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What is San Pedro? All about the sacred cactus

In this article you will really discover everything about San Pedro:

  • What is San Pedro and what is its history?
  • The properties and use of this sacred cactus
  • What are the effects of this master plant?
  • How to prepare the drink and its chemical principle.
  •  How the San Pedro ceremony takes place

Introduction: history about San Pedro

Echinopsis Pachanoi, also known as San Pedro cactus, is a cactus native to the Andes of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. It grows at an altitude of approximately 2000-3000 meters and is widely used as an ornamental plant. In these countries, however, it is best known for its hallucinogenic and healing properties. Especially the Moche civilization used it when using the cactus for healing and divination purposes.
In South America, Echinopsis Pachanoi is known by many different names: Achuma, Huachuma, Wachuma, Aguacolla, Hahuacollay or Giganton describe what is more commonly known as “Cactus San Pedro” in Western civilizations.

The traditions related to the use of the San Pedro cactus in Peru are said to date back more than 3,000 years. The oldest archeological evidence that suggests the use of San Pedro is a stone carving (see photo below) of a Huachumero shaman from the Chavín civilization in the ancient temple of Universal Consciousness in Chavín de Huantar, in northern Peru.
According to archaeologists, the carving dates back at least to 1500 BC, and probably even beyond. There are also old Chavin textures that portray the cactus with jaguars and hummingbirds that surround it.
It is difficult to establish a continuity of use between the traditional and the current one of San Pedro in the Andes area. However, one sure thing is the fact that the use of the plant changed dramatically with the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. Starting from the traditional vision of the Christian world, the use of St. Peter has been transformed to serve the doctrine of the church.
In fact, the name “San Pedro” refers to the San Pedro of the New Testament.

St. Peter, according to legend, had the keys to the heavenly gates; A strong reference to the transcendent moods that San Pedro can induce.
Even today the cactus is used by the natives of the Andes and on the coasts of Peru.

The ceremonies of San Pedro today are carried out for the same reasons as always: treatment of spiritual, emotional, mental or physical diseases, predicting the future through the prophetic and divinatory qualities of the plant, fighting against witchcraft, to Bring success to the businesses themselves. and awaken love and enthusiasm for life. It may be precisely for these reasons that South America has seen a sharp increase in tourism in San Pedro in recent years and that, in Pumadventures, we have decided to choose it as the first pilgrimage destination.

San Pedro as medicine: properties and use

The San Pedro Ceremony is truly transformative and surprising. San Pedro is a very powerful cure, the effect lasts twice as much as Ayahuasca, and it opens its heart to love and peace towards you and the world. Ayahuasca is often represented as the female part of the two sacred master plants and San Pedro is the male part. Our shamans in Peru say that Ayahuasca shows you what you need to change, gives you an idea of ​​your challenges and problems, and San Pedro (Wachuma) gives you the power to make that change.

Often, in a healing experience, the mind is on its way to the wisdom of the heart. St. Peter goes straight to the heart and avoids the defenses of the mind and the resistance of the ego. Therefore, there can be surprising transformations for people who have a lot of mental activity that prevents them from healing, with fantastic openings in the heart’s energy center.
Ayahuasca is an interior journey through the interior of the universe, while San Pedro is a one-way trip that shows you how other dimensions merge with physical reality, showing its multidimensional nature. Your motor skills are not as affected with San Pedro as with Ayahuasca, so you usually walk in nature during the ceremony.

Among the most widespread effects that this master plant can make you try, there is the possibility of resurfacing distant memories, which you thought you had forgotten and then you can go to work with the help of the spirit of St. Peter. It is also possible to acquire a greater capacity to see and feel the surrounding world by feeling unconditional love towards each being or terrestrial creature and towards any inanimate form and entity.

Throughout the history of its use, it is known that San Pedro works as a powerful medicine with the ability to cure “unknown diseases”. While this conception may be diminished as a mere superstition of primitive tribes in the Andes, there is actually science that suggests medicinal benefits when taking San Pedro. Research has shown that San Pedro can reduce hypertension, reduce the risk of heart disease, cure nerve diseases and relieve joint problems.

Cactus San Pedro has also been associated with potent antimicrobial properties that prevent the growth of more than a dozen strains of penicillin-resistant bacteria, such as staphylococcus.
San Pedro contains high concentrations of the psychoactive compound called mescaline, so there is much controversy surrounding this “substance.” However, it should be taken into account that mescaline does not produce physical dependence.

The cactus preparation

Preparing San Pedro for healing use takes a long time. Sometimes, the entire preparation process takes up to 24 hours. First, the plant is cut into small pieces. Then, the pieces are boiled until they are very soft. Once they are soft enough, they are crushed and filtered with all their liquid. The liquid is added to the water used to boil the plant.

The resulting solution is reduced until only a highly concentrated bitter green liquid remains. Then, those who participate in the ceremony drink the liquid. Today, the preparation of the cactus takes only four or five hours, with about 30 cm of San Pedro being chopped and transformed.

Care must be taken not to ingest the waxy layer of the cactus or its thorns. The same goes for the middle section of the cactus.

San Pedro ceremony

Before the ceremony of St. Peter can begin, three different elements must be present to allow shamanic healing: the spiritual power of the shaman, the mescaline that strengthens it and an altar, called a table. The table is covered with objects charged with spiritual energy that are divided into three zones. The area on the left is associated with death, the central area is a neutral area that is associated with balance and the area on the right is associated with the gift of life.

For a royal ceremony, all three sections must be present. The left area is used to reveal the disease, the central field is used to balance the negative and positive energies, and the right area is used by the shaman to find the right combination of healing herbs. Like the songs (icaros) that are sung during the Ayahuasca ceremonies, the table objects allow the shaman to structure the experience of his patients so that healing takes place.

Typically, the rite is performed at night or during the day, depending on the type of shaman, and consists of a long preliminary purification ceremony followed by the rite itself. Ceremonial acts consist of prayers, invocations and songs that are accompanied by the patter of a shamanic rattle. Through these acts the gods of the indigenous and Catholic religions are invoked.

Then the purification ceremony ends and the medicine is drunk. Usually, it is the shaman who drinks the first cup. Then it depends on the participants of the ceremony. Normally, the medicine consists only of pure extract of San Pedro.

After his vision has been activated by the plant, the healer can see the cause of the patient’s illness. As a treatment, the shaman sometimes stops to massage or suck parts of the patient’s body. It aims to extract the supernatural source of diseases from the patient. In some serious cases, it is believed that the forces causing the disease are powerful enough to attack the patient during the ceremony. This is dangerous and requires immediate attention from the shaman. He will then face the attacking forces in battle.

When the first part of the ceremony ends, each patient passes from the shaman to his table. The shaman identifies the herbs that will be used to wish the patient good luck. It will also identify the herbs on the right side of the table that will cure the ailments of the latter.
After identifying the appropriate herbs, the shaman throws some shells. This form of divination is intended to confirm if you made the right decisions. Finally, some shamans blow perfume, water, sugar and facial powders on each of the patients. Then there is a final blessing or a prayer. Finally, each participant receives a bottle of sacred medicinal herbs.

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