Total San Pedro Paper Part 1

Discussion in 'Cacti Delecti' started by ancient powers, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Total San Pedro Paper Mescaline: A Psychedelic Catalyst for Healing Our society has a negative view of hallucinogenic drugs and thepsychedelic experiences that they produce. Hallucinogenic drugs are seen asinherently worthless and inherently dangerous, producing negative societalchanges. In contrast to this view is the fact that hallucinogenic plants havebeen used as religious sacrament, healing medicine, and spiritual guides forthousands of years. As an example of beneficial use of a plant hallucinogen,I will use the ancient traditional healing ceremonies, ceremonies stillfunctioning today, which use the San Pedro cactus(Trichocereus pachanoi).The key factor in the use of the cactus is the mescaline that it contains.The hallucinogenic effects of the mescaline is necessary for the healingceremony to function properly. The beneficial use of psychedelic effects in theSan Pedro cactus healing ritual contrasts with the negative associationssociety has about hallucinogens. The legal statutes and the societal tabooagainst researching the effects of plant hallucinogens is an example of thegeneral attitude toward plants with psychoactive effects. These laws andopinions are crippling mostly to those who want to preserve traditionalknowledge about beneficial plants. These laws and attitudes have come aboutbecause of misinformation about the psychedelics as well as widespread misuseof them. The consciousness expanding abilities of psychedelic drugs is statedwell in this quote from Terence McKenna, in Whole Earth Review(Fall 1989). Hesays that, "Re-establishing direct channels of communication with the planetaryother, the mind behind Nature, through the use of hallucinogenic plants is thelast, best hope for dissolving the steep walls of cultural inflexibility thatappear to be channeling us toward true ruin. Careful exploration of the planthallucinogens will probe the most archaic and sensitive levels of the drama ofthe emergence of consciousness." Thus McKenna notes that, "Thepro-psychedelic plant position is clearly an anti-drug position. Drugdependencies are the result of habitual, unexamined and obsessive behavior;these are precisely the tendencies that the psychedelics mitigate." McKennais clearly advocating responsible psychedelic plant use, and not advocatingdrug abuse. Shamans all over the world and in different cultures havetraditionally used psychoactive plants, especially psychedelics, for guidance,decision making, healing, spirituality enhancing experiences and remaining inbalance with the natural world. It is very important to keep in mind that,"a plant using shaman is far more than a witch-doctor who gets wigged out ondrugs; he or she is a healer, experimentalist, and psycho pomp. Anyone whoseeks to understand the dimensions of the shaman's healing system withoutunderstanding the place of psychoactive plants is going to miss a vitalfactor"(Rheingold 27). It is interesting to note that the shamans whouse the plants claim that much of the knowledge is gained directly from theplants. One example is that psychedelic plants are claimed to have taughtmelodies to those who ingest them. This is found with San Pedro usingshamans, Ayahuasca drinkers in the Amazon, the Mazatec who use hallucinogenicmushrooms, and the Huichols who use Peyote(McKenna 30). The key hallucinogenicalkaloid in the San Pedro cactus is mescaline. Mescaline is unique among drugsin that its main action is a stimulant of the visual and visuo-psychic areas ofthe cortex(Kluver 65). This lets the brain experience an altered state ofconsciousness. Mescaline is also found in many other cacti and succulents,including the well known Peyote cactus. The largest part of the mescalineexperience is experienced visually, through hallucinations. Most hallucinatoryphenomena are usually variations of certain forms. These form constants are:a) grating, lattice, fretwork, filigree, honeycomb, or chessboard; b) cobweb;c) tunnel, funnel, alley, cone or vessel; d) spiral. The fineness of the linesis often stressed. They are so thin that it is hard to say whether they areblack or white. These form constants are also seen in other altered states.One observer has seen the same hallucinatory constants during four differentchildhood sicknesses. This has led him to conclude, "All the geometric formsand designs characteristic of mescaline-induced phenomena can, under properconditions, be entopically observed"(Kluver 