Don Juan Matus

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Don Juan Matus (around 1890–1973) is a literary figure in the works of the American New Age writer Carlos Castaneda (1925–1998).

Literary history

According to the American anthropologist Carlos Castaneda, he met the Yaqui Indian Don Juan Matus (born in Mexico in 1891) during a study of the use of medicinal plants in Mexico. He worked as a brujo (healing magician) and yerbero (seller of medicinal herbs). Don Juan had offered to reveal the secrets of Indian magic medicine to him and so he finally became his student. Don Juan's education focused on the use of psychoactive drugs such as peyote and thorn apple . By means of peyote, which also symbolizes the god Mescalito , contact with this divine being appeared possible.

Castaneda describes Don Juan Matus as a practitioner of an old Toltec tradition of "magicians" and "seers" who later referred to themselves as "warriors". Castaneda also reflects this tradition as Pan-Indian, as it has a centuries-old history. This tradition is said to have been continued in different variations by groups that were only able to maintain loose contact with each other during the Spanish Conquista . These groups no longer belonged to existing Indian tribes, nor did members of these wizard groups perform shamanic tasks within tribes.

There was criticism of don Juan's assignment as a Yaqui Indian because the teachings of Juan Matus have hardly any reference to the shamanism of the Yaqui.

As a poor young worker, Don Juan is said to have been found badly wounded by his later Indian teacher after an argument, nursed to health and introduced to sorcery through cunning and apparent compulsion.

Thanks to his special talents, Don Juan Matus became the “nagual” (leader) of a train of magicians, including Don Genaro, a Mazatec. Warriors or magicians are not only Indians, but also Mexicans or occasionally whites. The train of magicians is divided into so-called dreamers, stalkers and couriers. A platoon usually consists of male and female warriors in equal proportions.

Don Juan and his warriors taught Castaneda the art of stalking, the qualities of a warrior, the arts of vision and dreams, and life as a flawless warrior, an essential requirement for sorcery.

Carlos Castaneda was supposed to replace Don Juan Matus as a nagual (leader with a special energetic structure that appears to the seers as doubled) after his departure from the world and lead his own complete train of magicians. However, Castaneda could not fulfill this task and later founded her own little train with sorceresses who lived in Los Angeles.

Teaching and application

A basic method of training to become a warrior is to “stop the inner dialogue” (also called “stopping the world”), the constant “talking to yourself” (whether consciously or unconsciously). Pausing the inner dialogue is, in turn, a prerequisite for advanced techniques such as dreaming and stalking. Dreaming describes the ability to carry out controlled actions with the rest of the consciousness in sleep and to develop the so-called dream body. Stalking teaches behavior in everyday life and a. a recapitulation of all social interactions in the warrior's life since birth and is therefore extremely time-consuming.

The ability to see d. H. Perceiving humans, animals and plants as energetic beings, which in the case of humans develop a cocoon that extends beyond the body and resemble 'glowing eggs', is a gift that many warriors develop during their apprenticeship, but never with some.

The aim of magic is to keep the individual consciousness at the moment of death and to continue to exist as a pure form of energy. Juan Matus said that "something very impersonal" is out there waiting for us.

Don Juan Matus ended Castaneda's apprenticeship by giving up his physical form with his warrior train and all of them entered infinity as energetic beings. Castaneda was left alone with another apprentice.


After Castaneda's account, don Juan seldom commented on his personal history, as his real life for him only began as a warrior.

From a few remarks (or answers to persistent questions) Castaneda took some information for the record: Don Juan “(was) born in Arizona and of Yaqui - and Yuma - Indian descent. [...] As a small child, his parents took him to northern Mexico, where they lived with the Yaquis. At the age of 10 he got caught up in the turmoil of the Yaqui Wars . His mother was killed at the time and his father was arrested by the Mexican army. Don Juan and his father were sent to a resettlement camp in the southernmost state of the Yucatan . He grew up there. "


Castaneda's descriptions of his visionary encounters with the peyote god Mescalito and his astral journeys , which he claims to have undertaken in the shape of a crow , as well as the existence of Don Juan were soon questioned. Some, especially academic critics, assume that Don Juan Matus is a literary figure. The existence of Don Juan Matus was confirmed by Castaneda's wife and in books by Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner-Grau , who developed the modern tensegrity with Carlos Castaneda . According to Castaneda, no recordings such as photos etc. of Don Juan Matus were allowed to be made except for notes. Another theory is that the fictional character Don Juan Matus was created from several real people.

Paul Watzlawick and some of his colleagues have long suspected that Milton H. Erickson is Don Juan Matus. An assumption that Erickson denied, according to Watzlawick.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Carlos Castaneda: The art of stalking , S. Fischer Verlag GmbH, 2nd edition, Frankfurt am Main 1981, p. 177. ISBN 3-10-010205-3 . Original edition: The Eagle's Gift , Simon and Schuster, New York 1981.
  2. Marc Roberts: The new lexicon of esotericism. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf Verlag Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-89602-537-6 , p. 201.
  3. ^ Paul Watzlawick: The possibility of being different. On the technique of therapeutic communication. Bern et al. 1977