Peter with don Lucio Campos de Elizade in his consultorio around 2005

Peter with don Lucio Campos de Elizade in his consultorio around 2005

A message from lightning

As the lightning struck the fir tree shooting down its 60-foot length, it traveled through the ground and into me. 

As a young boy, I was excited by the charge of the electricity flowing through me, the brilliant flashes of color, the loud cracking and booming sound and the flying pieces of the tree.  This was a calling that at the time, having no elder to interpret it for me, I had to wait decades to understand.

Many years later, after graduate school, working in social change, social service, getting married, having children, I was blessed to find an elder who accepted me as an apprentice in the tradition of the Huichol Indians of Mexico's Sierra Madres.  The elder saw within me Huichol tonalli (soul pieces) and the need to pilgrimage within the Huichol homelands. During my first pilgrimage to a sacred site, the Cloud People came and spoke to me.  They told me that I needed to go to Nepopualco in the Mexican highlands and speak with don Lucio Campos de Elizade, a granicero and Caporal Mayor (weather worker and elder) in the Nahua tradition. 

Upon my arrival and meeting don Lucio for the first time, he told that he had seen me up in the clouds and that it was good that I had come.  He said that I must get crowned (initiated as a weather worker) right away.  The weather beings were calling.  I followed his guidance and that of the weather beings and became a weather worker and learned from him until his passing in 2007.

I have continued to pilgrimage in the Huichol homeland and travel each year to the Sierra Madres and the Tepoztlan Valley to steep in these two ancestrally-related traditions. I've completed two six-year apprenticeships and initiations as a Huichol mara' a'kame (one who knows) while continuing to fulfill my life-long manda (duty) as a granicero.  Currently I am apprenticing with don Lucio's successor, don David Wiley on the tepahtiani (healer) path.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, a land of incredible abundance and home to a magnificent kakayari (deity that has taken land form) who has invited me into a working relationship. As I follow the guidance of this kakayari, I am being helped to better understand the land on which I live, and the way of life that has existed here since the time before time. I feel deep appreciation and honor to be of service to this place within the world.