1. News

American Indian drum circle offers chance to worship, praise

Published May 18, 2016

For decades, Joleen Patene felt drawn to American Indian culture without knowing why.

Her Sicilian Catholic family questioned her interest in tribal dance and music. Patene only knew traditional Christian teachings left her empty.

Then, at age 42, she discovered the Unity faith, which teaches people to explore and pursue personal spiritual paths. Unity helped Patene unearth a truth. She is, in fact, one quarter American Indian.

Today, Patene, a retired clinical social worker, leads the Native PowWows, The church at 13540 N Florida Ave. will host a Full Moon Circle from 7 to 9 p.m. today. All are welcome to attend the event, which includes drumming, chants and prayer.

"It's not just banging drums like people think," Patene said. "It's not just screaming. It's a way to show devotion to God, to make joyful music to offer the creator. It is a practice of worship and praise."

Music offers more than meets the ear, Patene said.

While studying sound healing at the Omega Institute in New York City, she learned to use music as therapy. She mastered drums and other instruments. At Native PowWows, she grew accustomed to expressing devotion using song.

Through Unity, Patene attended an American Indian workshop where she examined the art of the sacred feminine.

"Native American worship includes both the masculine, the warrior, and the feminine, the nurturer," she said. "There is emphasis on healing oneself and others that I connect to."

Patene, a Unity volunteer, said Unity drum circles invoke a divine energy. Evenings begin with a blessing, followed by time to familiarize with the instruments. Attendees learn chants and dance around an alter. Each circle concludes with prayer reflection.

There is no cost to attend the full moon circle but a love offering is appreciated. The event, intended for ages 8 and older, will take place indoors. Inside or out, the moon permeates the experience, Patene said.

"Native Americans are very closely connected to the seasons and the rhythm of the moon," she said.

For more information, visit or call (813) 962-4361.

Contact Sarah Whitman at


  1. Joshua Michael Nichols, 21, was arrested by Pasco County Sheriff's deputies on Saturday in connection to the early morning shooting death of an unidentified man during an argument outside a Spring Hill home. [Pasco County Sheriff's Office] ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    One person is in custody. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
  2. Yesterday• Pasco
    Dr. Rao Musunuru, MD, received his third “Paul Harris Award.” the highest recognition from the Rotary Club, on Aug. 15. The pin was presented to Dr. Musunuru, a nationally-recognized cardiologist, by Rotary 6950 District Governor Allen Collins in recognition of his humanitarian and philanthropic services to the people of Pasco County and the State of Florida for nearly 40 years. Pictured: Dr. Rao Musunuru, MD, (left) and Rotary 6950 District Governor Allen Collins. Jemith Rosa/Hudson Rotary Club
    News and notes about your neighbors
  3. A Lancaster County Sheriff's deputy walks around the Old Skool Sports Bar and Grill, the scene of a shooting early in the morning, north of Lancaster, S.C. on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.  Lancaster County Sherriff's Office said in a statement that the agency was investigating a fatal shooting that also injured several people.  (Jessica Holdman/The Post And Courier via AP) JESSICA HOLDMAN  |  AP
    Two adult males were shot and killed.
  4. Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, right, listens to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, during the Youth Climate Summit at United Nations headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.  (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez) EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ  |  AP
    Swedish 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg started the climate strike movement with her lone protest in front of her country’s parliament.
  5. Stay with for the latest news and updates. Times
    She was not in a crosswalk when she was hit, troopers say.
  6. Vice President Mike Pence reacts during an immigration and naturalization ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ALEX BRANDON  |  AP
    Katie Waldman, a former University of Florida student senator, was accused of helping discard independent student newspapers with a front-page endorsement of a rival party’s candidate. | Analysis
  7. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. JAMAL THALJI  |  Tampa Bay Times
    John Clark used a shotgun to kill his mother and another man. Then he returned to the crime scene with a shotgun, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
  8. Sandra Gero, a regional search associate at Ray and Associates, hosts a meeting at the Middleton High School auditorium and gathers public comments on what people are looking for for the next Hillsborough County School Superintendent on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Tampa. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Using public meetings and a survey, they’re painting a picture of the ideal school leader.
  9. The main exhibit center at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa once stirred the imagination with dinosaurs and stars. Now, it's empty, but on the verge of rebirth as a movie studio.
    The County Commission has set aside $2 million for the project as the Film Commission studies the demand for it.
  10. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP
    Hunter Biden worked for a Ukrainian gas company.