Cacti - T. peruvianus
Citation: Dr_Thunder. "Lessons Learned from Difficult Experience: An Experience with Cacti - T. peruvianus (exp54133)". Erowid.org. Mar 17, 2007. erowid.org/exp/54133
I used some dried and very finely powdered Peruvian Torch cactus for this journey. There is not a lot of information on the net about San Pedro powder, so I thought this report would be worthwhile. About me: I have always been pretty cautious and about my use of psychedelics, and very respectful of them as tools and teachers. I began using these types of plants in my early 20's with spiritual intentions.
I have tried a few times to have a strong experience from the San Pedro cactus, and my last few attempts using the plant (eating it raw and also preparing it as liquid) resulted in mild body-based experiences.
My method of consuming the cactus powder was simply by adding water and a squirt of lemon juice. Because the taste was still very intense, I would take a tiny sip of lemon juice before drinking a mouthful. If anyone uses this method, be very careful about the total amount of lemon juice you consume, later on this effected my experience in a negative way. Gel-capping is probably a better method.
I fasted during the day and began drinking the mixture at around 4:00pm. I noticed the familiar body-based effects after about 15 minutes. Because of my previous experiences, I wasnt sure if this method would work either. Had I known how strong it would be, I would have spent a good amount of time on mental and physical preparation. After a certain point, my body refused any more of the beverage and I estimate the dose to have been about 30-35 grams of powder.
6:00-8:00 The bodily-based sensations increased and I was able to interact with people and generally function/think coherently. Mild feelings of detachment and thoughtfulness at this point. Some sensitivity to sounds, and the energy of sounds/music. A thought occured of closing my base chakra (folding it into a seed), giving it time to rest and recover. Desire to stretch my muscles/body, reminder that it is important to take care of my body.
8:00-10:00 Decided to take a risk and play bass with my drummer. I took it easy and used my most gentle/peaceful bass songs. I had no desire to play anything aggressive or energetic. I was not in an ordinary state of mind at this point. I have been working with my drummer and teaching him since I met him around 8 months ago. The thought occured to me that I should lay off him. I have been giving him a hard time a lot lately. And let his own ideas of musical expression root in their own way, like a plant. I observed that he was trying to experiment and teach himself, and also wanted to show me his discoveries. This was a much needed bonding experience.
10:00 I probably threw up around 10:00pm. This was not a relieving purge like with Morning Glory seeds, I felt awful after. I think perhaps because of the lemon juice consumed, my nose got extremely clogged and I had to take a shower for about 20 minutes before I could breathe again. Experience was still very body oriented.
10:30 Sitting outside on the front steps, my mind and body feel pretty calm. I look up at a bush and notice that it is morphing into itself, and moving even though there was no breeze. The way this hallucination occured was very subtle. I didn't feel a huge rush/intense buzz leading up to it, it just occured. A buffalo face formed on the morphing bush, and I think it might have winked at me. It was like the buffalo-shaped bush, or the spirit of the bush, and also the spirit of Pedro, was revealing it's true identity, playing with me a little.
11:00 Time starts expanding a bit from here on out. Every few minutes felt like many minutes. My mind was racing. Body buzz is high, starting to feel a bit more confused. I think at this point, my body began having a bad reaction to the amount of lemon juice that I consumed (most likely it isnt good for your body to consume so much acid) and I drank a lot of water and Alka Seltzer. I threw up a lot of liquid again. I looked in the mirror and my eyes had red circles under them. This might have been a hallucination, but I don't think it was. The experience begins to get difficult.
12:00 I am convinced that I might die from the amount of lemon juice I consumed, that my body is over-acidified. I keep drinking water, and feel awful. My mind is in chaos, I feel restless, paranoid, trapped in the experience. I think that because this plant is so body based, the experience grips you that much more firmly. Terrible turmoil. I go on a walk around the block and imagine that I must look and feel like 'one of those crazy people who walk around at night'. I was out of my mind. One bush forms into the face of a native american with a head dress.
12:30-3:00 I sit down in my spot in the kitchen. The experience drifts back and forth between my body/physical world, and a deep non-world. I try to breath to calm myself down, and heal my body. With each breath in, I imagined/felt that I was the universe, filling the lungs of this body, with each breath out, I focused on my body existing here.
I started learning from the spirit of the plant, in my state of extreme distress. I wrote in a journal that if I died, it was from too much lemon juice (this seems ridiculous now, but was very serious then! I wasn't sure if I'd make it through). I was reminded about how cacti are plants with incredible perseverence. These were lessons to apply to myself. The experience encouraged me to embrace the awful state of being my body consciousness was in, that the body needed me, and that being connected to your body in general was an important thing to do to live (in general).
I had a brief vision. There was no 'buzz' or build up, it just flowed into my mind like a subtle dream. There was darkness, and in it was a crippled old man laying on a rock. He was blind and wore a black robe, perhaps in a greek style. His face had native american features. I approached him and he reached his arms out to my stomach, to examine something. In the vision my character was like a young man on a vision quest. He pulled out a sphere of glowing stars/dust, it had an amazing blue glow to it. He gave it back to me. The message was that there was something special inside of me, and that I should live to try and manifest it.
Other lessons occured about the nature of reality, as I drifted back and forth from deep thought-counsciousness to my body. A lot of these thoughts had to do with why suffering is necessary, and what the full picture of it really is.
Time was taking forever! I drank as much water as possible, but it seemed stuck in my stomach.
I went into a room and danced for a little while. It was kind of like the spirit of the plant suggested it, this is something humans can do. Plants are usually stuck where they are. It made me feel a bit better, since my dances are very ridiculous.
3:00 Laying on the couch (where I sleep). Nausea, still feeling awful. Drinking as much water as possible, and urinating many times.
Two days later, I write this and my body/mind seems to have recovered. The following day, I drank more water than ever but by the evening (30 hours later), I was still not in a normal mood.
This is a strong plant, use it wisely and approach it with great respect. This type of trip is not as analytic/mental as others, and should be carefully considered. It is easy to loose control and can be a unforgiving journey. Mental/physical preparation and choice of location are necessary. I feel like the spirit of San Pedro is old, wise, powerful, but can also demand that you have the same powerful constitution as the plant itself. These are some of the types of the things it can teach you about living.
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