Citation: Justin Sane. "Cosmic Time and Rite-Aid: experience with San Pedro (ID 8115)". Erowid.org. Jul 16, 2001. erowid.org/exp/8115
SET AND SETTING
After living in the city for the past year I needed a reconnection with the earth force so I decided to celebrate the summer soltice by trying san pedro for the first time. I had a great experience and might say this is my new favorite plant friend.
Most of my trips I have done as part of a personal retreat, usually in the wilderness and usually alone. In my experience, this kind of ritualistic care given to set and setting always provides a deeper and more meaningful experience than doing these substances casually. This is what works for me anyway.
So for this experiment, I hiked to one of my favorite spots in Big sur, a grouping of sandstone caves and twisted rock formations that, as it turned out, became a spectactular place to trip.
((Advice) If you take a psychedelic alone, know what you are doing and make sure you are in a safe place when you do it. The fear factor can easily get out of hand on high doses if you believe you are in a dangerous place.)
I used a live cutting of the san pedro catus, purchased from a specialty plant dealer in California. The cutting was about 13 inches long and was prepared by first removing the spines, (a lot of work that next time I will skip) then making vertical cuts along the plant and peeling off the top few mm of skin. The remaining inner core was cut into slices that looked like stars. I heard that most of the mescaline in in the outer skin but I used the core pulp as well to get any that may have been there. Next step was to dry the gelatinous pieces in a oven on low heat for an hour or so.
After drying, I bagged and stored it all in the freezer for 2 weeks until the trip. The night before the trip, I boiled the dry cactus pieces in 3 washes for 45 min each wash. An aluminum pot was used which I have heard interferes with the alkaloids, but nevertheless, I was able to get an effective dose. I then combined the 3 washes and boiled till I had 100ml of thin liquid. It wasn't slimy and pretty easy to get down, tasting like salty tequila (which is also mad from a cactus). I've heard nothing but bad reports from thoes who have made a milkshake out of the plant. This way worked great.
After offering a prayer to the mountains at dawn, I drank the liquid in a couple gulps and sat in one of the caves.
45min: I felt very at peace and could see the details of far away peaks. Overall there was the sense of purity that I have come to equate with the approach of a plant deity.
1.5 hr: I began thinking that the dose was too weak this was as far as it would take me so I took a few hits of cannabis from a pipe. WOW!! Within 3 minutes there was a major change in my state. I had the feeling of being in the presence of a powerful, all pervasive force and that this force was the earth. Then, remembering a part of a Castaneda book where Don Juan warns Castaneda to treat the magic plants with respect or they could easily kill him by making a rock fall or using the wind to make him slip off a cliff, I became somewhat alarmed and fearful of the earth's power and my utter helplessness. The fear that these things could easily happen to me became too real. I knew though, that I need not have fear if my concscience was clean and gave my trust to the mountains.
I always find the initial comming on of a psychedelic to be the most difficult part. It is a period of confession where my actions and their results are reflected to me and stand along side the purity of the plant entity. I felt quilty about nothing though, other than having recently gotten into the habit of littering too often and I resolved to not do that any more.
I then crawled into one of the smaller caves and sat back. The opening of the cave looked like a womb and I settled into the trip feeling safe again.
The next few hours very of profound interest with meaningful visual distortions. I looked out at the rock face across from me, seeing all sorts of shapes, including both a san pedro stalk and a peyote button in the rocks! The source of the Mayan and Aztec stone carvings I've seen had to be from psychedelic induced vision I decided then because I was seeing such similar faces and shapes there in the stone. I decided to make a story out of the objects I was seeing. The only connection between the objects that made logical sense at the time was a story about the history of the universe that said:
Long long ago,
God was one being
but divided itself into separate beings
in order to experince life in the flesh.
The world of 3-dimensional illusions came into being
with all the parts of God
taking the forms of the animals
and the people and they lived on the back of a great turtle.
These where our ancestors
and when they died they
their souls rose and swam through the ocean in the
bodies of dolphins for thousands of years
before walking on to land and
becoming human beings.
The great goal of this cosmic
drama was for the individule
soul to realize that it is
part of the one being
on a journey through countless forms.
I was most impressed by the scale of time on which the story was put. The history of humans on the earth has been a recent and brief pursuit of God/Us and that the cosmos will go on and on long after humans and even the earth dissapear. At that moment I think I understood what eternity meant. The colors of the rocks were intensified too during the trip and very beautiful as was the music of a VAS album I listened to. (an amazing dead-can-dance like band to check out)
Because mescaline is an amphetamine, I was pleasently un-troubled by drowsiness like in a mushroom trip. By sunset the effects had subsided completely and I slept where I was that night. I estimated the trip to be 10 hours.
The next day I hiked to my car and drove home, making a stop to buy a razor. I went to a Rite-Aid drug store (a thing I rearely do) and was blown away by how ugly and offensive the displays were with the blaring colors and screaming slogans. I bought the razor and left as quick as I could.
I came back from this trip feeling like I had been let in on a secret and that because I knew it, Life was on my side and that, whatever insane ventures man comes up with, there will be the eternal law of 'doing good=good returned to you' to take care of me.
Suggestions for next time:
1. use a glass pot to cook the cactus
2. take 15 inches
3. be patient with the onset
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid.