San Pedro (Huachuma, Wachuma or Achuma in Quechua) is a sacred and ancestral medicinal cactus native to the Andean mountains of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Along with Tobacco, Ayahuasca, and Coca, it is one of Peru’s most sacred plants, and has been used for over 4,000 years for prayer, communing with nature, gaining access to the spiritual world, expanding consciousness, and healing on physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
Huachuma was named San Pedro after the Spanish St. Peter, who was said to hold the keys to the gates of heaven.
The use of Huachuma has been reported in the pre-Inca times, and has been particularly prevalent during the Incan Empire. Following the Spanish invasion in 1532, this plant was almost destroyed, its use banned and it was demonized along with the Ayahuasca by the Catholic Church.
The Huachuma cactus contains a number of alkaloids including the well-studied chemical of mescaline (0.21–1.8%). The Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a psychedelic entheogen, which is also found in some other species of genus Echinopsis (i.e. Echinopsis lageniformis, Echinopsis peruviana, and Echinopsis scopulicola) and the species Lophophora williamsii (Peyote in Mexico).
Referred to as “Grandfather” and “masculine teacher” amongst the sacred plants, Huachuma is considered to be a more gentle teacher than “mother Ayahuasca” but it is still extremely powerful and profound. Huachuma produces states of deep internal reflection and reconnects us with ourselves, with others, and with Pachamama (Mother Earth). It awakens our senses to altered states of consciousness and works with the unconscious, where we store most of the traumas that can be acquired even in the womb of our mother. Huachuma helps to clear past wounds and enables a more heart-centered way of being. Unconditional love and affinity permeates our very being and once love at this level has been experienced it cannot be lost or undone. Through releasing (purging) what no longer serves and through purifying and balancing our being, it makes room for more lightness in our life experience. Wachuma gives us clarity, a greater understanding of our purpose in life, and a TRUE understanding of all that is.
However, like most plant medicines, the individual experience of the medicine varies for each one. It is important to remember that no experience is ever like another and that whatever the medicine gives to you is exactly what was needed for that moment.
A Huachuma ceremony with Moonay Mystical Journeys is an intensive, day long experience which is profoundly deep and transformative. We take Huachuma as part of a sacred ceremony which lasts 7-10 hours.
Since the medicine allows us to experience a profound connection with nature and the four elements, we offer our ceremonies in beautiful mountain environments surrounded by mighty “Apus” (mountain spirits), crystal lakes, friendly llamas and alpacas, and majestic condors in the sky.
Our ceremonies include traditional purification rituals and dedicated offerings to Pachamama, prior to drinking the medicine, gentle hikes, delicious fruit picnic in beautiful nature and powerful spiritual places while the medicine works its way through our mind, body and spirit. Throughout the ceremony everyone is always welcome to gently follow your heart – whether it calls for orally sharing your experiences, for introvertedly contemplating on your insights or for using your enhanced creativity for drawing or noting down your thoughts and feelings on paper.
Participants who approach the plant with higher levels of physical and emotional toxicity or stress may purge at the physical, mental and spiritual levels, but it is more common for San Pedro to remain in the body for the duration of the ceremony.
Our Quechua Curandero Hernan has worked with Huachuma for over 35 years, consciously living and maintaining his family’s tradition. Being an extraordinarily positive, friendly and receptive individual, Hernan has started dedicating his life to listening to the guidance of the sacred plant and the wisdom of his father already when he was 11 years old. He now teaches his two sons and a number of alumni from the women Quechua community in calling forth the healing energies of this magnificent master teacher plant and serves with love and compassion all those coming to him to encounter Huachuma with respect and gratitude.
Don Hernan prepares the medicine as a tea by slicing and then boiling pieces of the stem for hours. The liquid that is left is taken orally and the effects will begin after 45 minutes to two hours.
Preparing for your Huachuma ceremony plays an integral role in the quality of your experience. It is beneficial to arrive for the day with a profound readiness to engage with yourself on all levels and to have a defined intention. Reflect on where you would like to be moving towards in your life and ask the medicine for guidance and strength for action. At the same time, do not have any expectations and remain energetically open to receive what the medicine has to offer.
For 1-3 days prior to the ceremony (at least 1 day; the more days of diet, the better) we recommend a clean diet as possible as preparation. Fresh, healthy food and plenty of water is important, as well as the avoidance of meat, processed or fatty food, excessive sweets, strong spices or citrus fruit, alcohol, caffeine and recreational drugs (including marijuana). It is also recommended to not engage or release sexually as to keep your vital energy available for the healing process.
For the night before the ceremony we advise an early, light dinner followed by only water and herbal tea until we drink San Pedro the next morning. In case of difficulties with low blood sugar, you may have some pieces of papaya for breakfast.
The day after a Huachuma ceremony, we recommend you to relax, meditate and allow yourself some quiet time – ideally outdoors. The medicine continues subconsciously working in your body during the following days. It is suggested to continue with the diet at least for 1 or 2 days after the ceremony.
Huachuma does not have any known contraindications. It is used by all people from children up to the age of 60 years.
If someone is taking antidepressants they may find diminished results with Huachuma and it might be best to reduce its use before consuming it. We also invite you to take a profound inward look and consider what process the antidepressants are preventing in you. Whatever is being suppressed might suddenly pop to the surface and we would like you to be ready to face the issues when you decide to embark with us on a powerful, heart-opening, and transformative journey.
However, in order to assure the best care, please let us know on first contact if you’re taking any medications or have any medical conditions.