A collection of strange objects.
Rather than leave out any reader comments that apply to Nagualism, we have created this column as a storehouse of whatever you find out there and care to send in.
... That 110 year old shaman you mention [Issue #3, page 24] is probably Don José Matsuwa, the famous Mara'akáme of the Huichol. Rick Yensen, a Baltimore psychiatrist who studied in one of C.C.'s classes in the early 70s, told me once, that C.C. knew Matsuwa. He even appears in The Teachings of Don Juan, as peyote-leader "mocho"; it is described that "mocho" lost the fingers of both hands, and the same applies to Matsuwa. Because of this, I can imagine that Matsuwa and Don Juan were friends (sorcerer friends): they both have the same peculiar sense of humor.
Rich also told me that C.C. had contact with Maria Sabina, the famous Mazatec healer, who gave the secret of the magic mushrooms to Gordon Wasson and the entire West. In the early 70s, Rich Yensen was introduced to that woman by C.C. and by his friend Salvador Roquet, a Mexican psychiatrist who worked with different shamans and healers throughout Mexico. By the way, Roquet was the founder of the so-called "Shamanistic Therapy" and according to Rich Yensen he was a close friend of Carlos. But all this doesn't imply that Nagualism and those lineages of Shamanism are the same thing; they are not...
Editor: Yep, that was the guy. I avoided printing his name because I hate to look up the special typesetting characters for things like and . But now you forced me into it, so the cat's out of the bag. There's an article on Maria Sabina in Psychedelic Illuminations magazine issue #6, which I mentioned last month because of Runyan Wilde's column focusing on Nagualism. We thought about taking out an ad next to his article in issue #7, but I worried that we'd end up with a lot of bell-shaped readers.
This reader confirmed that the blue scout had grown up and graduated, but I think that was covered in previous issues. A lot of input comes in after an issue is full, and readers should know that we usually fill up an issue 1 month before it's sent out. This reader also reported:
Someone who is very close to Carlos lately reported that he's very unhappy about the strange "recapitulation" boom. He was talking about all of those support groups and people who meet in restaurants or similar places to discuss their past lives and call it "recapitulation". That's not recapitulation, that's insanity. Carlos tolerates everything, but not insanity.
Last issue a reader reported doing a recapitulation as part of an uncrossing ritual. That didn't sound right at the time, maybe it's what Carlos was talking about.
This concern of Carlos adds fuel to something I was wondering about myself; if the sorcerer's intent can be diluted. I can't imagine Carlos caring about insanity unless it impinged on his own path.
The newsletter reaches the North Pole.
... In answer to your question re: aggressive distribution of NNL vs. low profile, my view is that intent, or the spirit, takes care of making the necessary links...
Editor: We'd given up on pushing it, readers didn't like the idea. But you sure are right about intent. We have 8 readers from Hawaii now, and I was worrying that we'd never have any. And very often, when a reader asks something or mentions some piece of information he would like to see, we receive it within a week.
The readership includes places as far away as Russia, Singapore, and Australia. Now we even have a reader at the North Pole, so I guess the newsletter had spread far enough.
This reader mentioned that there are translation differences between El Fuego Interno (the Spanish version), and The Fire from Within. He wonders if Carlos wrote both versions. Now I'm not sure, but I think I read that Carlos writes these in Spanish first. The example of a major translation difference, given by this reader, was: "To get rid of the self-importance that is rotten requires...," being translated into Spanish without the "that is rotten". That would imply that all self-importance should be eliminated. Carlos had a problem spreading the teachings in South America, saying that deeply Catholic people know hardly anything, so maybe he was worried that they might think the rotten kind was when you skipped the Hail Marys the following Sunday.
Another vote against dogma.
...Now, about ritual and dogma: Always, in the books, when something was highly ritualized, it would later be revealed that the ritual was nothing more than a necessary trick to engage our attention on a magical possibility. I don't think any of us should get too worked up about the dimensions of our crates, or the direction we face, or where the places of power are. Yet, it seems we do need the trick. I think we are in a position analogous to trying to get the placebo effect, while knowing beforehand it's a placebo. To focus on the placebo itself is silly. We need to focus on the effect. The rituals and trappings are seductive to our self importance. We could fight with each other over where the true power spots are, or what kind of crystals are best... or we can extrapolate from the trends in the books and be free of all that from the beginning. If everywhere isn't sacred, we should pretend it is.
