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Secrets of the Talking Jaguar. A Mayan Shaman's Journey to the Heart of the Indigenous Soul

Prechtel, Martin

532 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0874779006 / ISBN 13: 9780874779004
Published by Tarcher/Putnam, 1998
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Smith Family Bookstore (Eugene, OR, U.S.A.)

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Inscribed by author in title page. crisp, clean, tight. dj covered with Brodart. Bookseller Inventory # 017108

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Secrets of the Talking Jaguar. A Mayan ...

Publisher: Tarcher/Putnam

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Inscribed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Printing

About this title


Twenty-five years ago, a young musician and painter named Martn Prechtel wandered through the brilliant landscapes of Mexico and Guatemala. Little did he know he was traveling toward a destiny that would change his life forever. Arriving at a Tzutujil Mayan village on the breathtaking shores of Lake Atitlan, Prechtel was apprenticed to a powerful, ancient shaman, Chiviliu Tacaxoy. Ten years later, he had become a village chief and a famous shaman in his own right. Many books have been written about the ancient Mayans, but this is the first to provide an insider's view of the complex, joyous culture of contemporary Mayan village life, a culture that is fast disappearing in the wake of modernism. In Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, Martn Prechtel teaches us that all human beings possess within their souls an indigenous spirit that is natural, subtle, generous, and village-oriented. This spirit of wholeness and connection is never beyond our reach; we have only to move past the trappings of materialism and the modern world to hear that special song that is ours alone to sing. In a tale filled with enchantment, danger, rich cultural descriptions, shamanic rivalry, passion, and hope, Prechtel takes us into the heart of both untamed nature and community life, helping us find the secrets of our own hearts and souls. Ultimately, we learn, the shamans' power lies not in magic but in being fully aware and joyously alive as human beings.

From Publishers Weekly:

As late as the 1970s, among the Tzutujil Indians of Santiago Atitlan, in Guatemala, there was no word for "time," and the concept closest to the verb "to be" was the state of "belonging to"?in this case, to their village, which these descendants of ancient Mayans believed was the center of the universe. At the core of their philosophy was a rejection of progress?everything of importance had happened in the past. Their religion, which relied on communion with animal and plant spirits to understand daily existence, appealed deeply to Prechtel, a half Native American who grew up on a Pueblo reservation near Santa Fe: "The new aromas, the new sounds, things that I'd never seen before, spun me into a trance, amplifying my already well-established erotic relationship with the landscape, my verdant quest to find a way to merge and mate with the spirit of the world." In his engaging first book, Prechtel describes his apprenticeship to Nicolas Chiviliu Tacaxoy, a shaman who taught him healing and divination skills, and his 13 years living as a Tzutujil. While his view seems at times romanticized, the picture he creates of idyllic Indian life?of the Indians' well-being, colorful rituals and rapport with nature?is so beautifully drawn that his delight in their culture becomes contagious, as does his grief when civil war creates havoc in their village.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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