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Peace Through Stillness
Cacti - T. pachanoi
Citation:   Anon.. "Peace Through Stillness: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi (exp56241)". Jan 14, 2008.

T+ 0:00
330 ml oral Cacti - T. pachanoi (liquid)
  T+ 2:00 1 cig. smoked Cannabis (plant material)
My partner and I recently purchased two large San Pedro (Pachanoi) cacti from an online vendor. I am male, 21 years old and am around 70kg. I was looking foward to this psychedelic experience, even though I had doubts about whether San Pedro really had the mind expanding properties other people had reported. I hoped for something of a religious experience, or some deep insight into myself or the nature of reality. My partner is female, 20 years old and is around 58kg. She was just interested in experiencing something new. She is a simple girl who has never had any deep spiritual yearnings or interest in the beyond. I secretly hoped that the San Pedro would open her eyes to relativity and vastness of things. However, I also felt that she was far too invested in products of the culture to realise the folly of her ways of thought. In addition, I was concerned that the nausea caused by the San Pedro would overwhelm her.

After the plants arrived in the mail, we split each cactus into two parts, one of which we planted in a terracotta pot. The cacti have 4-7 ribs arranged in a star-shape, with small spines, and have a deep green colour. Each plant was approximately 3.5 inches in diameter. One of the portions was designated for my partner and was cut at a length of around 8 inches, while the other was designated for me and was cut at a length of 13 inches. The day before ingestion, we displaced the spines from the cacti portions using small knives, removing as little of the green pulp as possible. Having de-spined the cuttings, I washed them underneath the stream of a tap until they were free of dirt and slime. We then chopped the cacti portions into small pieces and stored them in the fridge overnight. Tasting one of the pieces while it was still fresh was comparable to eating something of the consistency of a cucumber, but having a distinctly bitter aftertaste. My partner commented that it wasn't particularly bad, although I agreed with what I had read of reports of intense bitterness.

The next day, we blended the pieces with an equal amount of water, essentially liquifying the whole two portions. In the blender, it looked like a green milkshake but with a slimy, snot-like quality. We poured the mixture into a large stainless steel pot. It was first cooked on a low heat for around 40 minutes. During this time it expanded as green bubbles rose to the top of the mixture. Later, it reduced as the two layers recombined into a dark green coloured water. As it cooked, I read a chapter of Jack Kerouac's 'The Dharma Bums.'

This mixture was allowed to boil lightly for around two hours. At that point, the liquid had reduced significantly and what was left in the pot was a glumpy sludge, reminiscent of mung bean soup. We strained the sludge through a piece of fabric, squeezing out all of the remaining liquid by hand, then discarded the pulp, which looked like a bright green turd. The portions equated to around 500ml of 'juice.' Working on the rule of proportion, I had around 330 ml of the juice. My partner ingested the rest. The juice was intensely bitter, though not so bad as to induce the gag reflex. We followed each sip of juice with a drink of water and a pinch of sugar to wash away the taste. We consumed the juice over a period of 25 minutes.

After drinking the unpleasant goo, we laid down in our bedroom and waited for further effects, already feeling a slight 'stoned' sensation, similar to smoking a cone of strong marijuana. It was 3.00pm. After fifteen minutes or so, my partner felt the strong urge to vomit. She was unable to hold it and vomited three times over the next half hour. She has a history of stomach weakness - she can't handle rollercoasters or even plane trips. I was able to keep my juice down without any problem. Over the next hour, the stoned sensation became a shade more intense. When I stared at any flat surface it would warp and shift, but only very slightly. Colours and the contrast between light and darkness became more noticeable. My partner had a short nap. When she awakened, the stoned effect had worn off. She was hungry and went to a nearby restaurant to get some food. I stayed home.

