So I arrive at my friends’ house, Chad, Dane, and Maggie. I have on me: 2 approx 1ft long San Pedro tops, six inch thick, heavy. 1lt of Pre-made San Pedro juice, approx. 20 Inches of six inch thick cactus in tea. 10g of decent cannabis. Laptop with tons of media on it. And other non-tripping supplies. My friend just came from the Karoo desert, and picked up a few meters of thick ass cactus. (San Pedro has been introduced as a cultivated cactus in the Karoo in South Africa many years ago.) We opted to keep the two 1ft long tops of cactus, the last tops from a cactus we got near our local surf spot. (Yea, freaky, San Pedro growing all over the more arid regions of South Africa it seems, mostly in people’s gardens. I tend to ask first, but I this cactus was growing in the yard of a vacation home, so I cut a few coulombs. 2 years from now the cactus will be growing denser than ever any way, and I left the tallest coulomb uncut.) So we planted the two tops, so as to propagate more cactus, and preserve the genetic, in case one of the many trippers in Mossel Bay find the cactus, and cut with no discretion, without leaving for the plant to grow. Instead, we took about 30 inches of coulomb from the Karoo. So, here is the brewing process: Chop chop, throw in blender with just enough water to cover cactus, blend. The whole cactus, skins and all. DON’T TROW AWAY CORES. They may be less potent gram for gram, but they weigh the most of the whole cactus, so it evens out. In my experience, they seem to be at least 2/3rds as potent as the white layer of the outer portion, and 1/2 as potent as the green layer of the outer portion, but it makes up a rather large part of the cactus, so it can be argued that in a cactus that has a really thick and hard core, it may hold half the mescaline. Add to a thick cast iron pot, along with a few grams of vit C (no more than 1-2g per dose though) and a few tablespoons of coffee. In South Africa we call this type of cast iron pot, a potjie pot. In America they will probably call it a mini-witches cauldron if they saw it. Put on top of a fire, one with a decent amount of coals and with still a good few flames left, but with most of the wood turned to coals. Let it boil slowly. If the heat is too cold, and it doesn’t want to boil, then add a few small pieces of wood. (Note: a few small pieces, not one large piece. You only need to heat the potjie till it boils, then the flames can go down and the coals will keep it going for a while, then you can add a few more…) If it turns to a rolling boil, take it off for a little while. A cast iron pot is preferable since it keeps the temperature stable over the entire brew, and burning at the bottom is a whole lot less likely. Trust me, you don’t want to burn your cactus. Adding Vit C prevents oxidation, so it should prevent burning to an extent, and prevent the heat from degrading the mescaline. Theoretically, taking vit C will also prevent the oxidation of mescaline in your body, thus possibly extending the duration of the experience. Boil this till the content of the pot has halved. Should take about 2 hours, unless you added to much/little heat. Take the pot off and let the brew cool. Pour into a pillowcase held over a container. A very wide mouthed bucket is idea. Squeeze. This is the most important part. SQUEEZE THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF THAT PILLOWCASE. When you thing you are done, you haven’t gotten half way. SQUEEZE. Then, go pour out the juice you have squeezed into another container, and go squeeze again. The reason for pouring out the other juice is in case the pillowcase breaks. (NB, use a strong pillowcase, preferably avoiding natural fibres that can absorb liquids.) Now, keep squeezing and kneading and squeezing and kneading that cactus till you can look inside and find that you can take the cactus and smoke it, cause it has been squeezed dry. Don’t smoke it, throw it away. Now take this liquid, and put it in back into the pot. (Clean pot of any remaining cactus fibre to be left in there first, you don’t want to have to strain it again.) Now boil it down some more. Make sure to stir often, to prevent the forming of a skin. If a skin is formed, collect it, this will become resin balls for re-dosing later. I added the pre-prepared brew to the new brew, added 2 tablespoons cacao, and boiled it all down. (Note that by now there is coffee, cacao, 5 grams of vit C, and the juice of two lemons in this brew. All of these have been reported to increase effectiveness of brew and/or augment the quality of the experience. Due to lack of clinical research in this area, it is impossible to tell which is nothing but placebo, and which isn’t.) Ok, so, here the actual trip report begins: I pour the cactus juice into 4 large glasses, and there is about ½ a glass left. The juice isn’t bitter like my other brews. No, the other brews where bitter, but not overly intense. No, this one wasn’t bitter, it was