On our journey to Peru: Heart of the Pachamama with Puma Quispe Singona, pilgrims are offered two opportunities to sit in a ceremony with the psychedelic cactus San Pedro with a Peruvian medicine man. These ceremonies are guided and led by Andean medicine man Puma Quispe Signona and provide participants with the opportunity to deepen their spiritual connections and release any emotional baggage they may be carrying. Here’s what one pilgrim had to say of their experience in Peru with Puma:
“It was a fantastic experience never to forget. Puma is a true leader, spiritual guide and healer who sheds light on the path of the soul. It was of great help for my personal and spiritual development.”
What is San Pedro (Wachuma)?
San Pedro is a cactus that is native to the Andes mountains of South America, in particular Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. It contains the psychoactive compound, mescaline, and is known for being an empathogenic substance, in that it can promote radical introspection, and heart-opening, emotional releasing experiences. While it is illegal to grow many other psychoactive plants in the US, it is legal to grow the San Pedro cactus and you will often see them growing in people’s gardens.
The history of its usage
Historical San Pedro has been used by Native Andean communities as a healing and spiritual tool for thousands of years. The earliest known date of usage comes from a rock carving that has been dated back to around 1300BC. San Pedro is so praised by native Andean cultures that when colonization suppressed its usage, they continued to partake in private ceremonies, and considered the medicine as “Materia Prima” which is “a formless primeval substance regarded as the original material of the universe.”
Traditionally, San Pedro was consumed orally, and they believed that once it took effect, the Shaman could sense the ailments of others and help to diagnose and treat the condition. Wachuma has been used to heal many illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, fevers, and high blood pressure and is a powerful antimicrobial that inhibits 18 or more penicillin-resistant bacteria.
What to expect from a San Pedro ceremony with a Peruvian medicine man.
On our journey, we ensure that the San Pedro ceremonies are safe and expansive. They are led by Native healers and medicine men to create an experience that will lead to emotional healing and a deep connection to yourself. Our first opportunity to work with this plant medicine comes after a morning of sacred ceremonies, healing rituals and discussions on the Andean Cosmovision and traditional Andean Healing Arts. These ceremonies will be led by Puma, as well as two special healers, Don Sebastian and Mama Irene. These two healers come from two different native lineages. Don Sebastian is a Q’ero Master with pure energy and wisdom from the lineage of the Q’ero People, while Mama Irene, comes from a different Andean lineage, closer to the rainbow lineage. Along with Puma, they aim to create an environment that is conducive to inner exploration and growth and will be there to guide you through any journey this plant medicine takes you on.
The second opportunity for partaking in a San Pedro ceremony will occur towards the end of the 11-day journey on the Uros Islands. Both of these ceremonial experiences are designed to release emotions and can be used to heal the heart in times of extreme pain or emotional hurt.
While many people choose to consume San Pedro without shamans and in less ceremonial settings, we believe it is essential to use this medicine in the traditional ways. By sitting in a ceremony with medicine men and women, you can journey into yourself and the universe knowing you are safe and held. These healers are also able to help you reconnect with the ancestral energy that is ready to help you heal and transform your lives for the better. Ceremonies are designed and led to guide you specifically and at the end of your time with these healers, the intention is that you feel a sense of lightness, clarity and connection to yourself and everything around you.
Many report feelings of sensitivity to light and the perception of people and things ‘radiating’ light, the resurgence of forgotten memories, and emotions including laughter, joy and love. Some more uncomfortable emotions can also be experienced as well as releasing through crying, but having healers nearby will ensure you can navigate through these lessons safely.
By partaking in these optional ceremonies on our journey, you’ll be able to get the most out of the experience and deepen your connection with the landscape and history of the country you are journeying through.
With the guidance of our healers and medicine man, these San Pedro ceremonies should be a life-changing, expansive experience and the lessons and insights you will gain should help you even when you return back home.