Cacti - T. pachanoi
Citation: Spinning Human. "Hidden Natures Revealed: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi (exp37577)". Erowid.org. Jan 27, 2006. erowid.org/exp/37577
I had an experience with this wonderful psychedelic that I consider profound enough to share with the public. I am an experienced psychedelic voyager, I have explored Mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, and Cannabis far more than I should have. I had never done Mescaline however, and having not tripped for a few years (I am 26 now, I was between the ages of 18-23 when I frequently used psychedelics), I decided that a trip would be beneficial. All the planets seemed to line up for this one, the first being that my Aunt had been growing the cacti in her greenhouse for several years and suggested that I try the experience. The second being that people I was associated with have been having dreams/conversations about the substance. The third being a dramatic shift in life experience, and a mind and soul open and fertile to new experiences.
So I was handed approximately 8-10 feet total of the cactus, which my Aunt had assured me that the 'nature spirits' had told her would be a safe dose to split between me and my 3 friends. The first step was to tackle the preparation problem. I had already decided ahead of time that I wanted to prepare the substance as close to the indigenous way as possible. When researching on the internet however, I did not find any 'confirmed, tried and true' method of preparation. What I got however was several conflicting methods of preparation. Some claimed the skin contained the psychoactive properties. Others the core. Some the whole cactus. Some said to boil it, blend it, juice it, eat it raw, fry it, bake it, freeze it. I decided to use my intuition. After reading just about every article I could find, I finally picked a method. I would remove the spines, cut the cactus into 'stars'. Then cut away the outer layer, discarding the core. I then put it all in my freezer for a week. Then, when the trip date was confirmed, I took it all out of the freezer, defrosted it, blended it
(using a blender) with water, and boiled it down in an extremely large stock pot.
It was foamy at first, then it boiled down (there is an photo-illustrated step by step guide to this method on the internet). Then, after probably 4-6 hours of boiling, I filtered it through a cheesecloth. I discarded the pulp and kept about 3 litres of green liquid. Apparently I could have boiled it down more, rumor has it that none of the psychoactives dissapear with the boiling process. Thats okay though... we just had to take a lot of shots - which was probably a good thing, because it stretched the ingestion over a period of time, so that the trip came on slow. We consumed the substance ritualistically - with a small opening ceremony with sage burning and music. We took 2 hours to consume all the substance, taking one shot every 15 minutes and chasing it with grapefruit juice. I had no problem with the taste, or with nausea, however 2 of our group of 4 experienced significant repulsion to the taste and nausea ending in diarrhea/vomiting.
After we had consumed all of the substance, the effects came on slow, but soon the fact that we were tripping was unmistakable. We opened up the trip with some mellow ambient dub with sitar and flute. We just sort of jammed along with bongos and guitars feeling the slow transition into another state of consciousness. Soon, the group dissipated and the music ceased. For a while, we were isolated into our own worlds, all definately starting to trip. Soon, action needed to be taken, so we decided to go on an adventure. We banded together and set off on a journey.
What was to follow is entirely unexplainable in text. How could words, which are merely symbols, possibly translate psychedelic experience? I had that very realization when contemplating the phenomenon of Huxley's literary work 'the doors of perception' while high on Mescaline. The direct realization that I can only understand through the ingestion of this substance was achieved. I simply have to try it. Ingest the Moksha-Medicine and let it teach me.
I can describe some of the subjective experiences that I had. One is, Mescaline is very similar to LSD or Psylocybin - but in my experience, superior. Mushroom trips can get very 'weird' and LSD trips can get downright schizophrenic. Mescaline, in my experience, feels much closer to the spirit. There were times when I started to 'lose it' but that's just because the barriers in my mind cracked open and I could no longer keep secrets from myself. In other words, it was very embarrassing seeing my neuroses in plain sight. Once I got over that sort of ego-trip and let the drug take me on a ride, more interesting things started to take place. Some pretty intense visuals involving clouds turning pink, then purple, then spiraling vortexes. Nature spirits and the mystery of life that is so REAL and HERE AND NOW were revealed to me. The Goddess was much more comphrendable, being totally connected to the earth, and being given life and consciousness as a divine gift. None of it was 'out there'. It was all 'right here'. No otherworldy aliens/ufo/tripper visuals phenomena - simply what is all around us all the time revealed in its natural splendor.
I got intense realizations of my own mortality and my family lineage. Yoga postures were effortless, and felt necessary and natural. Contemplating world events was scary - it all felt too intense and large to comprehend. The hidden agenda was revealed, involving armageddon-like visions of battles between forces of light and forces of dark. Light being Goddess-oriented connected to the earth humanitarian life-affirming type energies at work on the planet. Dark being environmentally destructive, political, state mind-control nature warped, type energies.
The set/setting is an important thing to keep in mind. The setting was a beautiful outdoor sanctuary, untouched by the ordinary world and touched with only human hands of love. The set of the participant(s) were all different, yet similar - with the author being a msytically oriented spiritual searcher. An INFP Aquarius. So obviously the filter of my mind turned my experience into what it was. The day ended with us all eating vegetables, which made a lot of sense to be eating. WE hadn't eaten all day - and so we ate things like green beans and brussel sprouts and it went down nice. We even drank a beer and came down real calm! Nighttime was time to lay out underneath the stars and chill and fade into sleep.
The next day, the psychedelic effects were almost completely vanished save a 'psychedelic hangover'. This was hard for me to deal with, the experience, so real and vivid, had faded, and I was left with 'life as usual' to adjust with. I experienced slight discomfort at the ideas of returning to work, etc. The trip was very subtly powerful. It was intense, but not scary intense, very managable. From trip reports, we probably had over 300 mg but under 500 mg. I dont think I experienced a complete mind-melt ego-dissolution. I dont think I would have wanted one. What I experienced was an exursion into the 'here and now' that we are otherwise so alienated from. This is not a party drug! Very compatible with nature and soul searching. And I guess there's a big issue with dosage - as the potency varies from plant to plant. We took A LOT and I think we had a fairly weak plant. Keep in mind that we had a trip on the same cactus two years prior to measure up to - years of psychedelic experience - hours and hours of internet research - and the guidance of supposed 'nature spirits' blessing our path.
San Pedro is a wonderful psychedelic - worthy of perhaps a few trips in ones lifetime. I am currently reading the book 'Island' By aldous huxley - and I seriously think that this substance is worthy of 'moksha-medicine' and with proper preparation - if this conciousness was introduced to society - it would make the world a better place. The world is capable of much improvement... And after having my veil lifted, and seeing the heaven-potential of correctly using the beautiful gifts Goddess nature has provided for us, I am that much closer to correcting myself of this western disease and setting my foot on a more conscious path for whatever my mediocre human existence is worth to the world and future of mankind.
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