SALT. It tasted like pure SALT. I remember reading a post somewhere “beware of the cactus juice that tastes like pure salt.” So at 9pm I offer this cactus juice to my 3 friends, Chad and Dane, and their mother Maggie. Chad refuses to drink the juice. He has been wanting to do Mescaline for YEARS, but out of what I believe to be fear, he decided not to. I don’t blame him, he trip sat for me years ago, when I first tried San Pedro, except, it ended up being a misidentified cactus, and I puked for 4 hours non-stop. Dane slowly sips his, I sip at a faster rate. Maggie, whom we all expected to have the hardest time, downs the 300-400ml glass one time. How she did that I still don’t know. She was about to go for the second cup (I told her to listen to her body and to put in as much as it can keep it, but not one drop more.) but I told her to halt it and wait an hour or two before doing that. I keep sipping, Dane keeps sipping. We keep at it, and I slow myself down to his pace. We finish our cups at about the same time, an hour or so later. By now we are already feeling very pronounced body effects, as well as a visual ‘shift’ I take the remaining poured cup, and offer to pass it around. Maggie says no thank you, already tripping pretty hard. This was around an hour and a half since she took the previous cup. I take a small sip, offer to Dane, and he declines, saying if he had to drink one more drop it will all come out. My body still wants more, so I take a small sip and put it back in the fridge. By now I am flying high, and everything has a shimmer and a sparkle, everything flashes around which ever focal point I choose. The visuals start in the peripheral, and take up more and more of your vision, till only the direct focal point remains unaffected by the visual. I go take out my Bible and start reading, if falls on Mark Chapter 13, and I read verses 1 through 8 1And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. These two words stood out, and they held special context to the trip. While reading the effects become INCREDABLY pronounced, and the boundaries between me and my Bible felt like they dissolved. I go and I take another sip. I kept sipping and finished the second cup by 1:30pm. By this time, Maggie went to lie in her bed and space out to her visuals. Many many profound things have happened to me by now, with all kinds of visuals to enjoy while at it, but the real work was still to be done. At no point in the trip did it feel as if the mescaline was invading my mind, or making me disconnect with the world, like mushrooms and LSD (and even weed) tends to do. It grounds you. It grounds you incredibly deep, but at the same time, all your ‘feelers’ are extended into deep deep space. There was a strong, almost obsessive emphasis on balance. I looked in the mirror, from the one eye to the next, as one cannot look into both eyes at the same time. I looked into each side of my soul, realizing that we have two sides, and that we need the one side to judge the other side, all the while having that same side judge itself, and thus we keep perspective. As I looked at myself, with the insanely heightened attention to detail that one gets with mescaline, I noticed that my left side is asleep. I ask God to wake my left side for me, even if it hurts and even if the left side is blurry and sleepy and groggy. (Interestingly, I am right handed and my left eye sees like shit, while my right eye is fine.) At the same time, the left is said to be the logical part of your mind, the part that organizes things and keeps order. It is also the part that listens to authority, and keeps one grounded. I remember that there was a time that I listened to authority. I remember there was a time where order mattered to me. At least I think there was such a time. I used to love maths, now I hate it, even though I am exceedingly good at it. Same with all the logical sciences, I am great at it, but I despise it. I have always let the creative side of me run wild and free. The side that says fuck authority, the one that says respect is earned. The side that allows artists and scientists to create, to find new things. The side that isn’t afraid to explore, the side that doesn’t worry about the consequences. The side that stands for that which is RIGHT, and doesn’t accept that injustice just-is, and knows that our justice system is an injustice system. The part that is willing to sacrifice the ends for the means. The left side of me ended up in a coma due to pain inflicted by authority figures. The side that allows those who are on top to lead, even if they make mistakes. The side that listens to your father and your mother, the side that listens to your teachers, the cops, God, and any other higher authority. The side willing to accept guidance and willing to make sacrifices. The side that can see the result of actions, and can accept current injustices, as the end is worth the means. The side that is willing to accept