Originally Posted by j. d. worthington
Ooof! It has been decades (since the early 1970s) since I read Castaneda; I'd have to go back and refresh my memory, which has grown very dim indeed, on the subject. But I don't believe I've ever encountered this connection before... and, if accurate, it is verrry interesting....
Aha, the early 2-3 books especially: dimly perceived forces manifesting themselves in a breeze, or in weird sounds, or in cries mimicking companions who then reappear and say it wasn't them. The witches that stalk with giant bounds like the Wendigo.
And judging by Blackwood's 'psychic detective' stories, he knew the evil weed intimately, so possibly there's not direct connection, just very similar paranoid trips out in nature...
But I prefer thinking Castaneda channeled Blackwood and Lovecraft and tied an anthropological ribbon on it. And then it all spun out of control and he had to distill increasing amounts of mystical schools just to keep one step ahead of the growing expectations of his hordes of followers.
Or, yet another version: Blackwood soaked up some injun folklore and made it into classics like The Wendigo, and used it to describe eerie events on an island in the Danube too.