Woman changing the world through her drum circles
As sunrise gently cradles the silhouette of our Utah Canyon rims, the mist of night slowly dissipating into the dew on tall grass and mountain streams ... you may often hear the humble but powerful echo of a buffalo hoop drum. Softly, resolutely calling through the silence as the past and present seem to blur and the memories of thousands of years, thousands of people, thousands of echoes similar to the beat of this one drum, the drum of Katie Jo Welch, ripple throughout our valley.
Katie Jo Welch is a Certified Reiki Master Teacher, photographer, founder of the I AM MESSAGE, artist and public speaker. She was born and raised in Utah County and is known nationally as Katie Jo Drum Circle Goddess.
Katie Jo facilitates public and private substance-free drum circles and speaking events that include the Inspired Legacy Retreat for writers, Utah Valley University’s Breathe: Suicide Loss Support Group, Image Reborn Foundation: Breast Cancer no-cost retreat, Veterans PTSD Board and Cirque Lodge.
M. Bridget Cook-Burch, New York Times Best Selling Author, speaker and activist, said, “Katie Jo is one of those rare individuals with the power to transform the world through the beat of a drum and who is not afraid to do it. She brings together people from all walks of life to discover the gifts in themselves and one another, bridging science and spirituality. The only way to understand Katie Jo is to experience Katie Jo. You’ll never regret it.” When asked what drum circle is or why and how she began, Katie will often laugh. “Just like you, I thought I would be a drum circle Goddess when I grew up,” she said.
“Drum circle has become an experience for people to gather on neutral ground. Drum circles have existed in every culture from the beginning of time. What I see is people remembering that we all started as one circle, one tribe. We beat our drums, danced and gathered together to celebrate, laugh, serve and hope for a better tomorrow. Drum circle pays homage to that,” she said.
It’s a message that has even gained the notice of the World Parliament of Religions gathering in Salt Lake City in October of this year. Eighty nations will be joining together with leaders like the Dalai Lama and will feature drumming as part of the conference.
With over five years of experience as a public speaker and volunteer, Katie has been sharing her own story of losing a young son unexpectedly to an unknown illness and her personal struggle of healing and faith throughout the journey. She is on the board of the “Empowered” speaking panel, which features international speakers and leaders, at Salt Lake Community College.
Katie Jo offers drum-making workshops which teach the ancient art of hand-tying buffalo hide hoop drums to create one’s own sacred spirit tool. The process includes a day-long experience of soaking the hide in mountain streams, sending the blessing and intention of your own life purpose and path into the creation of the drum, and finding and carving a drum stick. At the end of the day everyone takes part in a healing drum circle by firelight. Her next workshop will be on Aug. 30 in the Sundance mountains and prices start at $445. To learn more about Katie Jo and her upcoming events, go to Iamkatiejo.net or find her on Facebook at Katie Jo Drum Circle Goddess.
Katie Jo Welch