This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The term "Toltec" is used in the works of writer Carlos Castaneda to denote a person who was recruited into a band of sorcerers with a tradition that had its origin in the Native American culture of that name.
The nagual Juan described the Toltecs to Castaneda as a guild of sorcerers that began in Southern Mexico 10,000 years ago, originally based on harnessing the changes of perception and perspective brought about by working with power plants. [The Fire From Within – The New Seers] The primary purpose of the Toltec sorcerers is to prevent the disintegration of the self, which normally happens at death. To achieve that purpose, they evolved a set of techniques and developed a body of knowledge that enables the sorcerer to transform into a high-speed inorganic being with an endless lifespan (not unlike the spiritual notion of Ascending the body, but without the baggage).
Castaneda makes it clear that his use of the term Toltec is specialized, so that it is not directly equivalent to the Toltec people or culture referred to in the ethnohistory and mythology of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The ongoing Toltec tradition had its beginning in the Toltec culture, but now those who are recruited are chosen for their suitability, rather than on ethnic or cultural lines.
Castaneda recounts that he was recruited in 1960, and paints a word-picture of the methods and concepts in the guise of conversations with his teacher, who he calls Don Juan in the series of 12 books he wrote on the subject. The books are written in a narrative style, in which Castaneda frequently ridicules himself for his inept and inappropriate reactions to disclosures and the associated perceptions induced in his apprenticeship.
Anthropologists and other researchers have made various claims of fraud.