Shamanic San Pedro Plant Medicine (Huachuma)
A power of nature that has no words. A medicine that provides expansion to cleanse the body, mind and soul. Guidance to be able to live for real. The key to outer space and the inner source. The nature of reality and the mystery of consciousness. Natural but also supernatural. A trip home and then back again. Sometimes over and over again, to continue life with knowledge, understandning, heart and presence.
San Pedro has many names including Huachuma. It is a sacred and medicinal cactus that is used by shamans in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador but also by indigenous people in Nort America and by some Nordic Sami. Most indigenous peoples have similar sacred sacraments for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing and for raising the consciousness.
San Pedro helps us to let go of our head where we hold a lot, stress, control and grinding thoughts. This is the opposite of presence, intuition and self-healing. The body can store traumatic memories on a very deep cellular level. These memories create impressions on our mind affecting our thoughts and actions. Despite working on ourselves in many ways it takes only the slightest signal of stress, sadness, or fear for the body to remember and react. We are left feeling stuck and unable to move forward. For us to heal we need something more powerful. San Pedro, with its extraordinary properties opens our body, mind, and soul to healing and personal growth on a deep level.
San Pedro cleans waste products and toxins that we obtained from food, medicines and other things in our environment. It can be compared to a ”detox” that clears heavy physical, emotional, mental and spiritual imbalances. San Pedro guides us to our inner self and helps us return to our self-healing natural state and reminds us of who we are, and that we are the creator of our lives.
In the ceremony with the natural medicine and the holy sacrament of San Pedro, a deep inner reflection is given.
San Pedro is a heart-opener that unites us with life, Mother Earth and ourselves. Often a sense of clarity is given, a greater understanding of our purpose in life and a great insight that we are nothing but also everything. It is important to remember that no experience is ever the same for one person to the next. You may have an intention with the ceremony, but the medicine will give you what you need at that moment.
A San Pedro ceremony is an intense, day-long experience that is profound and transformative and lasts 8 – 12 hours, sometimes longer. Because naturopathy gives us a deep connection to nature and the four elements, the ceremonies are held in natural settings. It can also be taken as a ”dieta” or so-called micro dosing where smaller amounts are taken for several days.
Reflect on where you want to be in your life and ask the medicine for cleansing, guidance and/or strength. At the same time, you should not have expectations but remain energetically open to receiving what the medicine has to offer. Preparation for the ceremony is important for the quality. At least one month before, you must be free from any psychoactive drugs or similar chemical medicine. Alcohol, meat and sugar should be avoided a few days before.
Psychedelic substances are a collective name for psychoactive substances with similar effects. Some examples are psilocybin, mescaline, THC and DMT. In San Pedro, the psychoactive substance is mescaline.
Psychedelic therapy has become a growing area of research. What has been seen among other things, is that psychedelic substances can change a lot such as perception, mood and cognitive abilities.
San Pedro affects body, mind and soul and nothing can be separated from the other. When the brain of a mouse has been studied after the influence of psychedelics, it has been seen that new synapses in the brain have formed, that is to say that the nerve cells have found new ways to communicate. Since mescaline affects the brain, the body is also affected to an equal extent because the brain and body are strongly interconnected. In other words, body, mind and soul can be positively changed. Pain can be redused, sometimes evencases disappear.
During a San Pedro ceremony, the brain tries to interpret a larger amount of information that we are not used to, making use of references among our previously experienced memories and beliefs. For some participants it can be experienced as a mess, but this is what afterwards opens up new ways of thinking and gives increased self-understanding. A single ceremony with San Pedro usually gives a relatively quick and long-lasting effect, but usually one or two more are needed to achieve the result we desire.
Plants with psychoactive substances grow naturally around the world. Their use can be traced back thousands of years and traditionally they have been consumed in controlled forms in spiritual contexts. New studies show that substances with psychedelic plants are neither addictive nor toxic.
