Cacti - T. pachanoi & T. peruvianus
Citation: KPrcell. "Intense Beautiful Exhausting: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi & T. peruvianus (exp97035)". Erowid.org. Mar 6, 2017. erowid.org/exp/97035
My day under the influence of the cactus was intense and beautiful and exhausting and entirely worthwhile.
A friend and I had tried a low dose (about 40g dried each) of San Pedro in April after reading The Doors To Perception. We both had experience of LSD and Mushrooms but hadnít taken either since our youth and were hungry for a new experience with the benefit of an adult perspective. I researched preparation techniques and eventually settled on using isopropyl to create a small amount of dark green powder which was easy to take and caused us no nausea. We both definitely felt effects similar to a kind of stoned, longer lasting version of MDMA and had a great day watching documentaries about space and walking my dogs but it was a grey overcast day and both of us commented that we had wished it had been nicer weather so we could have spent more time outside. Neither of us experienced any significant open or closed eye visuals but definitely noticed a change in depth perception and saw things more vividly than usual. We slept well and woke the next day feeling refreshed and revitalised. The experience was completely positive but I was hoping for a more powerful trip so ordered more dried cactus and set out on my journey again.
I ordered a 100g of cactus this time, some San Pedro and some Peruvian Torch because one online stockist only had limited stocks of San Pedro so I had to go elsewhere to find the rest and they only had Peruvian Torch. It arrived quickly and I decided that this time I would prepare it in a more traditional way, so I boiled it up in water and lemon juice over the course of 24 hours then strained it off leaving a slimy goop which I boiled down to just less than a cups worth of thick grossness. I had read that the smell when boiling the cactus was disgusting but I didnít find it to be so. It was kind of sweet and appley, but entirely distinct at the same time. Maybe now I know how it tastes the next time I make it the smell will disgust me but at the time it certainly didnít.
Once done I put the thick green/brown ďteaĒ in a plastic tub and froze it until the right day arrived for me to take it. I planned to take it alone and was hoping for a sunny day so I could be outside.
That day arrived one Saturday in July. I had planned to spend the day organising my garage but after a wet, miserable early summer the sun arrived and I decided not to do the garage and just spend the day in the sun. I sat outside drinking tea and talking to my Mum, who lives next door to me. After an hour I realised that today was the day and went inside and got out the cactus juice and sat it in the sun to defrost. I was very calm and just felt very sure that it was the right day to finally ingest the cactus.
By 11am it had defrosted a little and I decided I didnít want to wait any longer, knowing how long a mescaline trip can last so using a spoon I broke the partially defrosted block into 4 smaller pieces (though they were still quite big, at least a tablespoon each) and swallowed the first one down. It was utterly disgusting. It tasted like bile. The bit that had defrosted was like a very thick, bitter snot that just stuck to the inside of my mouth. I choked it down and took a drink of a lemon juice drink that I had prepared but it did little to help. Determined to get through it I took the second spoonful which was more frozen than the last and this was slightly easier as the ice meant that it couldnít goop around in my mouth. The third piece was less frozen again and also bigger and I had to chew a little to get it to go down and at the point I began retching and my eyes watered, but I managed to swallow. The fourth piece got left in the tub, I could take no more. Luckily I really didnít need the fourth piece.
I went back outside and sat with my Mum and carried on chatting. I had told her I was taking my cactus juice that day. I am lucky to have a very open minded, tolerant Mum.
We sat on a gravelled area of my garden in the sunshine. It was peaceful and pleasant and would have been regardless of the cactus. After about 45 minutes I noticed that I could make out figures in the gravel, like cave drawings of men with spears and buffalo. I also noticed that my attention had drifted from the conversation (which was mostly one sided, my Mum likes to talk) and into my surroundings. The movement of the leaves on the trees and the birds flying about was more interesting and had a complex quality that kept drawing me in. By this time it was clear that the effects had begun and I felt a strong urge to throw up. It wasnít unpleasant, I just knew that I had to go and be sick so I went inside and did just that. I felt better but the sick tasted of the disgusting cactus but somehow the taste made more sense on the way out than the way in! I had a drink and cleaned out my mouth and knew that I had to go and lie down because I could tell that the effects were about to get much stronger and I was right.
I went and laid down on my bed. At first I was seeing some definite but fairly mild patterns when I closed my eyes. They were vague smooth shapes that solidified into 3d patterned surfaces before becoming vague and fluid again. I was pleased to have arrived at a definitely psychedelic state and so went with it without resistance.
I was pleased to have arrived at a definitely psychedelic state and so went with it without resistance.
