Trichocereus Pachanoi, is a columnar cactus native to the Andean mountains of Peru, and Ecuador. Some of the indigenous names for San Pedro are: huachuma, chuma, and wachuma. It is one of the four most sacred plants of Peru, along with Tobacco, Ayahuasca and Coca.
The shamanic used had been found back in time in different cultures inside of Peru until 1500 B.C , when the spanish came to conquer the Incas ,several years later, in the Peruvian colonial time, the people started to use the name of San Pedro, because its a plant that can open for you the doors to the heaven. Just like San Pedro from the bible text.
The natives and Shamans typically prepare the San Pedro by slicing and then boiling pieces of the stem for a few hours; afterwards the liquid that is left is taken orally. The cacti is said to be bitter, but not to unbearable however. San Pedro can also be taken from a powder that is made from drying out the cactus.
There are several kinds of san pedro cactus, and I won't name it because that's a classification that scientists loves to do. What its important for us is that, in the shamanic tradion exist a classification :
1. The female and male san pedro. The first ones has not many spines around it, its the opposite to the male san pedro that has a lot of spines, wich is stronger and it's the one the shamans or curanderos likes more.
2. The lines : The cactus shows around it, a numbers of lines, or columns, the number of lines will also indicate the power of the cactus. Shamans prefer to use cactus with more than 4 lines. San pedro with 4 lines are use for exorcisms.
San Pedro cactus helps us for :
1. Experience a better connection with nature, like for example you will percive the aura of trees, animals, rivers, lakes, and people. So for san pedro ceremonies the ceremonial place is very important, it will be the most important part for the ceremony. And this the shaman knows.
2. Healing. In different levels the energy of san pedro harmonize the chakras, helps to get more benefits for certain practices such reiki, reflexiology, kinesiology, massages, taichi, yoga , etc. The san pedro shaman is one of the firts practitioners of hands imposition on the body.
3. Opens our creativy, its very good for artists, painters, musicians, dancers. Because open our eyes to the beautinnes of our mother earth and what's in her.
4. Visions, this visionary stay with this cactus, few people can really go in, you know you had reach the san pedro spirit knowledge when you start to have visions. These visions are really vivid experiences.