pain now if it is for a higher purpose, but also the side that avoids unnecessary pain if it has no purpose. Logic, reason, and all the other well-known left brain characteristics where always very strong in me, but I had an aversion to logic and reason, but above all, I had an aversion to authority and structure, rules and regulations, protocol, waiting in line, and all these things always felt abrasive to me. While logic and reason always remained intact, I only allowed it to function in the context of the ‘freeform’ right brain, and never the structured left brain. When, out of necessity, I had to use it in a left brain context, it functioned perfectly, but I absolutely hated it, and could only manage a short period of time before it became unbearable. School was an absolute horror to me, even though my grades rarely dropped below 85%, and 75% would be an insult to me. Even at 95% I’d freak out if I feel that 0.5% was taken away unfairly. I’d complain to whomever was my teacher if I feel that a mark was denoted unfairly, or if I felt that a certain fact was given and not recognized, and thus not marked as such. On the other hand, if I had given a performance that I felt only warranted 70% or even less, I would accept any mark at or above the level of performance I felt I delivered. Often times I had deemed myself unworthy of a pass, and gotten far better marks than expected. It wasn’t about the marks, it was mainly about getting the grades I felt I deserved. At least, that was up until late high school, especially in Grade 10, where stress and fear of judgement had me cheating sometimes, especially as I grew more and more resentful of the school system, as I felt it was robbing me of my freedom by taking up all my time and energy. It was real easy and ultra tempting too, as I was homeschooled and all my textbooks where always within arms-reach during a test. I was overworked, overtaxed, overexhuasted, and just plain over the wall after the years and years of the overexertion it takes to keep your grade point up above 85%. Gifted or not, it takes a whole lot of hard work, and add a hard life on that, and one can get tired and resort to cheating. I only did it on a few tests, and I still feel I deserved every mark I got and more, purely because the majority of questions I cheated on where designed to trick a person, or where the type where they expected you to remember one fact written on one page in one paragraph in a textbook that is 300 pages long, and one of 10 that you have to work with, and filled with impossible to understand, let alone remember, jargon, about stuff that everybody actually does understand to a degree, but dissected in a manner that no human will ever require to know. I HATED cheating, but I HATED the system MORE. Every answer to a trick question or question about something that few people need to know about and nobody needs to know as much about in language that nobody needs to talk to make sense of the world, felt like giving the system a good old ‘fuck you.’ I later put effort into doing good at school as a sort of rebellion against the school system. A sort of “I’ll show you, you fucktards, you may want to break me and lower my chances of a good post-school education and thus post-education job, by asking all kinds of stupid questions about stupid unimportant stuff, I’ll fucking SHOW YOU that I CAN beat your stupid tests.” This thinking, while popular today, is totally backwards. It isn’t popular today, especially with myself, to respect authority figures. Most just bow down in submission, or rebel, but few respect authority. Submission and respect isn’t the same thing, as submission can be coupled with resentment, and rebellion always leads to violence and further tyranny down the road anyway. I realize now I will have to learn to respect authority, and not just fall into the cycle of submission and rebellion. While respect is earned, authority isn’t always earned, so for me to respect someone with authority isn’t always easy, but having authority should be sufficient to count as earning your respect. This is something I will have to work on over time, as it I still don’t understand it, even though I know it to be true. I don’t like it either, but I know it to be true. One must respect authority. Respect is the balance between submission and rebellion. One can still disagree, even vehemently, with someone you respect. You can also agree with someone you disrespect. I for instance don’t agree with the Dalai Lama, but I respect him as a philanthropist and philosopher. I do agree with many Christians, but I must say I don’t respect most of the people who practice and/or preach Christianity, due to them often being hypocrites. (Not that I shouldn’t respect them, I should, but I don’t. One should respect all.) So, anyway, that was one of the biggest, but most uncomfortable realizations I had on mescaline, as it requires much change on my part. I will also need to stop smoking weed, because it is a right brain stimulant, and a left brain depressant. (The evidence is obvious. On the positive end of the effects spectrum, it enhances creativity, dissolves social boundaries, relieves depression, and helps you just ‘let go.’ On the negative end, it fosters rebellion, (can be argued this is due to its illegality, but I have to say that this effect is too pronounced and not necessarily directed at those who want to take away the weed, but to all authority figures) flights of fancy, delusions, and a whole lot of lying to yourself about how much it is fucking up your lungs (if you smoke) and how lazy it makes you, and how much energy it saps out of you, regardless of whether you smoke or eat it. Throughout the experience there was an emphasis on order and balance. There was a carpet that was made in Mesoamerican style (not sure if Mayan or Aztec, but definitely Amazonian.) and I had a 4 tealight candles in bowls, and two in stained glass orbs. The whole carpet looked like some kind of grid that is to be activated by light. I put the two stained glass orbs in the middle of two square (orientated in diamond form) pattern formations, and put the other candles in different places so as to activate different parts of the grid. I didn’t seem to have enough to activate the whole grid at the time. By activate, I mean that wherever the lines connect with where light comes, the shapes tend to come to life, and form energy pillars (the squares) that is surrounded by rivers of energy along the other lines. I had a big challenge in getting perfect symmetry with the light, as both sides of the carpet HAD TO be ignited by equal amounts of light; otherwise the entire structure will collapse. I now know what is meant by ‘magic carpet.’ It felt imperative that I activate this carpet with balance, as it seemed that the act of creating balance outside helped me create balance inside. (Crazy thing is, in the next room, with the DOOR CLOSED Maggie was lying down, and COULD SEE EVERYTHING I DID WITH THE CANDLES ON THE CARPET, and TOLD ME ABOUT IT THE NEXT MORNING WHEN SHE EMERGED!) I kept trying to show my friend Dane what I did with the carpet, but he was too much in his own deep space to un-merge with the chair. (Note, when peaking on mescaline, all boundaries between your body and whatever you are touching don’t exist. I became one with an entire mountain range by lying on a rock for 5 mins on my previous, much lighter, trip. This is different from mushrooms in that mushrooms tend to take you out and make you melt and let whatever else stay behind, with this, you are rock solid, but you are ROOTED into the earth, whilst at the same time FEELING OUT for everything. I took a photo with my Blackberry of a picture I drew as the sun was rising, and I was feeling in a space to record some of the experiences I had earlier. I’ll send it in a separate email.) He told me (in not so many words, being rather linguistically challenged) that his body was connected with the whole earth, his ears connected with the entire space outside (he’d freak out whenever I wanted to put on music, whilst I DESPARATELY wanted to put on music. I HATED basically being left by myself throughout my entire peak, and music would have helped me ignore the feelings inside and rather focus on the flashy light show in my brain. God would have none of this and made sure everybody was affected with a more sedating experience whilst I was stuck with complete over stimulation.) and his mind was connected with the deep inner space we call the subconscious. The place that Buddhists get their mandala’s, Persians get their carpets, and Church builders their architecture and stained glass designs. The most accurate psychedelic art I’ve seen never came from people who took psychedelics. ESPECIALLY Persian carpets. (Syrian Rue with DMT containing Acacia as a form of middle eastern Ayahuasca brew is theoretically possible explanation, but I’ve got a feeling that these visual patterns are inherent in the human brain’s pattern recognition wiring.) So later on the sun came up, I relaxed around, tripped out on all the patterns and things inside the house, and waited for everybody to become as lively as I was. The previous night I asked Maggie if I could sleep over a second night, knowing that if I took a large dose that night (which I DID) going back to my grandparents the next day would be a bad idea. She had no problem with me sleeping over. Now, Chad emerges, and flips when he hears about this, saying that he told me I could only come for one night, and that I should have asked him first. I told him that I can’t possibly go home, as I was still tripping harder than I have ever tripped in my whole life, and, that, besides, I wasn’t aware that he could override his mother’s decisions. On top of that I’m also friends with Dane, and he shouldn’t be getting in the way of us either. He also knew that it would be the last weekend