Monday, December 14, 2020

That Time I Tried: San Pedro Cactus

 After reading much about the trippy effects of mescaline, I was dying to get my hands on some and give it a whirl.  I grew up in Native American Church territory where peyote is used as a sacrament and medicine in all-night ceremonies around a fire where songs are sung and prayers are offered to the Creator inside a giant tipi.  This sounds a bit intense for me but it's intriguing nonetheless.  Peyote is both endangered and a Schedule I controlled substance so I opted for San Pedro cactus, an abundant and easy to obtain legal alternative that contains mescaline all the same.  

San Pedro (Trichocereus Pachanoi)

After an arduous preparation that involved skinning, drying, crushing and putting the dried material into gel capsules, I was ready to embark on this cactal journey.  Or so I thought.  I'd read everything Erowid had to offer on preparation methods, dose, side effects and other potential pitfalls and was armed with anti-nausea remedies like ginger root, peppermint tea and cannabis as nausea is one of the chief side effects of mescaline.  And boy oh boy did it hit me hard.  It was the sickest I'd been since having a stomach virus and it took everything I had not to vomit.  At times I wished I could just puke and get it over with but that's not in my nature, even when I have food poisoning or another sickness.  My body fights it 'til the bitter end.  So for 2+ hours I writhed on the floor, praying to the mescaline gods that the nausea would subside.  

While it didn't evaporate entirely, it eventually became manageable enough to get off the floor and move to the bedroom where Phase 2 of the trip kicked in:  the Closed-Eye Visual phase.  Holy crap these were intense.  They can best be described as web-like shapes, Southwestern patterns and morphing fractals coming from something that felt like my 3rd eye.  No other psychedelic has CEVs like mescaline.  I lay there exhausted as my physical body was swallowed up in the ether by this onslaught of psychedelic geometry until suddenly I was hit with a wave of physical lightness and electricity.


Time to get up and walk to Sonic for some eats.

I was starving and full of energy which was a massive change from my earlier state of nausea and fatigue.  This is how psychedelics tend to affect me:  with random waves of extreme exhaustion and energy like a rollercoaster.  So I went with it, strapping on some shoes and walking to the nearest Sonic for some greasy tots & a sandwich, something that was totally out of character for me as I never walk anywhere and certainly not alone OR to a gross fast food place.  Could they tell I was tripping?  Meh.  What time was it?  Were they even serving lunch yet?  Thoughts raced through my swirling mind as I sat at the picnic table watching the pigeons peck at the ground.  

San Pedro powder

I somehow made it back home and devoured the food, anticipating the tiredness that always follows a big heavy meal.  I was right.  I lay down for a noon nap but sleep wouldn't come (duh) so I got back up to watch some Youtube & draw with the art supplies I'd laid out during my pre-trip planning.  But my mind was too scattered.  Even my trip playlist was too much.  I think I ended up watching vids of thunderstorms on beaches all afternoon until my (now) ex got home, then we played Kirby's Dream Course on the SNES, which I was surprisingly good at, in the 12th hour of the trip.  

All in all it lasted about 14 hours.  The effects were more energetic than shrooms or acid but not as much as MDMA, and the nausea was a deal-breaker.  I'm glad I tried it to check it off the list but it's not something I'll do again.  If you enjoy closed-eye visuals and long, sparkly phenethylamine trips, give it a try.  

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