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Next Dates 2024

April and May. 
Individual retreats.  Alcocer, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico.

Apprenticeship consultations and program begins.  (online)

June 29/30 and then till July 5th. 
Two day or week long event - walking the soul home.  Circle of 12.  Perthshire Scotland.

August 18th-25th. 
Circle of 12.  Walking the Soul Home.  New Hampshire.  U.S.A.

September 14-2nd October. 
The Art of Breathing.  Bolivia.

November 1- 23. 
The Twelve Keys.  Practical Intuitive Shamanic Initiations & Toltec and World Spiritual Traditions.  Centre of the Conscious Dream.  Desert of San Luis Potosi. Mexico.

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This is an article published in the Sacred Hoop magazine winter 2012.  It gives information about the wirridkuta pilgrimage route, the Huichols,   the present threats to the sacred sites, and also possible resolutions. 

The Wirrikuta is an ancient pilgrimage route in Mexico.  The original pilgrimage route started on the western coast of Mexico and also mountains mostly in the states of Nayarit and Jalisco but also some in Michoacan.  It stretches the 300km distance to the desert of San Luis Potosi.  It ends at the Quemado, the sacred mountain.  It was and is a pilgrimage route for the Huichols and other tribes.  These days, most Huichols come in buses and the pilgrimage route is about 30 km over desert terrain passing by various natural ceremonial sites before reaching the mountain itself.  The area of the desert is famous for the peyote cactus, and part of the pilgrimage is to harvest the plant which is used in visionary ceremonies.

Both the peyote and the sacred mountain are parts of a return to ‘where the sun was born’.  The mountain is the physical expression of their creation myth.  It is the sacred connection to their original light, and indeed the original light of all humans; it is the place of their true father, the place of the origin of their seed, their ancestors.  These are also our ancestors, yours and mine, since this place is holding the history of humanity.

On the pilgrimage route the Huichols and other tribes from the west pass by various other sacred sites, including Bernalejo, which is the place of the offerings for the dead.  Bernalejo is a mound of volcanic rock in an area which has no volcanic activity.  Geologists describe the rocks as meteorites.  The Huichols would describe the rocks more like messengers from the stars, their ancestors.  Offerings of candles and crafted objects are made here to the ancestors that come from the sky.  It is a place of opening to the tracks of the dead, like a kind of time link, a multi-dimensional portal.  Having worked with this site now for fifteen years, it is clear that this place does not have any boundaries.  If you open your heart to the stones, the earth ‘opens’ and the holographic texture of this planet is revealed.  There is an experience that is shared by almost all that come here that there is not just one time and space, there are multi-times and multi-spaces.  The existence of the body on the earth is seen in relation to lives upon lives upon lives, like bubbles within bubbles, or dreams within dreams.  This is very attractive for the dead as the physical is exposed in its own illusion.  There is not the same attraction to being held in the physical for the lack of any other option.  The bridges between dreams are open.  There is somewhere else to go.

So this site attracts the dead from all over this planet.  The dead, human and non human, come here to find that bridge to the ‘other side.’  This particular site really impresses me with its perfect balance and openness. It is possible to both see and feel the bridges through which the dead beings pass.  It is a phenomenal feeling of unconditional love to see the dead find their homes.

Much of our work we do is due to the fact that many of the shamanic ceremonies of the dead are no longer performed in the world, due to the death of shamanic traditions. Shamanic death rituals would serve to make the bridges between dreams that is naturally offered in a place like Bernalejo.  As shamanic cultures decline all over the world, these ceremonies are performed less, and so there are many dead that need help to die and don’t get that help.  Even in Taos, a North American Indian indigenous centre in New Mexico, I was surprised to find, after a ceremony I led there, that some indigenous people came up to me and told me that this work for the dead is even lacking where they live.  In Mexico, indigenous cultures still account for ten per cent of the population, but every year their cultures are diluted more because of the pressures of poverty and materialism.  With their decline comes also the ending of crucial ceremonial rituals normally performed for the dead.  In Europe, these ceremonies for the dead are barely remembered since there are very little indigenous living traditions, however, that does not mean that they cannot be remembered or re-dreamed.

