What is the peyote
What we see
The peyote is a small thornless cactus found in the Potosi desert in Mexico and the United States in the states of New Mexico and Texas.
The peyote has a very slow growth. In the wild it takes more than thirty years to reach adulthood.
It is bulb-shaped green-gray in color and is shaped like an orange. In general it does not exceed seven or eight centimeters in diameter and only protrudes a few centimeters from the ground. It is usually found at the foot of the governadoras alone or in small groups of three or four. The governadoras are thornless bushes ubiquitous in this desert.
A plant with many powers
What makes the peyote so special are these properties. It contains many active substances on the body and on the brain including mescaline.
It is consumed first and foremost for these psychotropic effects, but it also has healing properties recognized scientifically.
This plant is considered sacred in many indigenous cultures and in the first place the Huichols in Mexico who consume it during religious ceremonies.
Wikipedia makes an exhaustive list of the felt effects of peyotes. However, if I compare my personal experience with that of other people I met and testimonies I read, it seems that the effect is very different depending on the person.
The stories we tell
If I came to this desert and trained my friend Aubin with me, it’s partly to discover what this truly mystical cactus is in the Potosi desert.
He is at the center of the Huicho people’s religion. Although very different, it is often compared to the mighty hayawaska of shamanic Amazonian rites.
What made me want to come to the desert to eat this strange cactus called peyote, are all the curious stories of travelers met far from here, who came to this desert before me.
These are the kinds of things I heard:
What I had been told about the effects of peyote
“I went to eat peyote a month ago since I am super happy”
“After taking Peyotes, I drank more alcohol for a month, I had more desire”
“The Peyote is not hallucinogenic it’s very personal, it makes think. When you have a big effect think of your problems, your sick grandmother, your goals in life etc. It’ll help you sort things out ”
Daniel, Giu Giu, François, and others …
What I had been told about how to take peyote
“I met a shaman, we made a ceremony around a fire one evening in a group with other tourists. »
“We each went to look for Peyotes in a different direction and we ate the peyote all together, but everyone ate only those he had found. Because the Peyote is magic it appears to you if you are ready. »
“I left with a friend of mine who already knew. We went camping far in the desert alone. We went for long walks to look for and pick some peyote. We ate those we found as and when. We did it again for several days ”
“We went in a big band in the desert with music and a lot of alcohol and we shared the peyote we found. In the evening we had a big party and the next day we left »
And then of course there are also the huichols a group indigenous to Mexico who make a pilgrimage of 400 kilometers every year and ritually eat the peyote.
Some Mexicans still come for longer periods of at least a month, often in groups, in small houses very far away where they live on little and eat a lot of peyote.
In the end I heard very different things that seriously stirred my curiosity.
Finally, I followed Jefe’s advice.
“The peyote is medicine, its magic is in it, the shamans here are often fake shamans. It’s up to you to decide how you want to eat it “