Guidance, Healing and Transformation

Each person listed below is a trained healer and ceremonial leader, a mara'akame, in the tradition of the Wixárika people (also known as the Huichol) of Mexico.

As mara'akate, we have undergone a rigorous traditional apprenticeship and initiation and are committed to a life of devotion and service. We are guided and supported by Tatewarí, Grandfather Fire, to engage with the Divine living world through the lens of an ancient wisdom perspective. We work to help people navigate today's modern world.

We are here to serve and invite you to browse through the listings below to contact the mara'akame closest to you.

David Wiley

Tepoztlán, Mexico and Carrollton, Georgia
Don David Wiley is a Tsaurixika, known as a “singer” or Elder Shaman & Healer in the Wixárika or Huichol tradition. He serves his community as a counselor and ceremonial leader & is recognized as a spiritual conduit (Axihuatakame) for the Spirit of fire known by the Wixárika as Tatewarí or Grandfather Fire. David is also a primary founder of Sacred Fire, an international community working to rekindle humankind’s relationship with one’s self, each other and the divine, natural world through the process of Firekeeping and gathering around the fire.
David Wiley serves his communities in Tepoztlán, Mexico and Carrollton, Georgia and where ever he is invited to serve.

Peter Brown

Olympia, Washington
Peter, an initiated Mara'akame and Quiapequis, lives in the Pacific Northwest, a land of incredible abundance and home to a magnificent Kakayari (deity that has taken land form) who has called him into service. As Peter follows the guidance of this Kakayari and his Elder, he is being helped to better understand the land on which he lives and the way of life that has existed here since the time before time. With this comes the responsibility to be of service through healing work, ceremony, ritual and holding a place on the land for gathering. Peter feels deep appreciation and honor to be of service to this place within the world.
Peter sees clients in Olympia, Washington and Seattle, Washington.

Brian Collins

Cross Hills, South Carolina
Brain Collins serves his community in Cross Hills, South Carolina.

Eduardo Deneke

Grand Mesa, Colorado
Eduardo Deneke Aguirre, was initiated as a Marakame in 2019 and works as a shaman to provide the medicine that the sacred Huichol sites and the gods offer us to heal. He lives in Western Colorado, on the Grand Mesa, where he offers healing work and also in Mexico in the town of Tepoztlan Morelos.
Eduardo Deneke serves his community in Grand Mesa, Colorado and in Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico.

Linda Felch

New Freedom, Pennsylvania
Linda Felch offers traditional shamanic healing and wisdom counseling, bringing healing and balance to people. She holds monthly Fire Circles, fostering community and connection, as a Firekeeper in the Sacred Fire community. Linda particularly loves helping people to connect with their life purpose and move through the stuck places in their lives. 
Linda Felch serves her community in New Freedom, Pennsylvania, on the Maryland border north of Baltimore.

Patrick Hanaway

Asheville, North Carolina
At his core, Patrick is a healer and teacher. His passion and extensive knowledge of western and traditional practices makes him a generous resource. Patrick brings his experience as a leader, compassion as a doctor, and empathy as a community Firekeeper to his position as Board Chair of the Blue Deer Center. As an initiated Mara’akame (healer in the Huichol tradition) and Firekeeper, he leads ceremonies and offers healing sessions to promote balance in people’s lives. For over 20 years, Patrick has served as a functional medicine family physician, along with his wife Lisa, in Asheville, NC. 
Patrick Hanaway serves his community in Weaverville, NC, north of Asheville.

Anna-Lena Hilton

Hurleyville, New York
Anna-Lena is an initiated Mara’akame living and working in the New York Catskills. As a Mara’akame she provides support and help for the community at large through her healing work and through traditional ritual work. She continuous to be amazed, humbled and awed by the wisdom, love and beauty that is available through thoughtful and committed relationship with the many non-human forms and forces that we share this life with. She is deeply grateful to her Medicine path, the Ancestors and her Elders. The greatest joy in her life is to share the gifts brought by this path with you.
Anna Lena serves her community in Hurleyville, New York.

Alan Kerner

Santa Monica, California
Alan has committed his life to serving community through traditional healing modalities. As an initiated Mara’akame and firekeeper in Santa Monica, California, Alan has nurtured opportunities of ritual, ceremony, and healing in his local community for over twenty years. For Alan, his purpose is to support others on their journeys of transformation, by tending to the deep relationship that exists between humans and the natural world.
Alan Kerner serves his community in Santa Monica, California.

Lisa Lichtig

Asheville, North Carolina
A devoted and heartful family physician, midwife, herbalist and mother for over 30 years, Lisa also serves community as a traditional healer and ceremonial leader. Through a rigorous 15 year apprenticeship under the guidance of elders, don Elias Cowan and don Jose Sandoval, Lisa was initiated as a mara’akame (healer) in the Huichol healing tradition in 2014. Additionally, Lisa is a firekeeper for Sacred Fire, a non-profit community service organization that provides a doorway for people and communities around the world to learn, grow and heal. Through this organization, Lisa leads Sacred Emergence which is a process of Initiation into Adulthood for Young Women.
Lisa sees patients in Weaverville, North Carolina, north of Asheville.

