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The Nagualist Newsletter and Open Forum / Issue 2 August / September 1994
Copyright 1994 by Nagualist Newsletter, all rights reserved. Individual submissions by readers and staff of the newsletter are also protected under copyright law. No portion may be reproduced without the written permission of the Nagualist Newsletter and of the individual who made the submission. Additional copies may be available at no charge.

PSYCHEDELICS OR NOT?

A reader speaks out.

Dear Editor;

As a student of Carlos Castaneda's works for over ten years, and an apprentice to a living Nagual, I must commend you on the seriousness and intent of your newsletter. Self responsibility and motivation is the first steps towards power. Stalking also, must precede dreaming work. If you haven't recapitulated yourself, you have no place stepping into the Nagual. I urge all readers to consider this.

Sadly however, I've observed a trace of anti-"drug" sentiment in your first newsletter, specifically in your "just say no" column.

First, power plants are not "drugs" they are teachers; Walgreens sells drugs. As the editor relayed his "surviving my power plant phase" with honesty, in all fairness most people do not use plants for the right reasons or with respect, thus they deserve to have their wrists slapped by spirit.

I must correct you though, you wrote in relation to don Juan giving Carlos Peyote "... Don Juan catering to a Carlos who wanted to learn about Peyote. It hadn't much to do with Nagualism". This is not true. Nagualism is about breaking down consensual reality conditioning, gaining lost energy and entering the dreamtime. Don Juan administered the plants to break down the walls Carlos had erected within himself, they were an essential component.

Many serious and devoted apprentices of Carlos Castaneda, long time students of his work and authors writing about Carlos, are avid psychedelic plant users. I suspect if you, for whatever reason, begin a "just say no" policy within your newsletter, you will turn a lot of folks off, including myself. It's arrogant to condemn that which we don't understand.

Every indigenous culture on this planet uses psychedelic plants, they are powerful teachers, allies, spirits, etc. If one uses them for escapism or thrill seeking you won't get too far. Yet if you use them with the intent of contacting the spirit of the plant and stripping ego layers away, that's the correct use. What is important is the intent involved and the amount of respect towards the plant.

Any biologist, medicine man or Sorcerer (and I know many of each) will tell you that the planet is an intelligent, self correcting living being which we are part of. Everything has an intrinsic purpose, including psychedelic plants. If you, as editor, choose to pass by this gift of the planet, fine, but please don't preach a "just say no" song to the rest of us. (We heard enough of this from Bush.)

Around the time of Castaneda, there was a break in the alliance between sorcerers in Mexico (Naguals). The break was between the old school of manipulative sorcery and the new school of Liberation/freedom based Nagualismo. There was a further break, for your information, between sorcerers who excluded psychedelics from the teachings and those who continue their use as integral aspects of Nagualismo teachings. Each person must decide for themselves, it depends on what your spirit tells you, it's not law either way!

Keep up the great energy and work. I look forward to your further issues, I will certainly relay this newsletter to those I know can appreciate it. Thanks.

Source: Mark (name used by request)

Editor: My opinion on power plants is only a personal opinion, based on my own experiences with them. The official newsletter policy is, "you send it, we'll print it."

I feel obliged to report the following, but before I do, let me say that since you have a Nagual leader, it doesn't have any bearing on your own use of power plants.

Besides the lecture notes from Carlos in this issue, which state that he is specifically telling us not to use power plants, we have lecture notes from Taisha which say the same. They will be in the next issue, but I feel it's important for readers who are making up their mind on this issue to see a couple of quotes from them now. The text in brackets is the note taker's summary. That outside brackets is a direct quote:

"-[and the assemblage point can also move from the blow of the nagual] [then a little discourse about how drugs are unnecessary and harmful and were used in the initial stages with Castaneda only because he was a nagual and his assemblage point was so difficult to move]"

"-[Abelar] trained to move the assemblage point gradually, through the recapitulation, never through drugs."

Here's a bonus I didn't want readers to have to wait for (Chiropractor bills can be so expensive):

"-do not hurt your neck by sweeping too far."

From a seminar by Taisha Abelar, Gaia Bookstore, Nov. 19,1993

Nagualist Newsletter and Open Forum / Issue 2 Aug. /Sept. 1994