65). Some of the form constants arealso found in, "the visual phenomena of insulin hypoglycemia, and in phenomenainduced by simply looking at disks with black, white, or colored sectorsrotating at certain speeds"(Kluver 65). These hallucinatory forms have alsobeen reported from migraine attacks. One author tries to account for thedifferent form constants by referring to the various structures in the eye. Heconcludes from anatomical and observed data that,"the rods and foveal cones canlook backwards and that the retinal pigment and the choriocapillary circulationcan, therefore, be seen under certain conditions"(Kluver 65). In essence, ourhallucinations are views of looking backward at the retina, according to thistheory. This would explain the prevalence of lines in mescaline hallucinations.Mescaline intoxication is a complicated and somewhat incomprehensible thing.These accounts are taken from experiments done with Peyote in the 1920's. I amusing these accounts on the assumption that the psychedelic mescalineexperience will be fairly uniform, regardless of the plant used. It isimportant to understand that no written account can adequately describe theexperience. The form constants experienced with mescaline intoxication overlapinto the sensory sphere of experience. A Professor Forster felt a net-like"cobweb" on his tongue. Another subject felt that his legs were spirals. Forhim, the spiral of his leg blended with another spiral that was rotating in thevisual field. "One has the sensation of somatic and optic unity"(Kluver 71).Lines are one of the most prevalent things seen while under the influence ofmescaline. This is often seen as a "lattice" or "fretwork. A physician, Dr.Beringer was conducting an experiment involving mescaline. One of his subjectsstated that: He saw fretwork before his eyes, his arms,hands, and fingers turned into fretwork and that he became identical with thefretwork. There was no difference between the fretwork and himself, betweeninside and outside. All objects in the room and the walls changed into fretworkand thus became identical with him. While writing, the words turned intofretwork and there was, therefore, an identity of fretwork and handwriting.'The fretwork is I.' In other people the "lattice", or "fretwork" became sodominant that it appeared to dominate the whole personality. All ideas turnedinto glass fretwork, which he saw, thought ,and felt. He also felt, saw,tasted, and smelled tones that became fretwork. He himself was the tone(Kluver72). Weir Mitchell took an extract of one and one half Peyote buttons and heeventually saw: A white spear of grey stone grew up to huge height, and becamea tall, richly furnished Gothic tower of very elaborate and definite design,with many rather worn statues standing in the doorways or on stone brackets. AsI gazed every projecting angle, cornice, and even the face of the stones attheir joinings were by degrees covered or hung with clusters of what seemed tobe huge precious stones, but uncut. These were green, purple, red, and orange;never clear yellow and never blue. All seemed to possess interior light, and togive the faintest idea of the perfectly satisfying intensity and purity ofthese gorgeous colors is quite beyond my power. As I looked, and it lastedlong, the tower became of a fine mouse hue, and everywhere the vast pendantmasses of emerald green, ruby red, and orange began to drip a slow rain ofcolors. Here were miles of rippled purple, half transparent and of ineffablebeauty. Now and then soft golden clouds floated from these folds(Kluver 16).This quote is from someone who had been injected with .2 gm of the sulfate ofmescaline by physicians: A steel veil the meshes of which are constantlychanging in size and form...beads in different colors...red, brownish, andviolet threads running together in center...gold rain falling vertically...regular and irregular forms in iridescent colors resembling shells and seaurchins... transparent oriental rugs, but infinitely small...wallpaperdesigns...countless rugs with such magnificent hues and such singularbrilliancy that I cannot even imagine them now...cobweb like figures orconcentric circles and squares...the pyramid of the tower of a Gothic dome...architectural forms, buttresses, rosettes, leafwork, fretwork, and circularpatterns...modern cubistic patterns...gammadia forms from the points of whichradiate innumerable lines in the forms of screws and spirals, in flashes andcalm curves, a kaleidoscopic play of ornaments, patterns, crystals and prismswhich creates the impression