Voices of Sacred Earth Festival 2015

March 2015 Update

Hope you’re enjoying the transition from winter to spring. Winter is drawing to a close rapidly here in Santa Cruz and the trees are blossoming as Mother Earth wakes up from her slumber.  My father (Brant Secunda) and I just returned from a beautiful gathering in New Zealand at the Voices of Sacred Earth Festival. We had a wonderful time reconnecting with our Kiwi friends and sharing the ancient wisdom and ceremonies of the Huichol. Thank you for all those who came to this inspirational gathering. We’re already looking forward to next year!

Our office is full of new faces and we’ve welcomed three new members to our team in the last few months. Julia Cunningham has stepped up as our Event Coordinator and has been getting all our programs into gear, while also working on setting up a new retreat for later this year! Mara Milam has joined us as Media Coordinator, organizing our massive photo and media library in order to make our images more accessible to everyone. Her and Julia are also helping to guide our social media presence, so make sure to follow us on Facebook + twitter! You may have already spoken with Angela Chambers, who is our new Administrative Assistant. She’s been busy responding to all of your emails and calls each day and can’t wait to speak with you when you call us next!

We’ve still got a busy month ahead of us. If you’re on the east coast, you can catch us in Cherry Hill, NJ next week. We’ll also be heading to Mexico for the spring ceremony with the Huichol later this month and then onto to Germany for our annual spring retreat at ZIST (and then onto Crete, Greece from there in April).

I hope to see you somewhere along the way and look forward to staying in touch!

All the Best,

Nico Secunda

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]