Taisha met Carlos Castaneda when she was 19 years old and a student at UCLA where she eventually earned her Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Anthropology. In 1973 Castaneda purchased a compound on Pandora Avenue in Westwood LA and soon after Taisha (she was still known as Maryann Simko at this time), along with Regine Thal, and Kathleen Pohlman, who would come to be known collectively as “the witches”, moved in.
In keeping with Castaneda’s philosophy of "erasing personal history," the witches maintained a tight veil of secrecy. They used numerous aliases and generally did not allow themselves to be photographed. Not long after moving into Castaneda’s compound Maryann Simko changed her name to Taisha Abelar. Likewise Regine Thal changed her name to Florinda Donner and Kathleen Pohlman hers to Carol Tiggs.
Taisha claimed to have been one of Don Juan’s four students and says she spent a year in his “magical house” in Mexico. In 1992 her book The Sorcerer’s Crossing: A Woman’s Journey, which purportedly documents the training she received from the female members of don Juan’s group, was published by Penguin books.
After Castaneda’s death in 1998 Taisha left Los Angeles and has not been heard from since.