Twenty-five years ago, a young musician and painter named Martin 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, Martin 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.