set off.

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What to Bring

Toiletries - towels are provided. Indoor footwear.

Waterproofs and layers including warm footwear. 

Any small feathers etc that you want to decorate your drum beater with.

If you've found a beater stick, please bring it, otherwise I have a good selection of driftwood collected from the beach.

You'll add your creative flair by creating a felted drum beater head.

A notebook to capture your insights from the shamanic journeys - though I do provide a manual to capture these in :) 

A towel/cloth to wrap your drum in as it will still be damp when you leave, OR why not invest in a drum-bag? I keep a small stock but it's best to let me know in good time if you would like to buy one - payment can be made at the time of the retreat.


The drum birthing experience

Drum meditations and ceremony form a key part of the weekend as we journey to make deep connections with all aspects of your drum.

There will be some free time allowing you to relax or explore the beach and woodland - weather permitting!

Creating anything, but especially a drum, can bring up some of your 'stuff', e.g. 'I'm not creative' etc. Don't let this put you off! I am here to guide, support and assist you so that you go home with a drum that you're proud of.

As we create the drums from animal skin they won't be fully dry by the time you head for home, which means that you won't know exactly what it will sound like.

Your intention and presence in selecting the part of the skin that you are drawn to, and the way you work with the drum frame and handle all affect the sound. Trust that you will create a drum with the perfect sound for you and all will be well.


On the first day, when you asked us what we want/ would like to get out of the weekend, it became clear in my mind and I replied, clarity, stronger connection to self and, my guides and ancestors.

As soon as you began the initiation Drum meditation on Friday, that’s when the visions started and they continued throughout the whole weekend and continued as strong as they had begun to this very day. Firstly, I would like to say that I had such an amazing time with yourself and the other drum birthers!

The morning breakfast and sharing each other’s journeys and experiences were very uplifting and motivational to say the least.

Each step of the Drum birthing process, from selecting the Drum skin, to the frame was not only enlightening but also very inspiring, each moment felt like I was coming home, like a jigsaw was being completed. The laughter and support shared by everyone enhanced the love and the unity spirt to a much higher level.

Your guidance and patience enriched the vibration of your beautiful home and surroundings, to where healing and releasing naturally took place; to make space for the blessings I was soon to receive.

Watching the Drum come together was so beautiful and heartfelt, but upon hearing the powerful sound of each drum simply took my breath away, four drums, four completely different sounds, all linked to everyone’s essence, vibration and journey.

Before arriving in Bonny Scotland, I was feeling very good, when I left Dunoon, I was feeling great, energised, uplifted, motivated to create and embrace the new path which I had already begun walking.

Words cannot express the love and joy I felt being on your course Dawn, everyone I tell, can see and feel how much I enjoyed it and what it meant to me.

I definitely would recommend your course to friends and family, as it would be such a fabulous experience for one and all.

Thank you for your time and teachings Dawn, keep on shining your light!

Owen French, July 2023


I can highly recommend this workshop ūüėä I‚Äôm loving my new handbirthed drum. Dawns¬†guidance through the process and kind, supportive energy kept me inspired. Staying in her beautiful home was a bonus.

Sophie Marsh, September 2020

Engaging, welcoming, warming experience held by Dawn. The whole experience from the moment I walked through the door took me on a journey I will always remember. Thank you so much Dawn for helping me to birth my first drum.

Cheryl Brind, October 2019

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Spaces are limited to 6 to ensure that you create the perfect drum for you :) 

A deposit of £100 secures your place - book early! 

(n.b. deposits are non-refundable (unless I have to cancel) but can be transferred to another date)

Deposit for any residential retreat date


non-refundable, can transfer to another date

Book My Place

Residential Early-Bird Balance Payment


To be paid 3 weeks before retreat date

Balance to pay after deposit already paid

  • Full fee: ¬£495 early-bird (due 3 weeks before retreat date)
  • 16"/40cm Drum
  • Drum Beater
  • Residential: 2 nights full board accommodation - shared room (potentially)
Book My Place

Residential Full Fee Balance Payment


To be paid 1 week before retreat date

Balance to pay after deposit already paid 

  • Full fee: ¬£545 (due 1 week before retreat date)
  • 16"/40cm Drum
  • Drum Beater
  • Residential: 2 nights full board accommodation - shared room (potentially)
Book My Place

1 DAY Retreat Full Payment


Early-bird fee due by July 30th, for August 25th 2024 retreat

  • Make a 16"/40cm Drum
  • Receive a plain hand-made needle-felted drum beater
  • 90% of the aspects of making your drum are the same as on the weekend retreat ( I just do one small step for you in advance) but you¬†won't make your own beater
  • Refreshments included, please bring your own lunch
Book My Place
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Hi, I'm Dawn Petherick,

I support 'women on the edge' (and men too!).

You'll know if you're 'on the edge' because you'll likely be feeling stuck in life, or a bit lost. Not sure where you're heading but at the same time feeling an inner longing to change and for something more. 

This was me twenty years ago and I've spent the time since then raising my self awareness, getting to know ME and what I value, connecting to my divine, higher self and my spiritual guides. I've invested £000's in my own personal and spiritual development and have been supporting women to do the same for the last 10 years. 

It's an ongoing journey as we continually grow and develop and I still pinch myself that this now my full time 'work' - not that it feels like work! 

I support you through retreats, my Soulfull Living Sanctuary monthly membership group, 1:1 therapeutic sessions and workshops/trainings.

I look forward to meeting you on retreat soon! 

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