we would spend together for a minimum of a year, but probably forever. All this apparently didn’t matter to him. I quickly realized that I have lost a friend and that it was inevitable from a very long time ago. One cannot always pour into a relationship and never find the other pouring back. I also have another suspicion, and if I can believe a word that Dane says, then my suspicions are true. I believe that we have always had a romantic attraction, as each time he gets a girlfriend, I suddenly ride back seat, and often end up not seeing him for months at a time. When he breaks up, it takes him a while, and then I end up a part of his life again. At the same time, I’ve always had a romantic attraction to him, but I was FAR to scared to even THINK of mentioning it, as I was sure of immediate rejection. So, the possibility is that he either feels the same and he knows he feels that way, but it scares him and he obviously didn’t mention it to me for very much the same reasons I didn’t mention it to him. It is also possible that since I broke all ungodly soul ties, (and also, now that I think about it, lost all physical attraction to him, and only wanted to mend a friendship, one that ended up not being a friendship but a romance, minus the physical aspect.) he no longer feels the connection that kept us together. And, I say, if that connection is ungodly, let it stay broken. Now, at this moment, you can imagine what emotions are going through me. I JUST worked through ALL THAT, and now this bomb is dropped on me. It also explains the uneasy feeling I got when Chad refused the cactus, as cactus is communion and can heal broken bonds, and it can help create new ones. A bond was now finally shattered while I was ON the cactus. I was broken. I wanted to throw up, more so than any time that night, but I didn’t, as I didn’t want to open THAT Pandora’s box. (Last thing I had in me was a cup of cactus juice, and that was nearly 8 hours back by now.) So, Dane and I go for a walk, and we walk down to a place he wants to show me to cheer me up. As we get down deep enough into the bushes, to one of the very few places in the world where I could scream at full volume without fearing the cops running after me, I let out a scream that would have each and every creature, even the devil himself, running for the hills. Then I let out another one. The I collapsed. I felt MUCH better after that, like a world of weight has been lifted. But at the same time I feel like I lost something that was worth that weight in gold. I was mourning and rejoicing at the same time. It was like the feeling of ripping off a super thick scab that was preventing healing and making the skin bunch up and scar. Painful but liberating. We continued walking till we got to a stream, crossed it, walked down the stream a bit and found a beautiful waterfall. Cactus isn’t constantly there any more, it now comes in waves, in the same way that 12-16 inches of normal San Pedro would. None of the body effects are apparent any more, it is now a purely visual and mental experience. By mental experience I mean it seems as if faculties for working through problems and identification of patterns, both visual, behavioural, and historical. I understand how this can be used as a divination tool, but I prefer not to look into the future, and I would rather look into the past so as to make sense of the present, and let God take care of the future. This is why divination is not allowed by the Bible, not because demons or what not control it (although I DO believe in most cases they DO influence it) or tell the stuff into peoples ears, although that undoubtedly also happens, but because we are supposed to trust God to take care of the future, we must just take care of the present. For me to make sense of the present, and to have any semblance of knowing what God wants me to do now so as to ensure the future he plans for me, I have to look at past behaviours, as well as all past and present patterns. By now it is like 13h00 and Dane and I decide to camp out at the waterfall for the night. We go back home to get supplies. Walking back each and every little stone in the gravel road was a shimmering gemstone, flowers are precious, luscious, and just sensually sexy. The mountains where breathing in unison with God’s rhythm, and I was tuning in. I had to make an effort to tune in though, it was never forced upon me. We get home, and I remember there was still half a glass that wasn’t drank. I didn’t want my current state to end any time soon, but I wasn’t ready to go and amp it up either. So, I took the glass, which looked like layers, with it being clearer up top, and poured the contents into a bottle, except for all the sediment that ended up collecting at the bottom. I added some water and downed the sediment. We get supplies (too much weight) and walk back. Except, we don't walk back normal. Dane decides to take a wrong turn, and stupidly, I trusted him