During a San Pedro ceremony, blockages in the body, mind and spirit are cleared for healing and release. What does not fit into our state of well-being is cleared during the ceremony and can create clarity, understanding and love, but also nausea, fatigue and headaches. San Pedro is a holistic medicine that adapts to each individual’s history, situation in the present, and the intention one has before a ceremony. This goes beyond our logic and must therefore be handled and seen as a spiritual medicine, in all respects.
We who prepare and assist others in their inner journeys need to have experience and understanding ourselves, as well as the gift of communicating with the consciousness of the plant. There is no training in it, but happens through many years of own processes with San Pedro as well as long experience of helping others.
Unlike antidepressant chemical medicine, San Pedro heals mental pain and multiple physical blockages. When we have participated once or a few times, we do not need more for several years. It has been shown in studies that people who have taken psychedelic plant medicines felt better and it persists. However, it is important that it takes place with an experienced person who can also dose the substance correctly, and that the ceremony takes place in an organized and safe context. The person who takes responsibility and holds the ceremony also needs to have experience in therapeutic conversations in order to be able to talk with the participants afterwards about experiences, thoughts and feelings.
Reviews from participants:
Some reflections four weeks after the San Pedro retreat.
I feel much calmer and more harmonious now than before and let life run at its own pace without stress and pressure and without forcing things. It’s not that I’ve become lazy or disengaged, but just more here and now. I also feel more confident than before. Life and people around me have become softer, kinder and more loving. I realize that I have changed not anyone else. I feel more at peace with my job and not the same need to quit. Although I am keeping my eyes open for new opportunities.
Right now, I’m also very happy just being myself and resting in peace. I want to share that I one day sat down and visualized all the heavy emotions from my parents and siblings and then I transformed those energies. It felt hard and mean at first, but oh my, what a relief afterwards. That backpack was heavy! Now I feel so much freer and can love them without heavy memories.
At first, I was disappointed that not so much ”happened” for me during the ceremony. But since then I have realized that a lot has happened afterward! Fantastic! Thanks a million, for asking if I want to come join the retreat.
I’m thinking about coming back and doing it once more for more personal growth. Preferably as soon as possible, but maybe I should calm down and trust that I will know when it supposed to be. Ann, thank you for doing this for us.
From fear to freedom
I was six years old when one of my parents got a deep mental illness. Alcohol had been in my family and in my everyday life. My childhood was difficult. On top of that, I’ve always been oversensitive, and I felt people’s energy wherever I went. I started taking antidepressants when I was about 17 years old because of panic disorder which later developed into depression. I lived with a constant worry, thoughts of disaster and a lot of anxiety. In addition, there was a fear of getting sick and not be able to live my life.
I met five to six psychologists through my life. It took many years before I met Ann. Maybe many things weren’t meant to fall into place before I was ready. After four to five sessions of grief therapy with Ann, she introduced San Pedro and I received a document with information. I realized that if this had happened three to five years earlier, I would not have even considered going along. I probably would have laughed it off. But the power of it was so strong that a decision was made quickly.
I didn’t do any research on San Pedro beforehand to be as open as possible to what was going to happen.The day of the ceremony was extremely emotional and could barely speak. Tears flowed as soon as I opened my mouth. I thought I was going to say goodbye to a big part of myself, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead, I landed in the present and San Pedro began his process in me. Everything opened within me. It’s hard to explain but it was like everything went white for me. Then everything was explained to me about life, strength, balance, thoughts, energy and much more. Colours, images and faces constantly flowed inside me. It was like a basic explanation about the cornerstones of life and then move on to my own questions. Among other things, these were about how I got to where I did in my life. I got an answer. Before the ceremony, I had a strong belief that I would leave a part of me behind, but I didn’t leave anything, instead I learned to understand.When I got home, I was a completely different person. Everything had changed somehow. It was quiet in my head for the first time since I was a child. I was able to sit down in a chair and just be. On top of this my interests immediately began to change.
After a while I felt that there was more I wanted to change, understand, see, process and experience so I signed up for another round. Before this ceremony and retreat something strange happened. The process already started a few days before it was due. I began to change thoughts and the way I looked at things. Once in place, I had decided to establish myself even more. When the medicine started to work, it almost felt like meeting a good friend again. I visited two times in my life that I asked for understanding.