of a never-ending uniformity...hexagonal smallhoneycombs hung down from the ceiling...incessant play of filigreed colors...in the face of B I saw a lattice of yellow-greenish horizontal stripes(Kluver 17). The power of mescaline to completely change realitytemporarily can be seen in the following experience of Henri Michaux. Hemistakenly took a dose of the sulfate of mescaline that was about six timeshis normal dose. It was where one is nothing but oneself, it was therethat, with mad speed, hundreds of lines of force combed my being which couldnever re-integrate itself quickly enough, for, before it could come togetheragain, another line of rakes began raking it, and then again, and then again.Intense beyond intensity, the struggle, and I, active as never before in mylife, miraculously surpassing myself, but surpassed out of all proportion bythe dislocating phenomenon. Enormous Z's are passing through me (stripes-vibrations-zig-zags?). Then, either broken S's, or what may be their halves,incomplete O's, a little like giant eggshells. I have once more become apassage, a passage in time. This then was the furrow with the fluid in it,absolutely devoid of viscosity, and that is how I pass from second 51 tosecond 52, to second 53, then to second 54 and so on. It is my passageforward(Michaux 65). I found one account of the effects of San Pedro inparticular. This account is short, and obviously this is only a fraction ofthe total mescaline experience, but it does agree with the experience of themescaline in Peyote. The effects of San Pedro are: ...first a slightdizziness that one hardly notices. And then a great vision, a clearing ofall the faculties of the individual. It produces a light numbness in the bodyand afterward a tranquillity. And then comes a detachment, a type of visualforce in the individual inclusive of all the senses: seeing, hearing,smelling, touching, etc-all the senses, including the sixth sense, thetelepathic sense of transmitting oneself across time and matter....It developsthe power of perception...in the sense that when one wants to see somethingfar away...he can distinguish powers or problems or disturbances at a greatdistance, so as to deal with them(Furst 130). The San Pedro cactus,Trichocereus pachanoi, is native to several places in South America. It isfound in Southern Ecuador at the Chanchan valley ranging from 6,600-9,000 feet.In Peru, in the Huancabamba valley and in Quebrada Santa Cruz at 10,800 ft. Itgrows naturally in these locales, but is cultivated all over Peru and in otherplaces in South America. T. pachanoi has a tree like body, 10-20 ft high, up to4" in diameter and several branches starting from the base. It is bluish green,and frosted at first. It has 4-7 ribs, which are broad and rounded, with slighttransverse depressions over the small areoles. There are 1-4 spines per areole,very small or completely absent, and dark yellow to brown. The flower isfunnel shaped, to 9.8" long and 7.9" in diameter. It is white with a lightgreen tinge. The alkaloid, mescaline, is contained in the top 1/2 inch of skin.Alkaloids in other cacti serve as seedling inhibitors and parasite repellents.This is probably true of San Pedro as well. The mescaline comprises .12% of thewhole fresh plant material. This is approximately 1.2 grams of mescaline perkilo. Mescaline is also found in 10 other Trichocereus species, some of whichare used in the way that T. pachanoi is(Ostolaza 102). Awareness of thepsychedelic nature of the San Pedro cactus has been documented for a minimum ofaround 3000 years. Engraved stone carvings, at Chavin, date to 1300bc. Theyportray a figure holding sections of the cactus. Representations of San Pedroalso show up on Moche ceramics, Nazca urns and Chimu ceramics. It has beensuggested that cacti were under cultivation in Peru as early as 200bc(Davis 368). Establishing continuity between pre-Columbian use of this cactusand present day use is challenging. When the European explorers first landedin South America, their religion, Christianity, dramatically changed theindigenous cultures. European Christianity literally invaded the originalregion where the use of San Pedro indigenously evolved. "Under such pressures,the indigenous religious practices, including the utilization of Trichocereuspachanoi, undoubtedly were transformed"(Davis 372). In Peru, in Huacananda,the imported culture has totally replaced indigenous cultures. The San Pedrohealing cult has survived, but is quite different than it was. In fact, thename San Pedro is from the Roman Catholic "St. Peter". Early observers sawthat the San Pedro cult was so Christian that they erroneously concluded thatit represented a strictly post-contact, colonial phenomenon(Davis 372).However, the archaeological evidence points to elements of the originalceremonies in the ceremonies I am reporting on. To understand the roots ofSan Pedro healing cult we need to understand the assumptions of South Americanshamanism in general. The elements are: 1) The belief in spirit guardians.2) The notion of particular places animistically endowed with supernaturalpower. 