Cacti - T. pachanoi & MDMA (Ecstasy)
Citation: Activeternity. "Desert Medicine Magic: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi & MDMA (Ecstasy) (exp49668)". Erowid.org. Feb 14, 2007. erowid.org/exp/49668
My journey began on Sunday morning. I got a ride to a National Park, which is dominated by towering cacti. After a bit of failed haggling, I paid the entrance fee and walked over to the trail. I chose the longest trail in the mountain range, which would lead to the tallest peak in the range, at an elevation of roughly 4500 feet. I climb out of the car with my backpack and camera, and Iím off. I take the equivalent of 60 grams dry San Pedro with some orange juice. I had tried the extract a few months prior, but at half that dose, and without gel-caps. That time, I experienced some very pleasant stimulation, setting in after 40 minutes or so, but that was all. I began the long hike. In front of me I noticed a family hiking up, and behind me was a photographer. I quickened my pace to get ahead of both of them.
I hiked for about an hour with little noteworthy happening. My pace was fairly fast, but I was intrigued by all the life around me. This desert was not exactly what I had expected. I took out a mini-cassette recorder that I had brought with me, in order to work through some personal issues that had been plaguing me recently, and began talking to myself about some basic problems. I was not feeling much of anything psychedelic, and began to wonder if anything would happen. I decided that it was still early, as mescaline has a fairly lengthy onset, and that I was merely becoming impatient, so I dismissed the doubts. I stopped in my tracks for a few minutes to take in my surroundings more fully. I noticed silence. There was no noise except for a faint buzzing of mosquitoes and bees. It was quite a beautiful silence.
I kept moving, and after roughly 15 minutes, I paused because I heard something. I turned around, and much to my dismay, there appeared to be almost a black cloud of buzzing creatures not more than 20 feet behind me. I realized that they were either mosquitoes or African killer bees. Either way I was not going to stick around to find out, so I increased my pace several fold for a few minutes until I could no longer hear them. I kept going, and noticed a man a few hundred yards in front of me. I slowed my pace a bit to avoid him.
Half an hour later, I was still not feeling anything, and began to think adding some MDMA into the mix. The visitor center had a sign about things to avoid and animals and plants you might encounter and should avoid. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened after that. I was walking along at a good pace, when all of a sudden, the sand started to move. I was confused for a fraction of an instant, and this gave way to an enormous adrenaline rush which propelled my legs forward and practically out from under me. Not more than a few inches from my left leg was a Western Diamondback rattlesnake. It had blended in perfectly with the sand, and I had simply not noticed it. It had coiled up and began to hiss and rattle when I was right next to it. Within the same second as my mad dash forward I let out a little yell, which I was certain the man in front of me had heard, but he gave no indication of hearing me.
Seriously alarmed, I paid much closer attention to the trail, and warned the next set of hikers I passed of the presence of the serpent. I kept moving, and at around the one hour 45 minute mark, I decided that the mescaline was either too low of a dose, or it had somehow lost potency. I ate one 250 mg pill of MDMA, which contained an unknown quantity of the drug, but I would estimate it at somewhere between 90-150mg. Rinsing my mouth with a bit of water, I continued on the trail. Eventually the man in front of me stopped in order for me to pass him, which I did for a while, before I let him pass me again. I continued on my way, and began to grow slightly tired. I decided however, that I must be close, and I had gone this far so I was going to go all the way. Finally I reached a trail marker indicating that I had 0.3 miles until the peak. I continued happily on the way. I greeted the mystery man in front of me, and he warily said ďHello.Ē
There was another group on the peak, and I had them take a picture of me. After they left, I began to feel the ecstasy. Another couple arrived, and I chatted with them briefly, before they went on their way back down. This was the first time I had ever used MDMA, and I was loving it. I took out my tape recorder, and began to sort through a fair amount of mental baggage. I was in awe of the view. I could see for miles in all directions. I donít think I could have asked for a more perfect day either. It was in the mid 80ís, but clouds provided cover from the hot mid-day sun. There was also a nice breeze blowing about. I laughed and almost cried from the sheer beauty of it all. It occurred to me that I was peaking on the peak (no pun intended), and I was the happiest I think Iíve ever been in my life. I felt absolutely free. I ran around the peak like a five year old at a carnival, entranced by everything. I decided to call one of my best friends back home, and did so. I told him what I had taken, and about one or two minutes later, a jogger arrived at the peak, and it occurred to me that he very well could have heard everything I had just said, so I lowered my voice and tried to act casual. Thankfully, he just took a few minute break before leaving again. I took out some music and listened to some Beatles, which sounded absolutely divine. I looked off at some distant hills, which looked distinctly like breasts, and I had some minor spatial distortions, but that was the extent of my visuals.
I sat down on a rock, and drank some Gatorade. I could feel it going down my esophagus, and it felt very, very nice. I ran my hand against the rock, and was incredulous at how good it felt. I was aware of how odd it might seem to someone, should they come up at that moment, to see a man laughing and rubbing a rock with a huge grin on his face, so I cut my rock-rubbing short. I took at least a roll and a half of pictures, and chatted with another couple who had come up to the peak shortly after I stopped rubbing the rock. I stayed at the peak a little while longer. When the breeze blew, it felt absolutely incredible, I dare say borderline orgasmic. I stood up and surveyed the land below me with a gentle breeze blowing around, I felt almost transparent, as though the wind were blowing right through me. I felt completely carefree, yet still in control of myself, liberated from the constraints of society and myself. I learned a lot about myself, and went through a large amount of shit that had been bothering me. I returned to sit on the rock, and shut my eyes, meditated, and prayed thanks to the divine energy, the divine force that is inherent in all things. As I did this, a hawk soaring 20 or 30 feet above my head let out a loud caw, which startled me back to awareness.
I decided it was time to begin my descent, as I still had a several hour hike ahead of me. I put on a trance/techno mix I had made, and bounced happily down the mountain. It occurred to me that the mountain perfectly represented my psychedelic experience, as I was coming up on the hike up the mountain, peaked at the peak, and was coming down on the way down. I donít think the mescaline played much, if any, role in the experience, but it might have. On the way down I was much more careful about where I walked. After the trance mix, I put my headphones around my neck, and listened to a mix of the Dead, the Doors, and some others (including Neil Young Ė Horse With No Name, which I thought was appropriate), along with the natural desert noises.
The hike down was a bit quicker than the hike up, and I had to wait a little extra for my ride to arrive, so I used that time to reflect on the trip and what I had learned. I consider all psychedelics to be powerful medicine, and I think MDMA has now earned a spot up there on my list of the best medicines.
I'd like to add as a follow-up also, that prior to this experience, I suffered from diagnosed clinical depression. I had tried an alphabet soup of different pharmaceutical anti-depressants, all of which left me feeling either doped-up or just too artificial. This experience allowed me to see my problems in perspective, but more importantly perhaps, it allowed me to love myself, something I hadn't really been able to do. Since this experience, I have not once relapsed into depression.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid.
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 Center.