Plant – San Pedro (Huachuma) Cactus
Delivery Method – Gloopy thick lime green liquid
Active Chemical – Mescaline
My Huachuma Experience
In a beautiful garden just outside the town of Pisac in Peru’s sacred valley is where I sat in a circle with four others ready to drink a large cup of the strange gelatinous green liquid containing the prepared San Pedro cactus. The ancient name for this cactus is Huachuma and it’s use for spiritual and medicinal purposes has been documented in Peru and other parts of the world for about 4,000 years. It grows everywhere in this area including in pots outside the front door of people’s homes. It is clearly a celebrated spiritual plant.
I gulp down the stuff quickly and I must say, after drinking Ayahuasca days before, it didn’t taste half bad. We sit as a group and talk while we wait for the medicine to take effect. We discuss our families, and the circumstances that lead to us all being in this place and in this time.
After about an hour the world takes on a hazy feeling. I lay in the grass and notice colors becoming more vibrant, and contrasts between objects are more defined. As the medicine works it’s way deeper into my mind I see the characteristic fractal spirals common to LSD trips take shape in certain environmental objects. I see them in the sides of the great mountains and as I focus attention on them, the mountain begins to breathe. I stare at the mountain for a long time before deciding to explore the garden further. I find two cacti sitting at the foot of the stairs leading up to upper garden levels and I immediately understand why the owners of the property decided to place them so centrally. One of them has long thin leaves that appear to spin brilliantly in all different colors. The other breathes so rhythmically and feels so alive that I spend a great deal of time sitting with it. As a point of fact, EVERYTHING feels more alive. I have a very distinct connection with all of the life around me and I notice every detail of it. Bees are all around but while I would normally avoid them out of a semi irrational fear of being stung, I now laugh that idea off thinking “You are not a flower, they are not concerned with you.” There is an incredible feeling of “oneness” with nature instead of what I most commonly feel, which is a sort of passive detached semi-associated feeling.
There are 4 dogs on the property and they are the most wonderful loving creatures you can imagine. The dogs in Peru are not like domesticated western dogs. They are semi-wild and run in packs, typically struggling for survival by eating and drinking what they can, when they can. They are free to come and go as they please, and even when they bond with humans and become beloved pets, it is still understood that there is no “ownership” quality to the relationship. They love and are loved without condition. They are free.
The mescaline trip lasts for along time. After a while every other person in our group has left to go sit inside by the fire but I decide to make my way back to where I am staying at the other end of town. I take the greatest hot shower of my entire life, and drift off to sleep with a tremendous feeling of peace and love at the core of my consciousness.
After the Experience
For me the huachuma experience was overwhelmingly peaceful. That’s really all there is to say. No great insights as part of the experience itself, only a reaffirmation that love and peace are powerful forces that can be aligned with at any time by just deciding to do so. Taking the Ayahuasca before hand likely influenced this outcome in a positive way.