So, the lack of help for the dead causes many to wander or linger.  If the dead do not find their paths, if they are not able or don’t know how to cross the bridges of dreams, they stay here, lost.  In ‘The only planet of choice’ by Phyllis v. Schlemmer there is a very useful phrase called the ‘bottlenecking’ of souls’ which is a really good way of describing the result of the dead not dying.  What does a dead spirit do if it doesn’t know where to go?  It looks for another body, or another place to hide.  It causes possession of both human bodies and places.  

When I go to other lands, I consciously make a dreaming bridge between the rocks on those places there and the rocks at Bernalejo, so that dreaming tracks can be created for the dead.  This enables them to find that bridge they look for, the bridge between dreams.

The site at Bernalejo, being worked and alive, is a jewel for the dead who are trapped here and lost without the guidance they need to pass over. When people come to retreats here, they also bring their lost souls with them – from their families, from their cultures and from their land.  I always have believed that on the most fundamental level, people come here on retreats to die on many levels.  They come here to let go, to release themselves from their past and from their karma.  The blockages that prevent people’s lives from being fulfilling and creative could also be described as ‘dead matter’.  The vibration of this site helps people to let go of that dead matter.  There is a chance to transform.  By being confronted so nakedly with the levels of dreams through which the dead can pass, there is an opportunity to look death in the eye, and in doing so, let go of the fear of dying.  When a life is seen and understood as being just a dream within dreams, then death becomes a breeze.


The pilgrimage walk goes from Bernalejo towards the Quemado and the sacred mountain.  Walking long distances, in Mexico, is a time-honored way of ‘changing the doors of perception;’ and of raising ones level of consciousness. The continuous rhythm of your steps takes one into a trance, and this allows the mind to calm and for one to become aware on other levels. In particular, the pilgrim is looking to become more aware of the spirit world – the animals, the plants, the rocks, the beings of the sky and of the earth. The pilgrims look to connect with their spirit form, and in some cases, there are initiations into the spirit path of their life. 

I first came here in 1996.  I had been journeying to different sacred sites around the world – Uluru, Lake Titicaca, Stonehenge, Mount Shasta, being just some of the highlights at that stage. Sacred sites are like power points on the global surface. The human body has certain energy points which are used by healers, such as acupuncturists, to connect and balance the meridians that pass through the body. The earth’s planetary body works in much the same way.

Ancient sacred sites are places divined by ancient shamanic explorations to have a particularly powerful energy field.  In Europe the well-known maps of the ley lines are the shamanic energetic tracks that have already been discovered.  These lines of energy (they can also be curves) sometimes cross, and these are often the places where particularly powerful psychic energy fields, that is, multi-dimensional portals, are found.  Glastonbury is a good example in England, and the crop circle activity in Wiltshire is taking place over an area of very strong ley lines that pass also through Stonehenge.  Another way of talking about these shamanic exploratory routes is dreaming.   In the Australian Aborliginal tradition, the dreaming lines cross over vast tracts of land where each part of the landscape has its ‘dreaming’, its relation with other times and spaces.   The ancient pilgrimage route of the indigenous tribes of Mexico follows the Mexican equivalent of ley lines or dreaming lines.  Bernalejo and the Quemado are two of the most important sacred sites in the whole of Turtle island – The American continent.

The ceremonies that take place at sacred sites are not only for the humans.  They are also for the planet.  The best way to explain this is to develop here the relation between the ley lines or dreaming lines to the meridians in the human body.  An acupuncturist or Shiatsu therapist activates certain points on the human body which stimulates the flow of energy in certain meridians that run through the body.  By working on sacred sites, the human can activate a point on the Earth planetary body which stimulates the flow of energy through certain ley lines or dreaming lines.  In order for an acupuncturist to be able to work fully, there is a need to be able to access all of the major energetic points on the body, and for those points on the body not to be damaged.  For Earth planetary acupuncture to take place, there is a need for clear access to sacred sites – the power points of the earth planetary body.  It is particularly important that those sacred sites are not damaged.

