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Author Topic: Pejuta  (Read 18900 times)

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Offline Inyan

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2015, 02:00:54 PM »
Much of what you are asking about is internal dialogue as that is what you are left with. Internal dialogue and nature. You begin to realize how things you never knew you placed much importance on actually take up much of your internal dialogue. You are left naked with your own insecurities, fears, wants, desires, etc. and it is this that challenges us the most. The vision quest acts like a magnifying glass to these things as that is all that is left besides nature and your will. Will is focused via your thoughts/prayers or intent and if the desire or will is not strong enough you will not make it. This is why your resolve and preparation is important. Their is also an element of physical pain. The pain that comes from standing on your feet all day without even a moment to sit down can get unbearable for some. To say your feet will ache may be an understatement to say the least. Pain is something that the inipi or sweatlodge is helpful for inducing and it is this pain or suffering both psychological and physical that must be overcome through focus. The same can be said of the Sundance which I have also done. When you Sundance you typically have deer antlers piercing your chest, back, or arms. These antlers, talons, even choke cherry is used... are attached to ropes that you then dance with until the skin breaks. To put this in visual terms... your skin is very strong and it is very easy to dance so that you are almost horizontal to the ground and still not have your skin break. For me, when I Sundanced I was so light that I could literally run forwards and then turn around at the last moment and be carried up into the air a few feet without breaking. The principal behind all of these tools is the same. They promote suffering that can only be overcome with focus. If your focus is strong enough then you will not feel the pain of the steam from the sweatlodge, you will not feel the pain from the antlers in your chest, and you will not feel the pain from standing for four days and four nights without sleeping. The truth is that these ceremonies get easier over time as your focus gets better. The truth is that there will be times though that despite having years of practice doing these types of ceremonies that the pain will again feel unbearable. It is hard to always be strong and to be strong and focused in every moment. These are simply tools that can be used to develop focus, will, determination... and they are in no ways the only tools, but they do work fast as pain and suffering is a great motivator. The duration of these different ceremonies is different and the severity of each can be altered and it is through the gradual use of these tools that one is able to more easily participate in the ceremonies that come after them. To think of it another way, your focus may become so strong that all other thoughts, emotions, physical sensations leave you and you are left with your focus.
As it was told to me, the vision quest works because the body is no longer bogged down with food and water. This frees up energy to other processes of the mind that may not have enough fuel to work otherwise. Portions of your mind also shut down as you become extremely bored of the old internal dialogue you have going on in your head like a broken record player. Many of these thoughts... most of them are so mundane that it becomes surprising as to how much wasted energy and time goes into them. Many of these thoughts and feelings you may realize you have absolutely no need for and in fact... many of these thoughts and feelings are harmful to your wellbeing and only by examining them through the microscope of a vision quest can one finally process some of them and let them go. So, you learn to let go. You let go of the pain and the need to suffer. You realize that while you may be different... that difference is nowhere near as great as what you thought it was. You realize that we are all people, we are all related in our humanness. That we are just a spark of life not really any different from any other spark of life and thus... equally valuable and invaluable as the next. Or perhaps you don't realize any of these things. It is different for each person, but the mechanics of how a vision quest works remains the same for each person. It is said that whatever your worst fears are you will face on a vision quest. How well you face those fears will determine how great a vision you have or whether you will even make it. It is also said that you will not face any fears that you are not ready to face and that you can not face. It boils down to resolve and how important it is to you. If it is simply a fleeting desire or a desire to have some unique experience you will not make it. The mind is a very powerful thing. You may feel physically sick to your stomach or have all the signs of the flu, strep, etc... upon giving up on your desire to quest these feelings may instantly leave you. This is how powerful such an experience can be. You may not be able trust your own thoughts and feelings at such a time and this is why it is important to have supporters that can watch from afar so as not to interfere with your experience. Ideally, supporters are never seen, but can be heard as they sing songs of encouragement. If a supporter is seen, it is generally because the spiritual leader, medicine man, etc. has told them to check on you. As the old saying goes, it is always better to err on the side of caution with these ceremonies. Nowadays, your supporter may use binoculars to check up on you as well. This is done not to invade your privacy, but to ensure that you are indeed safe and well. So, this is done if it is done for as short a period of time as is needed to determine that you are indeed healthy. This is another reason for song. Song by the supporters gives you strength. Song sung by the vision quester lets the supporters know that the quester has strength or is needing some strength. So, encouragement may be given back in the form of song by the supporters at the same time or shortly after the questers song. The sound of the voice, the inflections, etc. give important cues as to how well the quester is doing without the need for intrusive binocular vision so to speak. So long as there are songs to be heard every few hours it can be assumed that everything is going well. Again, the voice of the quester is listened to in detail. It can be a very powerful and moving experience for the supporters as well.
I will describe a few more visions for you so you can have a small taste of what a vision quest is like through my eyes. In one vision I saw a pair of pants hung in a watchtower in the middle of the forest I was in. This was the only thing out of place or different that I could detect. Now, you must understand that this watchtower and the pair of pants looked as real as any other object one might see in waking reality and no other objects were changed. That is the nature of a vision on a vision quest. Sometimes only one element or two changes. Sometimes, your entire world changes. Another vision I had... a butterfly floated through the forest and sat on a log. As the butterfly opened and closed its wings it became an eye and the log became a wolf. So, the butterfly was the eye of the wolf that was once a log... again.. the wolf was as real as any wolf one might see in reality and one begins to wonder... was it a log or is it a real wolf? Was the log the vision and the butterfly the vision? Or am I looking at a very real and dangerous wolf? These thoughts go through your head as you can not tell one reality from the next. You are kept safe only by the thoughts that you have been told you are not allowed to hurt another creature while on a vision quest and you are not allowed to leave your altar.
Still yet another vision I had was a truck wreck. While sitting in the passenger seat I was thrown forward and to the left as I watched the medicine man who was driving lose all his teeth across the steering wheel. When I came out of that vision I felt as if I was really in that wreck and I noted that I was not wearing my seat belt in the vision. I was also moving forward and impaled my chest on my pipe's altar pushing choke cherry into my chest as I came out of the vision. Months later I was still not forgetting to wear my seat belt when I got into the truck with that medicine man. I finally said, enough is enough... I'm not wearing my seat belt on this ride as I'm sure it had some symbolic meaning and I am letting this fear affect me every time I get into the vehicle with this man. The accident happened exactly as it happened in the vision. What made this particular vision have more power for me was that it was shared with others after the vision quest months before it unfolded and yes... the medicine man actually lost its teeth just as in the vision as well.
Yet another vision I had was of floating through a green and black field of light that resembled a field or meadow with the black being a canyon. My perspective changed and then the field became a cliff with a cave running along its width and it became apparent that I was flying and upon entering the cave I was engulfed in blackness. In the blackness there was only one source of light and those were my Sundance pins and that is how I knew I would Sundance and I had no choice in the matter. Those are my own personal visions and as such you can interpret them as you will. Disbelief was how I interpreted some of them when they happened and even after they happened. I can only say that many do not talk about such experiences in depth as you can not explain in words something that must be experienced. I do understand the need or the desire to try to understand however as it is much easier to read and then decide... nope... sounds to hard for me and definitely not worth the investment when something else might give me equal results or even better results with less time. To that, I would state that these are all simply tools and there are many tools. Some tools may work faster for some and may not be best for others. Do I think these tools are needed to examine yourself and to come to deep realizations about oneself or ones place in the world? Absolutely... they are not needed. There are many tools and many methods to examine ones own mind and to effect changes in ones own mind so why would you want to engage in something so difficult and demanding? The answer is for most... that you would not want to do this and if you have any doubts about it those doubts will soon leave you after you start your vision quest and you will know that you absolutely do not want to be their and you would much rather be elsewhere.
For those that graft...
Every areole is a cactus waiting to be born

Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2015, 02:50:50 AM »
wow.  the car accident one must have been truly unbelievable.  i have heard about people having this type of experience with certain hallucinogenic drugs but never experienced it.  i feel like trying to interpret that but of course never could as it exists only in the context of your own mind.  amazing though. 

ok i just watched a couple of sun dances.  not what i expected.  if i do this more than once i'll definitely be big tittyflapflaps.  i imagine this must be from where modern suspensions evolved.  i would still be way less intimidated by this than staying awake for 4 days in the forest.  i can honestly say that as strong willed as i think i am i don't think i could do that.  whether it's the physical pain or a rabbit rustles a bush in the middle of the night i think i would not succeed.

the butterfly eye wolf log story i can relate to.  there have been a number of times in my life i have stared at things so long my mind morphs them into different objects.  likely never with the degree of clarity that can be achieved through sleep depravation. 

there are a few aspects of this concept that i find intriguing.  what must be gained in terms of reacquiring some of the novelty of experience that seemingly tapers off with time.  also experiencing such a shift in the perception of time and obviously facing my own mind. 

i don't understand the significance of the choke cherry though. 

Offline Inyan

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2015, 07:08:06 PM »
http://religions.booklounge.org/index.php/Religions-of-Plains-Native-Americans/the-sun-dance-and-other-ceremonies-of-the-oglala-division-of-the-teton-dakota.html

Everything tends to have more than one meaning. Choke cherry is mentioned at least 17 times in that article above. You can read the entire article and still have not understand what you are asking. Understanding has to take its time and to be honest the way I understand it is that I never will truly understand it all. I do think you are perceptive though, but it is more than perception it is about allowing the meaning to actually change your being, thought processes, emotions, etc. Only by changing yourself, growing more in harmony with yourself and nature... can you begin to process the true meaning behind these things. Admittedly, soaking up as much as you can intellectually can help... but only to a lesser extent. For what its worth, I don't think I will ever understand much, but what I can tell you is that when your experience becomes as such that you feel that your total being has changed or that your worldview has changed and altered how you think about everything then you have begun down that path. That is how I understand it at least and that is how it rings true for me. It is more than simply knowing the mechanics of the symbolism. It is about actually putting it to work and experiencing it and becoming that new experience and with that said it can also be looked at as a spiders web or a medicine wheel. There may be many spokes and you may be a spoke on a small wheel. This small wheel we will call your family. Then this wheel may form a part of another spoke including family and friends and so on and so forth. Only you may forget to add in trees, stones, birds, etc. into your circle. You have your own center and you are your own wheel. You have your own spokes that may consist of your thoughts, emotions, attachments, etc. Everything is connected. Those connections can be made stronger and such is the case when you feel a particular kinship with another person who is not family by blood, but feels closer than many of your blood relations. The same can be said that these connections grow stronger or more permanent when you have a particular attachment to a place that somehow makes you feel better simply by being there. In this way.. the spokes, centers, wheels.... are also like a web as they attract you and you can get caught in a thought, emotion, attachment. Instead of watching those attachments from the center you become trapped in on one the lines of the web so to speak. This is just one way I have learned to interpret the world. For me, this way was not a way I was brought up into until my teens so I had other world views or cultural views taught to me so it was a true shock for me when this perceptual shift began to truly occur for me. I will not say it is a wrong way or that my old way of seeing the world was right. I will simply say they are different ways of viewing the world that affect how we perceive other in it, ourselves, and even reality. That is my long winded way of saying that the choke cherry is sacred, but then so is everything so I haven't really told you anything.
For those that graft...
Every areole is a cactus waiting to be born

Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2015, 01:47:09 AM »
no you have told me more than i could even absorb after reading it four times.  i think i get what your saying about the choke cherry.  essentially it has major significance due to its wide variety of applications and a deep, lengthy history of use that cannot possibly be captured in a simple written response rather it must be almost experienced.  it would be like trying to explain a smell or a feeling.  when you wrote 'even choke cherry is used' i imagined the contextual plant must have had some pain causing quality like thorns or the ability to cause itching/burning of the skin.  nevertheless that poorly worded question of mine yielded a brilliant response, so i can't complain.   

i wonder if we even really 'understand' anything or if we just simply possess the mechanisms for storing, linking and retrieving bits of information at such a high rate it creates the illusion of understanding in the mind of the perceiver.  it seems to me i am capable of only one thought at any one time and my consciousness is never truly able to engulf an entire concept in a single instant.  maybe the exception to this could be thoughts of images or those pertaining to movement. 

i think i enjoy this concept of connectedness sometimes when i mediate.  i try to meditate on the concept of myself being composed of the same material as my surroundings.  breathing in the same molecules that the plants breath out.  it tends to create a momentary sense of peace of mind in an otherwise squirrelly brain.         

i have experienced only a few real perceptual changing moments in my experience thus far, but enough to realize more radical and paradigm shifting ones are likely to come.  also enough to know i have little control over this phenomenon- but likely still much more control than i allow myself to realize at this point in my life. 

Offline Inyan

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2015, 10:53:25 PM »
I think you said it best when you explain how you and your surroundings are the same.... i.e. composed of the same materials. That you can share molecules with a plant as you exchange breaths with that plant. This is a truth that can not be denied. That way of looking at the world may seem like simple science, but it goes much deeper or can go much deeper than simply a realization of these facts and it can be filled with much emotional connection as well. The hardest part about a vision quest was not the sleep deprivation, pain, or fear for me. The hardest part was the isolation and the sudden lack of connection with others. This void is filled by a deeper connected feeling to the natural world. The long and short of it for me at least is that I realized I was empty inside and yet paradoxically full of false images of myself and my connections to the world. So, the vision quest for me was a death or a letting go of this false filling and a letting in of that which was more real or substantial and that is the very real connection to the natural world at large. The vision quest for me, was a letting go of that artificial stuff that is taught by society, teachers, parents, friends, etc. The realization that someone is not beautiful, ugly, stupid, worthless, or better than someone else. We are all equal and yet we can maintain some differences and it is these slight differences that make life bearable and not completely and mind numbingly boring.  The ability to simply be at peace and to let go.... Mind you, I still get caught up in the moment sometimes and I am no different than you or anyone else. I've had a certain types of experiences that I found valuable and I've chased after those experiences the same as anyone chases after those experiences they find valuable in life. The one thing I truly know and I don't know much... the mind is a very powerful tool and it can be manipulated very easily and is manipulated much of our lives by the programming we received learning how to be a part of this world from the moment we were born. To me, pejuta can be like a surgeons knife as can a vision quest, etc. The main differences in the two for me is that pejuta can work with little effort on the part of the person and for this reason it can be much more dangerous. A vision quest can be ended at a moments notice by the simple intent to stop. Pejuta may not be so forgiving. Both the vision quest and pejuta can give equally powerful visions. I think from hearing you talk that you have your own tools and you definitely have your own philosophy. I respect that. Your simple tool of seeing that you share the same molecules as other life, rock, trees, etc. is very much the same way that those on shamanic paths see the world. They may sometimes word it differently, but the feeling that can be harnessed and the way it shapes your thoughts begins to become a circular phenomenon where the thought engenders a feeling and the feeling strengthens the thought and around and around this process goes in different ways and deeper connections are formed between those thoughts and emotions and more thoughts begin to get tied into this such as your thoughts of sharing the molecules that you breath with the plants. This back and forth cyclical process is much the same that happens... but then I already said that. The point I'm trying to make is that you are already on a shamanic path to a certain extent as you have elements of your thoughts that are tied into that way of thinking. Everything is connected. We are all related. This is why you feel good when you are out in the woods, in the mountains, or at the beach. You are feeling that connection with nature. One thing that some people fail to realize or pay much notice to however is that you may feel more connected to one spot... but ten feet over... you don't feel that connection as strongly. This is how we subconsciously choose where to sit, where to relax, etc. We choose those places that we feel more comfortable in or more attracted to. We may often fail to contemplate why a spot ten feet over in the same woods does not attract us or feel as comfortable to us. Enough rambling.
Back to pejuta, it must be utilized with respect as it is very powerful. This is why I try to state... one button is enough. One button can have profound effects on the mind. In fact, I would say until you have learned how to experience one button that anything more is probably too much for the average person. But that is my bias and how I personally see it. I would much rather take the slow road than the fast when dealing with a medicine that I consider to be extremely power. Which is why I will share with you a technique I learned. You may wish to try it... modify it or discard it altogether, but you've already tried it to some extent so I will share with you something that I learned by listening to the teachings of another.

I was once told to prepare for a vision quest... since I could not sweat regularly.... that I could go out in the woods and find two different spots. The spots should be very close... within seeing distance of each other, but no closer than 7 feet or so. These spots could be a place that feels warmer or somehow more inviting than another. The other could feel colder, more distant, or simply not appealing. The spots need not be earth, but could be water... tree, stone, etc. Areas of land occupied, but in a natural setting was the gist of things. Upon finding these two spots or choosing these two areas, trees, cacti, etc.... I was told that I had to talk to these places, beings, etc. as I would any person. I should tell the more inviting one that I would spend a few moments with it every day for 28 days, but the first day would be shared with the place, tree, cacti, rock, etc. that felt less inviting, colder, etc. Mind you, you need not stay the whole day. What is needed is a commitment to a few minutes each day. So, for the first day a few minutes for both places. After that the rest of the 28 days is only spent with the more inviting place, spirit, etc. Now, the most important part of this exercise I was told was to talk to these places, beings, etc. as you would any other person. Now, to be honest that felt odd and out of place for me. I did as I was told. That first day, you have to explain that after the 28 days is up you will spend the next 28 days with the place that felt colder or less appealing. The same stipulation applied... you have to commit to a few minutes each day to talk to that spirit. You have to commit to physically going to that place. I was told that if I could do that that I would be given a gift. I was told also not to tell anyone else what I was doing. I was told that if I was able to keep this commitment without breaking it that I would change and that others would make note of that fact to me without me ever telling them anything as the change would be that noticeable.  I am sharing that gift with you as for me, it was a very powerful experience and one that I initially laughed at and felt awkward doing. Should you choose to try this exercise I can honestly tell you that for me at least... it bore fruit.
I will share with you one brief moment from this experience... I chose two different trees by the way the first time I did this exercise. I was sitting there in silence as while I did talk as required, I also sat and thought and sometimes just sat. My theory being that it was the time that was important and the keeping of the commitment to talk. I was never told I had to talk the whole time, so much of it was silent communication or simply relaxing. Sometimes I'd just go for a brief moment if my day was too hectic. I was going to keep my commitment no matter what, and so on some days I spent more time to make up for those days I spent less time. This day, I was spending more time and was just sitting there relaxed. Perfectly still, trying to think about the vision quest I would soon be on in the coming year. How, I needed to be able to be still or at least not worry about constantly moving as I knew I'd be confined to a small area as a vision quest altar is not very large and the sage you stand on makes a circle about as wide as your feet are... well on this day.... I had a chipmunk run up and into my hands. Now, that freaked me out and I moved and of course the chipmunk ran away. Later, I found that by being perfectly still during this exercise that this chipmunk would come back and so would some birds. I was pleasantly amazed at how close some of the wild animals would get to me... simply by my relaxing and not moving every three seconds. Now, I imagine that is nothing to many people, but to me it was a new experience and one of my first in learning how to slow down and relax. So, that is one very small lesson I learned. I assure you there were others and I don't want to color the experience for you too much so I will simply leave the instructions as they were told to me from that and relate to you this as a bit of extra. If you take with you a cacti you can alter that place and form yet another connection. Leave the other colder cacti or less appealing cacti at the other location or simply bring each one to their location each time... you see...... This connection forms.... That to me is the perfect way to truly get to know a medicine. You don't eat the medicine, drink the medicine, etc.... but you spend time with it. You grow the medicine, take care of the medicine, and you even confide in the medicine. This all goes back to the medicine wheel, the spiders web, etc. Your mind can be thought of as a spiders web. The world... every time you make a connection and you have a positive thought or emotion with it then that connection becomes stronger. Now, if that other person, spirit, medicine... also has positive thoughts, feelings, etc. then that connection grows stronger as well. That is how it was all taught to me and for what its worth... I didn't believe or understand it back then. I still don't believe I understand it, but I can tell you that if you have a moment... it is worth experimenting with to come to your own conclusions and your own insights. I felt extremely self conscious doing that exercise... that much I can tell you and not in a good way at first. Now, with all that said... its just a tool I was taught... just one exercise. It sounds like you have your own tools so, if you never try that tool you will have lost nothing as you can eat with a fork just as easily as you can chopsticks or vice versa.
For those that graft...
Every areole is a cactus waiting to be born

Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2015, 01:16:26 AM »
wow...  right on, man.  there's a ton i want to say in response to that but i realize it's mostly just affirmation...  this connectedness concept is definitely the core of my own developing philosophy.  ..the description of what you experienced on the vision quest is what i think i have been referring to as ego death which i believe to have experienced less than a handful of times and only in small doses...  never for days on end.  not to mention it would be perceived as being much longer.  you must have had a real chance to really let that concept soak in.  how freeing that must have been psychologically.  my ongoing quest is really just to quiet this cognitive dissonance that i believe is created by my being forced to operate in a network of often frustrating and illogical social constructs.  i figure that means i need to get back to nature.  it means i must gain a deeper understanding of what is around me - of what has always been.  sadly, in some corners of this cruel asteroid connecting with nature also means freezing your ass off for part of the year.  so some of us will have to mostly meditate on these concepts for now.

the ball is rolling as for picking spots.  i have a few nice ones in mind.  i thought about around here but don't want to confirm my neighbours suspicions by talking to my lawn everyday for a month.  i can already kind of picture the developments that would come from such an activity and look forward to trying it.  i got goosebumps when you described the chipmunk coming up to you because i experienced something similar but never spelled it out like that inside my head.    i had spent everyday outside tending to my garden for months and one day I'm sitting in the grass and a chipmunk comes right up and lets me touch him.  he moved in a way that made me twitch and that of course made him take off.  but i think now that he had been there the entire time i had been there.  he watched me tend to the garden.  and slowly built up the understanding that i am safe to approach.  there was another consciousness there the entire time. ..something else to meditate on.  how many consciousnesses were there that summer, the fact that they are always there.  thousands.  millions.  all existing together at once most not even aware of the other.  all living and breathing from the same molecular soup.  and all caught up in their own internal chatter whatever it may be.  i will definitely try this thought experiment.  and i will definitely eat with chop sticks once in a while.  i can better appreciate one if i eat with the other. 

when you say one button, what size of a plant to you refer?  my understanding was that people would eat six or more large buttons (>6 cm) just to break threshold, allegedly.  and i definitely agree that not enough is most often favourable to too much with regards to medicines. 

Offline Inyan

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2015, 01:30:52 PM »
I agree with you that if your medicine is that small that may be true. My first experience with pejuta was with a single dried specimen the size that just fit in the palm of my hand. A little over 4 inches in diameter. Specimens as small as you mention have not been allowed to live long enough in my opinion. I say this for many reasons. From a spiritual point of view, a grandfather pejuta, a large specimen is much revered and often takes its place in the center of an altar. It is considered that these specimens are particularly strong with medicine. So, age has an affect on the medicine from a traditional point of view. I just can't see harvesting a specimen so small for a ceremony. From another standpoint, you want your medicine to have lived long enough to have passed on its genetic potential to at least a few hundred seedlings and that you have cut it so that it will reproduce more clones of itself. Now, some teachers I have known would have you eat one of these babies roots and all for your first time. This is not for the alkaloid content, but more as a symbolic gesture of accepting the entire medicine into your being. You are not getting to know part of the plant or part of the medicine, but the entire medicine. This is generally done with a small seedling with great care not to damage any of the roots. My personal philosophy is that this is not something that needs to be done, but if it is done it should be done with a seedling of parents you have personally grown so as to ensure that you can make the cross again and again. If using a seedling in that manner, you would also want to consume a single specimen the size of your hand to go with it. As for numbers... numbers have meaning in many religious traditions, but size is also of importance. For me, specimens the size you mention should only be consumed if that is their size when dried. This is more than a personal preference as I have been taught that the older larger specimens have a stronger connection to the spirit. Some prefer to age their medicine and allow it to dry out completely. This to me tastes like I would imagine cardboard must taste if eaten plain and not made into a tea. I assure you that one decent sized specimen is all that you will need if it has been allowed to grow on its own roots for at least a year and it is the size or almost the size of the palm of your hand. Traditionally however, medicine may be consumed as a single specimen, tea, etc. or it may be passed at different intervals as determined by the person/roadman leading the ceremony. When this medicine is passed around many may choose not to have any more and simply pass the medicine to the next. Some may take medicine every round. In short, it is a personal decision as to how much medicine to take. I will tell you that we had a Mexican come to one of our ceremonies and he did not speak Lakota or English. He thought, that it was disrespectful not to have the medicine each time it was  passed around. For much of the next day he sat there and smiled and drooled to some extent. I can not tell you how much medicine he imbibed, but please understand that this was in a ceremonial context and the average person could not have handled that amount of medicine if it were not for the fact that it was in a very closely controlled ceremonial context.
Let me relay yet another vision I have had while still new to the Lakota traditions. I was in Paradise during the Sundance as a supporter and performed additional duties such as security guard at night. During the last few hours of daylight, Leonard asked me to help him carry a barrel back from another camp. When we got their I saw the barrel and upon trying to lift it, realized it was full. I attempted to pour it out so we could carry it back and was told sharply not to pour it out. I agreed as Leonard was and is perhaps the most respected Lakota medicine man alive today. We lifted the barrel up and carried it back... Foot by foot, and inch by inch... until we finally made it back to our camp. I was exhausted. I was expecting something special for such a terrific feat. Leonard went into his tipi and left me outside to guard his area and the barrel. He then came back out a few hours later and asked told me I could have as much tea in the barrel as I wanted. I was pissed. A school bus load of kids came up and started talking to me. They asked me if the could have some tea. I said, sure. I could not drink enough tea to pay for what I felt I had earned. How in the heck could a tea possibly pay for so many hours of back breaking work carrying that barrel back to camp? Why had we simply not gotten a vehicle and driven the medicine back? That would have made more sense to me..... So, these kids lined up and stayed in line for a good while. I would cut back in line and fill my coffee with a little of the tea so I would not have too much caffeine and hopefully be able to fall asleep after my guard shift was over. The kids left after a few rounds and I eventually started adding larger amounts of tea to my coffee until I was drinking plain tea. I could now tell this tea was the equivalent of lipton iced tea in taste and very good. Then it happened. Leonard came out of his tipi and asked me if there were any buttons left. I looked at him perplexed and told him matter of factly as I looked down at my shirt. No buttons. He asked if anyone had come by and I told him some children came, but they all wanted tea. I explained that I gave them as much as they wanted for my share in helping carry the barrel back. He slammed his tipi door making a swooshing sound and I thought. What got into him? I don't have any buttons... this is just a tee-shirt. Then it hit me. I suddenly remembered that buttons was slang for pejuta or peyote. I removed the lid from the barrel and peered inside. It was a foot or so deep in buttons. I then took a mental inventory and realized the medicine was already working on me. I filled my pockets with the buttons and took them with me down to the stream at the edge of Paradise after my shift was over. The moon was high in the sky. The night sky was full of different colored lights floating about and the moon started to swim in the stream. It was at this point that one of the other security guards came over to me and asked me if I had seen any children. It seems that fifty or so kids had gone missing and we had to search for them. It was at this point that I suddenly remembered the kids again and I explained very calmly that I had given them pejuta tea and they were probably off in the countryside wandering around. While, this may have created a panic in some cultures... this culture was different.
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Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2015, 12:59:48 AM »
ok thanks for the clarification there.  you are certainly right about other cultures not handling things the same way.  could you imagine a bunch of white soccer moms finding out the whole team is on some crazy drug!  i guess this points to a deeper understanding of the plant than i have.  i would immediately worry about everything from them getting hit by cars to them getting abducted by catholic molesters.  i would definitely want to ensure supervision.  in saying that, i'm sure the majority of them had a good time. 

have you ever had what you felt was too much pejuta?     