Third, I'd like to express my awkwardness about the possible voyeuristic aspect of uncovering details of C.C and company's journey that aren't covered in the books. I hope it is minimized, as that kind of snoopiness is a distraction to what should be our abstract purpose. Why should we know where the park bench is? Going there with a camera doesn't seem to be in keeping with the Nagual's wishes...
Source: Kettle, KY
Editor: I'm not so sure about that. Certainly, if someone discovered something that shouldn't be revealed in the newsletter we wouldn't print it. But the books are filled with details about locations and surroundings. Why did they do that? Carlos said in one of his introductions that he added detail to give a feeling of the texture of daily life, but many of the accounts seem to go beyond that. For instance, Carlos lived in apartment #8, with a parking lot below, near the university, perhaps on Ashton, with exactly 16 steps leading to a hall by his door, with a door to the outside world. The apartment was a 1 room studio. There was a Tiny Naylor's nearby, and a golf course too. Perry Mason's detective would have had a field day with that much info, if correct. So it's either fiction, or we're supposed to perk up when we see it all. But why did they do it?
We were going to put the park bench story in this issue, but lecture notes prevented it. You would have seen that it was a people story, not a story about a place.
I don't think there are any facts in the books that we can hurt Carlos' party with. In fact, I'm of the opinion that the books, although true, are entirely a trick to hook our interest.
... DJ said that the world opens its mysterious mouth for all of us at some point in our lives - and we make a decision then either to explain away the occurrence - or else see the event and the world for what it really is - an unfathomable mystery ever unfolding before our eyes incredible events never to be repeated again. My "first" came in the form of a small cyclone of wind. And soon thereafter many other "events" followed - including even me flying across a street! Would a possible future topic be that "first time" when readers made the all important decision of refusing the social index and embracing the great unknown?...
Source: Pittsburgh, PA
Editor: I guess that topic would go under the Spirit heading. We have that column in this issue.
Carlos made a joke?
Carlos says that in order to make this work we need to "work our balls off". I think this is a clever joke. To make any progress as a man, you have to work like mad. Then you discover that sometimes you have experiences and sometimes you don't. You are working so hard, you don't want to waste effort. You eventually discover that you have to give up sex. It's a choice between working hard and wasting your time, or working hard and getting results. So you work your balls off!
Beware the soulsucker.
... I am sure you and your readers understand the impact of Carlos Castaneda's books. They had, and still have, a profound impact on my life and way of thought. I have been practicing for about three years, three great years.
The most profound of my experiences took place with a friend who also is a nagualist, (I really like that term by the way). We were Raving in Flagstaff and we ran into what I call a soulsucker. This man used his ability to see and his intent in order to take energy from a victim of his choosing.
In our case, he chose my friend. This was very damaging to our friendship, filling it with material arguments. Later on my friend was given a Peyote button by a man he can't remember. Already being on ecstasy (which can be used very effectively for gaining knowledge), one button allowed my friend to see.
He perceived a line of energy connecting him to the soulsucker. He then cut the line and I stood between the soulsucker and my friend, preventing a further drain. I would include more details, but my friend will write to you and give you more on this.
This experience strengthened our intent toward our goal. Since then I have seen and hear reports about other soulsuckers. I urge any and every Nagualist to beware of such people and to avoid becoming one. These people seem to be similar in temperament to the ancient sorcerers with their morbid and destructive desires. Receiving energy from the Cosmos, the Sun and the Earth is much more rewarding. Anyway, I would like to have a subscription to your newsletter. It sounds just like what the readers need, a connecting link. I will write more later...
Source: Tucson, AZ
Editor: Nagualism is pretty weird, but I think there's a good chance your friend and you are eating too many power plants. Either that or you're putting us on.
