Cacti - T. pachanoi, Cannabis & Mushrooms
Citation: jrock. "Walking With Mescalito: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi, Cannabis & Mushrooms (exp10845)". Erowid.org. Aug 17, 2004. erowid.org/exp/10845
I would like to share my most recent experience with the extract of San Pedro cactus. I have been walking with Mescalito for about six years now and through much trial and error I have devised a rather effective preparation. This plant continually amazes me; it is a wise and powerful ally. When I first started experimenting with hallucinogens, I took them because I wanted to catch a good buzz. Now, as time has progressed, I have become more aware of the tremendous insight that I can glean from these wonderful plants. My experiences typically coincide with large, life-altering moments in my life. As a sculptor, I find that an entheogenic experience helps clear my mind and prepare me for creating my next body of work. I typically prepare this cactus concoction once or twice a year, for it is a tremendous pain in the ass to make; however the rewards are great.
Nine feet of Tricocerus Panchanoi was harvested and cut into approximately one-foot lengths. The spines were removed by making “V” shaped cuts at the areoles, taking care to preserve as much dark green material as possible. De-spined cactus chunks were rinsed in the sink to remove road dust, cobwebs, etc. Vertical cuts were made in the channels of each segment, and another horizontal cut allowed the peaks to be removed. These strips were cut into 4”-5”, cucumber-like pieces. The outer waxy layer of skin was slowly peeled off by working a short, sharp knife blade under the skin and pulling with my thumb towards the center. (This part is a pain in the butt, get some helpers!) Peeled pieces were chopped into ½”- ¾” bite-sized chunks, placed into large Ziplock bags, and frozen for one to two days. Frozen cactus was allowed to defrost in refrigerator for about 8 hours.
Partially defrosted cactus chunks were placed a handful at a time in a blender with about three fingers of water. This mixture was blended, and more cactus chunks and water added until it reached a green, smoothie-like consistency. I placed a couple of colanders lined with two layers of tulle (a fine, mesh-like cloth, available at most fabric stores) over large pots. The cactus smoothie material was place in the tulle-lined colanders and was allowed to filter overnight. I also ran about four cups of additional water through the filter. Several cups of green, murky liquid were collected and set aside. The remaining smoothie mixture in the filter was removed and wrapped up into two more layers of tulle, creating a large, cactus teabag. This teabag was squeezed and wrung out of any excess liquid. This liquid was added to the additional filtered liquid collected overnight and placed into a 12-qt stockpot with an inset colander. The tea bag was set into the colander and submerged in the liquid.
The whole contraption was set on my electric stove and set on the lowest possible heat setting (warm) for about four hours. The heat was slowly increased to a low boil. Once boiling, the heat was dropped back down to the “warm” setting for 2.5 hours. Approximately 2-3 cups of water was added. The whole set-up was left to steep on the stove with no heat for ten hours overnight. The material was heated on the “warm” setting for another fourteen hours. About 7 oz. Of lemon juice was added around the 8th hour of this heating cycle.
The tea bag was removed and wrung out for about 20 minutes, until no excess fluid could drain out. The liquid collected was added to the liquid in the pot. The liquid was poured into a colander lined with three layers of tulle and collected. Liquid was filtered again through another colander lined with two layers of white cotton T-shirt material. Approx. 2 cups of desert mesquite honey were nuked in the microwave for five minutes until runny, and stirred into the filtered material. The resulting yield of 36 cups of liquid was then bottled for transport.
After finishing a rigorous pre-thesis process for graduate school, I was ready for a little relief, rest, and relaxation. I had been planning this trip for three months and was more than ready to clear my head, and to prepare creating a new body of artwork. My crew and I traveled to the spectacular landscape of Joshua Tree National Park. For those who have never been there, Joshua Tree is one of the most beautiful places on earth, filled with open, vast desert spaces and surreal rock formations that sprout out of the earth randomly. I continually revisit this location again and again, and have taken the cactus juice there many times, for it is an environment that is very conducive for hallucinogens. I can not fathom taking the cactus in a casual setting such as a party or club; I need to be someplace special. What better place to take the cactus than the desert?
About thirty ounces of cactus juice per person were consumed on an empty stomach; I took an additional 10-oz cup for good measure. The honey and lemon juice helped neutralize the initial bitterness, but I don’t think that there is anything in this world to mask the horrific, bitter aftertaste that is associated with Mescalito. Once everyone had downed their doses, we all set off to explore some of the neighboring rock formations. I started climbing around on the rocks and I could begin to feel the plant alkaloids running through me. I experienced some minor stomach acid discomfort, but smoking several bowls of kind bud and chewing on a Tums took care of this problem. After smoking a bowl, approx. 30-45 minutes after dosing, I could feel the cactus beginning to kick in. The desert landscape began to come alive. I became more aware of the energy flowing through matter. I found myself easily mesmerized by the shapes formed by the scattered granite boulders, by the ever-changing light of the desert.
Whenever I take the cactus, I always find myself being rather physically active. I spent several hours climbing around on the boulders, exploring their nooks and crannies and being surprised by the random appearances of tough little desert plants in the most unlikely of places. I went back to camp and got out my camera and shot many rolls of film with no problem. Mescalito continually makes me aware of the true power of Nature; it shows me how small we really are in our vast universe.
The high was, for me, very positive, very physical, running through my body, much like the waves of energy that I could see flowing though the plants. I was highly functional; I could easily hold conversations and delicate tasks such as loading film into a camera were no problem. I did not experience any racing thoughts or paranoia as associated with LSD. I consider the high akin to a long mushroom high, but one of my companions compared it to MDMA. Since I’ve never tried it (I try to avoid synthetic chemicals), I’ll have to take his word for it. I experienced many visual effects, particularly if I stared at something long enough. About five hours into the experience, I was overcome with hysterical laughter. Much to the discomfort of my companions, this happened while I was chopping wood with a hatchet. A man wielding a hatchet, laughing maniacally, with a head full of mescaline and raving about being legally insane will surely disturb anyone. Needless to say, our neighbors left us alone.
The fire was lit, and our Thanksgiving feast was prepared under a stunning desert sunset. (Barbecued turkey rules!) At hour six into the trip, I consumed one dried P.Cubenesis mushroom and the stem to a Copelandia mushroom. I have never combined psilocybin with mescaline, but I must say that it is a very good combination, and worth some more research. The mushrooms, in combination with large amounts of cannabis and beer, set me off into uncontrollable, hysterical laughter for what felt like hours. Laughter is very good medicine, for I felt completely cleansed afterwards. After about eight hours, the effects began to wear off and fatigue and a mild headache set in. More beer and pot and campfire helped, and I slept very, very well that night.
The San Pedro cactus is a wonderful plant and teacher. I highly recommend it for anyone seeking guidance and insight into our true nature.
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