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Nierika – The Passage Way

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Face of the divine or road to the gods, nierika is a word used by the Huichol tribe. Everyone has a nierika in themselves, a doorway which connects all of us.

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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 Huichols have a word, NIERIKA. Can you explain what that is to us?
Brant Secunda NIERIKA means face of the divine, literally. As Don Jose explained, a road to the gods, a way to the spirit world, a way to a hidden universe. This is the NIERIKA. It can also be translated as a doorway, a passageway, that connects a human being in our heart to all of creation. That's a NIERIKA.
Mark Allen Is it something physical? Is it something visionary?
Brant Secunda It's visionary. It's a visionary link to the ancient ones. It's seen as a circle. Another word for circle would be NIERIKA and it's a way to connect through a passageway that's right in front of us to all of creation.
Mark Allen Do we all have a NIERIKA?
Brant Secunda Everyone has a NIERIKA and we say in the center of the NIERIKA could be seen as a deer who takes you on a journey to the four directions, to the sky world, to different places, and the NIERIKA is a doorway then, a passageway or as Don Jose used to say, "A map to the gods."
Mark Allen You mentioned it's a circle. Do we just imagine this circle or do we actually see it?
Brant Secunda Yes. You can see it. You can feel it. You can imagine it. It's different for every person.
Mark Allen Does it have colors?
Brant Secunda Sometimes it's vibrantly colorful.
Mark Allen In the middle is the deer.
Brant Secunda Sometimes. It's different every time. Every time, even the same person goes into the NIERIKA, she or he will just see it in a different way.
Mark Allen Do people hear things in the NIERIKA or is it quiet? How does ...?
Brant Secunda It's both. You can hear the silence of the ancient ones. You can hear the ancient ones singing when you're in the NIERIKA. You can see colors in the NIERIKA. You can see patterns in the NIERIKA.
Mark Allen What kind of messages might we receive going into the NIERIKA?
Brant Secunda Anything. A message for your life, a message for your environment, a message for your family, like that.
Mark Allen How did Don Jose help you to learn how to work with that?
Brant Secunda He has me fast. He would tell me fast for different periods of time. It will help you see things in the NIERIKA.
Mark Allen How was that first experience?
Brant Secunda Wonderful.
Mark Allen Beautiful.
Brant Secunda Good.