Jonathan Merritt

Portland, Oregon
In 2006, following a six-year apprenticeship, Jonathan Merritt was initiated as a mara'akame, a traditional shamanic healer in the lineage of the Huichol people of Mexico's Western Sierra Madre. Healing in the Huichol tradition addresses the spiritual roots of illness and works to restore balance in our lives. As a Western mara'akame, Jonathan provides healing and wise counsel for physical maladies as well as spiritual illnesses, such as isolation, disconnection and dislocation, depression, emptiness, lack of meaning and purpose. Jonathan lives with his family in Portland, Oregon where he has his healing practice and keeps a monthly Community Sacred Fire Circle.
Jonathan Merritt serves his community in Portland, Oregon.

Lawrence Messerman

Carrollton, Georgia
Lawrence was initiated as a mara’akame (healer and ritual leader in the Huichol tradition) in 2004 after six years of pilgrimage to sacred sites in Mexico. He and his wife Jessica are both trained and initiated FireKeepers and host monthly community fire gatherings in Carrollton, GA under the auspices of Sacred Fire. In the past, he has served as Executive Director of that organization. Through the grace of the gods, and following in the footsteps of the Huichol ancestors, Lawrence offers the deep transformational healing to support his clients in living healthier, vibrant lives that bring forth their unique gifts–not only for their own benefit, but for the sake of their families and communities. 
Lawrence Messerman serves his community in Carrollton, Georgia.

Susan Skinner

Summertown, Tennessee
Susan is an initiated Mara’akame and Quiapequis living in community in middle Tennessee USA. To be a Mara’akame, Quiapequis (weather shaman), and Firekeeper means to be of service through healing work, ceremony, ritual and holding a place for gathering. Susan is dedicated to initiating healthy transformation in the lives of people so they can better align with the natural cycles of life and face our inevitable challenges with balance and courage. Through her apprenticeships, initiations, and pilgrimages as a medicine person, Susan is grateful to maintain an on-going reciprocal relationship with the gods and sacred beings of this natural world.
Susan Skinner serves her community in Summertown, Tennessee.

Jaime Velez

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico
JAIME VÉLEZ is an initiated Mara’akame. He lives in the culturally rich town of Tepoztlán, Morelos, south of Mexico City, in a beautiful valley, surrounded by powerful mountains. As a Mara'akame, he works there as a healer and ceremonial leader at Casa Xiuhtecuhtli (House of Fire), a ritual compound which harbors the only traditionally recognized Huichol temple outside ancestral lands, and in his native Colombia. He also serves his community as a Firekeeper, leading regular gatherings around the fire, where people can discover the medicine of the spirit of Fire. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– JAIME VÉLEZ es un Mara'akame iniciado. Vive en el pueblo de Tepoztlán, Morelos, al sur de la Ciudad de México. Este pueblo tradicional y multicultural se encuentra en un bello valle rodeado de montañas poderosas. Como Mara'akame, trabaja como sanador y líder ceremonial en Casa Xiuhtecuhtli (Casa del Fuego), un conjunto ritual en donde se encuentra el único templo huichol reconocido por la tradición fuera de las tierras ancestrales y en su natal Colombia. También sirve a su comunidad como Guardián del Fuego, guiando reuniones regulares alrededor del fuego donde la gente puede descubrir la medicina del espíritu del Fuego.
Jaime Velez serves his community in Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico.

Gary Weidner

Mesa, Colorado
Gary lives on the shoulder of the Grand Mesa in western Colorado. This great table holds hundreds of lakes which collect rain and melting snow, providing water for abundant herds of deer, elk, and cattle as it flows down into the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers giving life to the animals and people of the southwest. The dance of the weather beings as Grandmother Ocean, father sun, the clouds, wind, and rivers deliver this gift, inspires prayers, ceremonies and healing. In his role as a Quiapequis, or weather worker in the tradition of the Nahuatl people of the central Mexican highlands, Gary offers seasonal opportunities for people to come together to express gratitude and renew connection with our human and other communities. As a mara’akame, or shaman, in the Huichol tradition also of Mexico, Gary offers monthly community fires, which bring people together to benefit from the divine healing presence of Fire. Gary offers individual healing sessions in each of these two, ancestrally related, living indigenous traditions the Nahuatl and the Huichol.
Gary serves his community in Western Colorado.

Randy Whitlock

New Freedom, Pennsylvania
Randy Whitlock serves his community in New Freedom, Pennsylvania and the Baltimore, Maryland region.

Barry Williams

Taos, New Mexico
Barry Williams serves his community in the Taos, New Mexico region.