A Little Spirit Work
Citation:   chaz-spain. "A Little Spirit Work: An Experience with Peyote (exp38875)". Erowid.org. May 3, 2018. erowid.org/exp/38875

T+ 0:00
4 tsp oral Peyote (dried)
  T+ 0:00 1 cup oral Peyote (tea)
  T+ 1:00 4 tsp oral Peyote (dried)
  T+ 1:00 1 cup oral Peyote (tea)
  T+ 1:00   smoked Tobacco  
I had the opportunity to take Peyote in a ceremony with a shaman who learned with the Shuar and Lakota Indians. He is an elder of the Native American Church.

About 20 participants were doing “The Wheel”, which is four days of chanting, sweat lodges, peyote and ayahuasca. Real heavy-duty stuff. Due to financial and time constraints, I could only come one evening; I chose a peyote and a sweat lodge session. Two of the days were combos—peyote and ayahuasca at the same time, which people said was an intense but beautiful experience. I arrived the last evening; everyone was exhausted by then.

Because I was new to the group, I had been given traditional tobacco to smoke by myself—I had to make my own fag out of wet corn leaf. I was told I could smoke it at my leisure. It was a little dark in the maloka (a large, Peruvian-style teepee), and I was nervous--I did a lousy job tying the thing together, and set it aside.

After much ceremony, I was handed a plastic tub filled with peyote granules, some orange slices, and peyote tea. Everyone took four teaspoons, and then a cup of tea. The granules tasted like granola at first, but by the last teaspoon I was gulping down the orange slices to kill the taste. The tea was unpleasant, but bearable.

Probably an hour later I still felt no effects. The ayahuasca was passed around. I requested more peyote instead, since I have experience with ayahuasca but not peyote; I wanted to work with this plant alone. I ate another 4 teaspoons, and drank another cup of tea. I would guess this equated to 8-10 buttons in total. This time I could barely get the stuff down. I was asking for the peyote spirit to come and take me, but another half-hour passed with no effects. I was starting to think the granules and tea were weak, or that I was a peyote hardhead.

I picked up the crappy cigarette I made. I had to huff and puff for it to draw, the tobacco was falling into my mouth—blecch. I am a non-smoker, and started to feel nauseous. I made it to the bathroom outside just in time to heave up everything I had eaten.

When I returned to my place in the circle, I started tripping. When I closed my eyes, I saw phosphorescent blurbs of blue and green. I saw serpent eyes emerging out of flowing colors. I was seated on the floor, and looked at my legs; they weren’t legs anymore. My socks had a pattern on them that turned into eye slits, and between my legs a mouth appeared. The face continued to shift slightly; alternating between a traditional wooden mask and a bird-like face. I closed my eyes, and said I was ready. I explained that I was a mere man, but one of peace, and needed help with some probems I had. I apologized that they were of an everyday, mundane nature, but they would help me in my life. And the answers came, in very concrete form. I asked someone for a piece of paper and started to write it all down, since it was detailed.
I asked someone for a piece of paper and started to write it all down, since it was detailed.
I continued to work intensely with the medicine for about an hour, and then engaged in conversation for several hours with an academic who was participating. One of the things I liked about the shaman was that he concentrated on ceremonial elements like fire, water, incense and a respectful attitude, but granted the participants freedom to sing, play instruments, and interact at will.

The next morning we drank more peyote tea, and in the afternoon, did the temascal, or sweat lodge. We did “the four doors”, which represents the four directions, at each pass adding more heated volcanic rocks to a central pit in a small teepee. By the third door, the heat was becoming intense; I felt a tingle rising up through me, escaping at the top of my head. By the end of the fourth door, I simply felt I was being boiled alive. When I came out, I looked at the distant sea. There were dolphins jumping out of the water, but I was the only one who could see them. This vision did not surprise me, since one of my spirit animals is a dolphin.

The peyote experience was not as intense as I expected, but I did the work I came to do, and was satisfied with the results. I have heard that 20 buttons are needed for an intense visionary experience, but that was not my goal. I would really need steely intention to eat that much of this nauseating plant.

To anyone casually reading this: preparation, intention, set and setting are of utmost importance. I didn’t do peyote just for kicks. I took it with very specific work to do. I read extensively about the plant first, and fasted for 24 hours beforehand. I took it in a protected setting with a trained “professional.” I don’t fuck with my soul, and neither should you.

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 38875
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: May 3, 2018Views: 2,807
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Peyote (42) : Group Ceremony (21), Personal Preparation (45), General (1)

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