"Why didn't you tell me that the tenant is a woman?" "That sorcerer in there is the death defier," he said solemnly. "For such a sorcerer, so versed in the shifts of the assemblage point, to be a man or a woman is a matter of choice or convenience."


Don Juan calmly began to repeat everything he had already told me about the death defier. As he talked, I realized that part of my confusion was the result of his use of words. He rendered "death defier" in Spanish as el desafiante de la muerte, and "tenant" as el inquilino, both of which automatically denote a male. But in describing the relationship between the tenant and the naguals of his line, don Juan kept on mixing the Spanish-language male and female gender denotation, creating a great confusion in me. He said that the tenant was supposed to pay for the energy he took from the naguals of our lineage, but that whatever he paid has bound those sorcerers for generations. As payment for the energy taken from all those naguals, the woman in the church taught them exactly what to do to displace their assemblage point to some specific positions, which she herself had chosen. In other words, she bound every one of those men with a gift of power consisting of a preselected, specific position of the assemblage point and all its implications.

Carlos Castaneda: The Art Of Dreaming