DiscoverThe Dandelion EffectBrant Secunda: The Healing Journey of Huichol Shamanism
Brant Secunda: The Healing Journey of Huichol Shamanism

Brant Secunda: The Healing Journey of Huichol Shamanism

Update: 2021-04-10


Brant Secunda is an internationally acclaimed shaman, healer, and ceremonial leader in the indigenous Huichol tradition of Mexico. During an intensive 12 year apprenticeship, Brant became the adopted grandson and close companion of Don José Matsuwa, the renowned shaman who passed away in 1990 at the age of 110. 

Brant’s initiation into the Huichol tradition began when he was 19 years old, and rights of passage during his apprenticeship included completing a five-day vision quest without food and water in the sacred Cave of Grandmother Growth, capturing and releasing a wild rattlesnake with his bare hands, enduring a 14-month fruit fast to enhance his sensitivity to the natural world, and surviving an extended nine-day vision quest to learn the language of the gods.

For nearly 40 years, he has led conferences, workshops, and retreats around the globe, has been a lecturer at the Mayo Clinic, the American Holistic Medical Association Conferences and a faculty member of the Five Branches Institute of Chinese Medicine. He co-authored the award-winning book Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You, and he is a co-founder of the American Herbalist Guild, the Peace University in Berlin, Dance of the Deer Foundation Center for Shamanic Studies and the Huichol Foundation.

Brant tunes into today’s conversation from his home in Santa Cruz, CA. He introduces us to the practice of Huichol Shamanism, and shares stories of the ways that he learned from Don José—slowly, methodically and almost by osmosis of simply spending time together, completing daily tasks of growing corn, listening to rivers, gathering around the fire and each day deepening his understanding of the earth cycle’s and the language of the plants, animals and natural elements.

A humble man of gentleness and humor, Brant reflects on his friendship with India Supera, founder of the Feathered Pipe Ranch, and Pat Kennedy, a late Cree elder that included Brant in Montana-based Peace Encampments that brought together leaders from various indigenous traditions in the U.S. and Canada. We talk about the importance of laughter medicine, connecting to nature and what it means to “find your life,” a saying in Huichol Shamanism that Brant shares in his workshops.

This conversation flows much like one big prayer or ritual. I invite you to slow down and take this in, not just filtering the words through your mind, but seeing if you can tune into this episode with your entire body, your heart and your spirit. The beauty is in the simplicity, and you may be surprised what transmits.

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Brant Secunda: The Healing Journey of Huichol Shamanism

Brant Secunda: The Healing Journey of Huichol Shamanism