I opened my eyes and saw that the walls and floor were shifting and moving and that the light had taken on a pale pink and green quality which cast everything in a romantic sepia tone. I remember thinking it was like and Instagram picture and laughing. I closed my eyes again and left my body. I knew I was still in the room, led on my bed and could feel that my body was entirely calm and unbelievably comfortable, the most comfortable I think I have ever been, but my mind was somewhere else entirely. I saw endless beautiful images, all shifting and growing and dissolving and reforming. It was all very intricate and organic and welcoming. Out of the patterns more solid images would form.
At one point I saw a family member that I had been at odds with for some time. They appeared grey and dry to me and hunched over and they had my face, though I knew it was this other person. I then felt a point of pain and tension in my chest near my right shoulder and the vision explained without words that the tension I carried and the relationship with this family member were connected and that the family member was me and that I should be nicer to this person because it would make us both better. I felt relieved have this explained so clearly and smiled inwardly. The patterns and shapes continued and then sometime later (time had become VERY subjective) an image of Kenneth Parcel from 30 Rock formed. Obviously this was pretty funny and it amused me but I also understood that I was being told to be more like Kenneth. His innocent gleefulness was shining out around him and I was being told that this is something I needed and I knew that it was true because I had become so cynical and world weary. As I acknowledged this he melted away.
Around this time I opened my eyes and looked around the room. Everything was shifting and moving and had the same Instagram quality. I noticed that the two oak doors I have in my room were dancing side to side as if they were shaking their hips, trying to be sexy and I laughed out loud at the image because it was ridiculous. I noticed that the sun that shone in through the window had moved several feet since I laid down and understood that I had been led there for several hours. I closed my eyes again. I started to seeing very sexualised patterns and images. Not anything you could describe as actually sexual, just the patterns and shapes of sex. Itís almost impossible to describe but it was almost like HR Giger's paintings in that it was influenced by sex but was not explicitly porn. It was incredibly seductive and so I acted upon it. Afterwards the visions carried on and a sense of euphoria arrived that went on for hours. It was very like the peak of MDMA but much, much longer and without the edginess. It was beautiful. Now when I opened my eyes I saw intricate mathematical patterns over every surface, like everything had been measured out and marked and labelled and I understood that this was the way things were designed to be by nature. When I closed my eyes I saw hands that were made out of plant matter sweeping across my minds eye and opening to reveal a complex object of lines and shapes and colours, each one different. I was made to understand that this represented humanityís ability to create something from nothing and that if you could create something beautiful you had a duty to do so. Someone who could sing must sing, someone who could paint must paint. someone who could write must write.
After this things became less intense, and I opened my eyes. I saw the patch of sun on the floor had moved much further and decided to check my iPad for the time. It was 6pm. I felt hungry and thirsty and decided to get up. I had a shower which was awesome, during which I had a sense that a large chunk of negativity got washed down the plug hole, then I went and sat outside. A poppy flower bowed to me as I sat down. I was very aware of all the nature around me and was glad I had been inside during the most intense part of the trip as I felt as though I would have been overwhelmed had I been outside amongst it.
I had a light meal of salmon, rice and veg and it tasted wonderful then took my dogs for a walk to a local nature reserve. It was a comfortable cool evening and I sat by a small lake and felt completely at peace. At about 10pm I felt tired but was concerned that I wouldnít be able to sleep so vaporised a little weed, hoping it would help me fall asleep. Unfortunately it did the opposite, waking up my mind but making me feel more sluggish physically. I led on my bed for a few hours with my mind whirring and feeling uncomfortably hot with a mild headache. With my eyes closed I began seeing visuals again but they were a little darker now, seemingly based on spiders. I saw spider eyes and teeth and webs. It sounds bad but it wasnít scary at all. I also saw patterns of blood but want to emphasise that these werenít terrifying images, just more patterns of nature. Eventually I decided to go sleep downstairs on the couch where it was cooler. I eventually drifted off on the couch at about 5am. I slept till about 7.30am and woke up feeling calm and relaxed but tired. I had a relaxed day and went to the cinema but fell asleep early and had a fantastic nights sleep.
The next day I woke feeling great, much better than usual. I drove to a supermarket to get food and was overwhelmed by how beautiful the world is. The clouds and trees and sky shone out to me and I saw people as valuable collections of experiences, each making their way through life in their own way, no one better or worse than the next. This feeling has remained with me. I feel more connected to the world and to others around me and feel like I gained something childlike back that I had been missing for many years.
I hope to make ingesting cactus a yearly summer event, the trip lasts far too long for me to consider doing it more frequently. Next time though I will start earlier, with the hope that it will be over in time to get some sleep. I will freeze that gross goop in ice cube trays and swallow it whilst still frozen with the hope that it will be easier to get down. And I will avoid weed as for me it kind of spoiled the end of the day and didnít provide the sleepiness I was hoping it would.
This has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me.
[Reported Dose: '75g-100g dried']
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