Peyote ceremony 1 — Cold wind & warm feelings | 2014-08-02

A week ago i attended my first ever Peyote ceremony. I didn’t seek it out as i had done for Ayahuasca, it fell in my lap.
A neighbour of mine happens to be an “open-minded” biologist. She’s into Reiki, Chakras and higher vibrations. Stuff that, to me, still sounds a bit much, but i’ll tell you what : i’m changing my mind surprisingly quickly these days as i discover more and more things. If you’re lost for words reading my last sentence then look up some vibration experiments on water. In fact i stumbled upon an amazing compilation about this just a day or two ago on Vegter Animus’ blog. If that doesn’t awaken you to the idea that there is something going on then maybe nothing will! You can dismiss it, it’ll still be there.* Anyway, back to the issue at hand : Peyote. What is it??
Peyote is a cactus you find in North America and possibly elsewhere, i really haven’t researched it yet : i just checked it was safe before taking it and figured i would finish off the research later. It is loaded with mescaline, something that can cure depression & addictions and, i think, things like post traumatic stress disorder, ie “soldier syndrome”. Maybe not a coincidence, eh ? I mean think about it : Ayahuasca, Peyote, and “Magic Mushrooms” all have this sort of properties to them. And you know what else? They make you smarter. 😉 Ok, ok, i can’t substantiate that last claim but they certainly do help you “elevate” your awareness and conscience. I’d argue that is a form of intelligence improvement. Discovering such notions as unconditional love make tremendous sense when it comes to preserving life. And making this place better for us all, and i don’t mean just us fancy monkey types.
Peyote is something you’d normally eat fresh, raw. You chop the top off this cactus, eat it, cover it with earth & let it grow back. Well, mine came in the form of powder, white powder. Had no smell to it other than a vague planty smell. You put it in a cup & add water. Stir and enjoy the bitterness. And it was freekin bitter, no kidding. I had a hard time finishing it, but it’s child’s play when compared to Ayahuasca (see ‘The Brew‘ page for more on that).
Now you know Ayahuasca requires a hefty preparation, right. Well this doesn’t. Or so it seems. Now i don’t know if that is completely wrong or what, but what i saw were people drinking beer & Coke before the ceremony, and we were even offered coffee by our Huichol Indian hosts. Sweet Jesus are they nuts!?! 😯 Ayahuasca forbids coffee, sodas, alcohol and a whole bunch of other things — a week out already. So imagine my surprise when i see this shamanically dressed dude with his huge Coke bottle and other attendants sporting a can of Modelo Especial in their hand. Wasn’t all this supposed to be about ‘wisdom’ ? I can’t remember reading that ingredient on the side of a Coke bottle.
There is quite a bit of ceremony. Too much for me? I’m an atheist. I think. Quite frankly i don’t know why things form when you vibrate sand or water. Things with the exact same specific proportions, from a grain of sand to a galaxy. Science has a long way to go if it wants to explain these things, and i think that when it gets far enough it will join up with what it desperately despises : ‘spirit’. The so-called ‘spirit world’ and science are just two views of the same thing : all this conscience “shit” is real and science will just have to live with it. It will try to explain things that probably can’t even fit inside our minds. It is pretty arrogant to think you can explain everything — and indeed Ayahuasca teaches you that you know nothing. Especially when you’re stuck inside a silly little body on a pebble in space. Conscience sits out there, in there, all around and everywhere in between…not just in the brain. The brain receives like a receiver will. Tune out and silence is all there is to hear. Yet the signal is still there. Tune in and…’your’ “reality” becomes irrelevant. Hmm, where was I ? Oh yeah, i’m an atheist.
Too much ceremony doesn’t work for me because it all seems like bollocks, if you see what i mean. I don’t mean to be rude, only to get the message through. Traditions, cults…they don’t appeal to me. So when i am told i cannot drink water after taking the Peyote because water is a pure element and god knows what, but i can drink Coke if i want cos it’s not pure…well that soft lump of fat in my skull kicks in and a ‘BS’ warning light goes on on the dashboard. Today i spoke with a banker and he had tried Ayahuasca. Imagine that. And he told me the same thing, but with different words : the ceremony can distract you from your own experience. Other people dancing around the fire can impede on your experience. Now, when in Rome do as the Romans do, i know. Yeah well they almost wiped themselves out, remember, so screw that. 😉 Naaah, all this ceremonious lark, it just ain’t for me, sorry. Or maybe i just don’t want to make the effort. Overcome my misplaced pride when it comes to dancing : i just don’t. There’s judgement for you. Judgement of me, you, them, heck bleeding everyone. So i “can’t” dance. Stupid. One day i’ll get over myself. Twat.
The effects? Hmm. A bit of nausea, no visions, a bit of that familiar vibration in the hands, arms & legs. That healthy feeling the medicine is working its way through your veins. Oh! And guess what! I had that all day today. A week after. Yep, that’s right, a week later. Because i got a massage yesterday, a really good one. And i think the oil she used has Peyote in it, not sure, will check. I mentioned it to her and she said that the Peyote got reactivated because i really let myself go during the massage. She does massage pretty much everything except your private parts. It was nice. Better than previous massages with other people. She’s into this stuff too.

