Citation: Floydian. "A Much Needed Therapy Session: An Experience with San Pedro 'tea' (exp13402)". Erowid.org. Jul 16, 2002. erowid.org/exp/13402
I had my first experience with San Pedro (mescaline) a couple nights ago. It was a really positive experience and surprisingly intense. I really can't believe I got the results I did from a legal cactus. I wager to say mescaline is the best psychedelic I've tried, but it's hard to say for sure because it's so new to me. I really put a lot of time and effort into this trip. I planned and mentally prepared myself for about 3 weeks. I planned on a solo trip starting at midnight and ending mid-day. I cleaned up our 'jam room' (where I and my brothers keep our musical instruments) and turned it into meditation/trip sanctuary. I cleared the floor of debris and set up a blanket and some pillows in the middle. One candle was lit and placed in the middle of the room near the blankets. I read up on some basic yoga and meditation practices. Breathing techniques as well.
Two night?s prior I started making the 'tea'. I started by cutting about 13 inches of stalk off of the cactus. A pretty hefty amount of plant material for one dose. I had read many preparations that involve despineing and skinning the cactus. But I soon realized that chopping up the cacti whole was much easier and less time consuming. From what I read the end product should be no different.
Then the cactus was chopped like a carrot into small pieces, then placed in a blender with a little water and ground into a pulp. The frothy liquid was poured into a large pot along with about 4oz of lemon juice to help extraction. This mixture was then boiled lightly for about 25 minutes. After letting mixture cool it was poured through a T-shirt cloth to filter out pulp. Liquid was saved and pulp replaced into pot along with more water and lemon juice. The process was repeated two more times to make certain extraction was complete. All three liquids were combined into one. I froze the liquid overnight. The next evening I decided boiled the mixture down to about a coffee cups worth of liquid.
The 'tea' was a green 'sludge' that tasted absolutely awful. The taste hit the outer edges of the tongue with intense bitterness and lingered for long after swallowing. It felt like I was drinking my own stomach acid. It took my about 30 to 45 minutes to finish the coffee cup worth of concentrated cactus juice.
The words of the great Hunter S. Thompson rang true, '...mescaline comes on slow. The first hour is all waiting, and about half-way through the second hour you start cursing the creep who burned you, because nothing is happening ...and then Zang! Fiendish intensity, strange glow and vibrations...'
The first couple of hours were spent in silence and meditation. I followed a meditation technique called 'candle meditation'. This is where you sit cross-legged in front of a candle breathing steadily and deeply while staring at a candle. All thoughts are pushed from the mind as you concentrate on the candle. Trying to make the candle and only the candle consume your thoughts. Then after several minutes the eyes are closed and you attempt to hold the image of the candle in the mind for as long as possible. It was a lot more challenging than I expected. Especially as the drug took a stronger and stronger hold on me. I soon decided that sound was needed to help guide my thoughts as things were really starting the flow. The next few hours were spent lying on my back staring up at the ceiling with only the moonlight and lightning from the approaching storm to illuminate the room. Ambient music was played through the stereo. I went from Boards of Canada to some African Drummer whose name escapes me at the moment.
A deep state of peace was reached and maintained for quite some time. I'm not sure exactly how long I lay there but it was pretty amazing stuff. I then started to get restless. I tried fooling with audio programs and guitar but my mind wasn't clicking with that sort of thinking at the moment. I suddenly got the urge to run. I went outside and sprinted down the sidewalk to an unknown destination. I maintained a high speed for quite some time and just went the direction that felt natural. The atmosphere was very cool and damp with light rain showers every now and again. Everything had this vibration or pulsing to it. It became more apparent with the introduction or elimination of a light source. Everything in my field of vision literally shimmered. The visuals where more fluid and organic, closer to mushroom induced visions that LSD, but still nothing like the two. They were less tactile and vivid than mushroom visuals which was surprising. The Mushroom is still the only psychedelic that has produced vivid and 'real' looking visual effects for me. This is probably a dosage-related issue though.
The physical sensations were pretty amazing as well. Almost MDMA like, but without the urgency that I suspect the Methamphetamine properties of methylenedioxy-n-methylamphetamine are responsible for. The sense of well being was also reminisant of my MDMA experiences but again not quite the same. This was deeper and more focused, less frantic and jumbled than MDMA. It was unique because unlike with mushrooms and LSD my mind wasn't frantically grabbing at ideas and concepts. No new insights or cosmic thoughts were introduced that hadn't been there before. The cactus didn't seem to be pushing my mind in any certain direction. It was more just a feeling of peace and fulfillment.
I chalk this up to the nature of the drug and my mind set going into the trip. I had really wanted this to be sort of a therapy session. A chance to get back in touch with that spark I seemed to have lost in the past few years.
After the running I returned to my room. I started to take note of the one mistake I made for this trip. I had already been awake for 12 hours prior to ingesting the cactus. So I was physically exhausted and still had six hours or so until this drug was going to let me sleep. This only caused temporary discomfort though. After cleaning up my mess from the 'jam room', I took my headphones, a book, and a drawing pad up to my bedroom. The rest of the trip was ridden out in a sort of trance state in bed with headphones. It was a lot like lucid dreaming in a way. My body actually felt rested but my mind was still off creating its own little world of light and sound. I wasn't quite aware of the passage of time. After a while it was hard to tell just how long I had been lying their. The only gauge I had was the beginning and end of CD's.
When the sun started to come up I opened my window and watched the new day begin. I fluctuated from staring out my window to lying in bed with the headphones and a book until noon came around and I started to come out of my trip. I was amazed by the endurance of the cactus. A number of times throughout the trip I noted that I felt that the peak was over. But then a few minutes down the line I would have to retract that because the next wave had begun to take shape. And it really didn't seem to taper off noticeably until about the tenth or eleventh hour. The come down was smooth and gradual. I was a little edgy by the late afternoon from not sleeping but other than this there were no negative after-effects noticed.
All in all it was a good experience. I now hold San Pedro in very high respect. I hope to let what is left of my cactus grow for at least a year (if possible) until I take cuttings from it again. I also have seeds and hope to attempt to cultivate a few. I suggest you try to obtain a specimen of these cacti for yourself. It's well worth it.
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