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Long Life, Honey in the Heart Paperback – October 20, 2004


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Long Life, Honey in the Heart + Secrets of the Talking Jaguar + The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun: A Mayan Tale of Ecstasy, Time, and Finding One's True Form
Price for all three: $38.03

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books (October 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155643538X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556435386
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Prechtel, whose earlier memoir, Secrets of Talking Jaguar, described his initiation as a shaman among the Tzutujil Mayan of Santiago Atitlan in Guatemala, now takes his readers back to that village, this time focusing on initiation rites--which were meant to renew the culture and the earth itself. As a youth of Native American and European ancestry who grew up on a New Mexican reservation and was searching for a new home, Prechtel won the generous acceptance and trust of these people. He lived their everyday life, married a Tzutujil, and served as a respected Elder. He was, therefore, uniquely positioned to document their culture. His lyrical prose captures not only the intricate details of these complex rituals but also their spiritual meaning for the Tzutujil, whose traditions were on the verge of extinction, as well as the humor and wisdom they brought to their lives. During the 1980s, the violence and horror of Guatemala's political situation overcame the ancient traditions of the villagers, and Prechtel left after attempts on his life. But he keeps those traditions alive in this vivid and devoted memoir. Suitable for both anthropology and biography collections, this work should appeal to a wide audience.
-Joan W. Gartland, Detroit P.L.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"It's an encyclopedia of beauty...like some poem of Neruda's, it is a treasure house of language, in service to life."
—Robert Bly, author of The Night Abraham called to the Stars

"Friend, if you have picked up this book, hold it. Don't set it down. Let it call. Let it enter. Let it undo the latch of forgetfulness It is not an academic study, nor event the personal account it at first appears. It is a hymn from the living heart of the universe, echoing in our being with praise and remembrance of that we didn't know we remembered."
—Paul Weiss, Director, Whole Health Center, Bar Harbor, Maine

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "psyche@laplaza.org" on January 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Prechtel's book is incredibly beautiful, describing the life, loves and rituals of a small town in Guatemala, Santiage de Atitlan and the changes that have occurred there. As a companion piece to the Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, which is equally profound, this book leads us away from the Shamanistic and into the everyday life of these beautiful people. The book is full of the wisdom of the past regarding such things as marriage, teenage years, birth and death. My emotions and memories of the indiginous peoples of this land are brought vividly to mind in this book. I have lived and worked for many years with Pueblo people and am struck by the many similarities of belief and ritual.Prechtel is a fantastic writer who keeps one wanting more!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This being third in the sequence of Martin Prechtel's books that I'd read this year, completion of the triptych brought my understanding to critical mass/tears in view of how much has been lost in Guatemala's entry to the 21st century. However, these writings make it highly probable that the loss is not complete, or unmourned. His books embody the very processes he tells of; for example, his mention of customs which are made to be broken: people's learning the significance of who breaks them, how, and when they are broken or allowed to be broken strengthens the culture.* His own experience of out of sequence initiation illustrates this, but beyond that, the fluidity with which he passes between poetic and humorous storytelling and epilogues in a more philosophical tone invites inner dialogue in the reader. He is well aware of the modern consumer mentality as a ghost layer mimicing an underlying spiritual void, when he taunts the readers at the outset that many will voraciously consume his books and move on, without fulfilment. *This realization is the most important one passed from mentor to initiate in any culture. My mentor at the same period (the 1970's)was a halfway-house worker who realized and taught others that we were not there to enforce a culture on the mentally ill, but rather light-heartedly yet seriously to help them draw the line as to what they could expect to get away with and more importantly, not get away with, in this life, and to plan accordingly. Indigenous music and language being preserved and used in their celebratory (if no longer ritual) uses may be all we have left to work/play with. Prechtel does well to begin his story with his introduction to Mayan music.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Todd on May 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Modern society has us born and abandonded. It does not take any interest in us unless we make lots of money or achieve some kind of fame. We have little purpose in it except to make money for others and that is pretty much the extent of it: nothing else is demanded of us.

Martin Prechtel's book describes a society where giving is more important than receiving, working together for a common cause of spiritual value rather than material value, opposed on both sides by the materialist communists and capitalists, neither of whom can see any value in their old ways of initiation.

Yet the initition creates a person of far greater value than those who sought to destroy it. Whether or not the reader can share the beliefs of the Tzutujil Maya, and for a modern reader it is of course difficult, the result of this system of society is the creation of real human beings, lives not devoid of meaning and afloat on a sea of worthlessness, but deeply intertwined with the living processes of the world, each one feeling that they contribute to the story of life, that they have value and love.

The difficult and dangerous passage of initiation that the adolescents of the village undergo to bring the goddess back to life gives them an inner power and wisdom that stays with them for the rest of their lives, meaning that they don't become disruptive, lost and alienated from the world but an integral part.

It is a shame to me that our modern societies, whatever their political system, cannot operate more in this way. Not to live exactly like they used to - before the modern societies imposed themselves - but to realise what they achieved and how it can benefit our cast-adrift generations.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tino Plank on March 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Martin's words are a blueprint for healing our spiritual wounds and our separation from the natural world around us.
As a mentor, I found the information on initiation and the levels of hierarchy within his village to be invaluable. His dedication to the Mayan traditions and the people who have carried that wisdom down through the ages is exemplary. Thank you Martin for the strength and courage to bring that message forth during these very troubled times!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KelleyGreen.ORG on January 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
We saw Martin speak in Ashland, Oregon, and bought his books. they are nectar foods for the soul. nothing else like his writing, he will transport you with language to a place in your brain beyond language. Savory, delicious, honest, wildly reverent. but it and read it. then quit your job.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Providence Hypnosis on September 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
Prechtel's retelling of his life as a part of a society based on ancient tribal traditions. It gives a rare glimpse of mankind caring for its own. A tale of a culture striving for health and balance between neighbors, generations, mankind and nature. It is a beautiful tale of human beauty dashed by the motion of time in the hands of modern man. As sad as it is to see the outcome I find these people living within me as a reminder of what society can accomplish when it is rooted in respect, dignity and love.
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