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  • Writer's pictureMay MahaMetta

A first experience with the cactus San Pedro in Iquitos

Some of the names have been changed to protect the identity of people.

When I contacted Alan a couple of months before about ayahuasca and asked him how the schedule was for the week, he said we do the aya on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and the rest of the days I am free to do whatever and go where I want, and on Sunday we do San Pedro or we go with a tour guide for 20 dollars to go somewhere. I thought he meant that San Pedro was a town near there, but he said that San Pedro is a cactus that must be taken to open the heart chakra.

I asked him how long that process takes, and he said a couple of hours.

I did not do any research on San Pedro, just the day before I searched the Internet about the amount of powder that should be taken, but nothing else.

The day before, when I was in the city of Iquitos with Melanie, at one point she went to a travel agency to buy a plane ticket to go to Cusco the next day (since she did not want to repeat the ayahuasca session with these people ), and I went to talk to Mario, a man who I met my first 2 days in Iquitos, in his sixties, who was a drug dealer when he was younger and bought weapons with that money for the guerrillas of that time. He was trapped and imprisoned forever, but President Fujimori released him one day, on one of those occasions when Fujimori used to go to jails once a year to free someone, and that year he was lucky. Since then, he works "taking care" of the motorcycles that people park on that street and they pay him 2 soles per motorcycle, earning enough to pay for the meal of the day and the rent of his room.

I told him I was going to do San Pedro, and he said "but that's a drug!" I thought that because he worked with drugs, now he sees everything as a drug and I did not pay attention to him, because Alan told me that it is to open the heart and one loves everyone in that moment, and people can get very emotional and cry.

I asked Alan when we will do the ceremony, and he said "we give you the glass, and you drink it whenever and wherever you want." That´s it?. Melanie told me San Pedro should be taken at a ceremony and with someone taking care of you. Certainly, this was not the way to do it.

The ayahuasca they make is so bad that on Friday I did the San Pedro instead of the ayahuasca (which I already paid, but it wasn't worth it). Mark gave me the glass and I took it at 10:15 after doing some yoga. The last time I ate was at 5 pm the day before with Melanie.

I went to the jungle and sat next to the river near the house because on one side is the road and on the other side there are some constructions. The Casa itself has nothing to do with what Alan sells from his Ayahuasca House, which is in the jungle. Yes, in the jungle, but surrounded by "modernities" and we even have internet in the house, but it is very dirty and disgusting to sit anywhere.

I looked for a place next to the small river, a little hidden from everyone, and there I sat to meditate while waiting for San Pedro to kick in, since I read on the Internet that it takes around 1-3 hours to reach its peak. My body went numb, but I realized that if I stand up and walk and refuse to accept it, I will feel nothing. After 3 hours, when it's supposed to be the peak moment, I still didn't feel anything special, just a sleepy body. It was already 3 in the afternoon when I thought I could go to the Shipibo shaman to do the ayahuasca that night with her, because San Pedro was not doing anything with me.

I kept remembering Alan's words, that it opens the heart chakra and makes you feel a lot of love, but I didn't feel any difference in that regard. I even brought paper tissues with me in case I cried, but it didn't even come close to it, "maybe I already love enough in my normal life, so that with the "opening of the heart" I wouldn't notice a difference," I laughed at myself.

I was about to leave, almost 5 hours after taking it, to call the Shipibo shaman and ask her to do ayahuasca that night with her, when I felt something stronger coming in.

Sometimes I sat down and sometimes I lay down. In a way, I was restless. I don't know what we are supposed to do with San Pedro, but I decided to get in touch with its spirit and clarify some things about my life and other issues. I had visions but not as with ayahuasca, but the insights were much stronger than with her.

He also told me that I don't need San Pedro. It makes your body totally numb, your mind is very clear, but the body does not respond correctly. I could walk perfectly without losing the balance, but it wasn't strong. When I asked him to try an astral travel, he said I couldn't do it with him because we need strength, and he takes away our strength to be able to do what he wants, not what we want.

Then I asked him to please heal me, because since the motorcycle accident I had 13 years ago, absolutely everything changed in my life and I notice a strong blockage that does not allow me to work properly with my spirituality as I did before the accident. He sent some shamans, and they all worked on me, and gave me some instructions that some were similar to the ones I got with ayahuasca and in my meditations, and some were new. He also showed me some of my other lives. Something, again, that did not happen with ayahuasca.

When it got dark, about an hour after starting, I went back to the house. There I was alone in the dormitory (nobody else was there those days) and it stayed strong for a while. At 7:30 pm I decided that I had enough and went to the kitchen to eat a mango and another fruit just to try to stop it. I didn't eat anything since 5pm the day before when I was with Melanie in Iquitos, but I wasn't hungry.

I tried to sleep but I felt totally restless, moving a lot even if my body was still numb. I slept a few minutes or seconds and woke up with another "kick in". Around 3 am I went to the bathroom and prayed for this to stop, because I was really getting tired of it. I fell asleep around 4 in the morning and when I woke up at 7am I still felt it in my body.

It's a drug, that's how I felt it, I just didn't know it was. The conversations I had with him and what he showed me were interesting, but it can also be done with meditation. And that's what he really told me, that I don't need to do this to get what I want because the power is in us. What he does is take the power of people to help them achieve what they cannot in a normal state or in meditation. The desire to work with my meditations became much stronger and I could see the power I really have.

So, this was the positive side of going through the experience with San Pedro, understanding that I don't need it, and he showed me my power.

I decided that this experience with San Pedro was enough for me ... but later during my trip in Peru, something happened and I decided to try again, but this time with someone who knows.

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