Mexico another species which he named LOPHOPHORA DIFFUSA. This plant is
yellow-green, soft, ribless and contains a somewhat different alkaloid mixture
with far less mescaline that L. williamsi.
About half an hour after ingesting the buttons the first effects are felt. There is a
feeling of strange intoxication and shifting consciousness with minor perceptual
changes. There may also be strong physical effects, including respiratory
pressure, muscle tension (especially face and neck muscles), and queasiness or
possible nausea. Any unpleasant sensations should disappear within an hour.
After this the state of altered consciousness begins to manifest itself. The
experience may vary with the individual, but among the possible occurences are
feelings of inner tranquillity, oneness with life, heightened awareness, and rapid
thought flow. During the next several hours these effects will deepen and
become more visual. Colors may become more intense. Halos and auras may
appear about things. Objects may seem larger, smaller , closer or more distant
than they actually are. Often persons will notice little or no changes in visual
perception while beholding the world about them, but upon closing their eyes
they will see on their mind-screen wildly colorful and constant changing patterns.
After several more hours the intensity of the experience gradually relaxes.
Thought becomes less rapid and diffuse and more ordered. In the Navajo peyote
ritual this change of thought flow is used wisely. During the first part of the
ceremony the participants submit to the feeling and let the peyote teach them.
During the latter part of the ritual the mind turns to thoughtful contemplation and
understanding with the conscious intellect what the peyote has taught the
The entire experience may last from 6 to 12 hours depending upon the individual
and the amount of the plant consumed. After all the peyote effects have passed
there is no comedown. One is likely to feel pleasantly relaxed and much a peace
with the world. Although there is usually no desire for food during the experience
one would probably have a wholesome appetite afterwards.
METHODS OF USE
The most common method of use is simply to chew up and swallow the fresh or
dried buttons after removing the tufts and sand. This is the way it is almost
always done at Indian ceremonies. Most people find the taste of this cactus
unbearably bitter. The Indians, however, feel if ones heart is pure, the bitterness
will not be tasted. Many have found that by not cringing from the taste, but rather
letting ones senses plunge directly to the center of the bitterness, a sort of
seperation from the offensive flavor is experienced. One is aware of the
bitterness, but it no longer disturbs him. This is similar to the practice of bringing
ones consciousness to the center of pain so that detachment may occur. It is not
a difficult trick, but it takes som
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