This work at a sacred site can, if done clearly, be an act of healing for the planet In connecting and honouring the earth.  It can also help to create a bridge between the earth and other levels of the cosmos.  As we humans need higher levels of vibrational consciousness for our healing, the earth also needs other vibrational frequencies to maintain the fluid connection with the universal body.  The human has a role in the universal dance which influences all our relations – the stars and the planets.

When the indigenous people come and perform ceremonies at sacred sites, it is also like clearing and cleaning a chakra of the planetary earth body, but it is very hard work and needs very clear commitment and intent. Like any form of healing, you have to be prepared to meet the shadow, and the repressed shadow of the earth planetary body would cause most healers to run for help.  It is work that requires strong and clear intent.

I was called to Mexico to build a centre in the desert, because of the energy of the sacred sites here.  As I mentioned earlier, I had been travelling to many different sacred sites around the world, making ceremonies, sometimes on my own, sometimes with indigenous groups.  I had heard about this sacred site in Mexico and I wanted to feel its relation with the other places I had visited.  The impact it had was so powerful, and the messages I got from the desert were so clear, I had no doubt that this is where I was supposed to work


In particular, the mountain, La Quemada, is the main reason I have been here for 15 years. As Bernalejo is the place of the death, La Quemada is the place of the rebirth.  The pilgrimage route from Bernalejo to the mountain is like a passage from your death into a new dream.  The place where the sun was born is the place where the new life is given.  On the transformative journey, having let go of your ‘dead matter’ at Bernalejo, there is a space made for something new.

For the Huichols, this mountain has many functions. One of the functions is that this is the place where initiates come in order to receive their vision which will explain who they are and what their role is within the tribe.  The visionary guide is called the blue deer.  The Maracami, the spiritual leader, leads the initiates in a ceremony with peyote under or on the mountain, and the vision that the initiate receives is the ’new life’.  The information can encapsulate what is needed to be known about their job, their role, their mission within the tribe.  This is like a very intense kind of vision quest.

So, the mountain gives new life, and being the place of connection with the sun, light, it also gives great clarity.  The kinds of messages that I and others who have come here have received from the mountain, have literally changed peoples’ lives.  My son Venado Blanco is here because of the messages that were sent to both me and Arbolita Pashak, the mother of Venado Blanco, when we were just acquaintances. You don’t argue with this mountain, it is like a real and true deep sage, like the father sun coming down and bringing the wisdom from the sky. I cannot express to you the level of deep reverence I have for this mountain.

Back in February 2012, the Huichols came en masse to make a ceremony on the sacred mountain, passing through Bernalejo on the way.  Usually, the Huichols don’t make pilgrimages together.  Different villages, indeed, different families have specific times in the year when they come. This in itself is a reflection of how the original tribe has been breaking up slowly, a process that has been going on the Spanish invasion.

 This year they came together as one tribe in order to attempt to save their sacred land because Bernalejo and La Quemada are now under threat from mining companies. The companies are mostly Canadian, although they operate through Mexican named companies.  The companies want to mine this mineral rich mountain and desert area.  The mining would cause very significant physical and energetic damage to both the sacred sites and the pilgrimage route.


This was a very unusual ceremony.  It was not only unusual because many different Huichol villagers came, it was also unusual because outsiders were invited to witness it.  Huichols are very secretive.  However, they were only able to travel to the site because of the organisation of the wirrikutafront, a group of supporters who are not Huichols, and also from financial contributions from Mexicans and foreigners alike.  So, they invited all who had come to the site to witness the ceremony.  This actually was an immense step.

The ceremony involves a lot of song.  It is through song that the deities sing.  After the ceremony, a spokesman for the Huichols made a speech using a microphone.  You can actually see this speech online.  It is in Huichol and there are Spanish subtitles.  The link is

Here is a summary in English.

