nalabonga's picture

Average: 4.8 (12 votes)

In a few days, I am about to try Payote for the first time under the guidance of a shaman.

Payote (Lophophora williamsii) is a cactus native to southwestern Texas and through central Mexico used for transcendence practices and other spiritual experiences, especially in the Shaman tradition. It is this cactus discussed and used in "The Teachings of Don Juan" by Carlos Castaneda.

Anyone can share his/her experiences? Any advices or precautions?

*** 07/12/2013 - I attach here the renowned masterpiece of Aldos Haxley "The Doors of Perception" written in 1954. This text was written as a recollection of a Payote trip and so can serve those who have no idea about this subject. Thank you to Annie who originally shared this PDF in and agreed to share it also here.

The Doors of Perception by Aldos Haxley.pdf219.83 KB

samsara's picture

Connectedness with nature

I haven't done payote yet but heard from friends who experienced with it that the most remarkable effect is that you connect with the souls associated with all objects not just with human bodies, with the trees, flowers, stones, animals. The degree of connectedness with nature is supposed to be incredible. And the connectedness effects are said to last at some small degree also afterwards.

samsara | Wed, 09/16/2009 - 14:35
Warrior Priest's picture


Salvador Bolivar

keep an open mind, stay present and up right, try to empty your daily thoughts before entering the tee pee, focus on the fire! prepare for a duel with the false self (ego) and enjoy the presence of the ancestors. Aho!

Warrior Priest | Tue, 10/20/2009 - 00:14
kulchnaui's picture

Excellent guidlines for life

I'm looking for some time already to do payota but couldn't find an opportunity. I will remember these inspiring advices which are valid for everyday and not just under payota.

kulchnaui | Tue, 10/20/2009 - 06:30
sisi's picture

I agree

Great instructions. Nothing to be afraid of. Payote is genuinely a unique spiritual instrument.

sisi | Thu, 11/12/2009 - 22:51
lolita's picture

Questions to Warrior Priest

What is "tee pee" and what's the meaning of "Aho!"?

Who are the ancestors and why is it important to focus on the light?

lolita | Thu, 11/19/2009 - 11:46
davids's picture

Shaman vocabulary

Teepee = tipi = a conical tent traditionally made of animal skins or birch bark and popularised by Native Americans of the Great Plains.

Aho = means "Amen" or "Haleluya", a popular native american expression in the cherokee language. In other native american languages it means "thank you". It is said at the end of a prayer.

davids | Thu, 11/19/2009 - 23:17
avi's picture

My Peyote experience

What a coincidence! I had my first peyote ceremony last weekend and will love to share.

It took place the whole night, from sunset to sunrise, in a beautiful forest with wild nature around. There were around 20 people participating.

First, we had a sweat lodge to purify and then we moved to the Indian tent called tipi.

We sat in a circle and the ceremony, which was conducted by a Shaman, began. Throughout the ceremony, a fire was maintained in the center of the tipi by an assistant called "the fire guard".

Each one of us was asked to name an objective for his peyote journey. I chose love, to be considerably more open to other people.

Then the Shaman stood up, moved from one person to another and placed in the mouth of each a spoon full of ground dry peyote. The taste was awful. We were supposed to chew it. Then a tea, also made of peyote, was served to wash inside the remains of the stuff.

There was constantly music or praying.

I didn't feel anything special. At that point I felt ok physically.

Then came the second round and then the third which included a significantly larger portion.

At some point I began to feel a nausea. It became worse and worse until I felt I must leave the circle at once and go out of the tipi to throw up and breath fresh air. I ran out and tried to vomit but I had nothing to vomit (per the instructions, I ate very little and very lightly during the day). I felt terribly bad.

At some point while suffering the pain I realized that the terrible feeling of nausea is not just yet a side effect of the digesting of the material, I noticed that it had a mental counterpart of strong inner resistance to the opening to other people, the objective I put forth for my peyote journey.

I could recognize this undesired nausea as a feeling I had had so many times before in my life and had been trying hard to suppress and forget.

At dawn, the feeling of nausea disappeared instantly.

These days I am befriending this feeling of nausea. For me the peyote journey didn't end at that dawn, it marked the beginning and gave me a signpost.

My peyote experience was not exciting, I didn't see paranormal entities and didn't experience anything metaphysical or unusual as some accounts suggest. But it seems that it yielded an extremely important result of me facing and processing mental closeness guarded and manifested by physical feeling of nausea.

avi | Wed, 11/18/2009 - 23:27
lilian's picture

Peyote and ayawaska

I have done both peyote and ayawaska. My experiences with both remedies were similar but yet somehow different.

In both of them something opened to the subconscious, a primordial subconscious. In both of them there was connectedness with the music and nature.

With the ayawska, I could see people as energetic entities and could perceive the ayawska as a conscious entity. I didn't have these with the peyote.

With the peyote I felt more connected with the other people and more a part of the circle.

Physically, with both I felt an extreme urge to vomit. Though I feel that the ayawaska was more gentle with me in that sense, the nausea with the peyote was more violent (to those who haven't done yet and are scared of the nausea from all the talking about it - do not be afraid - remember that the nausea is merely body sensations).

Of course this is personal and will be different for different people. And maybe some of the differences were due to other factors and not the material itself.

lilian | Fri, 11/27/2009 - 20:03
PranaBeats's picture

What happened?

Nalabonga, how was the experience?


"Trust allows you to navigate imagination beyond where shadows lie". Tony Samara

PranaBeats | Thu, 04/29/2010 - 19:36
nalabonga's picture

Nothing much to write

Hey pranabeats - you're right - i didn't write afterwards partly because there was nothing much to write - my experience was not that exciting - there wasn't anything spiritually or psychologically significant and the taste was awful awful awful.

BUT I have friends who had amazing experiences with payote (not at that specific occasion) so I am not going to rule it out in my case and may try it again in the future given I will be able to overcome the repulsion towards the taste. I think the problem was that the ceremony was not conducted properly and the organizer and energy of the participants were not at best, to say the least.

Ayawaska, on the other hand, was a substantial event in my spiritual path. I agree with the accounts written in the ayawaska forum.

nalabonga | Sat, 05/01/2010 - 07:44
PranaBeats's picture


Thank you for sharing. In my experience of working with entheogens, the right person to guide, the set and the setting are fundamental, more so than the plant itself.

I have never worked with peyote but have done many, many ceremonies with San Pedro, which is - apparently - very similar. Experiences vary from extremely subtle and delicate to very intense and aggressive. Since I have done regular work in this way, I feel it is not so much related to a specific experience but rather how to use the lessons and put them into practice, even if it seems like nothing is happening, that in itself can be the lesson from the plant.


"Trust allows you to navigate imagination beyond where shadows lie". Tony Samara

PranaBeats | Sat, 05/01/2010 - 07:51
IllusionOfTheSelf's picture

I have never tried peyote at

I have never tried peyote at least the real substance. But have used the product called the I-Doser that suppose to give you the same affects as a drug, peyote was one of them. The I-Doser is a binaural beat sytem that suppose to brainentraint your mind.

IllusionOfTheSelf | Sun, 02/27/2011 - 04:06
nalabonga's picture

The Doors of Perception of Aldos Haxley attached - must read!

I attach to the post the renowned masterpiece of Aldos Haxley "The Doors of Perception" written in 1954. This text was written as a recollection of a Payote trip and so can serve those who have no idea about this subject. Thank you to Annie who originally shared this PDF in and agreed to share it also here.

nalabonga | Thu, 07/11/2013 - 21:13