Cacti - T. pachanoi & MDMA (Ecstasy)
Citation: Activeternity. "Desert Medicine Magic: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi & MDMA (Ecstasy) (exp49668)". Erowid.org. Feb 14, 2007. erowid.org/exp/49668
My journey began on Sunday morning. I got a ride to a National Park, which is dominated by towering cacti. After a bit of failed haggling, I paid the entrance fee and walked over to the trail. I chose the longest trail in the mountain range, which would lead to the tallest peak in the range, at an elevation of roughly 4500 feet. I climb out of the car with my backpack and camera, and Iím off. I take the equivalent of 60 grams dry San Pedro with some orange juice. I had tried the extract a few months prior, but at half that dose, and without gel-caps. That time, I experienced some very pleasant stimulation, setting in after 40 minutes or so, but that was all. I began the long hike. In front of me I noticed a family hiking up, and behind me was a photographer. I quickened my pace to get ahead of both of them.
I hiked for about an hour with little noteworthy happening. My pace was fairly fast, but I was intrigued by all the life around me. This desert was not exactly what I had expected. I took out a mini-cassette recorder that I had brought with me, in order to work through some personal issues that had been plaguing me recently, and began talking to myself about some basic problems. I was not feeling much of anything psychedelic, and began to wonder if anything would happen. I decided that it was still early, as mescaline has a fairly lengthy onset, and that I was merely becoming impatient, so I dismissed the doubts. I stopped in my tracks for a few minutes to take in my surroundings more fully. I noticed silence. There was no noise except for a faint buzzing of mosquitoes and bees. It was quite a beautiful silence.
I kept moving, and after roughly 15 minutes, I paused because I heard something. I turned around, and much to my dismay, there appeared to be almost a black cloud of buzzing creatures not more than 20 feet behind me. I realized that they were either mosquitoes or African killer bees. Either way I was not going to stick around to find out, so I increased my pace several fold for a few minutes until I could no longer hear them. I kept going, and noticed a man a few hundred yards in front of me. I slowed my pace a bit to avoid him.
Half an hour later, I was still not feeling anything, and began to think adding some MDMA into the mix. The visitor center had a sign about things to avoid and animals and plants you might encounter and should avoid. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened after that. I was walking along at a good pace, when all of a sudden, the sand started to move. I was confused for a fraction of an instant, and this gave way to an enormous adrenaline rush which propelled my legs forward and practically out from under me. Not more than a few inches from my left leg was a Western Diamondback rattlesnake. It had blended in perfectly with the sand, and I had simply not noticed it. It had coiled up and began to hiss and rattle when I was right next to it. Within the same second as my mad dash forward I let out a little yell, which I was certain the man in front of me had heard, but he gave no indication of hearing me.
Seriously alarmed, I paid much closer attention to the trail, and warned the next set of hikers I passed of the presence of the serpent. I kept moving, and at around the one hour 45 minute mark, I decided that the mescaline was either too low of a dose, or it had somehow lost potency. I ate one 250 mg pill of MDMA, which contained an unknown quantity of the drug, but I would estimate it at somewhere between 90-150mg. Rinsing my mouth with a bit of water, I continued on the trail. Eventually the man in front of me stopped in order for me to pass him, which I did for a while, before I let him pass me again. I continued on my way, and began to grow slightly tired. I decided however, that I must be close, and I had gone this far so I was going to go all the way. Finally I reached a trail marker indicating that I had 0.3 miles until the peak. I continued happily on the way. I greeted the mystery man in front of me, and he warily said ďHello.Ē
There was another group on the peak, and I had them take a picture of me. After they left, I began to feel the ecstasy. Another couple arrived, and I chatted with them briefly, before they went on their way back down. This was the first time I had ever used MDMA, and I was loving it. I took out my tape recorder, and began to sort through a fair amount of mental baggage. I was in awe of the view. I could see for miles in all directions. I donít think I could have asked for a more perfect day either. It was in the mid 80ís, but clouds provided cover from the hot mid-day sun. There was also a nice breeze blowing about. I laughed and almost cried from the sheer beauty of it all. It occurred to me that I was peaking on the peak (no pun intended), and I was the happiest I think Iíve ever been in my life. I felt absolutely free. I ran around the peak like a five year old at a carnival, entranced by everything. I decided to call one of my best friends back home, and did so. I told him what I had taken, and about one or two minutes later, a jogger arrived at the peak, and it occurred to me that he very well could have heard everything I had just said, so I lowered my voice and tried to act casual. Thankfully, he just took a few minute break before leaving again. I took out some music and listened to some Beatles, which sounded absolutely divine. I looked off at some distant hills, which looked distinctly like breasts, and I had some minor spatial distortions, but that was the extent of my visuals.
I sat down on a rock, and drank some Gatorade. I could feel it going down my esophagus, and it felt very, very nice. I ran my hand against the rock, and was incredulous at how good it felt. I was aware of how odd it might seem to someone, should they come up at that moment, to see a man laughing and rubbing a rock with a huge grin on his face, so I cut my rock-rubbing short. I took at least a roll and a half of pictures, and chatted with another couple who had come up to the peak shortly after I stopped rubbing the rock. I stayed at the peak a little while longer. When the breeze blew, it felt absolutely incredible, I dare say borderline orgasmic. I stood up and surveyed the land below me with a gentle breeze blowing around, I felt almost transparent, as though the wind were blowing right through me. I felt completely carefree, yet still in control of myself, liberated from the constraints of society and myself. I learned a lot about myself, and went through a large amount of shit that had been bothering me. I returned to sit on the rock, and shut my eyes, meditated, and prayed thanks to the divine energy, the divine force that is inherent in all things. As I did this, a hawk soaring 20 or 30 feet above my head let out a loud caw, which startled me back to awareness.
I decided it was time to begin my descent, as I still had a several hour hike ahead of me. I put on a trance/techno mix I had made, and bounced happily down the mountain. It occurred to me that the mountain perfectly represented my psychedelic experience, as I was coming up on the hike up the mountain, peaked at the peak, and was coming down on the way down. I donít think the mescaline played much, if any, role in the experience, but it might have. On the way down I was much more careful about where I walked. After the trance mix, I put my headphones around my neck, and listened to a mix of the Dead, the Doors, and some others (including Neil Young Ė Horse With No Name, which I thought was appropriate), along with the natural desert noises.
The hike down was a bit quicker than the hike up, and I had to wait a little extra for my ride to arrive, so I used that time to reflect on the trip and what I had learned. I consider all psychedelics to be powerful medicine, and I think MDMA has now earned a spot up there on my list of the best medicines.
I'd like to add as a follow-up also, that prior to this experience, I suffered from diagnosed clinical depression. I had tried an alphabet soup of different pharmaceutical anti-depressants, all of which left me feeling either doped-up or just too artificial. This experience allowed me to see my problems in perspective, but more importantly perhaps, it allowed me to love myself, something I hadn't really been able to do. Since this experience, I have not once relapsed into depression.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.