Citation: Garuda444. "Spirit Animal Communion: An Experience with Trichocereus pachanoi (ID 96587)". Erowid.org. Jan 6, 2017. erowid.org/exp/96587
I awoke at 5:30am, a full hour and a half earlier than my normal wake up time. As I checked the alarm clock and rolled over, wondering if I should try to get a bit more sleep, my brain reminded me that this was no ordinary day. In fact, I recall thinking how much it felt like Christmas morning used to when I was a child. “How can you sleep at a time like this??? Or have you forgotten the bowl full of dried Pedro gel caps?” my mind queried in mock exasperation. The more grown-up, reasoned, and sophisticated voice in my mind answered “Ok, but first, we meditate for a half hour”.
My body slowly obeyed and as I got up to move, I felt the first tingle of anticipation and excitement that always comes before an entheogenic trip. I did indeed start the morning off with a period of meditation and then showered in order to purify myself before ingesting the sacrament.
I feel strongly that the cacti or any other entheogenic material for that matter should be accorded the highest levels of respect due to the incredible and sometimes indescribable insight into the nature of the Universe which these plants unlock. The evening before, I prepared a vegetarian meal (rigatoni and a salad) and abstained from my usual evening treat, Ninkasi IPA.
As for how I prepare the sacrament, I like to take my time with the cutting(s). I first sit and meditate with my cutting and then recite the Heart Sutra to it. When it comes to water, I believe blessings have a real and tangible effect. In other words, your intent towards the plant means everything. Consider the San Pedro is >90% water. Anyhow, once I have communed with the cactus in this manner, I then despine her and peel away the skin, being careful to leave behind the green flesh which sits just below the surface, as this is where the majority of the mescaline alkaloids reside.
Perhaps I’m just unskilled with a knife, but this takes me a good hour or two so I just make sure I’ve got some great music on and get to work. I then take a break if I ever start becoming impatient. Next, I cut the cacti into longitudinal pieces and cut out the center core which is a very tough, fibrous material. After I discard the core, skin and spines, I then take the flesh of the cacti and cut it into the smallest pieces I can manage. It is very slimy work to be sure. I then spread all the pieces uniformly across a large cookie sheet.
At this point, I typically dry the cacti pieces out by placing the cookie sheet in front of a powerful fan and let it run overnight. In the morning, it is usually completely dry or very nearly so. Alternatively, I’ve also recently started using the oven to dry out the cacti. I set oven temp to 170 deg F (lowest it will go) and then keep a very close eye on it. Mescaline has a boiling point of about 180C (350 deg F) so there is no real danger here.
Now, here is one of the main reasons I’ve chosen to submit a trip report. I had difficulty finding a resource to tell me what the yield from a fresh cutting would net me. For example, my 13” cutting weighed in about 980g fresh. After going through the procedure described above, I was left with about 30g dried, consumable material. Potency between plants is highly erratic when it comes to an unknown vendor and cacti. However, in my case, this 30g of dried material I took and ground into a coffee grinder and then capped up into “00” gel capsules. These caps supposedly hold about a gram a piece, yet I ended up filling about 43 capsules.
In the past, I’ve been cautious about my doses and would never consume the equivalent of any unknown cacti in excess of 1.5 lbs. However, this time around, I consumed all 43 capsules within the space of about 15 minutes. (Equivalent to about 2.1 lbs) It went down nice and easy and I’m happy to announce that there was no nausea involved whatsoever.
Afterwards, I felt the plant begin to take a hold of my psyche about 30-45 after ingestion. I was markedly happy and joyous to receive this blessing. I think I even had a spontaneous giggle fit or two.
About two hours after ingestion, there was no doubt about the fact that I was “on the hook” for the next 10 hours or so. I love the term “entheogenic lollipop”, because that describes exactly what kind of day I was about to have. However, perhaps the lollipop I was to lick on would be low sugar compared to the other entheo-pops out there to be had. What I mean here is that that the visuals were very light to almost non-existent which leads me to believe that I have still not experienced the best of what the San Pedro has to offer. I wasn’t disappointed but rather optimistic since I know what to use for a dosage next time. Specifically, I plan on doubling my intake with two similar sized cuttings sent with the same shipment as the first.
As for how the day unfolded, at about the two hour mark I took a nice leisurely walk to a local park in Seattle. I experienced a wonderful euphoria and frankly was giddy with delight that I received “active” cacti. I had an excellent view of Elliott Bay and it seemed that everything was intensely alive: the blackberry bushes, the freshly mowed lawns, the light crash of the waves on the rocky shore, to the family of geese feeding off in the distance. My capacity to notice the details was immensely improved and staring off into a greenbelt proved to be a bewildering experience. So many trees, so many plants, were alive with a pulsing lushness and radiance. It was like a deep shade of glowing green. This is the best description I can come up with and even these words don’t do it justice.
It was at this point that I began to really notice the body load kicking in. I could sense a radiating energy coming from my “hara” or navel area and as I began walking back from the park to my apartment, I tried to focus attention on this area of my body as I walked. Speaking of walking, I found it to be rather easy and delightful. I wasn’t in any hurried pace and just took things one step at a time for the ½ mile trek back to the apartment.
