Interview 1994 Donner Abelar Tiggs, Keith Nichols
- CASTANEDA'S CLAN. Interview with three female warriors *
An exclusive interview with three if the female warriors of Carlos Castaneda's sorcery lineage Florinda, Donner-Grau, Taisha Abelar, and Carol Tiggs interview by Keith Nichols.
It's been over twenty years since Carlos Castaneda began igniting his readers' imaginations about the possibility of viewing reality differently. Today, American seekers are involved in a magical blend of religious practices aimed at the same thing from Zen Buddhism to Yoga to herbal remedies and even Wicca and spiritualism. Yet questions still remain from the intensive searching of the last several decades, such as when are we going to get free, anyway? And how do we explain the inexplicable?
These were the questions on my mind when I found myself journeying down the coast toward Los Angeles for an encounter with three women of Castaneda's sorcery lineage: Florinda Donner Grau, Taisha Abelar, and Carol Tiggs.
When Florinda Donner-Grau and I first met, she told me about an encounter that serves well to explain the threshold that many people have already encountered. As she walked down the streets in downtown Los Angeles, she saw a floating blob of energy. As she watched it bounce up and down the street, she was a little unsure about her senses. She tugged on the shoulder of a man standing nearby whose mouth was open wide in a state of disbelief--or maybe bewilderment. She saw that he too was looking at the blob.
As a sorcerer, Donner-Grau is aware that reality is largely perception and that what we choose to perceive and not to perceive is based on our training. So perhaps the man in L.A. represents a sort of graduation in the school of larger possibilities, a generation prepared by Castaneda and others to perceive subtler energies.
With the recent publication of Castaneda's ninth book, as well as books by Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar, Carlos Castaneda's sorcerers party has evolved into seems to beckon forth that this reality is not the only one; others do exist into which we can transcend.
Why are the women of this lineage just beginning to come out and speak about their practices?
Florinda Donner-Grau: Well, there is a fundamental difference in the way males and females perceive and respond to reality. Females, such as Taisha, Carol, and I, didn't write about anything for twenty years. This is the fundamental difference: females need to embody a system of belief before they can write about it. While males build their bridges of understanding with words, women build their understanding with their life. Both are equally valid ways of understanding, yet they are very different ways of processing life.
In terms of energy the male cones toward knowledge; he builds step by step. In physics, this stepping can be described like a cone, where males are always moving toward a source but never reaching it. With females, it is different because that cone is reversed. Because of the womb, females have the capacity to perceive knowledge directly. There is no reason for her to explain because she already knows. And it is this knowingness, this experience of being connected with the source-what we call Intent-that sorcerers want to get back to. Females have an inherent advantage in that they know Intent directly, while the male is always approaching it.
What is the purpose of being connected with this source, Intent?
Florinda Donner-Grau: Well, I'll tell you a story. I love books; I'm an avid reader. Now Carlos hasn't read a book in over twenty years. I know that because he gave all his books to me. Now I'm very interested in phenomenology because as an intellectual pursuit, it is the only one that comes close to sorcery. Well, I'll be reading something and then I'll ask Carlos a question. He'll be quiet for about ten minutes and then he'll give me an explanation of exactly what I have been reading. At that point, I know that he's been out there grabbing that knowledge from elsewhere. And this ability has no limitation; I can ask him something about physics and he immediately gives me a bonafide answer.
How would you describe what he is doing?
Carol Tiggs: I would say that he is practicing dreaming, which is a way of describing that he is using his energetic body to grab hold of a line of energy and access information directly from the source of the universe.
Florinda Donner-Grau: And Carlos knows exactly what line to grab. Seers see that it is all out there anyway. But what makes a capable sorcerer is the ability to access these lines of information with control and at will. Recently, Carlos took a group of twenty people to a small church in Mexico (written about in several of his books). While in the church, he took the whole group into a state of dreaming and journeyed into another world.
How does one learn how to do this?
Florinda Donner-Grau: It's all a matter of having enough energy to be able to see. We're all so consumed by the everydayness of life that we simply don't have any energy left over to see.
How do people use daily life to begin to find where they are draining themselves energetically?
Carol Tiggs: When you look back over your workday, one of the clues to where you lost your energy is where you began to feel tired and not energetically yourself. Those places are where you'll find your answers and start to develop some perspective-and you'll be able to begin to pull back your energy from these events and begin to start examining the patterns that keep you stuck within the ego game of hero and victim.
Is this process different for the males and the females?
Florinda Donner-Grau: The process isn't any different. When you recapitulate, you take yourself back and recreate every event as it happened. Once you have the energy, this happens automatically and you don't have to reach it through any shamanistic means, such as fasting and so on. You can begin any day and start from that day and move backwards. I've done four recapitulations of my entire life to date and I find something new each time. And what I find is that not directly but indirectly we always try to be the hero ourselves.
