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The word Toltec refers to populations and polities that inhabited pre-Columbian central Mexico. The word has been used in different ways in Mesoamerican studies by various scholars to refer to the ancestors mentioned in the mythical and historical narratives of the Aztecs.  In fact, the Nahuatl word "Toltec" generally means "craftsman of the highest level" and may not always refer to the archaeological Toltec civilization centered at Tula, Hidalgo. [1]

The Toltec established a vast empire that reached to central Mexico and by around 1000AD, they had reached to the Yucatan and the former Maya regions. This caused the Toltec's commercial influence to extend northward into the American southwest. It is also believed by the Hopewell peoples that the Toltec also had commercial influence over the Mississippi and Ohio valley. Although a number of cultural similarities exist there have been no artifacts found to this day.  Shortly after around 1150 AD the Toltec Empire collapsed, possibly due to Nomadic invasions. Shortly after, the center of population and political power shifted to the valley of Mexico and it large chain of lakes.[2]


Thousands of years ago, the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as women and men of knowledge. Anthropologists have spoken of the Toltec as a nation or a race, but the Toltec were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones. The Toltec combined the secular with the sacred and considered science and spirit to be the same; that all energy, whether material or ethereal, is derived from the same source and governed by the same universal laws.

Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions around the world. Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. Though it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life. Unlike our familiar experience, this way of life is distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.

The Toltec came together as masters (Naguals) and students at Teotihuacan, the ancient city of pyramids outside Mexico City known as the place where "Man becomes God". Teotihuacan remained the Toltec center of spiritual knowledge and transformation for many thousands of years and still endures as a living repository of silent knowledge.

Over the millennia, European conquest, coupled with a brief period of rampant misuse of personal power by a few of the apprentices, forced the Naguals to conceal the ancestral wisdom and maintain its existence in obscurity, passing it on through generations by different lineages of Naguals. Though it remained veiled in secrecy for hundreds of years, ancient prophecies foretold the coming of an age when it would be necessary to return the wisdom to the people. [3]

That time has arrived.  Over the last few decades, several lineages of naguals have emerged into our modern culture.  Namely, in 1968 Carlos Casteneda shared the first of his twelve books The Teachings of don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, exploring the wisdom of don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian and nagual.  In 1997, don Miguel Ruiz published The Four Agreements which was the first of five books inspired by the nagual lineage of his great grandfather, don Esiquio.  Today these publications have inspired many to incorporate the ancestral wisdom of the Toltec culture into their modern lives.


*Excerpts for this article were taken from the following sources:
1. Wikipedia-The Free Encyclopedia
2. Chapter 11: The Americas on the Eve of Invasion by Pearson Longman
3. The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship by don Miguel Ruiz