Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is a slow growing cactus that is spinelss and grows into a button form, close to the ground and often in groups. It is native to to Mexico and southern Texas in the United States. Peyote contains a chemical compound called mescaline which is a psychoactive alkaloid. The Huichol are an indigenous group from Mexico who maintained their pre-Columbian culture, living high up in mountainous areas. Each year they go on a pilgrimage into the desert in order to find their sacrament peyote. The use of peyote also made its way up north into the United States and Canada, used by more than forty native American tribes. Even though peyote is listed in the U.S. as a Schedule I controlled substance the Native American Church in the is legally entitled to use peyote in their ceremonies. Schedule one applies to substances that are thought to bear a big potential of abuse and to have no medicinal value. Nonregarding this almost worldwide ban of the peyote cactus, it is being used nowadays all over the world and traveling roadmen share it with people looking for spiritual insights and healing. Peyote is generally referred to as “medicine” by native and non-native users. Not only is it thought to have healing potential for physical diseases, but it is also referred to as a medicine because it heals the soul, it provides profound insights into the nature of reality and it unites the community.
Interview with Hugo Marroquin
Hugo is of Guatemalan descent and is initiated in various ancestral practices, he is a sun dancer for nearly two decades. Together with his partner he founded Tomorrow`s Ancestors Speak. An initiative to make native and ancestral wisdom accessible for people from all over the world.