At some of the lectures we have given, people are always taking notes and I find myself saying to them, "No, don't take notes, because those things are meaningless. Just listen." All of their energy is gong into taking notes and they're missing half of what is really going on.
Taisha Abelar: We constantly hear people say, If only I was a part of your group, then I could do this or that. But what they don't understand is that wherever you are, that is where you start.
Carol Tiggs: Sorcery is really just perception. There are no rituals, no dancing, no nothing. Just perception and some techniques to enhance perception through gathering up of oneself energetically. There are aids, such as not-doing techniques.
Taisha Abelar: Or just watching your thoughts and hearing what you are really thinking. You can learn a lot by doing that.
Carol Tiggs: What I've found is that people generally fall into one of two categories: either they have to be in control or they are being controlled by something else. When you come from these two scenarios, you generally aren't perceiving your life clearly. By recapitulating you light up in your awareness exactly the energies (or reality) that was constructed so that you can begin to perceive the patterns and programming that control you.
Taisha Abelar: When you begin to clearly see the social patterns that control you, you start to move into stalking yourself. This is where you can become an active participant in life. Suddenly your boss is no longer that evil, horrible controller that he once was. Instead he becomes a mirror by which you start to see where you are trapped into the games of this reality. These games are what consume or tie up people's energy and keep them from perceiving the true energetic nature of this reality.
When you move away from the consensus of everyday life, you can allow the Intent or the dream that has been set up by Intent to become the moving force, the guide.
Florinda Donner-Grau: To do this you have to relinquish this feeling of having to be the one in control. But believe me, even after you have recapitulated, you still have that feeling that you have this one little area over here and that once you get to it, then you will be the one who is in charge.
Let's get back to the ways in which males and females perceive. If females perceive directly, then why aren't most females walking around steeped in understanding or knowingness of Intent?
Florinda Donner-Grau: Males have an energetic advantage in the physical world. Though the male cone shape configuration of energy makes perceiving the source of Intent more difficult, it is ideal for being able to work stronger in the physical world . There is no way for females to compete against that energetic advantage as long as they are imitating roles that males have created. Instead we as females have to find our own resources and break this cycle of imitation so that we can truly begin to evolve into something different.
What is that evolvement?
Carol Tiggs: To tell you the truth, I really don't know. What is our Intent as we evolve and what does this evolvement entail? For female sorcerers, part of this comes into enhancing the secondary functions of our wombs, which are the dreaming organs in the female body. And we do this by recapitulating, breaking old patterns, gathering up our energy, so that we can begin to dream a new dream.
Taisha Abelar: Whatever has happened to us-and something has happened-we hope to convey to younger people that change is possible. But there has to be some kind of critical mass to make this change possible.
Florinda Donner-Grau: When you go against the enormous consensus that constitutes everyday reality, you are pounding against a stone wall. When sorcerers enter into dreaming, the first thing they will usually encounter is a bank of fog. When you see this fog you are pulling at something else energetically.
ln a way, sorcery is like Chinese Medicine in that it treats the body as if it were a field of energy. Western Medicine treats the body as if it were an object so it doesn't take advantage of the more powerful energetic reality. Consequently you have doctors cutting out matter instead of using energy to change it. Medicine, like modem man, would change dramatically if it took advantage of these energetic principles to aid in a metamorphis of current limitations and illnesses.
Carol Tiggs: What a sorcerer searches for is that evolvement within his awareness or energetic field; that moment or possibility of change into a state of being that has more wellness.
Florinda Donner-Grau: Currently there is so much invested in institutions like the A.M.A. that there is no way that they are going to change things like that. But what they are doing to the body is horrendous. They teach us that medicine has advanced, but that simply isn't true. Now we have Aids and cancer and we really don't know what the hell we are doing.
I had a young female friend who died of intestinal cancer a couple of months ago. On the outside she was living the perfect life but on the inside she was being eaten alive. You see, her husband was a president of one of those huge corporations and you wouldn't believe the pains she went through to impress people. She was killing herself to impress other people. I asked her, "If things are so bad, why didn't you seek some help?" But she said that she was worried about what people would think. I answered back, "What will they think when you are dead?" Now, she is dead, and they don't think a thing. If that is the price you are going to pay, then take off.
But that's what we do. You see, in a way, we're still monkeys. Don Juan used to tease us and say that we are like a monkey who has reached into a gourd to grab some seeds. The monkey can't get his hand out as long as he holds on to those seeds. Humans are very much the same way. Our social expectations are the seeds which consume our awareness. All the monkey would have to do to become free is to just let go of those damn seeds, but he won't. We won't let go of the seeds to get ourselves out of a trapped situation. We just can't let go.
Gary Larson drew a cartoon showing an ape who had fallen out of a tree and was laying flat on the ground. Under the drawing was the transcription: The dawn of man. The only thing he forgot to add was that the monkey had fallen onto a patch of seeds. You see, he had grabbed for the seeds; that was the real fall of man.
Magical Blend Magazine (c) 1994