The ceremony took place in the mountains, above Guanajuato, about 2500m above sea level. We were fortunate, the sky was clear, the stars were amazing. They all joined up an hour or so into the experience : it became obvious they were all linked, like the branches of a tree. By smaller stars, constellation : the “bigger” brighter ones weren’t any different than the ones “behind” & less bright, everything was joined up together, all of these stars were of the same, brightness was irrelevant. The big embracing mother of a tree next to the stars proved a reliable source of inspiration, i am sure.
Lying down inside my sleeping bag, with the wind travelling right through it straight at me, i engaged in a battle against cold for hours. Why didn’t i bring more blankets ?!? A plastic cover of some sort ?! Oh hell this is going to be a long night. We arrived around 18.30 and we drank 2 hours behind schedule, at 23.07. By 3 or 4am i was starting to imagine myself making my way back to the car and back home : after all, my warm comfy bed full of blankets was just a 5 minute drive down the hill.
After a few hours it became evident i wasn’t going to be offered a second dose, no one was. Not consistent with what i had been told, not promised. I was hoping for it, if not expecting it. How these other guys could be so out of their minds on just one silly dose hours ago was beyond me. After a few hours i crawled out of my cocoon and stood by the fire with some other folks, which was nice & warm on one side while the other side of me got cold. Then i’d switch. This one guy was staring at the stars and repeating over & over a-bloody-gain (in Spanish) ‘wow! how cool!’, ‘the stars!’, ‘going back & forth in time’, ‘so cool!’…i wanted him to shut the fuck up. I still do. I’ll let you guess my reasons. This was bullshit! No effects, apart from that weird star stuff, and now i’m stuck here till this thing ends at 9am ! FUCK ME !
When the ceremony fiiinaaallllyyy ended, the master of ceremony & the other shamanic types hugged each & every one of us. I was last in line and when he arrived to hug me i could really feel he wasn’t doing it out of pleasure. He seemed disappointed with me. Later on he & the other Huichols were talking and he was crying. I felt it had something to do with me but probably didn’t, heck the world doesn’t revolve around you, Yann ! Jesus, what was i thinking.

Just give me the bleeding cactus, mate, and let’s skip all the dancing around the fire and the feathers & fancy dress. I will try Peyote again. What happened here is that i realized it was the same family as Ayahuasca : the same vibrational feeling in my veins, the same feeling it is doing me good, working its way through me. The same “better” feeling the next day. More peace, stronger resolutions, feeling your conscience slowly elevate one step further. A step further on the road i have chosen. Mushrooms, San Pedro and who knows what else are just around the corner. I am seeking out a provider of Ayahuasca, i am pretty sure i will grow my own mushrooms at some point, and i am going to ask around about a cactus or two. A greenhouse might not be too far away.

This is one weird experience. If i signed up for it i must have been out of my mind. What is the point of all those sperms who don’t make it, i wonder. How the hell did i get through that, and why did i want it so bad? We are all winners here. We won that battle before we even grew a brain.
Oh, Peyote is a male spirit, i have been told. Ayahuasca is feminine. I can’t really confirm that yet but i will let you know if i find out.

Price : 400 Pesos, plus 45 Pesos to camp in the national park.

* ‘[…] every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. The pursuit of science leads therefore to a religious feeling of a special kind, which differs essentially from the religiosity of more naive people.’ Albert Einstein, in a letter to a student, 1936.
‘All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter’. Max Planck, the father of quantum physics.

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