June 17: Fire Speaks! An Audience with Grandfather Fire

A precious opportunity to experience the wisdom of Fire directly

In difficult times, ancient traditions come to our aid.
For hundreds of thousands of years, Fire has been central to human existence, not only providing warmth, light, and protection, but sacred space for communing with Divine. Known by many names — such as the Hindu Agnideva, the Huichol Tatewarí (literally, ‘Grandfather Fire’), the Egyptian Sekhmet, and the Greek Hephaestus — Fire as a living divine ancestor has been revered and engaged by the original traditions and peoples of our earth as a source of wisdom, compassion and transformation.

What would it be like to hear the voice of Fire?
When the peoples go through difficult periods, the ancestral traditions offer a pathway for a spirit-speaking person to help their societies receive guidance and reestablish connection to the Sacred. Even in our present generations there exist respected traditions where a person is chosen by Spirit to serve in this way. The Tibetan khuten (‘physical basis’), the Huichol axihuatakame (‘god-speaker human’), and the Lakota heyoka are but a few examples.

In a rare occurrence, the Spirit of Fire has selected a person from outside the usual indigenous setting to serve as such a conduit for the people of our western culture, who are deeply challenged and in need of renewed connection to the Sacred. Acting as a bridge between worlds and cultures, don David Wiley was raised in the West but called, trained, initiated and accepted as an elder in two ancestrally-related indigenous peoples — the Nahuatl and Huichol. Since Grandfather Fire has appeared to provide a new, yet old voice in the world, don David is traveling on Fire’s behalf to provide this to international audiences in Europe, Latin America, Canada, Australia and the United States.

The Event
The event will begin in the late afternoon with a question and answer session around the Fire. After a break for social time and a pot-luck dinner, we will gather around the Fire and create a ritual space to ignite and invite Grandfather Fire to speak with us. Dressed in his traditional clothing as a marakame, a Huichol healer and ritual leader, don David will begin smoking tobacco in the form of cigars and consuming a special chocolate drink. Through Grandfather’s willingness to speak and the effects of these two sacred ceremonial plants, the tobacco and the cacao, along with our laughter, singing, stories and drumming, the Spirit of Fire is brought forth.

To learn more about how Grandfather Fire speaks in this form, please visit don David’s web site

The price of the program is $75 USD. Click here to register.


Date: June 17

Cost: USD$75



Sacred Fire Toronto


Mai Duong

Phone: (416) 543-1531


Note: It is customary to offer a cigar to Grandfather at the end of the evening. He prefers his cigars long and strong. Cigars will be available onsite for purchase.


June 24: Sun Care Product Making Workshop with Monika Ghent


In this fun, interactive and informative workshop you will learn the art of making your own effective, natural sunblocks, SPF lip balms and after sun care products with no toxic compromises using only 100% natural and organic ingredients.

The workshop covers:

  • What is SPF?
  • An introduction to many different natural products such as base oils, essential oils, butters, teas, etc. that have natural SPF.
  • How to make everyday, light sunblock and stronger sunblock for more intense sun exposure.
  • How to make SPF lip balms including tinted lip balms using natural pigments.
  • After sun care: how to heal your skin when you’ve gotten too much sun.
  • Facial repair serums: what natural substances can be used to reverse sun damage.
  • We’ll also be covering equipment, storage and preservation.

This workshop will include both lectures and demonstrations. Participants will receive samples of products that are prepared during the workshop as well as informative, detailed handouts including lots of recipes.

Date: Saturday, June 24, 2017

Time: 10am – 5pm

Location: Living Earth School, Maple, Ontario.

Cost: $125 which includes all material fees, handouts and samples.

To register, please go to under workshops.

If you have any questions, please contact Lianna at


Beginning April 22nd, 2017: Herbal Field Studies - Living Earth School of Herbalism

This is a series of seven full-day field workshops with Michael Vertolli running monthly from April to October. Each workshop takes place a different wilderness location outside of, but close to, Toronto. Participants will learn how to identify, harvest and use many wild herbs that grow in Ontario . At each field workshop they will also have the opportunity to make some kind of herbal preparation using herbs that they will harvest during the workshop.

The course begins with an online introductory class that establishes the theoretical foundation for the field workshops and is a prerequisite to attending any of the field workshops. Please click here to register for the online introductory class.

The first workshop will be on Saturday, April 22nd. Whenever possible, carpooling will be arranged for participants who do not have vehicles.

 Topics include:
Identifying local herbs through the various stages of their life-cycle; introductory botany and plant anatomy; the ecology of wild harvesting herbs; harvesting instructions for different herb species; drying herbs; making herbal preparations from fresh plants; the medicinal properties and uses of local herbs. 

Required textbooks:
Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (Lawrence Newcomb).
Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants of Eastern and Central North America
(Steven Foster, James Duke).

Dates: Saturdays 10:30am to 5pm: April 22, May 20, June 10, July 8 & 29, August 12, October 14.   



August 21 - 26, 2017: Healing Retreat with Eliot Cowan: Five Days of Traditional Huichol Shamanic Healing


Healing Retreat is composed of five days of Huichol shamanic healing at Maple Sweet Rural Retreat Centre in the beautiful Grey Highlands, on the edge of the Beaver Valley and the Blue Mountains.

Eliot Cowan is a fully initiated Tsaurirrikame (Huichol shaman), having lived and studied with the Huichol people, an indigenous people who live in the Sierra Madre Mountains of central Mexico. Eliot has extensive experience working with the full spectrum of life events from birth to death and he brings the sacred healing traditions of the Huichol people to all of us.

Your stay at Healing Retreat includes daily private sessions with Eliot, time for contemplation and reflection, gathering in community around the warmth of the fire, and an opportunity to connect with the natural world. Everyone can benefit from this healing retreat, whether you are experiencing serious or persistent health concerns, desire guidance on your spiritual path or are in need of support in your daily life.

The cost of the retreat is $1,300 which includes your daily shamanic sessions with Eliot, teaching fires, lodging and meals. The maximum number of participants is 15; your space is confirmed upon receipt of full payment or a non-refundable deposit of $650.

Maple Sweet is a lovely retreat centre located on over 75 acres in the stunning Grey Highlands, two hours north of Toronto on the edge of the Beaver Valley and the Blue Mountains.

For more information please contact Monika.



On-going: Living Earth School of Herbalism Online 

Living Earth School of Herbalism provides quality online and in-class education in Western herbalism and related subjects for those who wish to pursue a career as a professional herbalist or who want to learn about herbs and herbal medicine for their own general interest.

Michael Vertolli is the director of the school and the curriculum is based on his over 25 years experience of teaching and practising herbal medicine.

I am the Online Course Advisor for Living Earth and will be answering student's questions about course content and hosting our online forum.

To learn more about the school and to see our course offerings, please visit the Living Earth website and go to our facebook page and like us so you can be informed whenever new courses become avilable.