Wachuma (San Pedro)
The Wachuma cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi), also known as Huachuma or San Pedro, has perhaps the longest history of use of any plant medicines in South America. Its ceremonial use dates back almost 3,500 years and its traditions continue today. The cactus contains a number of alkaloids, including mescaline, which is also a key visionary component in Peyote, the cactus medicine long-used by Native Americans in the Native American Church. Unlike in many Western countries, Wachuma is completely legal to consume in Peru.
Wachuma medicine, considered to be a male energy, is known as a “heart opener” and works beautifully in conjunction with our Ayahuasca ceremonies. It is traditionally used for physical purification and expanding consciousness.
Wachuma is a “high vibration” plant energy, the experience of which, after consumption, moves through three stages. Traditionally, the experience of Wachuma is considered to be in ‘stages’ rather than in absolute time because the plant energy is a spirit and, for it, time is irrelevant. In the first stage Wachuma focuses on cleaning the stomach and digestive system; in the second stage it focuses on clearing the physical body, muscular & nervous systems, and circulatory system; and, in the third stage Wachuma focuses on clearing the energetic body and the spiritual body.
As with Ayahuasca, each person has a different experience with Wachuma each time it’s consumed. On one occasion, the medicine may produce a deep sense of calm, and can create a very powerful connection to one’s surroundings, which may in turn induce visions. Another time, the medicine may create a number of physical sensations and sensitivities. Regardless of how the effects of Wachuma manifest, we trust that the intuitive plant will bring to each person what he or she needs in the moment in order to heal. Our team is always there to support and guide participants through their experiences.
The Wachuma is purpose brewed for each group that comes to The Source. Only the finest, well-aged cactus is used in the medicine, which, combined with the purest intentions, makes for a powerful medicinal brew just for our guests. Unlike Ayahuasca the Wachuma brew is pure cactus, with no other plants added to activate it.
While the effects of Ayahuasca tend to last from 4-7 hours, Wachuma can last for much longer depending on the strength of the medicine, volume consumed, and reaction with the individual. As with all of our ceremonies, while the shaman may offer you a certain dosage of plant medicine, you always have the option to consume the amount that feels right to you.
At Source Peru our Wachuma ceremonies start early in the morning and last throughout the day and into the evening. Following the initial ceremony opening in the temple, everyone is invited and encouraged to explore the grounds outside the temple and interact with nature, including a guided trip to the waterfall, under the influence of the medicine.