I remember tripping on LSD many years ago, and being absolutely certain that a garbage dump near a swamp was a site of mass murders that the city deliberately overlooked. From a philosophical viewpoint, it actually made sense. But the spot was just a smelly dump. I thought that I was gaining knowledge, and I was, but it was useless knowledge. Perhaps you should consider that the real soulsucker here is the X.
The return of the weird creatures.
... From issue #1, p. 12, first line of last paragraph; and issue #2, p14, last line on page, both of which refer to aging & Recapitulation: I would like more info & explanation about this. Is the intent to say that recapitulation accelerates aging of the physical body?
In issue #4, p. 9 column 3, paragraph beginning "an animal - like being..." Source wanted to know if others have had experiences with creatures like the ones described. Yes. I saw some very similar, short, not so long, off and on for a period of about two or three years. They looked quite fierce and sounded equally so. The ones I saw could & did shape shift when challenged.
After meeting them a few times, I found out that once they discovered I was not afraid of them and would not be intimidated (I laughed at them), they dropped their menacing behavior and began to display cautious curiosity, and even playfulness, in a manner similar to the way little boys tease little girls.
Source: Alaska (female)
Editor: How strange. I didn't expect any responses to the creature quest. Could they be the witches' "gargoyles" that inhabit the second attention along with the other strange beings?
I believe that Carlos was trying to say the opposite, that recapitulating slows the aging process (you won't age easily). The article on recapitulation from issue #1 was talking about something else. The implication was that you would be a hundred years more mature emotionally. My guess is that you'll end up both looking younger and acting it.
The healer from The Power of Silence?
A reader from Italy sent us some excerpts from a book in French. Here's some text from the title page in case you want to track it down: Maurice Cocagnac, "Rencontres avec Carlos Castaneda et Pachita la Guerisseuse". Albin Michel's name also appears on that page. The copyright states: Editions Albin Michel S.A., 1991. 22, rue Huyghens, 75014 Paris. ISBN 2-226-05217-8. ISSN 0298-0177.
This reader wrote:
Here I send you an excerpt from a book written by French Dominican Father Maurice Cocagnac. He was with Carlos and friends - Mexican historian Fernando B. (see Carlos' interview by G. Corvalan in Magical Blend #15) and wife, in Tula, during the visit reported in The Eagle's Gift.
The rest of the book deals with Cocagnac meeting a she-healer named Pachita in Mexico City and then going (on his own) to visit Mitla and Ixtlan. Please focus your attention on the following lines...
... Where Cocagnac states the healer told of by Carlos in The Power of Silence being Pachita herself. Too, it appears like Carlos debating that topic with don Juan after his conversation with Cocagnac, in January 1976. But wasn't don Juan flown away in 1973?
Source: Florence, Italy
Editor: If it was the same healer, it would mean that don Juan was still around. That's too much to speculate about here.
Did we miss your submission?
Dear Nagualist Editor,
I have a question for you. Contributions to the newsletter seem quite extensive now and many of the people writing in are obviously quite talented. I've had at least 6 direct "scout encounters" (one of them even tried to take me to its world). I could probably write a lot of stories for you guys about my dreaming, but should I bother? I realize that my dreaming is something that has to be done alone and anything I wrote in would basically just be to inspire others. If I can do some of this stuff then it must not be that difficult. Like I said though with so many talented people writing in do you need any stories from me?...
Source: Bowling, Green, KY
Editor: We never categorize the submissions based on talent or other factors. We're too untalented to tell the difference! But it's true that we receive more than we can print. Usually, a submission ends up being used 2 issues later, if it is going to be used. Lecture notes always get printed immediately. Submissions from female readers also tend to get priority. In the case of this last issue, lecture notes crowded out a lot of stuff which would normally be saved for the next issue.
Wah, Wah, Wah, cry Baby!
In the August/September issue, page 15, 2nd column, 3rd paragraph, the editor cried about "male -bashing" in "the books" (namely CC, T.A, & F.D's books). He's crying because Clara told Taisha that men drain women's energy through sex. Wah, wah - that's so terrible. If it's not true, and it's not true that men demean women, thus sapping their energy, why did the editor go on to say he "wouldn't mind a date with Josefina..." What did he mean by that? Why didn't he want a date with C.C.? He knows as much, or more than Josefina.
