The Power of A Lineage

People who have attained some genuine level of discernment between “heart” and “mind” and have followed and held true to the ancestral teachings can be considered teachers or guides. This attainment is the product of a line or lineage of teachers, sometimes ancestral, that have both taught and transmitted what has been achieved by others through successive generations.  

Deep historic roots, which can imply, among other things, a level of effectiveness for the tradition, are often looked for when determining whether the tradition-holder is the keeper of an authentic lineage. 

Within the traditions spoken of, the path and tonalli have a linked relationship to each other.  The tonalli represents the soul (this is a Nahua word which means ‘soul’), a deep and unseen ancestral relationship that can’t be ignored and is more than just karmic.  It could be said that the “resonance” of one’s tonalli with a particular tradition can indicate the most fruitful pathway to a deep and sustainable connected life. 


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Our Teachers & Guides

Deanna and Gary can be said to have been "called" to follow the paths of traditional lineages. Through their consistent apprenticeships, learning and devotion to their paths and teachers, they have become lineage-holders. In their homeland of Colorado, their Mexico-based paths are ancestrally connected to the ancestral peoples of their region through the Uto-Aztecan language.

Huichol Lineage

Deanna met don Eliot Cowan, a fully initiated Tsaurirrikame (elder shaman) in the Huichol tradition in Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico in 1995. He has been a guide, teacher, friend and colleague to Deanna and Gary since that time. Don Eliot’s teacher was don Guadalupe Gonzalez Rios, an eminent Huichol Indian Shaman of Tepic, Jalisco, Mexico. When don Guadalupe retired in 2000, he ritually recognized Eliot as a spiritual guide to shamanic apprentices in the Huichol tradition. This was an unprecedented honor for a person of our western culture.

Don Lupe Gonzales Rios was Deanna’s guide and teacher for several years, until his death in 2004. He was known for his intricate yarn paintings and the deeply mysterious stories they told, and his great healing capacity. He knew that it was time to open the doors to those who had a calling and a tonalli (soul) connection to the lineage who were outside the Huichol ancestry. He recognized it was time for those people to be taught and led to become healers for their people.  

Don Eliot has writen the best selling book Plant Spirit Medicine. Listen to Eliot Cowan in an interview on Future Primitive about "The Song of the World".  Go to

Don José Sandoval de la Cruz is a ceremonial leader and cantador (singer) who is able to see the serious nature of our people’s need to learn the ways of the ancestral traditions. He sees our westerner’s connection to the Huichol tradition is because of an invasion by the Huichol gods into the dreams and lives of these people.

Don José has committed himself to teaching and guiding the western marakate (shamans initiated in the Huichol tradition) in the authentic traditional ways for the rest of his life. He travels long distances, including to Tepoztlan in Central Mexico, to precide over the Principal Tuki at Fiesta time and brings his beautiful voice as a Cantador singing the sacred songs of the gods throughout the night.

Don José lives in the Sierra Madres of western Mexico with his family near San Andres Cohiamata.

Nahuatl Lineage

Don David Wiley introduced Deanna to Weather Work in 1996 and has been a teacher and guide to her and Gary since the passing of don Lucio Campos Elizade in 2005. David has been given the distinguished role of Caporal Mayor (Chief) of the graniceros (Weather Workers) and he is a healer in the Nahua tradition.  Don David is also a Tsuarakame in the Huichol tradition and teaches and guides apprentices on the path to becoming a shaman. He serves as "the suit" and is affectionately called "The Lad" for Grandfather Fire, Tatewari.

Don Lucio Campos Elizade was a very famous granicero who lived in the valley in view of the great volcanic mountains Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl of Central Mexico. He became Deanna and Gary’s teacher and guide in their Nahua Weather Work tradition in 1997 and 1998, respectively.

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