After these, a third opportunity also appeared in my life that I had not even thought of myself. I received explanations about why things happened, how it was connected and what my task was. After these two transformative times, I am completely changed as a person. I have new interests, see things in other ways. There will be days with a little anxiety, but it’s still not the same, because now I’m me for the first time. Kind of weird when you can’t really understand all the decisions you made before because they were based on fear that is almost gone. Some parts remain in me, because that is who I am.
When can it be time again?
Ann, I have so much amazing stuff going on with me! Now it feels as if the blood flows cleanly and easily through the body. Everything flows more smoothly and the heart does not have to work as hard. The physical heart and the yogi heart.I thought in the morning, the day after the ceremony, that I didn’t want to participate again, because it was very painful and difficult for me. Now it’s been a couple of weeks and I’m wondering how soon it might be time again?
I haven’t needed to take pain medication since San Pedro. Well, actually one time. But then I had behaved a little foolishly in my eagerness to test the capacity. I no longer get headaches from minor stress. The feeling of metal toothache in the head is gone. The feeling of illness, the flu symptoms are greatly minimized. The virus load on the body (which I clearly felt but the healthcare system dissed because they rely entirely on my normal test results) has eased enormously!
I’ve been able to get hold of a few things and put a spin on some stagnant old energy. With renewed vigor and clear direction, I can discard things and objects from the past and I can more easily determine what no longer serves me. Dark things wash through me more easily, without getting stuck. The extremes are not as ”far out” as before. A balance closer to the center could be there already, but something inside me loves the drama. Ha Ha! The constant pulse between darkness and light.
Some of my notes: Walking a little too long hurts in a lot of places, but not in the back like before. Hallelujah!Today I stood, like a completely ordinary person, and cut vegetables for my own lunch salad. Thank you and goodbye to my support stockings! In addition, I have cut grass with the hand mower plus planted four plants. So damn fat!Today I measured and sketched the studio building! I can think, I can count, I can focus. Thanks.
My life before contained a great need for control that I would be able to handle everything. Upstairs I had a demanding job that required more than 100%. Private life with all that it entailed, had for a long time been connected with illness. There was no joy at all for long periods. When I think back on those years, it’s like a gray haze. This has made me feel a great debt towards my children. My spirituality lay fallow for many years but has slowly started to pick up again. This is because I didn’t want to feel like a victim. Instead, I wanted to seek new openings in my life.
It was during this time I found Ann’s first book and it´s touched me deeply. Through her I got wind of San Pedro. When I heard that this power goes beyond words, I felt that I had to try this. I prepared both physically and mentally according to Ann’s instructions before the ceremony, and it felt so right. Once the medicine was in my body, it took me beyond my ego, demands and guilt.
The ceremony is most sacred and I write this with respect for those who have gone before us. During the hours with the sacrament, I open up body and mind to a higher consciousness. It is my full intention and belief as we begin the ceremony, that I am part of a sacred alliance with my guides and helpers. I don’t know where it is for me. The only thing I know is that loving care helps me with what I need. Layer upon layer peels away and I feel one with it all. It is a great security that the person leading the ceremony is an experienced shaman who understands the events while this is going on. It takes knowledge and a great presence to be able to do this, to be there but not to disturb.
I have participated a few times in San Pedro ceremonies and they have been completely different as they portrayed different aspects of me. Because each time I have become more stripped down and afterwards I land in peace and come closer to the core of myself. The realization that what is inside us is not always just our own, is very strong. It can be past lives and relatives’ energies and wounds we have carried and it feels good to be able to end these imprints. San Pedro has helped me live my life as naturally as possible even though these are digital and troubled times. The channel has opened more with each ceremony and I have become more receptive to other ways of practicing my spirituality. I gratefully accept that in my daily life and continue with my meditations in a new way. This is of utmost importance to me.
When you have a strong feeling that you want to work on the depth of yourself, I can, from my own experience, feel that San Pedro is a gateway to a greater consciousness. It provides direct communication without intermediaries. It is not something you do without a serious interest in your own development.
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