Group Drumming with a Spiritual focus
Neopagans have created another type of drum circle. At Neopagan festivals, people gather around a large bonfire, the drummers generally sitting on one side to encourage better listening. The musicians sit together and play while dancers dance and circle around the fire. Often, those present will stay and play throughout the night until dawn, treating the evening as a magical (or alchemical) working. Sound is not limited to drumming alone; there is also chanting, singing, poetry, and spoken word pieces. This type of drum circle is not usually facilitated.
Shamanic Drumming Circles ( Full Moon )
Drumming is another form of meditation.It is thousands of years old, it is a tool that has been used for communication,for communicating with the spiritual world,for healing mainly from the higher spirit.
This type of circle tends to center around Native American Cultural Drums and rattles but is primarily focusing on the spiritual rather than the musical aspects of the culture. They are a facilitated circle (This statement is questionable) but the leader is facilitating a shamanic journey type process rather than a musical event. Shamanic drumming is generally simple and repetitive, often considered as a form of prayer or method of trance induction, rather than as music or entertainment. During a shamanic trance or shamanic journey, the shaman uses the steady beat of the drum as a "lifeline" to find the way back to the world of ordinary consciousness. Note that in these cultures, the term "Drum Circle" would certainly not be used. Rather, the terms 'drumming ceremony" or "ceremonial drumming" would be more accurate.
Medicine Wheel Drumming and Prayer Ceremony
Practiced by various groups, and outlined step by step in the book, "Finding Sanctuary in Nature: Simple Ceremonies in the Native American Tradition for Healing Yourself and Others," by Jim PathFinder Ewing , "the medicine wheel drum circle prayer ceremony" recognizes the four directions—east, south, west, north—as spiritual Powers that can help balance and heal. The ceremony has four rounds, with drumming by all participants at the instruction of the leader allowing the energy of each direction in each round to come into the circle to facilitate prayers and healing. It has been described as "like a sweat lodge without the sweat" . Ewing held these ceremonies each month for seven years, as outlined in the book, in addition to shamanic drum circles, and at various sites from coast to coast in the United States since the late 1990s. Groups based on his example and the instructions outlined in the book have resulted in other groups forming worldwide. Note: This description is not of a drum circle, in the sense that the term is commonly used. It is a drumming ceremony that takes place in a circle, but very different in content and form than a drum circle (improvised community drumming jam). This type should probably be listed under shamanic or spiritual drumming and not under drum circles.