San Pedro

The ‘Plant of the Gods’ — San Pedro Cactus

San Pedro Cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi), as it has been called for thousands of years, is known as huachuma, Cactus of the Four Winds or Saint Peter’s Cactus. Throughout history, it’s been used by the shamans in their journeys at sacred lagoons in the Andean mountains, where it is growing abundantly.

Dubbed as the ‘Cactus of Vision’ by Shamanic Journey, San Pedro has been an integral part of shamanic rituals in various cultures and traditions due to its psychoactive properties. Traditionally, huachuma is used for divination, guidance and healing as well as for keeping spirit or consciousness in balance of the world.

It is believed that San Pedro helps a shaman in making a bridge between the invisible and visible world (‘Punku,’ meaning ‘doorway’) that can connect a patient’s body to his spirit. (*Healing the body can heal the spirit). San Pedro effects are divided into stages, starting from an increased awareness in one’s body followed by euphoria and finally (after several hours) visionary and psychic effects.

In the book “Plant of the Gods,” Richard Evans Schultes wrote that,’ it (San Pedro) is always in tune with the powers of beings and animals with supernatural powers..’ and that ceremonial participants can be set free from ‘matter’ and engage in ‘flight’ via cosmic regions.

It (book) was where he also stated that participants would first come in a dreamy state before great visions (due to the clearing of all the faculties) followed by detachment (inclusive visual force of the 6th sense wherein one can be in a telepathic state of transmitting himself across matter and time just like thought removal to a distant dimension.

Hallucinogenic effect is due to its mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine), the main active phenethylamine in the cactus known for its psychedelic properties compared to LSD and psilocybin that mimic serotonin and that bind to the 5-HT2A receptors.

Collective Evolution stated that the cactus could make one purge out negative energies (and all things unnecessary) and that one could experience the chance of leaving his body to travel into another realm by purging out negative energies. Saint Peter Cactus’ trip can last from seven to 12 hours.

Observing an all-natural diet and avoiding Western medicine and recreational drugs, including cough medicine, appetite suppressants, alcohol and sleeping pills, among others, at least three days before the San Pedro ceremony is advised.


Photo Credit: San Pedro

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