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Negative Emotions

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Everyone struggles with negative emotions. Brant Secunda shares with us the Huichol perspective on negativity and ways in which they alleviate themselves from these negative feelings.

The Huichol say that all negative emotions stem from three primary negative aspects, each connected to a particular region of the body. We inquire about this emotional/physical correlation and explore specific practices we can utilize to purify ourselves of negativity.

By letting go of the roots of negativity we can embrace a life of balance and harmony. Brant says, “We have to try, we have to practice it and watch, and feel how it can affect us and transform our life. This is how we Huichol shamanism is viable today in the modern world…”
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Brant Secunda

Brant Secunda

Shaman & Healer

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. Brant Secunda is the adopted grandson of Don José and was chosen by Don José to take his place to help carry on Huichol Shamanism. He is the co-founder of the American Herbalist Guild, and the founder of the Huichol Foundation. 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. His work has been documented on television, radio, and in articles and books throughout the USA, Europe and Japan. He is the co-author of the award-winning book Fit Soul Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You.


  • Mark Allen

    Mark Allen


Mark Allen The Huichol people seem to have an amazingly peaceful and steady society. Do they also have negative emotions?
Brant Secunda Sure. A lot of people would like to think "Maybe they're a perfect society, they're a perfect culture", but, like everyone, they get angry or they get mad or they get sad, and they believe whatever negative emotions we have are connected to three things. Anger, fear or jealousy and they try to alleviate whatever negative emotions they have by dealing with those three.

They say that jealousy affects the heart region, and greed, as well. That they try to not be jealous. Don José always told me "If someone is happy, be happy for them. If someone has something bad that happens, don't gloat, but always be compassionate, have compassion for that person."

As well as fear. We say fear affects the throat region. That if you're afraid you kind of gasp a little bit, both literally and metaphorically speaking. They say also that anger affects the stomach region of the human body and so no matter what negative emotion you might have, it's connected to one of those three parts of your body.

We have exercises to help take away anger, fear, and jealousy, and by doing that, by taking away anger, by taking away fear or jealousy, we empower our body physically, as well. It weakens the body when you're so focused on fear. When you're so focused on jealousy, or when you're so focused on anger. It literally weakens the human body, so you want to give these things up and that will empower your physical body, both emotionally and physically.
Mark Allen I think we've all experienced how it can weaken you. What are some practices that you can share that help people get rid of these negative emotions?
Brant Secunda One practice is just to imagine- You sit in front of a candle-lit- Or the fire, and just imagine that light coming into your throat, or imagine the light coming into your heart, or imagine the light of the flame coming into your stomach region. This is such a simple practice of shamanism, or a Huichol shamanism, that can help you with anger, fear or jealousy.
Mark Allen How often should we do something like that practice?
Brant Secunda You can do it as often as you want.
Mark Allen Wow. That's amazing. It seems like a lot of people almost get stuck focusing too much on the negative emotions, and then they get lost in even finding the time or the focus to try to get rid of them. Is there some advice you have for people, to help keep everything balanced?
Brant Secunda Well ... I would say that the way to keep things in balance is to let go of anger, fear, or jealousy, and then you can focus on the positive qualities of life, like love, wisdom, joy, serenity, peace of mind, clarity. These are all things that will naturally replace negative emotions, when you let them go.
Mark Allen Seems like the Huichols are pretty good at letting go those emotions.
Brant Secunda They try and that's what we all have to do. We have to try, we have to practice it and watch, and feel how it can affect us and transform our life. This is how we Huichol shamanism is viable today in the modern world, as well as it was thousands of years ago.
Mark Allen There's hope for all of us! Thank you.
Brant Secunda There's hope for everyone.