Tatewari Tutzi (grandfather fire) spoke to us about ancestral creation.  In the beginning in Reu-kaunx (the sacred mountain), our deities made the fire and there left their mirrors so they could see (themselves). Tatiwari Tutzi, (the sacred fire), Tamatzi Kauyumarie (the blue deer) and Tewexika (father sun), are the guides for humanity and of all the beings in the universe..….. From the place of the four elements of the universe they made the sacred sites from where the new ages are born.  (The four sacred sites of the four elements of the universe are named, of the forth sacred site, he says-). . . . The wirrikuta is at the east and is one of the four ceremonies that unite us. Wirrikuta is the place that gives us balance in the universe.  Tatiwari, the blue deer, father sun, sung through us the message that we need to take great care not to damage the sacred sites.  They are the nucleus of mother earth, and inside of her are deities preparing for the rebirth which will be the flowering of the new celestial world.  The deities leave messages in the atmosphere and humans can perceive the preoccupation and anxiety.  The deities made mirrors on earth which are sacred sites (which are then named).  The deities ask us to flourish or flower again so that we can flow with the mother earth.  The song of the blue deer, the father sun and the sacred fire ask us to renovate the language of the deities as the voice of the celestial universe so that no one disturbs the vibration and the balance of the universe, and through the voice of Tatewari and the sun, that there are no disruptions to the sacred sites, that nothing crosses the path of its birth, that we keep the spirit clean and we do not have fear, as fear traps us in illnesses of the spirit, soul and body.  They ask us to keep the balance inside of ourselves so that we receive the birth of the celestial universe.  They ask us that we ask ourselves what was the energy that made us germinate, what strengthened us and made our evolution possible.  They ask us that we are the midwives (in the renovation) of our ancestral deities. .. We live in the world of yesterday and today, and who knows about tomorrow, this depends on us and our actions.  (They explain then the connection of wirrikuta and the creation). We ask all the people who are against our own creator, that we leave the sacred sites in peace to the deities of the celestial universe.

The mining is a threat to the sacred sites and the sacred pilgrimage route.  However, there are also many Mexicans who live on that pilgrimage route and near the sacred sites who have no work.  Many live on the poverty line and many young men have to leave their families to look for work, some of them going to the major cities, and some of them risking their lives to walk three days over high desert in order to cross the border to the United States.  The mining companies offer jobs.  This is a really important fact for all of the people in the villages where I live.  We cannot simply ignore these people.  Their concerns and their lives are also relevant.

There is a tension in the area developing between the Huichols together with ecologists on one side, and the people who need work on the other. This tension will not go away, and indeed the threat of mining will not go away unless there is an alternative employment possibility for the people who live here.

The project I initiated in Wadley from donations from the people who come to the retreats here, involves collecting and buying plastic,glass, metal and carton, and preparing it through various mechanical processes for sale to recycling companies, and also making useful products.  This, for a community that treat the desert like a public dustbin, is literally ground-breaking!  The motivation for this project is also from a vision I had at Bernalejo in which it was so clear that the Earth cannot digest the waste material made by human beings.  Humans need to take energetic responsibility for their own waste products.

Looking at how things are in Mexico, it is unlikely the Huichols or anyone will stop the mining, which comes from a much deeper human need and hunger.

Human hunger eating the earth.  Economics is now the global language that everyone listens to.  If you and I can offer an alternative economics which does not contaminate, then we have a real solution - a solution that would protect our sacred sites, and provide alternative employment, and at the same time respect our mother earth.

We need your help with these projects.  The amount of money that is received from donations so far is only enough to start projects on small scales.  We need help to sustain and develop the projects.  This is what has motivated me principally to write this article - many thanks to Nick Wood for inviting me to do so.  It is important that more people are aware of what is happening here, and it is important that we here in the desert of Northern Mexico have the opportunity to ask you for your help.

Thank you for reading this article.  If you feel moved to make a donation, please write to Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. or contact through this website.

Daniel Stone


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