|Born||Regine Margarita Thal
February 15, 1944
|Notable work(s)||Being-in-Dreaming: An Initiation into the Sorcerer's World|
Florinda Donner (originally Regine Margarita Thal, later Florinda Donner-Grau) was born February 15, 1944 in Amberg, Germany to German parents Rudolph Thal and Katarina Claussnitzer. She is an American author and anthropologist. She disappeared and possibly committed suicide in 1998.
In her childhood she emigrated with her parents to Venezuela where she probably lived as a school-aged child. Her personality and background are very controversial. She sometimes claimed she was born in 1954 in Venezuela and that her parents were both either German or Swedish. Sometimes she called her mother Carolina Claussnitzer, but in an official document from the marriage with Carlos Castaneda in 1993 her mother's name is Katarina Claussnitzer and her father's name is spelled Rudolf rather than Rudolph.[2 ]
She was nicknamed "Hummingbird" because of her ceaseless energy. She was said to have similar intelligence and charisma as her later husband Carlos Castaneda. Florinda tells in her books that she was an apprentice of Castaneda. She was also called one of "the witches" in Castaneda's books. The type of shamanism that Castaneda and his followers practiced led the followers through a process known as recapitulation, which is a rehashing of one's entire life's memories. This process "rebirthed" the sorcerers by causing them to erase their personal history.
In 1982 Florinda Donner published a best selling book Shabono, with contradictory pseudo-anthropological stories in which she claims to have lived among the Yanomami Indians in the Amazonas. Among critics the book is called "anthropologically inspired fiction". She lived in Westwood Los Angeles and traveled often to her old hometown Caracas.