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

by Martin Prechtel, forward Robert W. Bly

A book review by Joanne M. Birce

Escape on a wonderful, magical journey of the Maya World with Martin Prechtel as he explores the inner life of this ancient culture. Entertaining and revealing, “Secrets of the Talking Jaguar: A Mayan Shaman's Journey to the Heart of the Indigenous Soul” takes you on a fascinating trip through Mexico and Guatemala. Prechtel uncovers the secrets of the Mayan world armed only with his guitar and paints. Through both heart-warming and humorous tales, he reveals to the reader very poignant observations of how the Mayan people live within nature, their hierarchy, their culture, and their love of life. Prechtel also uncovers the Maya’s slow victimization by modern man.

What starts out as a journey to find a meaning in his own life, after his mother’s death becomes a destiny that changes his life forever. Beginning in Mexico, travelling by bus with only a few pesos in his pocket, he is guided by people, dreams and seeming coincidences. He arrives on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala where he is, unknown to him, expected by the village of Tzutujil Mayan. Here, after many sleepless nights and starving days he is given a bed, food and told that he is going to become a shaman. Prechtel begins his insightful journey apprenticing to become a powerful, ancient shaman and ten years later a village chief.

Many books have been written about the ancient Mayans, but this one takes you inside the complex culture of Mayan village life, a culture that is fast disappearing. It reveals the hardships of everyday living and the compassion of theses historic people. It also brings to light the question of what impact modern society is having on the indigenous tribes and what their future may hold.

Copies of “Secrets of the Talking Jaguar: A Mayan Shaman's Journey to the Heart of the Indigenous Soul” by Martin Prechtel are currently available at Alma Libre Bookstore in Puerto Morelos. Located on the town square Alma Libre Books is open Tuesday-Saturday 10-3 & 6-9. For more information visit their website


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