One of the things that drew me to this book was that the author is not only an anthropologist researching and studying the Mayan practices, she also became an initiated Shaman Priestess. Transcendent Wisdom of the Maya gives us a true insider look into the ceremonies, people, and mysterious rituals of the Maya practitioners. She shares her personal perspective which brings this book alive with the fascinating world of the Maya.

The author begins with her background studies and her first trip to Guatemala. Her writing style flows smoothly and you feel as you are sitting in a café listening to the author share her experiences. The first part covers the Maya history, traditions, the 2012 “End of The World” prophecy misinterpretation, how they honor the changes of time and cycles and more. This helps provide a good base for understanding the beliefs and culture. In part 2, the author dives into what daily life was like among them. I really enjoyed this section and her accounts of what she experiences and saw. She retells the story of her welcoming ceremony and meeting her mentor, Dona Tomasa. In part 3, The Spiritual Journey we learn what it means to be initiated as a Daykeeper, women’s wisdom, introduction to the Maya calendar energies, Sacred fire and seeds, and walking as a shaman-priestess. There is also a beautiful collection of color images showcasing the extraordinary life and beauty of this culture.

While the book is written more as a diary of events than a handbook, it’s a lovely read and provides an inside look into the Maya that a regular outsider doesn’t get to see. 

~review by Amber Barnes

Author: Gabriela Jurosz-Landa
Bear & Company Books, 2019
pp. 224, $18.00

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