Beforehand, I determined that set and setting would revolve around my apartment. I knew I would be safe there and besides that, we were in for a good amount of rain. In fact, the rain held off until I was safely back inside the apartment which turned out to be great timing. Once I was safely behind the door, the trip took on a greater intensity. I turned on some music and found myself unable to focus on the lyrics but the sound was intense and amazing. I looked out the window which overlooks a two lane street, and stood entranced as the rain came down and large droplets of water became entangled and hung precariously from so many pine needles.
I felt this intense need to be in nature
I felt this intense need to be in nature
and so getting as close as I could without becoming drenched, I stepped out onto my porch and took a seat which was sheltered from the rain. I sat there for what must have been an hour just taking the whole experience in. The clouds were amazing not to mention the birds which would periodically streak across the sky, trying their best to induce my visuals to kick in. In a couple cases, tracking these birds didn’t produce tracers, but I would notice dots of light in the sky around the bird. As I mentioned before, the visuals weren’t there per se, yet the world and everything in it was somehow perceived differently and I came to regard all I saw as truly living and breathing.
For example, after getting cold sitting out on the porch for so long, I came back inside and went to the kitchen for some water. On top of the fridge was a piece of ginger about 4” in length. It had been sitting there for a couple weeks. I picked it up and was taken by surprise to see that the ginger root had sprouted. The manner in which this sprout poked out from the skin fascinated me to no end. I then began looking at the ginger as a whole and everything about it from the brown and cracked skin to the newly formed sprout was incredibly detailed and complex. After a couple minutes of inspection, I actually broke down and cried tears of joy. There was this feeling of intense connection with this piece of ginger but also all organic material by extension. Something shifted within me and I felt so much appreciation for the natural world.
After wiping my salt-stained cheeks, I sat down to watch “2012 Mayan Prophecy and the End of the Ages”. Right from the beginning when Mayan statues of Quetzalcoatl appeared on the screen, I knew this was going to be a difficult documentary to watch due to the mysterious and strange subject matter. I somehow got through the documentary after contemplating the nature of the universe as told by the narrator and some quotes given by Terence McKenna within the documentary regarding Timewave Zero. After the movie, I stood up and felt a rush of ecstasy run through my body. “Maybe I’m not done” I thought to myself. I sat at the computer desk and lamented the fact that I could not go back outside since by now it was pouring and also a bit chilly.
Listening to some Tool, I opened a picture book on Tibetan Buddhism. One picture in particular of a Buddha was out of focus and as I stared at it, the individual pixels seemed to come to life, and I saw a set of letters/characters from a language I’m unfamiliar with. The picture then seemed to pop out at me in 3D. I felt compelled to rush to the bathroom and stared at my eyes for a bit through the mirror. It appeared the iris of my eye was growing outward. I couldn’t stare at the mirror for very long so I bounced back into the living room and turned up the music. I realized this must have been the peak of the experience, for I did not receive any more visuals after this point.
About ten hours after ingestion, I thought surely I must be getting back to baseline. I was getting rather hungry but didn’t feel like eating anything with meat in it. So, I went to get some pita chips & hummus, some cherries, and some wine for later in the evening at the local grocery store. This was perhaps the most entertaining portion of the experience.
If staring at a piece of ginger could turn me into a puddle of tears, imagine what it was like staring at other human beings! I couldn’t really stare into anyone’s face for longer than a few seconds. I was seeing such complex detail and I think I was worried that if I stared at someone for even a millisecond too long they would get creeped out by me. Yet, I could glean their emotional state by the briefest of glances.
This is a Friday in the late afternoon, so presumably most of the people in the store are wrapping up the work week. People in the store are tired and are looking forward to going home and relaxing…but they aren’t quite home yet…this is their last stop so impatience and weariness is written all over many faces. It became apparent to me how we as a species are so easy to read. We usually don’t realize how many non-verbal signals and cues we both give and receive. The veil was lifted in a sense. Think about the saying “When you smile, the world smiles with you”. People pick up on this non-verbal cue and in most cases smile back. The opposite is also true. All of this happens in the background every moment of every day and we so rarely notice this. It was an absolutely amazing insight.
As I made my way down the frozen foods aisle, two store employees were walking past and one of them asked if I was finding everything ok. I was so focused on the frozen yogurt that when I looked over at the two guys walking by, I had no idea which of them had asked me the question. So, I looked at the guy on the right, smiled and told him I was doing just fine. It became apparent rather quickly that he had never said a word, and I quickly turned back without ever looking at the guy who actually had talked to me. I was a little embarrassed and realized that I was still taking copious licks from the “lollipop” as it were. I then got a real chuckle out of it and proceeded to the check out.
Returning home, it was a steady transition back to baseline after I’d gotten some food in my stomach.
I write this the day after my experience and I feel a wonderful afterglow. I still see things in a slightly different way and I’m in amazement at how profound even a light San Pedro experience can have on a person. As far as being transformative, I don’t think it was that type of experience. I’ve never done MDMA, but I’ve heard some people say that light mescaline experiences have the feel of being on ecstasy. I had some great insights which will definitely keep me ponderous until my next journey, but for me the real benefit of this experience is that I now have a good idea of the potency of my remaining cuttings! I hope this has been beneficial to all who took the time to read all of this!
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.