My journey as person, healer, and teacher has been a long and circuitous one full of wonder, surprises, struggles and blessings. I am so grateful to spirit and to my many friends, teachers and mentors (human or otherwise) who have led me to where I am now, guided by an inner fire towards further learning, healing, understanding, inspiration, connection, and communion with this beautiful earth and all who I am blessed to share time with.
When I was a young girl, my mother once harvested pineappleweed (Matricaria discoidea) off our front lawn and made a tea with it. She told me that it was a wild form of chamomile. This was my first remembered experience of consuming something wild-harvested directly from the land. As I drank the sweet, smooth tea, I felt my whole being relax and expand. It was like drinking magic. My experience with that scruffy little weed ignited a spark within me that grew into a flame overtime that guided me on my life’s path.
As that young girl drinking pineappleweed tea all those years ago, I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams where that initial spark would lead me.
In my mid-20’s, I returned home from a trip to Ecuador and the Amazon jungle, gave up my career, to which my heart and I were ill-suited, got a job in a health food store and began the study of herbal medicine with a passion. In 1997, I opened my clinical herbal practice in Toronto. Later, I became a teacher and student adviser at ‘The Living Earth School of Herbalism‘ that I run with my husband, Michael Vertolli.
Plant Spirit Medicine
In 1996, I read Eliot Cowan’s book “Plant Spirit Medicine.” I was completely drawn in and mesmerized by the end of the first paragraph and read the whole book cover to cover in one sitting. When I turned the last page, I knew two things for certain: I wanted to receive this medicine, as soon as possible, and I needed to become a Plant Spirit Medicine Healer, also, as soon as possible. Though it took a number of years before I was able to study with Eliot, I finally graduated as a Plant Spirit Medicine Healer in 2006. Learning to communicate and be in deep relationship with the Plant People changed my life profoundly, deeply, completely.
Tree Spirit Medicine
One sunny afternoon while on retreat in Bancroft, Ontario, Elm tree called out to me and told me that the Tree People would be giving me a form of ‘Tree Spirit Medicine.’ Elm wasn’t specific about the timing of when this would occur, so I kept checking in over the years. In 2016, the Tree People began to give me their beautiful medicine, tree by tree by tree. Presently,Tree Spirit Medicine is being born into the world through me and others who have heard the call of the trees.
In 2007, I participated in a ceremony on a sacred site in Ontario to honour the weather forces and give gratitude for the blessing of beneficial weather that they bring to our lands and our people so that we have everything we need to live in a good way. This experience eventually led me to Mexico where I was initiated as a Weather Worker (Granicera in Spanish or Quiapaquiz in Nahuatl) in an ancient Nahua lineage by my teacher, Don David Wiley. Later, I would be called to walk the healing path of this lineage, and after 9 years of apprenticeship, I was initiated as a Tepahtiani (Traditional Nahua Healer) in June of 2021.
I am an advocate of being in respectful relationship with the Divine Natural World and all living beings. As a healer, teacher and counsellor, I support people in awakening to the beauty of their uniqueness and living their highest expression of self in joy, health, and wholeness.
I look forward to meeting you, to listening deeply to the unique story of you, and walking with you for a while on your healing journey.
My Weather Work & Healing Tradition
In 2011, I was called by spirit to be divined and initiated as Weather Worker in the ancient and time-honoured Nahua tradition by my teacher, Don David Wiley, in Mexico. In 2012, I was called to the healing path of this tradition and was initiated as a Tepahtiani (Traditional Nahua Healer) in June 2021.
My Weather Work Lineage
For thousands of years, the Nahua people of central Mexico have had profound communion with the weather forces to bring beneficial weather to their lands and crops. In this tradition, certain people are recognized and chosen by spirit to act as emissaries and relationship-holders between the people and the weather forces. They are called Weather Workers or Quiapaquiz in Nahuatl or Graniceros in Spanish.
To find out more about my Weather Work lineage, please visit www.weatherwork.org.
My Healing Tradition
A Weather Worker who is also an initiated healer in this lineage is called a Tepahtiani. To become a Tepahtiani is a divine calling and requires years of apprenticeship and initiation. Please go here to read more about this ancient and time-honoured healing system.
Don Lucio Campos Elizalde
Don Lucio Campos Elizalde (1906-2005), our lineage’s original Maestro and Caporal Mayor (ceremonial leader and teacher, was a well-known and highly respected Granicero and healer from the village of Nepopualco in Mexico.
In his 20’s, Don Lucio was struck by lightning and slipped into a three-years long coma. During this time, his spirit traveled to the sky where he was taught many things about people, the earth, healing, and the “beings who brought the rain, wind and clouds.” When he finally awoke, he was infused with a deep commitment to the living forces of Nature to serve his community in the time-honoured Nahua ways and art of Weather Work and healing. Throughout his life, Don Lucio was sought by many in Mexico and from around the world for his profound wisdom and incredible healing work.
Don Lucio’s Prophetic Vision
While in his coma, Don Lucio was given a prophetic vision in which he was shown that far into the future the weather would turn destructive with drought and storms. However, he was also shown that people with a soul calling to be Weather Workers would be called to this tradition from the “four corners of the world”. These people would bring the Nahua Weather Work tradition and healing to the lands and people where they live to rekindle connection to the divine weather forces and address the extremes of weather.
Several decades later, people from Mexico, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom arrived at Don Lucio’s consultorio having been mysteriously called to this path.
Don Lucio’s name for this group of dedicated Weather Workers was “el grupo precioso” – the precious group.
Today, there are devoted Weather Workers of this lineage from around the world and el grupo precioso continues to grow as more and more people are called to this path.
Don David Wiley
Don David Wiley is a Nahua and Huichol Traditional Healer, Ceremonial Leader, Teacher and Elder.
In the mid ’90’s, guided by spirit, Don David traveled to Don Lucio’s consultorio in Nepopualco. Don Lucio immediately recognized David as the first of those people from his prophetic vision to be called by the Weather Spirits. He initiated David as a Quiapaquiz and made him his olochtli huei amatlacuilo (group chief) to help support those who would come later. The Nahua path of service beyond the traditional villages had finally begun and Don Lucio’s vision was coming to fruition at long last.
Shortly before his death, after many years of teaching David in the practice of conducting ceremonies, traditional healing, counselling and confirming others to the work, Don Lucio passed the responsibility of the lineage over to David.
To this day, Don David Wiley continues to fulfill Don Lucio’s sacred dream as the Maestro and Caporal Mayor of our Weather Work lineage.
My beloved teacher, mentor, and friend, Eliot Cowan, passed away on March 5th, 2022. He was the author and teacher of Plant Spirit Medicine and a Tsaurirrikame, Elder Medicine man, in the tradition of the Huichol (Wixárika) people. He was a loving inspiration and wise counsel to so many. I will carry him in my heart for the rest of my life.