Anna-Lena Hilton, mara'akame or traditional healer in the Huichol tradition

Anna-Lena Hilton

Hurleyville, New York

Anna-Lena Hilton

Hurleyville, New York

In my early twenties I had experienced enough heartbreak to start to ask the bigger questions about life, what is the purpose of our existence, is there a God, how can I be a person of integrity and help? These questions led me to an ancient and beautiful path of meditation and service. I became a serious student of the path and spent time in India in my mid-twenties. The practices of the path opened up powerful and transformative experiences of the origin of life and the divine love that flows through all of creation. It taught me how to be a student in the spiritual realm. It taught me discipline and devotion.

After moving to the US in my early thirties to be with my American husband, I became sick with a serious illness that would change the trajectory of my life. The illness would not yield to any treatments until I met Tsaurixika Don Eliot Cowan who diagnosed the sickness as a calling illness, a traditional way in indigenous cultures to identify someone called to a path of medicine, healing, and ceremony.

I entered a shamanic apprenticeship in the Wixarika (Huichol) tradition that initiated me into relationship with the God of fire, Tatewari, and many Kaka+yaris. Kaka+yaris are sacred Beings who masquerade in the landscape in the forms of mountains, deserts, springs, caves and ocean. The love, beauty and gifts that flowed from these great Beings made initiation possible to become a Mara'akame, a medicine person, able to provide healing and transformation to others.

This is not an individual pursuit but a lifelong journey I’m undertaking with the company of my fellow Mara’akate. Together, we fulfill our sacred promises by continuous service to the larger community, pilgrimages, yearly travels to the Wixarika homelands, participation in yearly rituals and through personal growth and study.  

In 2019, 12 years after my initiation, Don Eliot Cowan asked me to serve as his successor leading pilgrimages to three sacred sites in the USA. Through deep traditional pilgrimage work a person can receive help with life issues beyond human agency.

My life has been a search and discovery of the footsteps that the Ancestors left behind. It has been a journey of discovery of the help, healing and love that is available for us humans through relationships with the great Kaka+yaris. My greatest aspiration is to share that love and help with you.

Patience is a virtue

They are two of China’s most eminent classical artists. Yu leads no fewer than three major ensembles there: the China Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Shanghai and Guangzhou symphonies.

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