Today, the term shaman has become widely appropriated around the globe and it can be difficult to discern what a “shaman” actually is. Within indigenous cultures, shamans where the healers and ceremonial/spiritual leaders. They traditionally underwent extensive training, consisting of many years of even decades of apprenticing with an elder shaman.
The shamanic apprenticeship includes countless trials and tribulations and many arduous experiences, such as fasting, pilgrimage, and vision quest.
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.
Adam White, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.
My apprenticeship involved working with him, living with him, laughing with him, but it also involved going on many, many pilgrimages, for example, to the Pacific Ocean. It's one of the sacred places for the Huichols. I went to many caves with Don José. Sometimes there were other Huichols as well. I went to rivers, sacred rivers. I went to special rock formations. All of these places were places of power, what the Huichols call Kapuyati. That was a lot of my apprenticeship. Going to these places to receive energy, to receive what the Huichols call KUPURI. Receive this power in order to empower my heart, my IYARI, my soul, to empower my life. Also, it involved also going to many, many, many ceremonies year after year after year.