Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Castaneda, Carlos

  • Rodrigo Iamarino CaravitaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_335


Carlos Castaneda, born on December 25, 1925, and died on April 27, 1998, was an anthropologist graduated from UCLA. After obtaining his PhD in 1973, he was rarely seen in public, becoming since then a shaman apprentice. Don Juan and Don Genaro were his two main mentors, and Castaneda’s main task consisted in “becoming a warrior” and transmitting their knowledges on.

Both his birth and death dates remain to this time a mystery. Castaneda said he was born in 1935 in São Paulo, Brazil. A Time magazine article (Burton 1973) states that, according to the USA migration data, he was born in 1925 in Peru (that is the most accepted). Another article from the New York Times (Walters 1981) claims that he was born in 1915 in Peru. All this deliberate confusion might be in accordance to the teachings Castaneda has spread in his books: the need to erase and forget the own past. This fact has also increased the mystique about him. As an anthropologist, he wrote the trilogy that has...


New Age movement Spirituality Neoshamanism Urban shamanism Nagualism Latin America 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências HumanasUniversidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil