San Pedro

On this page you will find information about the mesaline-containing cactus San Pedro and its effects. A study on the positive effects on everyday life is linked below the article
Reading time approx. 7 min
San Pedro Cactus

San Pedro
The key to the heart

Table of content

The San Pedro cactus (also called Wachuma), like the Ayahuasca liana, is one of the master and medicinal plants. In contrast to the feminine power of Ayahuasca Liane, San Pedro has a masculine, grandfatherly expression. In Peru, the cactus has been used for healing and for deep expansion of consciousness for over 3000 years. For the shamans from the Andes it made it possible to create a bridge between the visible and the invisible world.

Heart opening: deep understanding and compassion for yourself, your fellow human beings and nature.

Resolution of negative thought patterns, cleaning of the chakras, removal of foreign energies (ancestral healing).
Strong feeling of emotions, recognizing everyday masks and roles that one slips into every day.

After ingestion, a deep opening of the heart takes place, which creates an increased connection with nature and other living beings. During the ceremony, the cactus shows the participant places in the body and consciousness that need attention and supports him in healing. On a physical level, San Pedro has a balancing effect on the nervous system.

San Pedro study

Overview study: “Naturalistic Use of Mescaline Is Associated with Self-Reported Psychiatric Improvements and Enduring Positive Life Changes”  von Gabrielle Agin-Liebes*, Trevor F. Haas, Rafael Lancelotta, Malin V. Uthaug, Johannes G. Ramaekers, and Alan K. Davis*

The San Pedro ceremony and
how it works


The ritual with the cactus containing mescaline, also called Huachuma, is a very old traditional ritual of some indigenous peoples of this earth. Then and now it is a kind of gathering of people who have mental problems, have illnesses, are looking for a vision/meaning in life or have lost their zest for life. The ceremony is also called a festival, because in addition to the healing, there is also a lot of laughing, dancing, talking, music and eating. All of this serves to restore your own zest for life and has a very strengthening and activating effect on everyday life.

The ceremony is similar to that of Ayahuasca. Here, too, the participants lie mostly on their mattresses, but at the beginning of the ceremony and in between during the night there are always waves or surges of energy, which can have a very activating effect. As if the cactus had its own rhythm. He alternates between rather quiet phases, which serve the inner insight, for mental-emotional healing, which provide clarity and to reveal certain insights and proposed solutions to the participant.

Picture of San Pedro cacti

In the activating phases, life is celebrated:

Pure joie de vivre and the associated alleviation of emotional pain from your own past. It is exciting to observe that this change between these phases is very healing for the participants. Because after these phases of inner insight, an active phase of celebrating the joy of life follows, the grief, the sadness experienced and the pain from the past days can be healed/alleviated.

Most of the time we have experienced something negative in our past or we are experiencing a difficult life situation in the present. Constantly thinking about negative experiences, a specific problem or a current difficult life situation can rob us of a lot of strength and energy for our everyday life (mental energy vampires/thought carousels). Through the newly gained joie de vivre in the San Pedro / Huachuma ceremony, these thought loops can be broken and creative solutions can be found for certain life situations or projects in work/everyday life.


Vision quest and calling

The San Pedro also likes to invite you to go on a vision quest with him. This can be very helpful to find your own calling in life, to have a new meaning in life or to get new creative ideas that make life easier and more joyful than before.

Start of ceremony
and dosing


The ceremony begins 1-2 hours earlier than with Ayahuasca, as the cactus lasts for around 8-12 hours. Depending on how high the dosage is.

The tea containing mescaline is consumed in small portions (2-4 servings) throughout the evening until a desired effect is achieved. Because each participant tolerates the mescaline differently, these multiple servings are spaced out among the participants during the first half of the ceremony. It doesn’t always depend on the dosage. Good results and experiences can also be had with small doses. Your own intention can also be decisive for whether a high or a low dose is taken in the evening.

If you want to dive into the depths of shamanic worlds, you can take more in order to experience deep spiritual experiences, starting with the death of your own ego, enlightenment, out of body experience or encounters with other beings. There are many different experiences that can be had in the ceremony. It is best not to set too high expectations and strictly insist on this intention set before the retreat. It’s good to have an intention, but don’t let it take you and block you from what might be revealed with something you couldn’t have imagined before.

Expanding consciousness also means that previous concepts are exploded and one is open to new things. That’s why it’s advisable to set an intention, but then let it go again so that everything can flow better.

A lower dose is particularly useful in order to first come into contact with the substance and not overwhelm yourself immediately. The experience of high dosages can be very taxing, both physically and mentally. For those who prefer to take it a little easier, we recommend a not so high dosage. Small and medium doses are helpful for the mental-emotional processing of the past, dissolution of certain thought and behavior patterns, to strengthen the joy of life, up to one’s own heart opening and the language of the heart associated with it.

Kakteen bei Nacht, cactis by night