Carlos Castaneda Taught Sorcery Was the Path to Paradise

Carlos Castaneda photo
Carlos Castaneda was an anthropologist and author who wrote about his training by a shaman.

His books are first person accounts of his apprenticeship under don Juan Matus, a Native American sorcerer.

Carlos Castaneda wrote 12 books in all that offer intriguing personal development ideas towards inner awareness and enlightenment.

Biography of Carlos Castaneda

Carlos Castaneda was born in Peru on December 25, 1925. He moved to the United States in his 20s and became a citizen of the US in 1957. He attended UCLA and majored in anthropology.

His first books were written while he was still a student and were composed as log books that chronicled his apprenticeship under the wise man from Mexico.

His books were initially celebrated as important contributions to the world of anthropology, but later, critics came to believe the works were in part, or entirely, fiction, and belonged in the realm of philosophy or spirituality. Carlos Castaneda was a very private person and lived most of his life in seclusion. He never gave a definitive answer as to whether his works were actual first hand accounts of real experiences.

Castaneda died of cancer in 1998. His death and disposal of his remains was as secretive and mysterious as his life. His obituary wasn't published until two months after his death. A writer for 'Time' magazine aptly described Carlos Castaneda as "an enigma wrapped in a mystery."

The Beliefs of Carlos Castaneda

Carlos Castaneda often used the term 'nagual' when speaking of the realm that is removed, yet reachable by man. Shamans used the term when referring to seers, or those with the ability to shape shift into other forms. Castaneda believed that through the practice of rituals or exercises, one could enter the realm of the nagual and experience a different reality.

He wrote about magical passes, or meditative movements, that were taught to him by shamans that could help one broaden perceptual abilities. He refined the movements into a set of exercises called Tensegrity that tenses and relaxes various body structures and systems so there is improved flow of energy throughout the body. This improved flow was said to have a beneficial effect on the practitioner and the community of mankind as a whole.

Carlos Castaneda and his followers established Cleargreen in 1995. Cleargreen is an organization dedicated to teaching the personal development ideas of Castaneda and the movements used in Tensegrity through workshops and classes around the world.

The name is derived from Castaneda's belief that the energy aura of ancient humans was clear green while today our auras have become off-white. He taught his shamanistic movements to help his followers return to a natural human state of increased perception that allows glimpses into alternate realities.

Even though Castaneda is no longer with us, his work and teachings continue to be carried on by his followers through the Cleargreen organization.

The Books of Carlos Castaneda

  • 'The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge' was the first book written by Carlos Castaneda. It was submitted as his master's thesis at UCLA School of Anthropology, and was published in 1968. This book begins his story of a five-year apprenticeship under Yaqui Indian sorcerer, don Juan Matus, or Don Juan as he is sometimes called. The book is a first person account of the initial meeting and teachings he underwent, and an attempt to understand and describe the nagual world and its logic. Castaneda helps readers understand that our world is merely a cultural construct and when we can perceive other worlds and realities we can see our world for what it really is.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4 stars out of 5.


  • 'A Separate Reality: Further Conversations With Don Juan' was published in 1971. This book describes the next three years under the tutelage of Don Juan and his experiences with psychotropic plants. This book centers on Castaneda's struggle to 'see'. 'Seeing' was an integral part of the teachings of Don Juan, who referred to it as the ability to see universal energy flowing through the components of the world around us.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4 stars out of 5.

  • 'Journey to Ixtlan' was published in 1972. In this book, Don Juan teaches Carlos Castaneda that once a human being has expanded his perception, he can never truly go back to life as normal again. Instead, he longs for Ixtlan, a metaphorical location, where the alternate world is real, and humans are mere phantoms. Castaneda uses this volume to refine his teachings in regards to using psychotropic plants. He previously believed they were the gateway to sorcery, but came to believe they weren't necessary. Instead, he felt that 'warriors' were chosen for the path by the unseen world.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4.5 stars out of 5.