No one ever said that men are terrible, stupid, inept or anything of the sort. No one in the party ever said anything even remotely bad about men. Certainly not even close to any of the mean, demoralizing things that have been said about women. All they said is that women are more natural dreamers, and they gather energy differently than men. If men didn't objectify, use and abuse women, and if they would use the recapitulation, maybe they wouldn't sap women's energy. Until then, quit crying about "male-bashing" that isn't even going on.
The editor also goes through this thing about D.J. saying women are replicas of inorganics. So the editor concludes that inorganics offer men their energy & invite them to live in their tunnels, so we should "draw our own conclusions." Sounds to me like he is saying that Clara's just playing head games; i.e. women really want to give men their energy & really want their luminous worms in their womb, they just say the opposite to be a "tease". Which is just like saying "She said no, but I know she meant yes." Mm Hmm, yes. We know that's true. Women are not inorganic and their vaginas are not tunnels. You dare cry male-bashing? Why don't you start recapitulating and put yourself first on your list and please get over your self.
Source: None provided.
Editor: Yikes! Sorry.
How to find out about lectures.
Several times this issue we received confirmation that it's OK to contact Toltec Artists to find out about lectures. In one case, the recorded message for the Tensegrity tape gave out another phone number to Toltec Artists where lecture info could be gotten. In the other case, a reader wrote in and told us how to order the tape, presumably he was told via mail by Toltec Artists.
Another reader (L.K.H.) sent in a copy of a small piece of paper he received, which had a handwritten and signed message. He didn't tell us where he had gotten it. It read:
I have put your name on the list of future events and you will be notified as they occur. Thank you for your interest.
Finding one's hands.
... I'm seeking comments from readers on finding their hands in their dreams and becoming aware of falling asleep. I may be trying too hard here. Also information is requested on encountering scouts and Inorganic Beings.
Source: Ione, CA
Editor: Unfortunately, we won't be able to get responses since this is our last issue. But check out what Merilyn had to say as an alternative to looking for your hands. Then the classic things to try are: shutting off your internal dialogue while putting your attention on your solar plexus (for a couple of hours or until you fall asleep), not-doing exercises such as walking around on knee pads instead of your feet, gazing (looking at anything until it goes flat and you start to see weird stuff), and especially recapitulating. Also, just plain sleeping more helps. When you feel like getting up, just stay there and try to go back into sleep by visualizing you hands. If you wake up from an ordinary dream in the morning, don't move. Pretend you are still in that dream and look for pieces of scenery from it. If you see some, play with them until you are back in.
Is that a Novadreamer?
Issue 4, Page 23. Don Diego, in his comment said that both points were valid, not equal. Let me quote something out of The Art of Dreaming.
"The darkness in that hotel room was most extraordinary. It brought me a delicious sense of peace and harmony. It brought me also a profound sadness, a longing for companionship...
`I am coming apart... I am about to weep for people.'"
This is Carlos with the Tenant. Some peoples perception would be that these feelings Carlos was having in the Tenants embrace were finer and more noble than the cold, undemonstrative way of certain sorcerers. Who's to judge - it's perception.
Hey! Is that a Novadreamer on the face of he/she who watches us on the book cover of The Art of Dreaming? Now ain't that weirdly put?
Source: El. G.
Editor: I never noticed that, maybe that's what El. G.'s benefactor was alluding to. I looked around in stores and it's just a standard blindfold shape, but it is interesting and implies that a blindfold might be useful sometimes.
El. G.'s group seems to place a higher emphasis on love than does Carlos' group. So does don Miguel's, as can be seen from the next entry. Carlos does talk about "unconditional love", but so far it's only as an effect, not a cause. Carlos' experiences that you mentioned could also be explained by the fact that his assemblage point was being moved by someone else, someone who deliberately sought out positions of the assemblage point permeated with the mood of the old sorcerers.
Another version of la Gorda's demise.
