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What is Shamanism?

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Our various programs strive to harmoniously connect ancient traditions and way of life to the modern world. What we offer through each of our programs is a lasting new perspective on the world and self.

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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.


  • Adam White, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

    Adam White, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.


Adam White I'd like to talk a little bit about Shamanism. What is Shamanism?
Brant Secunda Well Shamanism is developing a relationship with the spiritual world of nature with, we could say with our environment. This is what Shamanism is all about. Human beings developing a relationship with the sunrise, with the sunset, with midday for example, with nature, with the trees and the flowers and the birds and their environment and Shamanism involves honoring the four seasons as you know winter, spring, summer and fall. It involves developing a relationship with your family, with nature and it involves living a life in harmony and balance, with not only yourself but with your world around you.

Shamanism or the word shaman comes from the Tungus Tribe in Siberia, in Russia and it was coined by anthropologist who went there and so we see it used pretty much worldwide. Every, even like in English we call it Shamanism, even in Spanish it's called Chamanismo. In a different, people have different word for it and it's a way to basically to live in harmony and balance.
Adam White Shamanism at its core is a way of cultivating a relationship with the natural world. Is that the idea?
Brant Secunda Yes. That would be in short.
Adam White Is Shamanism a form of Animism? Is there life in the natural world with this alive?
Brant Secunda You might say Shamanism believes that everything is alive, the plants, the flowers, do you remember there was a book that came out about almost 40 years ago called The Secret Life of Plants, that was written by a doctor from Georgia and he documented basically by doing studies that the plants are alive, the plants have feelings and so this is Shamanism.

For people to realize that the flowers have an energy, that the plants have an energy, the trees have an energy, that everything is alive and this is what Shamanism is all about and how that connection to nature because this is what we tell people try to do is to connect with nature and so by connecting with nature, you bring happiness to your life, you bring health to your life, harmony to your life because nature is part of who we are. We are not separate from nature but we are connected to nature literally and not just metaphorically.
Adam White We could say that in a way that Shamanism is an art of connecting to nature in a way.
Brant Secunda Absolutely.
Adam White It has lots of techniques I take it they have ways of connecting. In a lot of cultures they do things like meditation or what not. Do they have things like this, special techniques they use?
Brant Secunda They have. They wouldn't call it meditation but in the Huichol or in the English language we would say meditate on a sunrise, meditate on the sunset, bring those colors into your heart and make your self beautiful by connecting with the colors of your environment and there are different techniques of course to do this.
Adam White That role of someones life in a Shamanic realm is in a way devoted to understanding or communicating with the energy of the natural world if I'm getting this right.
Brant Secunda By connecting with the energy of the natural world. Find your connection to nature. Find your connection with the world around you. Find your true nature.
Adam White You are saying that inherently makes our lives better or happier in some way.
Brant Secunda It can and hopefully will.
Adam White Well, thank you, I really appreciate learning a little bit about the heart of Shamanism and what it is all about.
Brant Secunda Great. You're welcome.