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The Second Ring of Power by Carlos Castaneda

The Second Ring of Power (original 1977; edition 1980)

by Carlos Castaneda

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799617,201 (3.59)7
Title:The Second Ring of Power
Authors:Carlos Castaneda
Info:Pocket (1980), Paperback, 328 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Second Ring of Power by Carlos Castaneda (1977)

  1. 00
    The White Dominican by Gustav Meyrink (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Initiatory anamnesis and other mystical goodies. If this isn't the same sort of magic, why not?

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» See also 7 mentions

English (3)  French (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (6)
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All books of Carlos Castaneda are very important to me. He (and his Don Juan), Vadim Zeland - writer from Russia, quantum physicist and Alexey Bachev - an unusual psychologist from Bulgaria, protagonist of my book Life Can Be a Miracle have shaped my way of thinking, perceiving, experiencing the reality. Very grateful for showing me the miraculous way of living!!!! ( )
  ivinela | Dec 10, 2013 |
  louvel | Aug 4, 2009 |
If you are working your way through the Castaneda series and haven't reached this one yet, LEAVE NOW! Otherwise I may spoil the dramatic unfolding of events that this book relates...


Still here? Ok, don't say I didn't warn you then.

Castaneda returns to Mexico looking for Pablito and Nestor, the two apprentices with whom he shared an awesome and scarcely-believable mountain-top experience immediately following the departure of Don Juan and Don Genaro from their lives. He has an obsessive need to "corroborate" this experience, which has played on his mind for two years, and needs Pablito and Nestor ro help him get the facts straight.

He doesn't find them immediately. Instead he has a scary encounter with Doña Soledad, Pablito's "mother", now transformed from the old woman he saw on earlier visits into a seemingly much younger and powerful woman. She nearly kills him in an "encounter with power", but he fends her off and delivers a blow that injures her.

Soon after, the "Little Sisters" appear, 3 young women whom Castaneda always assumed were Pablito's sisters and Soledad's daughters : Lydia, Rosa and Josefina. They reveal to his amazement that they too were apprentices of Don Juan and Don Genaro, and that the encounter with Soledad had been set up by Don Juan before his departure, knowing that Castaneda would return to Mexico. Castaneda is shocked at his earlier failure to perceive that there were other apprentices, even more shocked to realise that Don Juan had set up such a violent encounter. The Little Sisters explain to him that Soledad too was an apprentice, that this was her one shot at power, and that since she had failed, that now he, Castaneda, was to be "The Nagual".

Shock upon shock. "The Nagual" had always been the apprentices name for Don Juan - how could Castaneda replace him? Another apprentice appears, La Gorda (or "Fat Gorda" as Castaneda remembers her - now slim, athletic and powerful) who explains a lot of the 'missing picture' for Castaneda : the years of apprenticeship have built to this moment, and Castaneda must either lead them as "The Nagual" or abandon them to their fate. His is a free choice, but power must show him the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, the male apprentices (Pablito, Nestor, and Benito) are no help; unable to corroborate Castaneda's questions, they also seem to be morbid, moody and resigned to their fate. Finally Pablito reveals that they are "at war" with the Little Sisters, and nothing good is going to come out of Castaneda's return. La Gorda laughs off Pablito's claims, explaining how remote and embittered the males have become.

Before Castaneda makes a decision, the Little Sisters each demonstrate their own special powers to him in a solemn occasion at their home with all the apprentices present. Castaneda tries to lead them on a hike into the mountains in an ordered, paired line, to make an "encounter with power", but before long La Gorda turns them around and hurries them back home. She says that she "saw" that they had failed and that Castaneda was leading them into danger. After this, the group splits up and Castaneda takes La Gorda back to LA with him to pursue "the designs of power" further.

This book can be characterised in several different ways. One, it is the only one of the series where Don Juan makes no appearance at all. Two, it is the most sombre of the series, especially on first reading, full of violence and concealed threat. Lastly, it is a book where Castaneda is often accused of "knowing more" than he is telling, despite his protestations to the contrary – and yet the other apprentices are as adamant that he DOES know what they tell him, as he is that he does not. This provides a tension and dynamic to The Second Ring Of Power and lifts it out of what might otherwise merely be morbid and sinister, giving this segment of the series an enhanced sense of mystery. ( )
  Tid | Apr 7, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Castaneda, Carlosprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knibbeler, F.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
In de lessen van Don Juan zette Castaneda de eerste stappen op zijn weg naar meesterschap, met het doel de geheime kennis van de Yaqui-sjamanen te verwerven. In de tweede machtsring ontmoet hij de vrouwelijke sjamaan Dona Soledad, die zelf is getransformeerd van een simpel en nederig bestaan naar dat van jager en krijger, een 'stalker van macht'. Met haar zet hij zijn wonderbaarlijke en soms ook gruwelijke reis voort.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671732471, Paperback)


Back from the abyss, Castaneda encounter his greatest test on the journey towards impeccability and freedom: to outwit and overpower the sorcery of Doña Soledad, herself transformed from a defeated and meaningless life to a warrior, a hunter and a "stalker of power."

Now the combat will begin. Now the journey will continue. Till the last danger is faced...the final paradox embraced.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Transformed by Don Juan from a bent, gray-haired old woman into a sensual sorceress whose mission is to test Castaneda, Dona Soledad turns her mysterious and awesome powers against Castaneda in a struggle that nearly consumes him.

(summary from another edition)

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