... I have my doubts [about Merilyn], because Florinda described in detail, at both workshops I attended, how la Gorda had died when she tried to lead the party. La Gorda had actually grabbed Florinda by the arm and tried to take her with her into the unknown, but la Gorda died, turned to bone before Florinda's eyes...
... As for your request about the nature of the accusations made by don Miguels' group. I went to 4 meetings with "naguals" of his group. These were group meetings where everyone paid a fee to be there ($10-15). All of his followers are "naguals". They think everyone is a nagual and they fail to see the distinction don Juan made about the energy configuration of a Nagual. They claim that their Toltec Way leads to unconditional love and Carlos' does not. Their opinion was that their form of Nagualism is for everyone and readily available to anyone who wants it. They think that Carlos' group is secretive and unwilling to share their "dark" form of Nagualism with other humans. The meetings I went to were watered-down forms of Nagualism, more like a fellowship meeting. The opinions I expressed were those I received from the "naguals" who led these meetings. After four meetings, I found that these groups were useless for me. This candy-coated form of Nagualism is not for me. I like the clandestine stuff! Seriously, they don't seem to follow the rigorous course that Carlos' line does regarding recapitulation, dreaming, stalking, etc. They claim you will find these things if you pay $350-$3000 to go to one of their workshops/tours. I met don Miguel once at a party. He seemed to be a sincere person. I know his followers idolize him (that in itself is dangerous). He is pampered and worshipped by his followers. But I can't relate his opinions, though those of his followers that I came into contact with I can relate...
Editor: Anyone that says that Carlos' group is trying to keep this to themselves is unaware of the facts. Their seminar schedule in the last few months would wear me out, and they limit the size of their audiences, so they aren't after the money.
My apologies to don Miguel's group. We were trying to find out something else and this was just one of the leads we were following. But since the comments were mentioned in a previous issue, we felt it necessary to print what they were. Hats off to don Miguel's students who have been silent about the often negative remarks published last issue. Some of the points don Miguel's group makes are inarguable. When dealing with awful situations in the second attention, "unconditional love" is definitely an option. Panic seems to exaggerate things. Magical Blend may have more about don Miguel in future issues.
...the vision [issue #4, pg 7] during Recapitulation shows a person seen from far away. In Tales of Power, don Juan teaches Carlos an exercise to summon up people. As you may recall, Carlos summoned some buddies of his personal past, then some people that don Juan chose, and at last don Genaro, the real McCoy. Re-read it and you'll find your mushroom- or tree-like shapes. Congratulations, you saw while recapitulating...
Perfect petty tyrants.
... I have broken the rules. I am a mother. I am raising a child with the help of 2 men, all of us budding warriors. Spirit indicated the conception of this child. I trusted and leapt. A child is a perfect petty tyrant. Valuable recapitulation, remembering, occurs through all developmental stages. Not every parent could do this, but the point is that many new ways are open to us now. The path to warriorhood can even include somebody's mother...
I feel the hole in my light body is constantly healing as I give my child to himself. Because the child is raised by 3 people, no one person has to give themselves away. This child is very clear. I do not feel any of this has hurt my dreaming. (Only the first 2 years were weird - he's 10 now). It adds interest to stalking - my Donna Reed look.
Source: Cheyenne, Wy
Editor: On the topic of children, let's not forget that Carlos had at least one. Twice we have heard details about it, and were surprised, but weren't allowed to report it here. However, since this is the last issue, readers should know that what happened might actually come out in one of their books someday. And it is surprising.
Peter Pan was a Toltec?
... In The Sorcerers' Crossing, Taisha talks about her experience with Clara's shadow and how it moved on its own accord. It scared her because it moved and change positions. It also lunged at her and gave her quite a fright.
Upon reading this I immediately thought of my own childhood and the story of "Peter Pan". Did anybody else make this connection?
Do you remember? "Peter Pan" always played with his shadow. He also had an "ally" who always helped him and held great affection for him. The ally was of course, "Tinker Bell".
Also "Peter Pan" remained in a perpetual state of childhood. His adventures were in a place called, "Never-never land", where he constantly had trouble with a "petty tyrant", the mean old Captain Hook. Peter also had apprentices in the "Tonal" and the "Nagual".
