Toltec (Castaneda)

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The term "Toltec" is used in the works of writer Carlos Castaneda to denote a person who was recruited into a band of sorcerers with a tradition that had its origin in the Native American culture of that name.

Carlos Castaneda Peruvian-American author

Carlos Castaneda was an American author.

The nagual Juan described the Toltecs to Castaneda as a guild of sorcerers that began in Southern Mexico 10,000 years ago, originally based on harnessing the changes of perception and perspective brought about by working with power plants. [The Fire From Within – The New Seers] The primary purpose of the Toltec sorcerers is to prevent the disintegration of the self, which normally happens at death. To achieve that purpose, they evolved a set of techniques and developed a body of knowledge that enables the sorcerer to transform into a high-speed inorganic being with an endless lifespan (not unlike the spiritual notion of Ascending the body, but without the baggage).

Nagual shapeshifting sorcerer in Mesoamerican folk religion

In Mesoamerican folk religion, a nagual or nahual is a human being who has the power to transform either spiritually or physically into an animal form: most commonly jaguar, puma and wolf, but also other animals such as donkeys, birds, dogs or coyotes.

Castaneda makes it clear that his use of the term Toltec is specialized, so that it is not directly equivalent to the Toltec people or culture referred to in the ethnohistory and mythology of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The ongoing Toltec tradition had its beginning in the Toltec culture, but now those who are recruited are chosen for their suitability, rather than on ethnic or cultural lines.

Toltec Pre-columbian civilization

The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated a state centered in Tula, Hidalgo, Mexico in the early post-classic period of Mesoamerican chronology. The later Aztec culture saw the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural predecessors and described Toltec culture emanating from Tōllān[ˈtoːlːaːn] as the epitome of civilization; in the Nahuatl language the word Tōltēcatl[toːlˈteːkat͡ɬ] (singular) or Tōltēcah[toːlˈteːkaʔ] (plural) came to take on the meaning "artisan". The Aztec oral and pictographic tradition also described the history of the Toltec Empire, giving lists of rulers and their exploits.

Castaneda recounts that he was recruited in 1960, and paints a word-picture of the methods and concepts in the guise of conversations with his teacher, who he calls Don Juan in the series of 12 books he wrote on the subject. The books are written in a narrative style, in which Castaneda frequently ridicules himself for his inept and inappropriate reactions to disclosures and the associated perceptions induced in his apprenticeship.

Anthropologists and other researchers [1] have made various assertions of fraud.

See also


  1. Marshall, Robert (12 April 2007). "The dark legacy of Carlos Castaneda". . San Francisco, CA: Salon Publishing Group. Retrieved 2009-05-06.

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