Offline Inyan

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2015, 01:22:49 PM »
You are quite right in having a deeper understanding or different perspective being of help. First, you have to understand that their was only one road nearby and that road is not traveled very much. Second, you are out in the middle of nowhere. You can walk for a very long time up and down rolling hills only seeing cacti, pines, turkey, etc. So, your completely submersed in nature just a little away from Paradise and Paradise is a camp made of tipis and tents set up for the ceremonies. Everyone at such a place has gathered there to participate in the Sundance as a participant or a supporter. At the same time, sweat lodges, inipi, are going on at all times of day and even into the night so there is a sacred fire burning at all times. There is another tipi set up for pejuta ceremonies that go on every night as well. So, at this time of year when the choke cherries are ripened all of these ceremonies are going on every night. In addition, you have lowanpi and yuwipi ceremonies going. Medicine men from many tribes gather from all over the world at this Sundance. You have Dineh medicine men at Lakota ceremonies... you have people of all color and religious backgrounds sharing in these ceremonies. So, it is a different world from the one many people are accustomed to. It is definitely seen as a relief that the children are simply taking a sacred sacrament and listening to the sounds of the water drum that are constantly rolling over the hills mixed with the sounds of voices in song which is prayer. With that said, I have never heard of anyone not having an enjoyable experience with pejuta when done in such a setting. Even the Mexican who did not understand that he did not have to eat pejuta each time it was offered suffered only from smiling too much and drooling. If this is a bad thing, then I don't know what is good.
Now, when you ask... have you ever felt like you had too much pejuta I can honestly say no. I will state however, that I had no more than one button the first time I had pejuta and that was enough for me at that time. Many of the preparations are made in such a manner that a cupful of pejuta has to be drank in order to feel the effects of the medicine and traditionally many let some time pass between cups of tea. It is not a race to see how much you can imbibe. Getting to know this medicine is therefore a slow process that involves or should involve proper setting and again... a slow introduction. You don't start out bench pressing 300 lbs your first time at the bench. You don't start out drawing beautiful portraits in oils that sell for a few thousand dollars. Why medicine should be approached with any other perspective is beyond me.... slow.... everything is in moderation and in the proper setting and with the proper mindset. If you go into a traditional sweatlodge that is meant for those going on a vision quest and this is your first time... you are likely only to last for the first pouring of the water. You will not make it through the entire ceremony. So, you are see, this is how you must approach the medicine. With respect and the proper amount of time to get to know the medicine. Fear for your very life would result if you were to go into a sweatlodge ceremony that was meant for those going on a vision quest and this was your first sweat experience. For this reason, these things are taken into account and a separate ceremony would be held for those new to the experience. Something lighter and easier to handle. I've also never gotten sick with pejuta. I think problems if they arise only arise when you go into such a new experience thinking that you need to do something insane like bench press 300 lbs the first time out at the gym or you expect to be able to paint like Picaso having never picked up a brush. If you go into such a ceremony or attempt to use a medicine like that you are asking for trouble and you already have the wrong mindset. These are people that have grown up with pejuta and it is no different to them then it would be to you if you came home and found out your child had taken an aspirin for a headache.
With all of that said, I have to explore your question of too much from the angle of a vision quest or a sweat lodge. I have had many moments in both ceremonies where song and focus was the only thing that enabled me to complete the ceremony. Focus and will are important no matter what type of ceremony you are in and even more so with larger amounts of pejuta. The bottom line is, you do not want to push the envelope too much and find out you can't actually lift 300 lbs as your lowering it down without a spotter for the first time. Now, if you've routinely lifted 295 lbs for two reps then it may be safe to try for a third rep with a spotter, but you wouldn't go for 300 lbs without a spotter after having done three reps just barely. So, even though it is just a  five pound increase... you have safeties in place. With that said, why would anyone want to push the limits of medicine to such an extreme? This is not a race nor a challenge. That type of mentality has no place taking pejuta in the first place. Pejuta is potent medicine. This is why I state, it is best to have just one large button the first time. Slow and gradual. If after several hours you feel that is not enough. One more button can be taken. Again, wait another hour or two. But, please do not make the mistake of thinking that because you had 16 buttons of a certain size spaced out evenly over the night that you can simply take 7 buttons the next time without any wait of the same size. Medicine does not work like that. You may drink 3 glasses of wine over the course of a night, but you wouldn't necessarily guzzle 3 glasses of wine down straight simply because you remembered that you one had 3 glasses of wine in a single night. Common sense should come into play at some point, but you can't have common sense if you don't relate these things to what you do know about the life you do know and this may be something you know nothing about. Mind you, I'm not advocating you do anything that is not legal where you are at or out of a context that would be illegal. I am simply advocating that if you attend a ceremony such as this... it would be best to gauge your partaking of that sacred sacrament on the guidance of those who have been there before. In some circles you hear of having a sitter present who has been through the experience you are about to go through. This is the same as having a medicine man, spiritual leader, or even an experienced weight lifter or painter help you progress in technique. Sure you may have some innate muscular strength or innate artistic ability, but only someone insane would think that they can paint Starry Night the first time they pick up a paint brush or lift 300 lbs the first time they get under an Olympic bar. If you grow up in an artistic culture or family then perhaps you can paint better than the rest if those members are also painters. However, switch the art form to modeling and suddenly your skills may not be up to  par even though you may have a natural bent or learned ability to see detail that others may not pick up on. What I'm trying to say here is that all abilities, experiences, etc. do not always carry over into another activity in the way we might like them to or think they should. This is again, why I stress taking it slow. It is far better to be pleasantly surprised that you can lift 200 lbs after first trying 100 lbs, 135 lbs, etc. with a spotter and making gradual improvements than it is to get crushed without any help under 300 lbs. But again, I have to ask... why would someone want to lift such a heavy weight the first time around? What would make them think that was safe? What would make them think to try that without a trusted friend who could spot them and lift the weight off their chest should it come crashing down? 300 lbs will come crashing down on a fellow who can't lift 135 lbs. A single spotter may not be enough for such a crazy attempt as it may be more than the  spotter can safely handle as well. Enough with my rambling on this....
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 01:53:22 PM by Inyan »
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Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2015, 01:59:48 AM »
i figured it was in a place as you described.  that's the only way i would see it as safe.  a bunch of white kids in a busy city though - forget it.  and i would freak out a lot worse if a kid told me they took some aspirin!  or any pharmaceutical drug for that matter.  they save a lot of people but they kill a lot of people too.  sometimes i wonder who's in the lead saved or killed?  i believe it wasn't worth freaking out about either.  i would be far more worried about kids going to a party in the city than kids who have already eaten peyote in the dessert surrounded by their family and friends.  but still a good idea to clarify. 

