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A visionary journey into the crucible in which America was born, a tale of love and war and of a master shaman who folds time to seek the key to the survival of his people.
A vivid narrative of the clash of cultures on the colonial New York frontier, The Interpreter tells the story of a master shaman and his twin apprentices—the Mohawk dreamer called Island Woman and the young immigrant Conrad Weiser—who become critical players in their two peoples’ struggle for survival. Island Woman will grow to become mother of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk nation and a revered atetshents (dream healer). Conrad, transported to North America with the Palatine German refugees from the wars in Europe, helps lead his people’s rebellion against the abuses of colonial governors and magnates. Sent to live among the Mohawk, he learns their language and their dreamways, is able to build bridges between communities, and later rises to fame in Pennsylvania as an indispensable Indian interpreter.
In the Mohawk language, the word for interpreter, sakowennakarahtats, speaks of a person who can transplant something from one soil to grow in another. The Interpreter is such a book. Through its pages, we are able to find ourselves in another time, and in other worlds. We accompany the Four Indian Kings on their 1710 visit to London to see the Queen; they were not kings in their own matriarchal society, but they included Hendrick, the redoubtable warrior who later instructed Ben Franklin that he must urge the colonists to unite in a confederacy on the Iroquois model. We travel with Vanishing Smoke, the Bear dreamer, on his journey into the afterlife. And we learn, with Island Woman and Conrad, how we can travel across time as well as space in shamanic lucid dreaming, and guide souls to where they belong.
In his new preface, Robert Moss describes how his Cycle of the Iroquois—Fire Along the Sky, The Firekeeper, and The Interpreter—began with dreams and visions in which an ancient Iroquois arendiwanen (woman of power) insisted on teaching him in her own language, until he was obliged to learn it.
“The harsh reality, the natural beauty and the mystical wonder of the American frontier is vividly rendered in this spellbinding fictional profile of a genuinely remarkable pioneer ... Painstakingly researched and richly steeped in authentic period detail, the evocative narrative unfolds into a vibrant tale of courage and adventure.” — Booklist
“Rich in historical detail and meticulously researched, the narrative skips easily back and forth from the New World to the Old.” — Publishers Weekly
Praise for Robert Moss and the Cycle of the Iroquois “Before the European invasion of North America, advanced systems of knowledge had been amassed over the centuries by indigenous people. One of the most remarkable aspects of the Iroquois tradition was the process by which they worked with dreams. Robert Moss has made these dreamways available to contemporary readers, who will be inspired by the spiritual insight and practical advice that is still applicable today.” — Stanley Krippner, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School, coauthor of Personal Mythology
“Robert Moss opens ancient and modern pathways into the realms of the soul, giving us insights into our deep humanity and into our American heritage.” — David Spangler, author of Everyday Miracles: The Inner Art of Manifestation
“Robert Moss offers us powerful and much needed medicine for our time, combining well-researched and fascinating Iroquois legends and history, the wisdom of his ancient and contemporary guides, and his own truths and teachings to inspire us to once again walk the path of soul and spirit, remembering and honoring our dreams.” — Rita Dwyer, past president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams
“Robert Moss participates in Native American cultural knowledge directly—via his own dreams. His experiences delving into the Iroquois spiritual world along with his use of fascinating historical materials combine to make a rich literary feast.” — Charles Stewart, PhD, Department of Anthropology, University College of London
“Robert Moss is a writer of considerable skill. In The Firekeeper, he shows a talent for accurate historical detail and an ability to recreate the past, both as it was and as it might have been. To read The Firekeeper is to be transported to another time and place, and leave it measurably enlightened.” — James A. Michener
“The Firekeeper by Robert Moss depicts with accurate and exciting detail the time of the French and Indian War. Through the fictionalized lives of historical individuals, Sir William Johnson and Catherine Weissenberg, and memorable, almost mythical characters such as the Iroquois shaman Island Woman and Ade, a former slave, the narrative springs to life. The characters, even the minor ones, are clearly drawn in this fast-paced tale, and the pages keep turning as we learn about the lives of the original inhabitants of this land, and of the early European settlers. This fascinating historical novel offers just the right mix: an involving story which imparts a deeper understanding.” — Jean M. Auel, author of The Clan of the Cave Bear
Robert Moss is a novelist, journalist, historian, and lifelong dream explorer. For many years he has taught and practiced Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanic techniques. His many books include Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life; Dreamgates: Exploring the Worlds of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death; Dreamways of the Iroquois: Honoring the Secret Wishes of the Soul; The Three “Only” Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination;and The Secret History of Dreaming. His novels include the three-volume Cycle of the Iroquois. Moss lives in upstate New York.