In the above video Xavier shares the West African rhythm, Soli, which is a rhythm played for initiation rituals inaugurating a boy’s passage into manhood.
Initiation is a specialized type of ritual activity important for the same reasons myth is important: providing controlled access to numinous energies and guidance to effective use of archetypal patterns. There is a vast and ancient tradition of initiation the world over. Tribal societies from time immemorial have used rites of passage events in order to mark the movement from one phase of life into the next.
Puberty has always been a focal point in training the young into the more mature roles of adulthood, as well as helping to initialize the psychic energies necessary for taking on these new levels of responsibility. Initiation is a phase-shift tool, bridging the gap from childhood underneath the community’s protective umbrella, to more interdependent adulthood as part of the umbrella.
An appropriate resurgence of mature masculinity is needed in the modern world that so irresponsibly plays with the fires of destruction largely because its men are acting out against a veiled sense of psychological impotence. Understanding and activating masculinity on an archetypal level allows males to complete their psychic development so that they do not have to look to destroy projected targets outside of themselves in compensation for the rage of repressed, unfinished business.
In contemporary America, youth in transition are in danger of falling off the map; becoming statistics in maladaptive behavior that has consequences ranging from criminal incarceration to loss of life. They are uncared for at a soul level by a society that has abandoned traditional rites of passage. We are failing them.
The seemingly un-complex act of drumming is a mythic act, tying participants to the world of their ancestors, nature, and spirit. Drumming can be an avenue of healing for youth, helping them transition to adulthood by involving them in the rhythmic heartbeat of the world.