i would suggest that if one must immerse themselves in any entheogenic experience they either do so very cautiously or not at all.  this has less to do with how i personally feel about these substances and more to do with my inability to get inside the psyche of another person.  i exercise some control over my mind, albeit probably less than i currently realize.  i cannot make that claim about the thousands of moronic and misguided incarnations i've seen and read about who commit acts of horrible violence.  the people i've heard preaching complete nonsense and their entire cheering crowds.   i can't speak for these people because they are definitely reacting differently to what i thought was a pretty similar environment.  now in saying that,  i personally think one could successfully argue that all of the 'negative' that has come during the 5000+ years of peyote use is far outweighed by the negativity caused by any one of the opioids, cox-2 inhibitors, or antipsychotics/antidepressants used in the last quarter century.  personally, i used to lift a lot of heavy weights and now my back hurts sometimes.  both metaphorically and literally.   

Offline Inyan

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2015, 07:06:42 PM »
You hit the nail on the head when you said your back hurts from lifting heavy weights. There are definite prices that can be paid by pushing ones body to the limits or ones mind for that matter. Take it slow, steady, and be patient is always my motto... albeit sometimes I have trouble with those things, I try to learn from my mistakes and definitely acknowledge where it is wiser to err on the side of caution. Glad I hit home with you on that one.
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Offline Inyan

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2015, 05:22:10 PM »
I'm adding this medicine log a little lower down as if you've made it through this far, you've read enough to understand that these medicines are not something to be taken lightly or in the wrong settings. While many do not believe in mixing sacraments there are some and has always been a mixing of traditions. What I am writing here is a method I've only dreamed about, so take it with a note of caution. The medicines I'm describing come form a myriad of sources and when combined can have a synergistic effect so if one actually dreams of preparing this sacrament where legal please understand that this is a very potent and pleasing mixture that should not be attempted lightly.
4 foot of Trichocereus with spines removed and cut into thin one inch stars. Allowed to dry fully.
4 buttons dried
1 amanita dried
1 Brugmansia flower dried
All of these specimens are allowed to boil at a low boil for several hours. Removed from pot and put into a separate pot and allowed to boil for several more hours at a low rumbling boil. The materials are then removed and squeezed out through a cheese cloth and both pots liquid content are combined and slowly reduced to 8 cups. This amount when dreamed about was appropriate for 4-8 people. Honey or brown sugar was added for taste, but need not be included. One cup was to be taken and then 4 hours was to elapse before deciding on need for second cup or even half cup as potency was deemed to vary as well as sensitivity of individuals. In this dream, each person had already experienced each medicine component in this mixture by itself. I.e. 1 foot of trichocereus had already been experienced by itself. One pejuta button was already tried by itself. One amanita had already been tried. And one Brugmansia flower  had already been tried. All of these medicines were already familiar to the participants in this dream ceremony with at least one week passing between each experience to allow the participants to gain familiarity with each medicine separately and each medicine was also taken with a sitter in a rural setting. Please understand, this was only a dream so I share it here cautiously. Additionally, each member had dreamed of taking this preparation with only the Trichocereus and pejuta previously. The addition of Amanita was added in next and done on another day. So, the actual preparatory phase of this would be 1 foot Trichocereus only per person. One button only per person different day. One amanita only different day different week and so on. Then, 1 foot Trichoccereus dreamed of with one button. 1 foot Trichocereus + 1 button different week. 1 foot Trichocereus + 1 button + 1 amanita different week. In the dream, if these precautions were not taken to slowly get to know how each medicine worked by itself and then in conjunction with the other medicines then the spirits of the medicine may not be kind to the participants. Please understand, this is a dream I had. This particular mixture may vary depending on many variables in each medicine as well as those variables as to the sensitivity of the dreamers. However, what was noted was that the dry mouth normally associated with Brugmansia was offset with the Amanita and this was pleasing as the two seemed to go hand in hand with each other. Again, this was all a dream so please take this last preparation with a grain of salt and some deep contemplation before one attempts to have a similar dream as even dreaming of this dream could prove to be too potent for many to experience. The whole preparation process seemed to take too long for most to consider it at any rate which is a positive in that I see this dream as being potentially too strong for many given how strong these medicines can be on their own. Nausea could be a factor in real life if attempting this combination of medicines outside of the dream world.
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Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2015, 12:18:51 AM »
that sounds like one way to ruin a saturday to me.  i personally am not interested in even contemplating the ingestion of datura/brugmansia.  i worry that in this particular mixture the effects of the brugmansia would far outlast those of the others making for a scary, confusing experience.  although i can see how a small dose of scopolamine might lessen the nausea, i think its uses should be limited to drying up death rattles and rape and robbery overseas.  (kidding)  i am, however, fascinated by accounts of people who have taken it...  i am reminded of a story from a guy i know.  back in high school he and some friends ate a bunch of datura seed pods thinking they were going to get high...  my friend was lucky.  after an hour and a half, thinking nothing was going to happen, he went home.  at least his mom was there for damage control so he was alright…eventually.  but he explained that the experience was quite unpleasant.  the rest of them ended up in the hospital for different reasons.  i think one or two were in a car accident and the others were found behaving strangely in different parts of town and were arrested.  he said it made the paper.  none of them enjoyed the experience.  it sounded more like a delirium.

