Main CategoriesMagic and SorceryToltec Sorcery and Nagualism Tales of Power

Tales of Power

Product no.: 0-671-73252-8
In the fourth leg of this incredible, revelatory biography, Carlos Castaneda at last completes the long journey into the world of sorcery that began with his now-legendary meeting with don Juan.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Drawn back by the knowledge that the sorcerer's task has not been completed, Castaneda returns to plumb the final, awesome secrets of the sorcerer's explanation of the world - to learn, in don Juan's world and his own, the last lesson of a unique and arduous apprenticeship.

For until now don Juan has performed his acts of power in his world, the dry, barren deserts and mesas of his birth, a world in which he seems to exist as naturally as the chaparral and the rocks. Now, in an unexpected encounter, don Juan appears in Castaneda's modern urban world, at ease in a well-tailored suit, demonstrating his lessons of power in the crowded, busy streets, using the city scene, as he uses everything, to unfold the wings of Carlos Castaneda's perception.


"A work which is among the best that the science of anthropology has produced."    ~New York Times Book Review

"You're in a terrible spot," he said. "It's too late for you to retreat but too soon to act. All you can do is witness. You're in the miserable position of an infant who cannot return to the mother's womb, but neither can he run around and act. All an infant can do is witness and listen to the stupendous tales of action being told to him. You are at that precise point now. You cannot go back to the womb of your old world, but you cannot act with power either. For you there is only witnessing acts of power and listening to tales, tales of power."

"The double is one of those tales. You know that, and that's why your reason is so taken by it. You are beating your head against a wall if you pretend to understand. All that I can say about it, by way of explanation, is that the double, although it is arrived at through dreaming, is as real as it can be."

"When an anthropology student's study of medicinal plants, The Teachings of Don Juan appeared in 1968, it spread like wildfire throughout California and around the world. Carlos Castaneda's apprenticeship with an Indian brujo, who taught him the right use of power plants, caught on with counter-culture kids experimenting with the same psychoactive substances. Followed by A Separate Reality in 1971, Castaneda was now revealing highly guarded secrets way beyond anything anyone had ever seen. So mind-boggling, yet written so sensibly by the ernest UCLA student, the books were even garnering praise from the 'Establishment'. Time magazine observed, 'Makes hypnotic reading. Castaneda is a brilliant, self-mocking and - one assumes, despite the weirdness of the narrative - truthful storyteller.' With Journey to Ixtlan in 1972 and Tales of Power in 1974, the four-book anthology concluded Castaneda's magical apprenticeship to a modern sorcerer, inspiring the New York Times to gush, 'We are incredibly fortunate to have Carlos Castaneda's books. Taken together they form a work which is among the best the science of anthropology has produced.'

Unfortunately, the Toltec tradition's true colors are revealed in the subsequent books of the series, destroying any nobility the former possessed. The New York Times finally caught on with the seventh book, The Fire From Within: 'Good books have been written about spiritual apprenticeship... but this is not one of them.'

An insidious common thread weaving through all the Castaneda books is the association of the spiritual (narrow) path to the Left-Hand Path; the Initiate constantly reminded to think of him or herself as a 'sorcerer'—set apart from, and above, the average man. And accordingly, the self-centered sorcerer is the only one with a chance of getting out of here alive. Since these sophisticated shamanic techniques and insights are inextricably linked with a false promise of freedom, they should be approached with caution—the pearls of wisdom carefully extracted from the manure (the dogma).

Perhaps it is best that psychotropic plants and their derivatives have been demonized so the unenlightened generations of today cannot conceive of Castaneda's candor, the supernatural reality of his inexplicable experiences. And atavistic retrogression of his soul."     ~Mandala Books

Author Matus, Juan
Coauthor Castaneda, Carlos
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 295 pp.
Publisher Simon & Schuster 1992
Platinum Medal

Platinum Medal


Platinum Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Toltec Sorcery and Nagualism, Neoshamanism and Entheogenic Healing, Metaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Platinum Medal Essential Reading

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