All You Need to Know About the Huachuma Ceremony

San Pedro is a name given to a species of cactus that grows in South America that’s been dubbed “the Grandfather Wisdom.” It has strong psychoactive properties that make the local people believe that consuming it is a way to connect with your spiritual side. Some refer to a concoction made from the cactus as the Gate of Heaven, as it makes them feel the connection to a world that they didn’t know existed.

What does a San Pedro cactus look like?

The San Pedro cactus is the type of cactus that you may have seen from a Spaghetti Western movie. It’s a species of cactus with green trunk and branches that grow upward with spines growing on the five ridges that run from the top to the bottom of the plant. This cactus blooms only once per year. There are many names for this species of plant, some of the most well-known being Huachuma, Chuma, and Wachuma.

Who leads the Huachuma Ceremony?

The Huachuma Ceremony is carried out to guide your spirituality and connect you to your roots. The native tribesmen of Central and South America have common beliefs about the spirits and connection with the spiritual world. This explains why the concept of shamans exists throughout these cultures. The spiritual leader that performs the Huachuma Ceremony is called El Maestro Huachumero, or the Master of Huachuma. These shamans use psychedelic substances like Huachuma to connect with the spirit world. They believe that having this connection is a part of having a healthy life. The Huachuma Ceremony has been around for thousands of years, and it was first used by the shamans of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador and Peru. The San Pedro plant grows very well in a high-altitude, and with the fecundity of the land, they grow even larger on the mountains compared to the ones in the desert. The abundance of the plant in these areas allowed the shamans to cultivate the plants in bulk and perfect the concoction.

What gives the San Pedro plant its effects?

One of the active ingredients in the San Pedro cactus that gives it the iconic psychoactive property is entheogen mescaline -- a substance found in most cacti of the Peyote family.  The Huichol Indians in Mexico have their own version of the Huachuma Ceremony, but it’s said to not be as pleasant and spiritually-active as the San Pedro concoction. Each person will experience the treatment differently, so it’s important that you keep an open mind for the treatment to be at its most effective.

Huachuma Ceremony today

You can still find shamans who perform Huachuma Ceremony today; in fact, it’s a thriving getaway treatment that many people are engaging in. These treatments allow one to get in touch with their inner self so that they can see the problem they’re having from the inside out. This gives them the insight to deal with the issue in a whole different light. It can be an out-of-body experience that allows you to learn about who you really are and what you can do to connect with that person who you’ve always wanted to be.

What are the effects of San Pedro cactus?

Before taking the treatment, you will have to go through a fasting and meditation period to make sure that the treatment is at its peak potency. After this process, the treatment can begin. The shamans will prepare a brew made from dry San Pedro cactus power mix with citrus juice and water. The mixture is stirred for hours before it’s ready.

When you first drink the brew, you won’t feel any effects for about an hour. Then, it starts to hit you. The effect of the treatment can last anywhere between 12 to 14 hours. It lasts much longer than any other type of psychedelic treatments such as ayahuasca, which only lasts for about 4 to 5 hours. The shaman will chant continually throughout the entire treatment to give you a rhythm for your meditation and to guide you through the realm of spirits. You will be in a state of heightened consciousness, and you will feel as if you’re asleep and wide awake simultaneously.  You won’t be able to move very much during the treatment, and while you can still go to the bathroom, you will not feel as if you want to do so, Numbness, dizziness, and nausea are all expected effects from the treatment, but they won’t last for very long. Once the detachment from your physical body starts, you won’t feel any pain or negative symptoms until you the effect wears off.

You need to have very strong will to control your consciousness in this state, but as soon as you can gain control, you will be introduced to a whole new dimension that you’ve never experienced before. You will start to see lights, colors, and perhaps even spirits that may seem unreal. You may be introduced to your spiritual guide during this episode, and they will lead you through the ever-winding inner self to connect you with your spirits. Some have reported feeling extremely sad throughout the entire journey, while others may experience nothing but bliss and joy. It depends on your psyche and your spiritual state; the more attuned you are to your spiritual side, the more positive your experience is going to be.

As soon as the effect wears off, your physical senses will start to come back to you. While it may not be the most physically pleasant time, you can rest knowing that you have connected your mind with the spirits.

If you’re looking to take a trip to connect with your inner self through a Huachuma Ceremony in San Pedro, contact us for more information.