to know the area. He leads me over the stream, up a hill, and then down into the densest, craziest thicket you have ever seen. There was no ground to walk on, you had to walk on top of all these plants, and it was bouncy and unstable and kinda like a jumping castle that isn't blown up properly. Add to that the fact that I was carrying an extra 40kg of weight, and weigh over 90kg already, I swear if I was on mushrooms and not mescaline (mushrooms fuck with your depth perception, mescaline doesn't) I would have gotten stuck and died. Next up we get to crazy intertwined branches that are dry as heck and breaks easily. This is easy enough for him, but to me, intertwined bush is a big ass pain. Shit breaks under my weight too easily, and I’m rather big. Add bulky, heavy cargo, and you’re rather screwed. Eventually we make it through and get to the river again. I have no idea where in the bush we are, I just know the waterfall is to the right, but no idea how far. I ask Dane, and he tells me it is like a kilometre away. I nearly lose it right then and there. He tells me we need to cross the stream and go up the road again and take the other way. I say fuck that. To my right there are more thickets. I opt to go right, and lead. Within 10 meters I break through into a path, and we walk quickly and end up at the waterfall within 50 meters. I am totally overheated at this point, wearing all the clothes I took with for the night, going through the craziest thicket, whilst carrying 40kg of cargo. I dump everything, rip off my clothes, and dive in. Within 5 mins my ballsack is freezing and I climb out. I remember that there is no towel, so I dry off butt naked for a while. The experience of standing atop a roaring waterfall whilst naked and on san pedro may be just as liberating as it sounds, but it is just as cold and awkward as it sounds too. I get my clothes on when I am nicely dried off, and we pitch the tent, get a fire started, and rolled a joint of Weed and Amanita. Smoking this combination had some interesting effects, especially as night fell. With the fire behind me, and my hand lit with its light, I had the strangest effect. As I move my hand, a phantasm of my hand would be left behind, that is quickly sucked back into my hand. As if my body moves, and my soul catches up. I cannot ‘feel’ this happening, but I could SEE it. If I moved other objects in the same fashion, it had no effect. This was rather peculiar. Playing the didgeridoo along with the roar of the waterfall was an intense experience. I looked into a rock and saw all kinds of patterns, the entire rock seemed to be the body of a smiling rock entity, and it seemed, the more I played my didgeridoo, the more he smiled. The moss on the rocks stood out in such detail and danced wherever I wasn’t looking. Interestingly, through the entire experience, each and every pattern happened on the peripheral, even though the peripheral encompasses 99% my vision area, whenever I try and verify something with the 1% focal point, I cannot see the dance. Look at a Persian carpet, while 100% sober, at one single spot, and nowhere else, and breathe deeply. You don’t have to prevent yourself from blinking, just make sure that after you blink you keep staring at the same spot. Everything will start dancing. Now, go to the mirror, and pick and eye. Look into it, and don’t stop, for as long as you can. Try and do this for at least 5 mins each day, for both eyes. You will get to know yourself better than you can imagine. One big highlight of the night was that I saw fireflies for THE FIRST TIME EVER. At first I thought I was just tripping hard and still hallucinating, till Dane told me that they were fireflies. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and it was really like God giving me the cherry on the magical cake. We made an awesome beef and springbok stew, with potato, carrots, and butternut. We half expected the first taste to be that of cactus juice, since making it in the same black cauldron (even though it is clean) has quite the psychological effect, after something that profound came out of a black cauldron. I continued to feel effects till sleep, and now, the 3rd day, I feel what I can call an afterglow. Every once in a while a wave hits me, normally triggered by something like taking a crap or smoking weed or focusing on some particular object or concept. But it is only the visual effect now that remains reminiscent of mescaline, the mental space, the body high, and everything is totally overpowered by the cannabis I’ve been smoking. It augments it, so to speak. At first I knew I was coming down when cannabis managed to affect the trip, and now I know I’m mostly down because it is more the trip affecting the cannabis. All in all I would say this was one of the most profound and formative experiences of my entire life. I’ve got a feeling even more so than I realize… I would do cactus again, but not in such a dose, unless I NEED to.