Smell the Roses

May Update

Hope you’ve had a beautiful month. In April my father (Brant Secunda) was in Germany, where he lead a beautiful retreat and pilgrimage to the Zugspitze and also taught in the beautiful city of Munich. From there, he journeyed onward to the island of Crete, Greece for our annual retreat in the Mediterranean. The rejuvenating power of that sacred place indeed touched all who attended and I hope everyone is still feeling the healing energy of the waters and the kupuri (life force) from Mt. Kastri.

Since my father returned from Europe, we’ve been staying busy. The very same weekend, we visited the New Living Expo to perform a closing ceremony and this past weekend we had our annual spring workshop at the Pacific Ocean. It is always wonderful to welcome people from near and far to our local coastline. We had warm spring weather, perfect for enjoying the beauty of Tate-Harama (Grandmother Ocean).

Now we’re preparing for our West Coast OnGoing Group meeting in Montana. We’ll be gathering at a beautiful lodge directly on the Yellowstone River and visiting Yellowstone National Park, as well as various hot springs and other nearby places of power. Can’t wait to share some photos with you all upon our return.

I hope you’ve been connecting with the spirit of springtime and actively blossoming the flower of your heart. The fragrant flowers here in Santa Cruz have been a great reminder to “slow down and smell the roses.”

Sending you all positive thoughts and prayers from Santa Cruz!

Best Wishes,
Nico Secunda


Summer retreats to be held at ‘places of power’ in nature

SANTA CRUZ, CA – Brant Secunda, renowned Huichol shaman and founder of the Dance of the Deer Foundation, will lead two retreats this summer in some of the most beautiful places on Earth. The 19th Annual Shamanic Retreat in Alaska, “A Living Dream,” will take place June 28-July 6, 2014 in and around Juneau, AK. The 33rd Annual Healing Retreat in Mt. Shasta, CA, “The Healing Mountain,” will take place July 23-27, 2014 at the base of the mountain. The retreats are attended by people of all ages from around the world who come together to live in community, experience pilgrimage, listen to ancient stories of creation, and learn the practices of shamanic healing, drumming and singing.

“These retreats are an opportunity to connect intimately with the land and with ourselves, and to gain the power, vision and clarity Mother Earth has to offer. The Huichols believe every human being can learn to walk the shamanic path. As we participate in this age-old tradition, we remember the sacredness of life and understand our shared responsibility as human beings living on the earth. In this way we can inhabit the earth with gentleness and respect,” said Brant Secunda.

“I have been attending Brant’s retreats for more than twenty years, and get so much out of the experiences. Brant teaches us how to recognize and approach places of power in nature, helping us bring that power into our lives. I’ve learned how to listen more closely to my dreams, and I have a renewed sense of purpose and balance in my life” said xxxx.

The settings for the retreats are chosen as inspiring places in nature where participants can connect with spectacular landscapes and wildlife. The Alaska location looks out over one of the state’s largest sea lion rookeries, with waters teeming with whales, porpoise, seals, river otters and spawning salmon. The surrounding forest is home to caribou, moose, deer, and bald eagles. The Mt. Shasta location has been known for centuries as a profoundly beautiful, sacred and healing place of power. For more information see


About Brant Secunda

Brant Secunda is a shaman, healer, and ceremonial leader in the Huichol Indian tradition of Mexico. He completed a 12-year apprenticeship with Don José Matsuwa, the renowned shaman who passed away in 1990 at the age of 110.  Don José adopted Brant as his grandson, leaving him in his place to help carry on the practice of Huichol Shamanism. Since 1979 Brant Secunda has been the Director of the Dance of the Deer Foundation Center for Shamanic Studies and leads seminars and pilgrimages worldwide. Brant is also the co-founder of the Peace University in Berlin, the American Herbalist Guild, and the Huichol Foundation.  His work has been documented on television, radio, and in articles and books worldwide. He is the co-author of the award-winning book Fit Soul Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You.

For more information, please visit


Kaia Roman, Dance of the Deer Foundation

[email protected]



Film executive produced and narrated by Robert Redford exposes environmental threats to the Colorado River and offers solutions

SANTA CRUZ, CA – KAZU 90.3 FM and the Huichol Foundation are presenting a special Earth Day screening of the environmental film “WATERSHED: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West,” executive produced and narrated by Robert Redford and directed by award-winning filmmaker Mark Decena. The film will be shown on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz beginning at 7 pm. Following the movie, there will be a question and answer period with director Mark Decena as well as panel of local experts on water conservation including Huichol Foundation co-founder Nico Secunda.

“WATERSHED” tells the story of the threats to the Colorado River, the most dammed, dibbed, and diverted river in the world. Flowing through seven U.S. and two Mexican states, the Colorado River is a lifeline to more than 30 million people and faces ever expanding populations and demand, along with diminished rainfall and rising temperatures.  The river’s delta was once a lush region covering over 3,000 square miles, teeming with plant, bird and marine life.  However, a century of dams and diversions to supply water to agriculture, industry, cities and towns means the once-mighty Colorado now runs dry before it reaches its natural end at the Gulf of California. Unless action is taken the river will continue its retreat, to the peril of the communities throughout the river basin.

The Redford Center produced the documentary WATERSHED as an inspirational social action tool for people who want to restore the Colorado River.  WATERSHED offers solutions and hope for the future water supply of the American West.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Entry is free to those who register online prior to April 18 at and will be $5 at the door. The Huichol Foundation will have an information table at the film screening which will provide guests an opportunity to learn about the Huichol culture and various ways in which they can play an active role in cultural preservation.

About KAZU 90.3 FM

KAZU 90.3 FM is the NPR station for the Monterey Bay. KAZU is a listener supported radio station, serving Monterey, Salinas and Santa Cruz communities with news, information and cultural programming. For more information please visit

About the Huichol Foundation

The Huichol Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the cultural, environmental, and economic survival of one of the last indigenous cultures in Mexico, the Huichol people. For more than 30 years, the Huichol Foundation’s co-founder Brant Secunda has been dedicated to the Huichol communities by supporting schools, fostering traditional art, promoting ceremonial customs, preserving local ecosystems and developing sustainable economic opportunities. The Huichol Foundation is now growing established programs and introducing a host of new projects to further foster this precious culture. For more information please visit


Kaia Roman, Huichol Foundation

[email protected]