Altering Consciousness, Vol. 2, Capp. 7-9



Peyote and Meaning

Stacy B. Schaefer


p. 151 visionary effects of peyote on a Wic^ol

"I saw the fire turn into ... tissue paper in the glowing form of flowers {these are origami/kirigami paper flowers ("KT")} like the ones we make when we are going to sacrifice ... .{"Origami literally means "spirit of paper" and is ... used as votive offerings" ("AVO&T") in S^into shrines.} {"figures of bark paper were made in the 16th century in Mexico by the Otami {Otomi} Indians as votive offerings to the gods." (GEDA, vol. 1, p. 187b, s.v. "Papercut")} There were many colors of this flowerlike tissue paper.

Then at the very center of the fire I saw in the distance a person; afterwards the mara>akame (shaman) told me it was Tatewari Grandfather Fire. I saw the entrance of the temple, even though we were in Wirikuta, and I entered the temple. ... From there, in the very center I saw Haramara (the goddess of the Pacific Ocean) in motion, then I saw Chapala (a large lake south of Guadalajara where the goddess Rapauwieyeme lives) in motion." (Schaefer, 1996a, pp. 156, 158)"

"KT" =

"AVO&T" =

GEDA = Gordon Campbell (ed.) : The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. Oxford U Pr, 2006.

Schaefer 1996 = S. B. Schaefer : "The Crossing of Souls : Peyote". In :- S. B. Schaefer & P. T. Furst (edd.) : People of the Peyote : Huichol ... religion ... . Albuquerque : U of NM Pr. pp. 136-68.

p. 155 ritual praeparations for pilgrimage to Wirikuta

"They must confess their sexual transgressions to the entire group as

the leading shaman ties knots in a cord made from plant fibers for every name a pilgrim mentions.

{Were the Peruvian quipu-s originally purely records of adulteries? If so, cf. the records kept in Iran of sexual activities in whorehouses (there, such records are reckoned as recording "temporary marriages" between a prostitute and her clients).}

Standing in front of the fire, the shaman passes this knotted cord over each individual’s body and then throws it into the fire. A ritual name is given to each pilgrim, marking his or her entrance into another reality, a change from mundane to sacred time."

pp. 155-6 visionary effects with ingestion, at Wirikuta, of sacred psychedelic plants


sacred psychedelics


"other plants are ingested along with the peyote. ... some eat slices of a barrel cactus they call maxa kwasi along with peyote."

155, fn. 4

"This species of barrel cactus ... is commonly referred to as visnaga ... . ... ... varieties of [barrel-]cactus including Echinocatus ... show positive tests for isoquliline and phenethylamine alkaloids."


"Slices of Ariocarpus retusus are sometimes consumed with peyote, as are the grated pieces of the yellow root of the plant uxa, (Mahonia trifoliolata) ... (Bauml, Voss, & Collings, 1990)."


"when you combine (uxa and peyote) it is as if they elevate you, they raise you up ... . ... I saw the whole world very small, very round. ... I saw the gods, where they come from and where they reside".

Bauml, Voss, & Collings 1990 = J. A. Bauml, G. Voss, & P Collings : "Uxa Identified". J OF ETHNOBOTANY, 10:99-101.

pp. 157-8 apparitions, to an ingesters of peyote, of the Wic^ol Deer-deity




[account by a Wic^ol man] "Kauyumarie, the deer god, ... knows everything about the world. ... . ... I had to eat all of the peyote in the bowl. ... I continued eating [peyote]. ... One of the votive gourd bowls was decorated inside with beads in the figure of a deer ..., and as I was looking into the votive bowl the deer ... jumped out of the bowl. It was standing on the ground and moved in front of us. Then I found a large peyote, ... and there was a little deer on top of the peyote where the white tufts of the plant are. It was a tiny little deer ... . ... I was seated in the middle of the peyote and I flew higher up, to the mountaintop of Cerro Quemado ["an inactive volcano above Wirikuta ..."]. I was standing up there and ... I not only saw the ocean but all the animals that live in the ocean, whales, snakes, mermaids".


[account by a shamaness] "I saw a ... deer where the peyote was. ... Then white foam started to come from its mouth, the kind of foam that come from grinding peyote. ... the deer was talking to me. I didn’t hear her very well until she saw me and we looked each other right in the eye."



Addiction and Dynamics

Andrea E. Bla:tter: Jo:rg C. Fachner; Michael Wickelman


pp. 176-7 social benefits of peyote




"Calabrese (2007) maintains that many [anti-]addiction professionals consider the Native American Church (NAC) to be the only effective treatment of alcoholism among Native Americans. NAC members consume peyote in an all-night meeting during which all the community may participate in sining, prayers, chanting, and drumming. ... Peyote ... has been noted to be conducive to therapeutic interventions ... . ... The NAC brings hope to Native American communities. ... Peyotism brings provides Native Americans with religious healing, transcendence ..., guidance, and a sense of purpose.


