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Write On Ottawa: A memoir of a past life

By Alejandro Bustos on December 7, 2015

TrailingSky_FrontCoverIan Prattis has lived an incredibly diverse life. Now retired, the long-time professor of anthropology and sociology has travelled the world, including his stay in South Asia where he was ordained as a guru in India.

A long-time peace activist, he taught at Carleton University for more than three decades, and has led Buddhist meditation classes in his Ottawa-home home for years. For a time in the early-1990s, he lived in a small cottage in Gatineau Park with his pet timber wolf “Wolfie”, although he now resides on the Ontario side of the border with his lovely wife Carolyn.

He also has written extensively, whether it being academic works, poetry, non-fiction or fiction. As I know Prattis personally – I met him more than two decades ago – I am familiar with his long career, which got me curious about his book Trailing Sky Six Feathers.

This book will challenge many people as it deals with past lives, which is something that many people (including me) are skeptical of. However, if we are truly to be open minded, then it is worth listening when others speak, especially when they challenge our own worldview.

Trailing Sky Six Feathers revolves around two separate lives that are two centuries apart. First, Prattis describes a previous life when he was the Chief of an 18th century native band in Arizona. Second, he recounts how during his present life he received training from North American native sages, and how this allowed him to remember his past experiences.

In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, he freely admits that it took him a long time to accept this mystical tale. As he told the Citizen, however, “the dots kept connecting up too tightly and I could no longer object in my mind.”

Below is a transcript of an email interview with Apartment613 that has been slightly edited for style.

Apartment613: You have said that Trailing Sky Six Feathers is the real life version of James Redfield’s best-selling fictional book The Celestine Prophecy. What do you mean by this?

Ian Prattis: I’d like to consider Trailing Sky Six Feathers the real life version of James Redfield’s best-selling fictional book The Celestine Prophecy. I have nine chapters – loaded with Insights and adventure, plus shamanic training over a period of three decades. Trailing Sky Six Feathers is super unique, as it is drawn from my actual lived experience. Reality based information is in high demand in today’s society, which provides the potential for this project to become a fresh, new icon for today’s hungry culture. Hungry, that is, for authentic transformation.

Apt613: Picking up on the last question, what does this book allow you to express that you have not said before in your other works?


Ian Prattis

IP: Global citizens are staring into the abyss – yet instead of being eaten up by it all, I say to them: “Awaken Spiritually,” for that transforms everything. We have made our world an unpredictable beast because we fail to work with it intelligently. Rumi’s wise words are cogent: “Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof.”  We have to take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter.

Turning on the switch of awakening seems to be a good idea right now. We just need to touch the sacred in ordinary experiences of life to find the courage and determination to transform. I wrote Trailing Sky Six Feathers to shed light on issues that will affect our world for generations to come. The example of my own challenging journey and personal transformation illuminates a path for others to expand their consciousness and chart the course for a future beyond the abyss.

The human race does not need to be stuck with maladaptive options and patterns. We can and must transform. The key to change this deep freeze is Awakening, a spiritual relationship with self and Mother Earth.

Apt613: Let us play devil’s advocate a bit. This book deals with reincarnation which is a concept that many people reject. Do you think this book will still appeal to skeptical readers who enjoy a good story but may not share your philosophical views?

IP: Trailing Sky Six Feathers delivers a vigorous message about personal transformation in order to become different stewards of the earth and society. Extensive shamanic training is highlighted, as it was the instrument to overcome my childhood sexual abuse. The journey of remembering childhood wounds and past lives will draw in people searching for interior solutions.

In Trailing Sky Six Feathers I show that we can transform the damage and limitations of the past and step onto a path of enlightenment for all who suffer from road blocks in the mind. People around the world are overwhelmed by distraction, fear, suffering and violence – all of which keeps them frozen in a state of inaction – deeply wounded and unable to make changes within themselves and for the planet. The inner journey that occupies this book demonstrates that we do not have to be caught by our suffering, fear and maladaptive responses to Global Warming and Violence. We can take steady steps with wise mentors to break free of the chains and liberate ourselves.

Apt613: On the flip side, you say that reality-based information is something that our society craves. For readers who see this book as an autobiographical work, what can your story offer them?

IP: I have always thought of the present millennium as the century of the daughters. Not so much as a gender separate thing, but as attributes of a holistic, nurturing presence of mind. The feminine principle is the creator of all matter and things including the five elements and ourselves.

This book will be sought out by men who acknowledge the feminine principle as a staple foundation of their masculinity. The story of my resistance, then final surrender, to The Muse will strike a chord within most men and provide encouragement for their persistent engagement with the internal feminine.

Feminists will applaud and readily endorse such a book. The strong characters in the book are all women and the book revolves around the difficulties for men of engaging with the internal feminine principle. The testosterone ended drive of modern society raises the prospect of our species going over the cliff into the abyss. Trailing Sky Six Feathers moves the pendulum the other way to create a balance.

Apt613: In closing, what other literary projects are you working on?

redemptionIP: New Planet, New World provides a counterpoint to the demise of modern civilization. I chart a Beginning Anew for humanity, a communal Hero’s Journey to reconstruct society based on ecology, caring and sharing. This adventure is not without risk or cost, as power elites ignore their complicity in the destruction of life on Planet Earth.

It is the final bookend of a trilogy “Chronicles of Awakening.” Redemption is the first book in this trilogy that has Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the second book. The final tome of this trilogy takes characters from the prior two books, placing them in the future on a new planet. I place in the mouth of Dr. Tom Hagen a blistering rant to the UN in 2080 that I would certainly like to give from the future. It is about the willful ignorance displayed by corporate and government cabals invested in the carbon/oil complex, while eco militias murder in the streets and social disorder is a norm.

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