The use of medicinal herbs.
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Ceremony San Pedro in Peru.

As we were preparing hallucinogenic cactus

In Peru we went to Machu Picchu, the Nazca lines and geoglyphs. The main purpose of our trip was a shamanic ceremony. It is a psychedelic plant changed the life of my husband a few years ago, so it is not surprising that a trip to the homeland of Ayahuasca was his dream. I, though quite a spiritual person and never checked in, but my curiosity won out and a few days ago I took part in the ceremony of San Pedro.

For those who don’t know, San Pedro is a cactus that contains the psychedelic drug mescaline (Mexican cactus Peyote). San Pedro grows mainly in the Andes, so San Pedro was used in the traditional religions of Peru over 3,000 years ago. When the Spaniards came with their Christian religion, they, of course, saw in the ceremonies of San Pedro solely the influence of the devil, although they recognized the healing properties of a magical cactus, the truth is that concerns the body and not the soul – treatment of hepatitis, inflammation of the kidneys and fever. In General, neither the Spaniards nor other religious fanatics are unable to exterminate the shamanic ceremony in Peru. However, somehow sacred knowledge of healing plants were preserved in many other Latin American countries.


Okay, enough history, let’s get to practice!

We live in the Sacred Valley, and it is here concentratrion spiritual life of Peru. Pisac (Pisac), perhaps the most popular town, where living and practicing the ceremony with the use of psychoactive plants. Moreover, the people who perform them, not always the Peruvians. Moreover, most of them gringos! At first it was hard for me to admit it, as if it’s wrong, because the Peruvians should conduct the rituals, but then I realized that there is nothing wrong with that.

And while many gringo performing the ceremony, do not consider and do not call themselves shamans, but after my first experience with San Pedro, I realized that to work with people the way they do, you need to have certain qualities that, perhaps, makes them shamans.

Anyway, who is the shaman? I used to think it was some kind of charlatan, “reading! the message of the gods and the bringer of rain. Now it seems to me that the shaman is a person who can work with people. The man who does not judge and not criticize them equally (neutrally) refers to all participants of the ceremony, the person who can help bring inner feelings to the surface. The man who will seem like the closest and understanding, a man that does not absorb your emotions and reflect them at such an angle that a lot becomes a little more understandable. Something like a therapist.

The Aussie Floor is our shaman

The day before each ceremony, participants gather to meet, talk and discuss their excitements, fears, expectations. And that all together to make the cactus San Pedro. Over a Cup of tea of chamomile with homemade honey I met guys from Ireland, Switzerland, Australia, USA, Canada, Chile and Peru. For many it was their first experience with San Pedro, someone has already done over 15 ceremonies.

In a small semi-circular living room with Windows on the whole we sat down on the floor. In the center stood three large pots. Paul, our shaman and the owner of the house told us that the mescaline – the active substance is concentrated in a thin green layer of cactus just under the skin. It was his and I had us win! This cactus grows pretty fast, right before your eyes! Especially if its to fertilize and care for him. By the way, the concentration of mescaline in the cactus fertilize are higher than in the wild!

Paul brought three huge cactus – meter length and thickness from the leg. Cut them into pieces approximately 30cm (it is said that this is a rough estimate of how much per person) and seeded us.

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