The principles and knowledge were formalised in 1250 BCE as the teachings and practices of the Twisted Hairs Metis Medicine Society Council of Elders. Metis means ‘mixed blood’. Since then, the Twisted Hair Elders have protected and passed on this body of knowledge to each new generation of apprentices. Today it is known as the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path (SMSD).

Our Lodge leaders


A lodge leader is an apprentice who has been rigorously trained and tested to uphold the SMSD Standards of Excellence, a prerequisite to teaching, guiding and leading ceremonies in integrity and safety. They assist us to achieve heightened awareness that promotes a shift in our perception, a quality of presence where we can identify issues and release blocks/patterns that have created feelings of separation or disconnection. This brings us healing, access to our personal power and the freedom to create that which we desire for ourselves, our life and our relationships.

Nicola and Anders apprenticed to the SMSD Path over 20 years ago. Both are committed spiritual warriors in service for the growth and development of each student of the RLW Lodge group and one to one programs. They lead, teach and guide from a strong heart space, with deep awareness and personal experience of the honesty, vulnerability and courage required to go through the gateway process. Creating a supportive and non-judgmental matrix, they embrace the group, whilst also genuinely engaging with each individual, so that all are able to gain clear realisations, go for healing and real, lasting transformation. 

The Deer Tribe
Metis Medicine Society

In 1975 the Council of Elders determined to open the SMSD Path to the greater human collective.
Their intent; to reawaken the people’s heart connection to Grandmother Earth and to assist in balancing the masculine and feminine energies within our human collective.
Harley SwiftDeer Reagan, a Twisted Hair Elder, was one of those designated to carry these teachings to the people, and in 1986, he founded The Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society (DTMMS) in Arizona, USA – as a non-profit organization.

Guided by the Twisted Hair Metis Medicine Society Council of Elders, the Deer Tribe provides training, support and guidance for SMSD apprentices to carry forward the alchemy, knowledge, power & beauty of this ancient wisdom school into modern times for all those who desire to heal and consciously evolve.