i used to overwinter this datura plant in a room in my house.  sometimes i would go into that room to work and do different things.  you may say I'm crazy but i swear i could feel effects of the plant just by hanging out beside it too long… i ended up throwing the plant out for that reason.  i did treat it for mites that winter so maybe i was just touching the leaves too much.  either way it freaked me out. 




« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 12:46:52 PM by Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps »

Offline Inyan

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2015, 05:50:45 PM »
You hit the nail on the head again. Too much Brugmansia, Datura, Nightshade, etc. can indeed act to create a very unpleasant experience. These types of plants are not to be taken lightly. With that said, too much Trichocereus can provide you with an unpleasant experience as well. This is very important to understand. When you begin to think that more must be better you are treading on dangerous ground with any of these sacraments. To be honest, I was hesitant of posting that dream as I know there will always be people that think they can adjust the mixtures and make their insights somehow better or more meaningful. The truth of the matter is that these sacraments help to open oneself up to what is already inside and around you. You don't need these sacraments to do that however. The vision quest or even quite contemplation work just fine for that. There are many tools that can be used and each person has their own list of what works best for them. When you fool around with something you don't know anything about and try to adjust the admixtures without understanding them then you are asking for trouble. I've had many years of using many traditional medicines in settings with traditional medicine people from many cultures and some medicines I only dream about on these forums as they are not a part of any indigenous culture in the way they are prepared in these dreams. Any medicine abused in the wrong setting, with the wrong attitude, and without proper guidance and slowly getting to know that medicine over time can wreck havoc on ones psyche to say the very least. Now, factor in that potency can vary quite a bit between even one type of sacrament and sensitivity levels can also vary from something as simple as genetics or to the fact that one just took the same sacrament less than 24 hours ago. Your body and your mind need time to process these sacraments over time. It is similar to the tree exercise in that regard. You are building a slow connection over time with these different sacraments and only after you have gotten to know each one individually can you begin to know them together and as always... it should be a slow process. The bottom line, any one of these sacraments in and of themselves can take you completely out of this world so that this world does not exist. If you truly want that deep of an experience your better off dreaming of salvia which at least only lasts a fraction of the time. And with that said, with any sacrament... salvia included... there are dangers inherent in trying too much too soon. Proper time, proper setting, sitter/guide, and most importantly small adjustments until you find what works for you as there may be no going backwards.
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Offline Chief BigTittyFlapFlaps

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Re: Pejuta
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2015, 12:44:54 AM »
wasn't trying to insinuate my idea was more meaningful or anything so i hope it didn't come across that way.  i find your posts incredibly insightful.  I'm just personally a bit scared of those plants...

i agree people need some time to pass between these experiences.  the vast majority of people would tap out pretty early from the regimen you suggest.  that's going pretty friggin' deep.

i certainly agree that guidance, set and setting and so on is vital for all medicines.  with a few exceptions including food if you consider it a medicine.  i read this article a while ago that explained that for every dollar spent on our 'trusted' medications, a dollar and thirty-three cents is spent dealing with medication related incidents, i.e. overdose, treating side effects, prescription errors, adverse effects etc...  i wonder what this statistic would look like for entheogenic plants?  for every 100 of these relatively cheap experiences how many people quit smoking or stopped using heroin?  how many people saw the world in a different light?  or saw themselves in a different light?  maybe they avoided a lifetime of costly antidepressants or avoided some mental illness altogether.  some people might relate better to nature and move away from their sedentary lifestyles leading to less costly cardiovascular maladies.  it might reduce stress in others which is correlated to all sorts of health problems.  it seems dollar to dollar, entheogenic drugs must be considerably more efficacious. considering almost no one is hurt by them unless using them without adequate supervision or insight, it seems then prohibition actually causes more harm than it intends to prevent.  sorry to rant but sometimes i get sad for humanity when my brian tries to extrapolate this problem. 

as for salvia what are your thoughts on the quid method?  i know you will never get to that universe dissolving state this way but as a meditation aid or stress reliever?   i am personally quite fond of this plant as i used it to successfully quit smoking after trying almost everything else.  i has read about ibogaine for herion and thought a similar concept might apply.  i prepared my mind by skimming over the youtube explanation of allen cars easy way to quit smoking and then used a salvia extract, legally obtained obtained of course.  three times in a row while concentrating on things like taking a breath fresh air, being free of an annoying habit and addiction and so on… i have not had the urge to have a cigarette since that experience.  the weirdest part was the anxiousness, anger and withdrawal symptoms that always prevented my from quitting before were hardly even noticeable.  i just wanted that breath of fresh and and the freedom from the addiction.   

also dosing must be difficult with trichocereus?  it seems there is such variation between plant potency and diameter it's pretty much a crapshoot.