The book can also be bought as an ebook in the flexible Amazon Kindle format (which works on PC, Mac, Android smartphone & tablet, iPad and iPhone)
- to check out the Kindle ebook on Amazon.com, please click this link: Journey To Ixtlan


  • 'Tales of Power' was published in 1974 and is an account of the experiences of Carlos Castaneda up to his final meeting with Don Juan in 1973. This book describes a series of visions that some have come to believe was a form of lucid dreaming. This book acts as an initiation into the mysterious and magical world of the shaman.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4 stars out of 5.

The book can also be bought as an ebook in the flexible Amazon Kindle format (which works on PC, Mac, Android smartphone & tablet, iPad and iPhone)
- to check out the Kindle ebook on Amazon.com, please click this link: Tales of Power

As you can see some of the books here described are also available as ebooks and audibles.


  • 'The Second Ring of Power' was published in 1977 and is the first book written after the final meeting with the sorcerer Don Juan. In it, Castaneda introduces other apprentices and describes his adventures towards awareness with them. He begins to question the validity of some of the unusual experiences he had under Don Juan, so he retraces his past in Mexico to discover if what happened was real.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4 stars out of 5.

The book can also be bought as an ebook in the flexible Amazon Kindle format (which works on PC, Mac, Android smartphone & tablet, iPad and iPhone)
- to check out the Kindle ebook on Amazon.com, please click this link: Second Ring of Power



• 'The Eagle's Gift' was published in 1981. It contains further tales of Carlos Castaneda and his fellow apprentices. He describes the eagle's role in delivering awareness at birth and reclaiming it late in life. He tells how Don Juan left this world and delves into the world of sorcery which he finds both terrifying and mind expanding.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4 stars out of 5.



  • 'The Fire From Within' was published in 1984. This book by Carlos Castaneda remembers the teachings of Don Juan, and pairs them with his own experiences, to deepen his explanation of the sorcerer's world.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4.5 stars out of 5.



  • 'The Power of Silence: Further Lessons of Don Juan' contains further elaboration on the personal development ideas Carlos Castaneda learned in the dessert during the late 70s. His visions offer a glimpse into an alternate world that is mind expanding for readers and leads to better self realization. This book was first published in 1987.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4 stars out of 5.



• 'The Art of Dreaming' was published in 1993. This book relays the teachings of Don Juan as they relate to the dream world. In it, Carlos Castaneda describes the steps needed to control consciousness during dreaming. Don Juan taught there were barriers to the dream world that he called The Seven Gates of Dreaming. Castaneda presented practical exercises that today are considered steps to lucid dreaming. He believed that one could achieve total awareness by controlling dreams. Furthermore, he felt that behaving in specific ways during dreams could cause changes in a person's non-dreaming life, including creating an alternate way of dying as happened with Don Juan. Castaneda felt that dreaming was the door to sorcery and sorcery was the path to paradise.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4 stars out of 5.



  • 'Magical Passes: The Practical Wisdom of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico' teaches readers that in order to access the unseen worlds of the sorcerer, sufficient energy is needed. In this book published in 1998, Carlos Castaneda teaches physical movements needed to gather and deploy energy for the purposes of enhancing vitality, increasing alertness, and perceiving other worlds.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4.5 stars out of 5.



  • 'The Wheel of Time: Shamans of Ancient Mexico, Their Thoughts About Life, Death and the Universe' was published in 1998 and offers readers a concise overview of the personal development ideas and teachings of Don Juan by presenting his quotes along with interpretations by Carlos Castaneda that he developed through years of visions, dreaming, and soul searching.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4.5 stars out of 5.



  • 'The Active Side of Infinity' was published in 1999 and is filled with stories and tales of the adventures of Carlos Castaneda during his quest for awareness and self-realization under the hand of the sorcerer Don Juan. He offers personal development ideas to help readers being their own quests for expanded awareness.

If you click on the image to the left it will open a new tab/window on Amazon.com, where users have given this book 4 stars out of 5.


The Teachings of Carlos Castaneda Today

The teachings of don Juan Matus and the experiences of Carlos Castaneda continue to inspire millions of people around the world.

The personal development ideas and practical lessons in his books and the workshops by the Cleargreen organization teach seekers how to awaken to a greater awareness of reality.

His works are available as books, ebooks, DVDs, and audio books.




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