Heggenhougen (1997) suggests that therapeutic effects involve managing cultural alienation ... and construction of a positive identity with one’ culture.

Jilek (1994) conveys that peyotists’ perspective that the peyote ritual combats alcoholism ... through contact with the supernatural."

Calabrese 2007 = J. Calabrese : "The Therapeutic Use of Peyote in the Native American Church". In :- N. Wickelman & T. Roberts (edd.) : Psychedelic Medicines. Westport (CT) : Praeger Perspectives. vol. 2, pp. 29-42.

Heggenhougen 1997 = C. Heggenhougen : Reaching New Heights. Northvale (NJ) : Jason Aronson.

Jilek 1994 = W. Jilek : "Traditional Healing ...". TRANSCULTURAL PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH REVIEW, 31:219-58.



Altering Consciousness through Sexual Activity

Michael Maliszewski; Barbara Vaughan; Stanley Kripner; Gregory Holler; Cheryl Fracasso


p. 196 the "sexual activity" comprising "two types of transpersonal experiences

"Oceanic sex consist of a playful and mutually nourishing flow and exchange of energies ... to experience a loss of one’s own boundaries, a sense of fusion and melting with the partner into a state of blissful unity."

{In Vajra-yana terms, it is to experience the ocean of "clear-light of the path", in a variety of blending of the "clear light of the mother" with the "clear light of the son".}

"By contrast, in tantric sex, ... the genitals and sexual energy are used simply as convenient vehicles to reach this state of consciousness.

{This is actually a deities-personified identification of the mortal couple with a divine couple who are copulating in a divine world. There simply cannot be any ritual tantrik sexuality without such self-identification of each person of the mortal couple with the corresponding immortal of the divine couple : thereby, the deities are flattered into imparting their own genitals’ sexual energies to those of the mortal couple.}

In this latter category, the genital union ... does not result in orgasmic discharge and ejaculation."

{Non-orgasm may be honorifically imputed to the human couple, on the grounds that the divine couple are reputedly non-orgasmic.}

{To attempt to discuss Vajra-yana without reference to deities and their doings in their divine worlds, is misleading and fatuous. All Vajra-yana practice is based on worship of deities.}

p. 197 Taoist internal spirit-travel

"Mind was directed to the dantian ("elixir field") and ... the person was expected to initially experience ... qi in the lower abdomen.

Through mental focus and meditation, the qi would pass through the "three passes" or gates via the du meridian in the back, beginning at the coccyx and traveling upward through three additional points at the fontanel, the perineum, and the center of the brain ... . ...

{Simultaneously with the bodily circulation, passage through the three mountain-passes in the divine worlds, and thence traveling upward through the superior heavens, would be thereby be achieved.}

Distinct from practices in the other religious traditions, the qi was then directed down the ren meridian beginning in the eyebrows, entering the mouth, and traveling down the throat, past the heart and stomach and back to the dantian. Today this practice is generally called the "microcosmic orbit.""

p. 197 Taoist vicissitudes of the immortal embryo

"a clone of the original ... is the product of the union of yin and yang within the body of the practitioner. It gestates in the middle of the body for a certain period of time. Then it begins to exit through the crown of the head. It takes few "astral" steps outside the body and gradually, with practice, it is able to freely roam the universe and become the equivalent of an "astral body." At this point, the practitioner can drop the dense, physical body and become an "immortal."" (reference : Wile 1992)

Wile 1992 = D. Wile : The Art of the Bedchamber. Albany : SUNY.

p. 198 Tantrik sexual practices in India

"The ritual in Nindu tantrism that used sexual intimacy as a vehicle for achieving transcendence was known as maithuna. ... A detailed description of the "esoteric physiology" involved in these practices appeared in Eliade (1969) and specific features of the maithuna ritual appeared in ... Marglin (1980)."

Eliade 1969 = Mircea Eliade : Yoga : Immortality and Freedom. Princeton U Pr.

Marglin 1980 = F. A. Marglin : Wives of the God-King : the Rituals of Hindu Temple Courtesans. PhD thesis, Brandeis U. [printed in 1985]

p. 198 Bodish sexual yoga

"Within Tibetan scholarship, there has been the question of whether or not taking a consort is metaphorical, visualized practice or a concrete ritual ... .

{The praesent-day Bodish sects which employ actual physical sexual intercourse are the Sa-skya and (its derivative) the rN~in-ma.}

To this end, descriptions of the esoteric physiology appear in Gyatso (1982) and a somewhat disguised description of the sexual process can be found in Mullin (1981)."

Gyatso 1982 = G. K. Gyatso : Clear Light of Bliss. London : Wisdom.

Mullin 1981 = G. H. Mullin : Bridging the Sutras and Tantras. Dharamsala : Tushita Bks.


Etzel Carden~a & Michael Winkelman (edd.) : Altering Consciousness : Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Praeger (an imprint of ABC-CLIO), Santa Barbara (CA), 2011.