The San Pedro Cactus Journey That Was More Like An Ayahuasca Journey
Every cell in my body was vibrating from the sound of the didgeridoo being played above my chest, to the point where I was uncontrollably and uncomfortably bouncing rhythmically off the floor. The sun was shining through the ceremonial room, but with a headband covering my eyes, I was having my mind blown with Ayahuasca-esque visions; visual states that I’d never seen before on this cactus medicine.
I wasn’t aware that inter-dimensional, luminescent, galactic jellyfish were part of the Huachuma package...
IS IT NECESSARY TO KEEP USING THE WORD SACRED?
This journey felt like a rite of passage; an initiation; a welcoming into different slices of reality that this powerful medicine has to offer those courageous enough to explore these states of consciousness. I’ve said it once, and I’ll continue to repeat it, as it’s a message that still needs to be spread out across the globe...
These experiences that I write about are NOT recreational drug experiences. These are sacred healing medicines.
I use the term ‘sacred’ in this context, as they’re utilised in an environment that’s created to honour and pay reverence to the power that these plants hold; to facilitate states of consciousness that allow access to healing, understanding, growth and wisdom. These sacred healing medicines include plants that have been used for thousands of years in rituals, ceremonies, rites of passage, and are held in the highest regard by many of our indigenous brothers and sisters.
In my personal experience, and I might dare to speak on behalf of thousands of others, each journey one undertakes, feels like the building of a relationship with some form of intelligence; something beyond our sense of physical sentience; a relationship that deepens as one continues to explore the various worlds that are gifted to those willing to saddle up and do the work.
And this might sound strange or nonsensical to those with differing viewpoints, and especially those who pass judgment without having had these experience themselves, but for myself and many others, it feels as though we’re entering a communion with the essence of the cactus; it’s spirit, which indeed feels like an incredibly sacred experience.
INTEGRITY, RESPONSIBILITY & THE POWER OF LANGUAGE.
Something that was highlighted during this particular journey was integrity and responsibility. We all have different levels of responsibility. How much I decide to take on is a conscious choice, and as my medicine path deepens, so too I feel, does my level of responsibility and integrity when it comes to openly writing and speaking on these topics.
My writing serves many purposes:
To remember and download insights and wisdom.
To make my blessings, prayers and gratitudes more tangible.
To integrate what I’ve learned.
To collect and catalogue these experiences for myself and for others.
I recognise that the words and writing that I share holds weight. I recognize this from the people that share with me how what I’ve shared, has helped them on their own path. I recognize that for myself, and for others, the words I choose to share about these medicines, is medicine itself.
The power of language is HUGE! Language, whether internal or external dialogue, reflects our beliefs and attitudes, which greatly determines our health at a cellular level. Joe Dispenza and Bruce Lipton catalogue this in their own work on the effects of Belief and Placebo on our biology.
Huachuma helped me recognize that the words that I share are like seeds; seeds that are carried by the winds of technology. This technological breeze sends these seeds across the globe, allowing these states of consciousness; these traits of being; these seeds of responsibility and integrity, to take root and grow in other’s gardens, ultimately playing their part in the interwoven network of growth and community, bringing us all together.
And of course, this extends beyond myself.
There’s great power in all of our words that we choose to put out into the world, great power in what we decide to put out there and share, great power in how we choose to show up and allow ourselves to be seen - both in the technological world and the physical world. For all of these things not only help ourselves, but help others to grow, awaken, open and heal.
AYAHUASCA-ESQUE VISIONS PERMEATING THE HUACHUMA LANDSCAPE.
In Ross Heaven’s book, “The Hummingbird’s Journey to God: Perspectives on San Pedro, the Cactus of Vision”, a distinction was made between Huachuma and Ayahuasca: “...Ayahuasca sweeps us away from ordinary reality and into the spirit world, San Pedro brings us closer to this world and exposes its beauty to us.”
Typically, Ayahuasca is taken during the night, and Huachuma during the day. Ross interviewed Lesley Myburgh, commonly known as La Gringa, a respected healer who resides in the Andes and works with Huachuma.
“What people need to understand is that San Pedro is not a hallucinogenic like ayahuasca, so they will never see images and pictures, and there is no point, therefore, in lying in the dark waiting for something to happen. San Pedro's teaching is visionary instead, in the revelations it brings about the natural - not the spirit -- world, and in daylight you can see that more clearly.”
Perhaps, typically, this is the case. The inter-galactic jellyfish clearly had different plans for me though. During our sound bath meditation, in which didgeridoos, drums, chimes and other instruments were played, I was thrust into an ethereal world of shimmering rainbow light. Floating jellyfish-like creatures permeated the darkness with their vibrant fluorescent glow. They moved gracefully, as they sparkled amongst a reality that put the Northern Lights and those bioluminescent deep sea-creatures to shame.
