San Pedro is a cactus that grows indigenous to Peru, and its usage in ceremony dates back to over 3000 years ago. The mescaline contained in the flesh of the cactus creates an entheogenic experience that can be truly profound and healing to whoever consumes it. Before traveling to Peru, I had read about San Pedro’s ability to open your heart, and that where Ayahuasca might show you what needs to be changed in your life, San Pedro gives you whatever it is you need to actually make the change. What this was going to look like I wasn’t entirely too sure, but the gratitude, excitement, and awe I felt at the opportunity to drink this numinous plant was tremendous.
My body felt as fluid as the water I was drenched in and as heavy as the clay in the tiles surrounding me. My thoughts were disappearing. My mind felt almost completely hollow. Curious without a question to answer.
It was about 7:30 pm as I sat kneeled in front of the shaman in the darkened jungle Maloka. I had dreamed of this moment for years, and it was as perfect as I ever could have imagined. Jose, a real-life Amazonian shaman was before me, and he had just poured me a serving of the liquid spirit and passed it my way. I held the small cup gently with both hands and I took a deep breath, savoring the moment and calming my nerves. I had been curious for years what the brew tasted like, and I was seconds away from finding out.