Cacti (T. pachanoi)
Citation: Mescalito's Brother. "An Entheogen for 'Heart': An Experience with Cacti (T. pachanoi) (exp9283)". Erowid.org. Mar 26, 2002. erowid.org/exp/9283
As an 'over-the-hill' hippie from the 1969-1970 era, I am probably somewhat older than many of your correspondents. I mention this at the outset because it has alot to do with my 'mindset', and also because I have a rich history of entheogen use, and thus alot of experience. However, I had not used any psychedelics of any kind for over 20 years until I began my recent experiments.
In the 'hippie era' I was privileged to be able to experience mescaline in its pure form on many occasions. For me mescaline was always my 'psychedelic of choice'. I suppose it just meshes well with my nature better than LSD or psilocybin, the other two psycedelics I sometimes used in those days. I did not then, nor have I ever, consumed peyote in its raw state. And I certainly had never tried San Pedro Cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi); it was not known at that time by the group I belonged to.
Part and parcel to my 'mindset' before deciding to experiment with mescaline again, in the form of San Pedro Cactus, was the feeling that I had lost my compass in a metaphysical sense. I no longer felt that I 'KNEW' personally the Reality that lies behind our 'common perception veil'--my doors of perception had been closed for so long. Therefore I decided I needed to 'remind myself'. And since I was and am completely outside of any 'drug culture' with no idea whatsoever about what is available in the way of entheogens and how to get them, I realized that I would have to find my own way.
When I learned of the presence of mescaline in the San Pedro Cactus I was intrigued. Perhaps here was a way I could re-experience 'Mescalito'. Accordingly I searched for and found some of this cactus. Based upon an online correspondent's method of preparing the cactus for consumption, I chopped up and cooked for several hours the plant sections. The first time I used SP I used about 12 inches of plant, with a diameter of roughly 2.5 inches. The second time I used about 15 inches with a diameter of roughly 2.75-3.00 inches. The procedure involves a slow cooking of the cactus in a mixture of citric juices and water. It is an extraction method intended to produce a liquid containing as much of the cactus' mescaline as possible. The solids are eventually thrown out. From these two different sections of SP I was able to eventually produce some 8-12 oz. of San Pedro 'broth' (it's too thick to be called a tea!).
The experience of drinking this broth of San Pedro Cactus is like nothing else I've ever done! It is EXCEEDINGLY BITTER, and it gets more bitter with each episode. That is, it grows on you, in the worst possible way!! It was advised that I have on hand some unsweetened grapefruit juice to use as a chaser and I did this. It helps (if anything can---LOL). It also helps to have your SP broth ice cold. Drink it straight down as fast as you can and 'think of England', or Don Juan's house in the Desert.
On both occasions I consumed the San Pedro extract I drove into some nearby mountains to be away from civilization. For me Mescalito was always a Nature Spirit of sorts. The effects come on very slowly, as is common with the pure form of mescaline. And for me it takes about 1.5-2.0 hours for the drug to take effect noticeably. The physical feeling imparted is one of stimulation, a bit like oh say dexedrine but not quite as 'speedy'. There is also a peculiar feeling in the heart region, a feeling that the plant has stimulated the heart center both physically and spiritu-emotionally. More of this anon.
The effects last about 10 hours and for me I am tired the next day. But the 'body load', as it is called nowadays, is quite mild and I could move around at will. So one could say that the sheer amount of 'trippin'' is mild in comparison with pure mescaline or the more moderate doses of LSD-25, et a. In fact I am presently engaged in a search for Trichocereus peruvianus, which is reported to be stronger than T. pachanoi. That would be good because I really would like to get a bit deeper into the experience than what San Pedro can produce, even with a goodly amount such as what I prepared. Trichocereus peruvianus is called 'San Pedro Macho' in reference to its stronger effect.
Some have argued that there are different strains of San Pedro and that some are 'weak'. I have tried San Pedro from two different sources with the same results. I believe that SP is just a mild form of mescaline, period. There are reports of the use of only 25 dry grams of peruvianus producing a full-fledged mescaline experience.
The effects I have experienced lack any real sense of unusual visual phenomena, other than perhaps a heightening of colors and the sense that the World is just slightly 'different'. No groovy colors, retinal circus, and the like. Mentally the effects are salutary. There is a real sense of well-being--an all-round uplifting of mood and spiritual perceptions. I am not particularly enamored of my fellow man usually, but on San Pedro I actually enjoy people! (There is definitely room for further thought there). In any event, one can definitely 'maintain' one's composure whilst on this dosage. My significant other, who is straight, didn't even know I was 'under the influence'.
Overall, I would say that what San Pedro confers upon the user-devotee is 'Heart'. The shamans that use SP in its native country claim that it is medicinal for the heart organ itself. I can believe that. But, since the 'heart' can also be a metaphor for a psycho-spiritual state, it carries over into that area as well. It is almost a tonic. And if it didn't taste so bad there might be a use for it there.
OK that's my experience, for what it's worth.
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