3) The concept of physical combat with disease demons or spirits.4) The close association of certain magical plants with spiritual power.5) The belief in spiritual or supernatural forces as the causal agents ofillness(Davis 371). The healing role is performed by the shaman, orcurandero. The shaman's world view is central to the meaning and functionof the healing ritual. To the curandero, the existence of opposite forcesdoes not mean splitting the world in two(the 'Sacred' and 'Profane') orestablishing a rigid dichotomy between 'this' world of matter and the 'other'world of spirit. On the contrary, the curandero seeks to perceive unity inthe dynamic interaction between the forces of good and evil through theattainment of 'vision'. Such a view of the world is very flexibleand adaptable; it leaves room for the acceptance of new symbols and ideas andallows competing elements to enter into one's structuring of reality and thebehavior determined by such structuring(Furst 123). For example, this viewallows the shaman to see no contradiction between modern medicine andtraditional curing. Nor does he see modern medicine as a threat to hisvocation. He is seeking to assimilate scientific knowledge and techniques intopractice by taking correspondence courses and reading medical literature.Basically, if he knows more about modern medicine, he will be more adept athealing people with San Pedro. The reasons that people wish a shaman toperform the ritual are diverse. They can be physical illness, or simply badluck. In any case, the assumption is that there are spiritual forces which arecausing these problems. In a ritual performed in Peru, on the night of February15, 1981, the patients had these problems: A girl who has been paralyzed, whoalso had back pain, stomach pain, and great depression. A family's cattle herdhad got diseased and been reduced from 58 to 6. An aunt recently gone mad. Abusinessman who wanted to know who had embezzled from his business. Insanitycaused by seeing a wife in the arms of another man(Davis 372). Briefly, theritual consists of the shaman healing the patients with the conjunction of hisown spiritual power, the mescaline which activates his power, and an altar,called a mesa. The mesa is covered with power objects, which are seen as havingspiritual energy. The layout of the objects on the mesa is a key structure ofthe ritual. There are three fields on the mesa. The left isassociated with death taking, and the right with life giving. The middle iseither a separate field or a neutral zone. In either case, the middle is linkedto the concept of balance, of mediating between good and evil. Only some of theshamans consider the two opposite sides good and bad. They are usuallyconsidered complementary halves of a whole, neither good or bad. This is acharacteristic that is common to many indigenous symbolic systems(Furst 127).It is important to have the left field, which represents negativity. This isbecause this is the realm responsible for illness and bad luck, andconsequently capable of revealing their sources(Furst 125). Objects on the leftside are sometimes associated with animals such as snakes, deer, monkeys,frogs, foxes, cats, and birds of prey. These power objects usually includethings of "Ancestors"(ie: artifacts from archaeological sites), poisonous herbsin bottles, and stones(from places of the dead(cemeteries or archaeologicalsites) The middle field, or neutral zone is dedicated to finding balancebetween the two opposite energies. Good luck herbs are placed here and a goodluck charm is made during the ritual using these herbs. Balancing fields alwayshave sun images. There are also magnetic or reflective stones.
     
  2. psychedelic_t

    psychedelic_t Member

    nicee ;)



    i would like to try san pedro or ayahuasca, something like that, its easy to me to find all of those cus i live in mexico, one day i will go and search for peyote or something like that =)
     

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