Brant Secunda is a world-renowned shaman and ceremonial leader

Brant Secunda
Shaman • Healer • Ceremonial Leader

About Brant Secunda

Brant Secunda is a shaman, healer and traditional ceremonial leader who completed a 12-year apprenticeship with Don José Matsuwa: the renowned Huichol shaman who passed away in 1990 at the age of 110.

For nearly 40 years, Brant has been leading conferences, workshops, and retreats around the globe. He is a co-founder of the American Herbalist Guild, the Peace University, and the Huichol Foundation.

He is also the co-author of the award-winning book Fit Soul Fit Body, 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You.

Brant Secunda - Huichol Shaman and Healer


Brant Secunda’s initiation into the Huichol native tribe was a five-day vision quest, a period of isolation in the wilderness without food and water, in a sacred cave in the Huichol Sierras known to the Huichols as the Cave of Grandmother Growth.

Other rites of passage included capturing and releasing a wild rattlesnake with his bare hands to face his fear of death, enduring a fourteen month fruit fast to enhance his sensitivity to the natural world, and surviving a nine-day vision quest so that he may, according to Huichol cosmology, learn the language of the gods. The nine-day vision quest, considered lengthy by Huichol standards, along with several other five-day vision quests, helped to establish him as a respected initiate within the Huichol nation.


Brant Secunda and Don José made pilgrimages to numerous holy sites throughout the Huichol Sierras, Europe, and the United States. For over two decades, they made the annual pilgrimage to the Huichol Holy land, Wirikuta. This high desert region, according to the Huichol cosmology, is the home of the mountain where the sun was born.

Brant’s apprenticeship culminated in a village ceremony in 1978. During this ceremony, Don José honored Brant with the gift of his ceremonial belt, which was given to Don José by his teacher. He then publicly announced that Brant would take his place in the world and certified him as a Huichol shaman and lineage holder. Over the course of his apprenticeship, Brant Secunda became the close companion and adopted grandson of Don José Matsuwa.


Don José emphasized to Brant that the cultural survival of the Huichol people depended upon external awareness of the Huichol way of life. In 1979, Brant Secunda established the Dance of the Deer Foundation Center for Shamanic Studies to disseminate and preserve Huichol culture, practices, and traditions, and to provide direct assistance with the goal of promoting self-sufficiency and economic independence.

As executive director of the Dance of the Deer Foundation, Brant Secunda instituted and maintains the functions of the foundation and conducts seminars, pilgrimages, and retreats on Huichol shamanism worldwide.  For the past 17 years, Brant Secunda has taught Intensive Study Groups in the United States and Europe at places such as Crete, Greece, Alaska, Mt. Shasta, CA, Big Sur, Ca, Mt. Rainier, WA, and Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Shaman Chocolates

Brant founded SHAMAN Organic Chocolates to help create direct support for the Huichol people. 100% of their profits go back to help Huichol villages.

Fit Soul Fit Body

Together with 6-time Ironman World Champion Mark Allen, Brant founded Fit Soul Fit Body to help bring together the worlds of fitness and spirituality.

Huichol Foundation

The Huichol Foundation was created in order to expand the long-standing project for the Huichol and to garner greater international support for their culture.

Shamanic Programs

Brant has been leading programs for over 30 years and has helped to heal and inspire thousands of people from around the globe. Join him at one of our programs.

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