Now, if you remember your mythology, "Pan" is the greek and roman spirit-god of Nature. Also, the Greeks had a secret Elysian mystery school where the participants drank an intoxicant called "Soma". (A strange synchronicity just occurred when I looked in my dictionary to spell "Elysian. The word above it is "Elves!!).
This same archetype appears in the form of "Mescalito", under the influence of peyote. Which Carlos has written about in his first two books.
To me, all of this makes for some damned intriguing allegories. Was the author of "Peter Pan" (who I can't remember) a member of some "mystery" school? What else did he write besides children's stories?..
Source: Sheridan, OR
Started recapitulating regularly from reading NNL.
... As I've said before in writing, even though recommended, the recapitulation seemed too daunting & to me the books were all tales of power. But the newsletter changed that for me. I got my first issues in Oct or Nov & started recapitulating regularly then. Haphazardly, but regularly. A few days ago I had my first dreaming awake experience...
Editor: This person also has a machine to signal when you are dreaming, but it "hasn't done squat". This letter is like quite a few others we have received that argue we should ignore what Toltec Artists thinks because the newsletter makes people become more serious about their practices. In fact, at least 20% of the readership directly attributes starting recapitulation to having received the newsletter.
It's a very good argument, but again it falls into the realm of a personal venture. It's back to that junk food feast for the personal self. Now we have to think, "This sure is doing a lot of good, look at all of these serious practitioners."
That's just not an effective way to behave. I for one don't know if it's good or bad to practice these techniques. Go ask a "born again" Christian if the newsletter is doing good. Really, that's a matter of opinion. In a radio interview, one of the witches is asked, "why practice this stuff?" Her answer is, "if you have to ask, it's not for you." Maybe it's important for people to jump into this without any outside prompting.
Another Sorcery school.
... Please ask readers if they know anything about the ad in Magical Blend's classifieds which reads: The Quest for Freedom is an authentic School of Toltec Sorcery. The knowledge of the Death Defiers. (followed by address).
Has anyone written them to find out what they are? And who they are? The ad is on P. 109 of M.B. issue #45.
Source: Madison, AL
Editor: I don't know the size of his group, but the book mentioned by the reader in issue #3 on page 12 (Quetzalcoatl) lists the same address inside it's cover. He stated then that as a result of his recapitulation he had met a being claiming to be don Juan, on the "astral plane", and another claiming to be the original Nagual. The book is The Scales of the Dragon by Avendar Dragon. Here's a quote from his book, at a random chapter: "One evening Master Q came to me and instructed that I was to visualize active volcanoes for a seven day period. He did not elaborate, for as soon as he passed on his instructions he was gone. He would sometimes operate like this. Many times the extent of his presence was merely to pass on brief instructions that I was to practice as efficiently as possible. He later told me that the purpose was to stress a relation on a particular outcome of a practice and not upon the effects of a relation with a so-called guru. The Bhakti and Renunciation paths work heavily in the guru-chela relationship so as to create a second class status upon the devotee. Master Q desired to create in his students a relation to the inner core of being that is one's equal..."
How do you get a question answered?
... My "Brother" has attended a lot of the seminars that were offered in '93. He carried a letter to one of the Chacmools, I assume he went to the office of the Toltec Artists. He never heard from anyone & I do not personally know what the contents of the letter contained. He began about 15 years ago trying to ask a question of the Nagual. He didn't want to infringe or be a nuisance. He simply, respectfully, asked one question. Is there anyone, anywhere, that might be of help - perhaps by mail. He still hopes desperately for an answer to his question...
Source: Truckee, CA
Editor: Carlos and his group are probably bombarded with letters and the like. One time I heard that Carlos picked letters to answer at random, I guess using intent to decide. I'm sure they can't respond to everything, because I've seen what the situation is like in the newsletter input. And unfortunately, there are a lot of desperate, insane people interested in this topic. That has nothing to do with the person you mentioned, but it does have something to do with how they view input.
I think that the best approach is to go to the seminars and wait for a chance. Also, he's welcome to send the question here, we can do a couple of things with it. We don't know if these will produce a response, but we can try.