Minutes passed and my partner returned. There was a mild queasiness in my stomach. The warping of surfaces had become slightly more intense, especially when I looked at our carpet or bedsheets. Surfaces appeared to be 'breathing' gently and I often became mesmerised by the textures and patterns of things. Two hours after ingestion of the juice (5:00pm), I believed I reached the peak of the experience as a triangular, lattice-like pattern appeared on various surfaces. If I focused on the pattern it would change colour and take on different shades. Our bed sheets looked like they had been covered with a yellow-fluro highlighter. The carpet looked like it was covered with thousands of tiny circles, like beads of transparent oil. Occasionally, the entire room took on a shade of lime green but would return to normal after a few seconds. None of these visual elements were forceful. They only came into being when I focused on things and remained still.

Two and a half hours after ingestion (5:30pm) I had one cone of marijuana. This potentiated the effects of the San Pedro, but I was now having difficuly seperating the individual effects of each substance. The clarity of my thoughts was lessened after smoking cannabis, but the visual aspect of the mescaline became more profound, if only for a short while. Watching TV would 'ground' me in my normal sense of perception, though I did think it was somewhat mundane. I went outside for a few minutes and stood on our third floor balcony, overlooking our carpark. The night sky was a beautiful deep blue. The leaves of the trees held my attention as they swayed in the wind. Their green colour and intricate foliage was pleasant. It was raining however, so I went back inside where it was warm.

I held my partner underneath the blankets. I asked her how it felt. She said she felt very safe. We made love. I'm not sure whether it was the mescaline or the marijuana, but sex was very intense. I managed to delay ejaculation for a long time. As I thrusted into her I felt some sort of primal, natural desire to keep going, as if I was an animal. There was also a spiritual element to sex. I felt complete as we became one being, sharing the experience of a moment in one of the closest ways possible.

I had another hit of marijuana and closed my eyes. Visuals were not actually on the inside of my eyelids, but manifested themselves in an uncontrollable series of imaginary images. Hundreds of eyes, layered over geometric patterns, tiles and fractal-like spirals, moved about in my mind's eye. The patterns reminded me of the visionary artwork of Alex Grey. After my partner had gone to sleep for the night (9:00pm), I sat in the dark and abandoned myself to silence for an hour. In the dim light, the room and furniture took on a 'frosted-glass' appearance, although it was not particularly acute. Like the other visuals, I could will it away. I had another hit of marijuana, which seemed to overpower any remaining effect of the mescaline. I became very sedate. After sitting in the dark, contemplating, I listened to a little of Radiohead's 'Kid A' album. My partner woke up and after we spoke for a while, I went to sleep.

I experienced no profound revelations, at least nothing of the kind that comes from a divine power. The revelations I seemed to have were no more than rambling thoughts about the depthlessness of society - nothing new for a student of postmodernism and cultural studies. However, there was some innate sense of spirituality to the experience. I could understand the causes for the beliefs and customs of native Peruvians and American Indians. I must admit however, that I am a cynicist and am always looking for a cause and effect relationship, relentlessly applying logic to anything that warrants an explanation. Perhaps if I had immersed myself in nature I would have had a more mystical experience. But sitting quietly on the couch showed me the simple joy of just being. If there was one thing I could take away from this experience, it would be this - find peace through stillness.

I would have liked a more visually intense experience, with some real sense of ego-loss. The mildness of the experience was possibly due to the fact that I ate something (a piece of cheese) half an hour before ingesting the cactus juice. The cacti specimens were also very healthy. I assume online vendors are experienced growers who do not necessarily stress cacti to potentiate their mescaline content. I would like to attempt this again with a larger portion. It was my first experience with hallucinogens and was pleasant, but I want to see whether the stranger plains of awareness can really be reached.

Exp Year: 2006ExpID: 56241
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Jan 14, 2008Views: 22,334
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Cacti - T. pachanoi (64) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Personal Preparation (45), Relationships (44), Sex Discussion (14), Glowing Experiences (4), Preparation / Recipes (30), Retrospective / Summary (11), Combinations (3), First Times (2), General (1)

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