Translucent angel-humanoid beings appeared, while semi-transparent hieroglyphs radiating like prisms of light were propelled across my field of vision. I’d seen these types of alien hieroglyphs in several of my Ayahuasca journeys. It was a delight to witness them again.
I got a little insight into why perhaps the Andean textiles and blankets are filled with radiant colours. Huachuma grows native to the Andes Mountains. It has been utilised in ceremonial practices for at least 3,500 years. Has high-mountain Peruvian culture been influenced by the use of this sacred Huachuma medicine and it’s rainbow visions, once used prolifically (and still used today) by master healers and shamans? As many other ancient cultures and religions around the world have been influenced and shaped by visionary states of consciousness, to some extent, I suspect this could certainly be the case.
QUANTUM RECALIBRATIONS & THE POWER OF SOUND.
Aside from these inter-dimensional visions, my physical body was getting a complete work over. It felt like my central nervous system and all the cells in my body were being jolted; electrified; shaken and rattled free from any dysfunctional programming at a energetic level. When the vibrational sound from the musical instruments were played, my body would go into overdrive, bouncing around like hot popcorn in a pressure cooker.
As for what was actually happening at a cellular level, I’m not entirely sure. Sound is energy, made up by different vibrations and frequencies. At a quantum level, everything is energy. Psychedelics essentially act upon the ‘reducing valve’ of the brain, as Aldous Huxley put it, opening our perception and experience to different slices of reality.
What is it exactly that we’re perceiving and experiencing? How is it that the vibration and frequency of sound being projected upon and permeating our physical bodies affects us at a cellular-energetic level, whilst under the effects of plant medicine? Is it just a synesthetic psychedelic sensation that one is experiencing? Is there some kind of energetic recalibration happening at a quantum level?
I don’t have an answer, but when we recognize that all matter at a subatomic level is purely energy, we recognize that separation is really just an illusion. So having had the subjective experience of my cells interacting and responding to being blasted and permeated with high vibrational energy, it certainly felt like I was receiving some kind of deep-level recalibration.
OVERCOMING FEAR WHEN WORKING WITH VISIONARY MEDICINES.
An insight came to me regarding fear, and how it commonly arises in regards to working with psychedelics. Fear encompasses many aspects of the psychedelic experience. Uncomfortable feelings, unpleasant emotions, losing control, seeing terrifying things, the fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of insanity...
It’s common to feel fear, anxiety or apprehension before engaging in medicine work. That’s why it can be incredibly beneficial to really feel into these fears beforehand; during the preparation phase, to recognize what they are, where they stem from, and how one generally reacts and responds to them, so one can begin to do the work of overcoming them. That’s one aspect of why preparation is one of the most important forms of integration.
Cultivating self-awareness beforehand allows one to do a sound reality check, recognizing their challenges and what fears lay before them. Learning to release resistance, greet discomfort, and actually do the work in daily life, pays dividends when it comes to the psychedelic experience. We know that trying to obtain the unobtainable - such as hoping only for pleasure without pain, or avoid the unavoidable - such as steering clear of uncomfortable and unpleasant experiences, is living in a fantasy, and is a sure way to experience suffering somewhere along a medicine journey.
Fantasy breeds fear.
Doing what we know needs to be done in daily life, the good, the bad, the ugly - all of it - like actually going out and doing the work to awaken, open, heal our traumas and mend our relationships, and accepting and embracing the entire spectrum of experience, without becoming attached to the pleasurable or without resisting the unpleasurable, can lead one to states and traits of equanimity and gratitude.
When one gets used to facing discomfort in daily life, can walk the path of equanimity, and look for the blessings in challenging situations, it’s amazing how the entire disposition of our reaction to the psychedelic experience can shift, moving from fear into gratitude. Embracing the challenges day to day without resistance, helps us embrace the challenges in our medicine work without resistance.
RITES OF PASSAGE INTO SACRED PSYCHEDELICS.
As I mentioned in the beginning, this journey felt like an initiation; a rite of passage, into new community, and into higher frequencies and dimensions that Huachuma allows one access to. I feel blessed to have such a beautiful relationship with this incredible plant teacher. While no experience is ever the same, some experiences certainly have similarities. And some experiences seem to blast all previous ones out of the water.
This was one of them.
With a lot of medicine work to round off the year, primarily focusing on both Huachumito and Kambocita, I’m excited to delve deeper into my own healing and my journey as a practitioner and cartographer; exploring these states of being and continuing to map out these experiences so that I can best serve others who plan on walking a similar path.
I’ve been placing more significant pieces of the puzzle together for my online program, Sacred Psychedelics, and I’m absolutely psyched to release this. I really believe that great integration starts with great preparation, and feel that having the microscope placed on my integrity and responsibility has allowed me to ensure that I’m putting out an incredibly beneficial, interesting and insightful program, so that others can get the most out of their transformational journey working with sacred medicines.
To read more about Sacred Psychedelics and what it has to offer, you can check it out here.
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