CASTANEDA Carlos. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge.

(Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA): University of California Press, 1968.  First edition.  Octavo.  196 pages.  Cult volume, the first in a series that describe the author’s training in shamanism, particularly with a group whose lineage descended from the Toltecs.  Submitted as his Master’s thesis in the school of Anthropology. It purports to document the events that took place during an apprenticeship with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, don Juan Matus from Sonora, Mexico between 1960 and 1965.  The book is divided into two sections. The first section, The Teachings, is a first-person narrative that documents Castaneda’s initial interactions with don Juan. He speaks of his encounters with Mescalito (a teaching spirit inhabiting all peyote plants), divination with lizards and flying using the “yerba del diablo” (Jimson weed), and turning into a blackbird using “humito” (a smoked powder containing Psilocybe mexicana). The second, A Structural Analysis, is an attempt, Castaneda says, at “disclosing the internal cohesion and the cogency of don Juan’s Teachings.  This work has since been found to be a work of fiction, but many supporters still claim the books in the series are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy.  A very good copy in price-clipped dust jacket, jacket with trace of label removal from base of spine that has resulted in the loss of some lettering to the word ‘knowledge’.  Still, a nice presentable copy of this important work.


1 in stock