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.

Photo by Wade Haskell Pho­tog­ra­phy

Katie Jo Welch

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