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

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19TH ANNUAL ALASKA SHAMANIC RETREAT AND 33RD ANNUAL MT. SHASTA HEALING RETREAT

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” – previous program participant.

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 www.shamanism.com/programs

 

About Brant Secunda

Brant Secunda is a shaman, healer, and ceremonial leader in the Huichol native 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 www.SHAMANISM.com

Contact

Kaia Roman, Dance of the Deer Foundation

kaia.roman@danceofthedeer.com

831.475.9560

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KAZU 90.3 FM AND THE HUICHOL FOUNDATION PRESENT EARTH DAY SCREENING OF “WATERSHED”

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 http://www.kazu.org 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 www.kazu.org.

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 www.huicholfoundation.org.

Contact

Kaia Roman, Huichol Foundation

kaia.roman@huicholfoundation.org

831.475.9560

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Nico Secunda in Japan

March Update

Hope you’ve been enjoying the spring season! We have been blessed with beautiful rain over the past few weeks here in Santa Cruz. The earth is now moist and the wildflowers and apple trees are beginning to blossom. Each day brings a mix of sunshine and showers, making for a feeling of crisp cleansing clarity.

March was full of progress and more adventure. After returning from New Zealand with my father, I headed back across the Pacific to Japan for a short 5-day journey. While there, I visited the sacred Kumano region and made pilgrimages to various places of power, including Nachi Falls (the tallest waterfall in Japan) and Tate-Haramara (the Pacific Ocean).

Back to Santa Cruz for a couple days and then on to Mexico, where we joined our Huichol family for a Dance of the Deer Ceremony to welcome the spring season. It was wonderful to be back in the remote sierra with my father and a handful of close students. Many Huichol families came from the surrounding mountains to join in the equinox celebration. As always, it was an empowering time and the energy from the ceremony continues to propel us into the spring season.

During our time in the villages we also made headway on laying the groundwork for the Huichol Cultural & Language School; one of the projects of the Huichol Foundation. We’ll be sharing more about that in the near future.

Our East Coast OnGoing Group met at Cape Cod this month. Everyone managed to make it there through the frigid storms along the east coast. They had to pray extra hard for the awakening of spring, but now it’s creeping up towards 50°F.

Also, we’re excited to introduce you to the newest member of our team. Please join us in welcoming Kaia Roman, our new Outreach Manager! She joined our team after returning to Santa Cruz from Bali, where she worked with the Green School (considered the greenest school on Earth). You can look forward to some really fun and interesting initiatives coming your way from Kaia’s desk.

Now, we’re preparing for our retreats in Germany and in the Mediterranean, on the rejuvenating island of Crete and then we’re looking forward to our local spring workshop at the Pacific Ocean.

Lots going on here and more exciting news coming very soon. Stay tuned and keep in touch!

All the Best,

Nico Secunda

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BRANT SECUNDA TO PRESENT CLOSING CEREMONY AT 13TH ANNUAL NEW LIVING EXPO IN SAN MATEO

Renowned shaman to end the event with traditional Huichol ceremony

SANTA CRUZ, CA – Brant Secunda, renowned Huichol shaman and founder of the Dance of the Deer Foundation, will perform the final closing ceremony for the 13th Annual New Living Expo, to be held at the San Mateo Event Center April 25-27. The traditional Huichol shamanic ceremony will call on the four directions and four elements, as well as the spirit of the land and the kupuri (Huichol word for “life force”) in all of the participants.

“The closing ceremony will invoke healing, well-being and unity, brining balance to all participants to go forth retaining the power and positive energy from the event,” said Brant Secunda.

“We are honored to welcome Brant to the New Living Expo and excited for him to share this special shamanic ceremony from the indigenous Huichol people of Mexico,” said New Living Expo Director Ken Kaufman.

The closing ceremony will take place on the Music Stage at the New Living Expo at the San Mateo Event Center on Sunday, April 27, 2014, at 7:00 pm. For more information see http://www.newlivingexpo.com/closing-ceremony

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 www.SHAMANISM.com

About New Living Expo

The New Living Expo is Northern California’s premier event for natural health. The 13th Annual New Living Expo will take place April 25-27, 2014 at the San Mateo Event Center. The event features many lectures, DIY panels on subjects varying from raw foods to anti-aging options, 200+ special exhibits, Yoga Pavilion and classes, QiGong demos, natural food sampling and dining area, alternative book store, live music and the Organic Wine & Beer Pavilion. For information see www.newlivingexpo.com

Contact

Kaia Roman, Dance of the Deer Foundation

kaia.roman@danceofthedeer.com

831.475.9560

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Dance of the Deer Foundation Team

February Update

We’ve been busy! First of all, we have some new faces on our team.

Nicole Silvers came on board this summer, but she may still be a new face for some of you (better a late introduction than never). She’s been doing a wonderful job, handling our communications, phone and email inquiries, and simply being a pleasure to be around for all who meet her. Most impressively, she’s put up with our  jokes. If you haven’t yet been introduced, give us a call and you’ll be sure to reach her.

Many of you already know Mats Allen, as he has been involved with the Foundation since he was born and has been coming to our retreats around the globe since he can remember. His father Mark Allen has also been a long time student of Brant’s and is the co-teacher of our Fit Soul Fit Body programs. Now, Mats is finally an official part of our team, managing our websites and online application development. He’s been an awesome asset and you can all look forward to more great things to come from him, like our online Image Gallery… …launching today!

For those of you in Europe, you likely already know Yoko Bergheimer. She’s come all the way from Germany to our headquarters in California to be our full-fledged winter intern. Her mother Utah manages our european office, so she came well-prepared. Already, she’s done an amazing job translating our website to German! Yes, finally the german speakers can enjoy our site.

We’re also currently looking to hire a Social Media & Marketing Coordinator. If you’re interested or know someone who you think might be perfect for the job, please take a look at our careers page.

Brant has been busy as usual. Last month he came back from Germany, where he led an all-night Deer Dance to welcome the new year. Then our East Coast OnGoing Group met along the gulf coast of Florida and earlier this month he gave the keynote lecture at the Peace Symposium in the Bahamas. Last week, he and I both journeyed all the way to New Zealand for the 2nd annual Voices of Sacred Earth Eco-Festival. With over 1000 attendees, it was an energetic gathering outside of Auckland, at a serene retreat center. Brant led three Deer Dance ceremonies and offered three workshops during the 3-day gathering. It was an amazing time and great to connect with so many people striving to walk a sacred path on our Mother Earth.

Over the next couple of weeks, things start to really pick up and we’ll be heading to Mexico, to visit the Huichol for their spring ceremony. Then back to Germany and Crete and on through spring we go.

We look forward to staying in touch and hope to see you at one of our upcoming programs. Keep an eye out for our next email, which will have program updates and some special discounts. And in the meantime, take some time to listen to our newly released podcast episodes and browse our ever-growing Image Gallery.

Stay tuned for more news from all of us.

With love and gratitude,

Nico Secunda

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