Gary was born in northern Illinois and moved to Colorado when he was eighteen years old. Since 1988, he has been a certified practitioner of Rolfing® Structural Integration. He is a marakame in the Huichol tradition and a granicero (weather worker) in the Nahua tradition of Mexico. Along with his wife, Deanna Jenné, Gary shares the role of Firekeeper in his community of Mesa and also provides monthly fires for men. Contact us for a schedule of the monthly community fires and special fires.
Gary trains new firekeepers in his work with the Sacred Fire Community, which takes him to many hamlets in Colorado and the surrounding area. He is a founding member of the Mesa Life Project, an upcoming intentional community near Mesa, Colorado. As a musician, Gary is an inspired
mandolin player with a deep love for music, which permeates hiswork as a marakame.
"The male role of protection in service to the community needs to be remembered, honored and supported. When the strong and creative spirit of the masculine is present to complement the nourishing spirit of the feminine, there is joy, and life flourishes."
— Gary Weidner
Part of Gary's work in the world involves bringing men together to address issues common to the male gender.
Gatherings For Men
Gary leads monthly men’s fires and seasonal weekend camps to offer men time to come together to share their stories, their struggles, and their wisdom. With the spirit of Grandfather Fire as a guide, these circles allow for the burning away of what has limited us from being fully engaged in our relationships and in our communities.
Initiation For Youth
Gary serves an integral part on the support team for the Sacred Fire Community Lifeways Young Men’s Initiation and is the leader of the guardians, who serve the role of protection for Sacred Emergence, the Lifeways Initiation into Womanhood. These rituals offer community support for young people entering into adulthood and bring community together to acknowledge and appreciate men’s and women's authentic roles.
Young Men’s Initiation into Adulthood is a sacred rite of passage that recognizes the transformative spiritual force awaiting deep inside each young man to bring maturity, responsibility and wisdom to life. The ritual of initiation provides the catalyst for this transformation.
For more on Initiation for young men, go to https://www.sacredfirecommunity.org/blog/sacredawakening/
Contact us or for a schedule of Men’s Fires and other activities.
Men's Role In the Milpa...
"The Huichol men of San Andres Cohiamata will prepare the milpa, the communal corn fields surrounding the ceremonial temple. All the men set out to plow these fields with horses and mules; where the terrain is steep and rugged, they use planting sticks.
When the teams reach the center of the field, a special ceremony takes place in which the temple members have numerous offerings which include votive arrows and candles, deer
masks, votive gourd bowls, and miniature weavings for Tukutsi Nakawe (grandmother of growth and germination) and Yurienaka (moist mother earth goddess). The sacred ears of maize from the last harvest which have been safely guarded in the temple members’ god house are also placed here. The shamans bless the animals, the plows and planting sticks, and the men bury all the offerings under the soil. Kernels from the sacred ears of corn are planted around the center of the milpa."
— Excerpt from To Think with a Good Hearth, by Stacy Schaefer
Remembering My Relationship With The Gods...
For most of my life, I was not concerned with relating to any divine presence. I was raised in a Catholic family, and I was safely herded through twelve years of school where I was taught by nuns, priests and brothers. I felt as if God was looking over my shoulder, but I was not aware that He was making any demands on me. When I left high school, I stopped going to church. Rejecting my religious upbringing was part of a rebellion fueled by anti-Vietnam war sentiment.
As I drifted away from the one God in heaven, I discovered a variety of divine perspectives. There were the many Gods of Hinduism, the deep within emptiness of Buddhism, the no-God-but-science god, and the recently popular everyone-is-their-own god.