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Love is the only way.

San Pedro experience at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru

San Pedro, also known as Huachuma, is a sacred plant medicine derived from the cactus species Trichocereus pachanoi, which grows naturally in the highlands of South America. It has a long history and cultural significance in the indigenous traditions of the Andean region, particularly in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. San Pedro has been used for thousands of years in spiritual, healing, and ceremonial practices.


San Pedro serves as a bridge between ancient indigenous wisdom and modern spiritual practices, offering a transformative journey of self-discovery, connection, and spiritual awakening. By approaching San Pedro with reverence and mindfulness, individuals can benefit from its potential for personal growth while honoring its cultural origins and the indigenous traditions from which it stems.


In recent years, San Pedro has gained popularity beyond indigenous communities, attracting individuals from various cultures who seek personal growth, healing, and spiritual exploration. However, it is important to approach San Pedro with respect, responsibility, and cultural sensitivity.


San Pedro has been used for thousands of years for spiritual, healing, and ceremonial purposes. The use of San Pedro can be traced back to pre-Columbian times when it was an integral part of the indigenous cultures in the Andean region. The earliest evidence of its use dates back over 3,000 years, with archaeological findings indicating its presence in ancient ceremonial sites. San Pedro was held in high regard as a visionary plant that facilitated communication with the spirit world, providing access to higher states of consciousness and spiritual insight.


San Pedro is associated with shamanism and is often administered by experienced practitioners, known as curanderos or maestros, in sacred ceremonies. The plant medicine is prepared by boiling or simmering the cactus stem to extract its psychoactive alkaloids. During ceremonies, participants ingest the bitter-tasting San Pedro brew and embark on a journey that can lead to heightened sensory perception, emotional healing, and a deep connection to nature and the spiritual realm. The curanderos believed that San Pedro had the power to cleanse the body, mind, and spirit, and facilitate profound healing and transformation.


The effects of San Pedro are known for their gentle and expansive nature, providing a long-lasting and profound experience. It is believed to facilitate self-reflection, inner exploration, and personal growth, offering insights, emotional release, and spiritual guidance. San Pedro ceremonies are often conducted in natural settings or sacred sites and hold cultural significance as a means of celebrating important life events and connecting with the divine.

San Pedro experience at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru


San Pedro is believed to have the power to cleanse the body, mind, and spirit, and facilitate profound healing and transformation.While experiences can vary from person to person, here are some of the reported benefits:


  • Spiritual Insights and Connection: San Pedro is revered for its ability to induce altered states of consciousness, leading to profound spiritual experiences. It can facilitate a deep connection to the divine, allowing individuals to gain insights, wisdom, and a greater understanding of themselves and the universe.

  • Emotional Healing and Release: San Pedro has the potential to bring forth unresolved emotions, traumas, and blockages held within the subconscious. Through the journey, it can help individuals confront and process these emotions, leading to emotional healing, release, and a sense of inner peace.

  • Self-Reflection and Personal Growth: San Pedro encourages introspection and self-reflection, providing an opportunity for individuals to gain clarity about their life purpose, values, and patterns. It can support personal growth, self-awareness, and the cultivation of positive qualities and behaviors.

  • Connection with Nature and the Environment: San Pedro is often associated with a deep connection to nature and the natural world. It can foster a sense of unity and interconnectedness, promoting environmental consciousness, and an appreciation for the beauty and harmony of the natural environment.

  • Insight into Life Purpose and Direction: San Pedro ceremonies often provide individuals with profound insights and clarity about their life purpose, passions, and direction. It can help individuals align with their authentic selves and make conscious choices that lead to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

San Pedro experience at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru
San Pedro experience at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru


Preparing for a San Pedro ceremony is essential to create a safe, supportive, and intentional space for the transformative journey that lies ahead. Here are some key considerations and practices to help prepare for a San Pedro ceremony:


  • Intentions and Reflection: Take time to reflect on your intentions for the ceremony. What do you hope to gain, heal, or explore? Clarify your intentions and set them with sincerity and openness.

  • Dietary Preparation: San Pedro ceremonies often involve dietary restrictions in the days leading up to the ceremony. These restrictions may include avoiding certain foods, substances, or medications. Follow the Modern Ancient’s Preparation guide for sacred journeys to prepare your body for the experience.

  • Physical and Mental Preparation: Prioritize self-care in the days leading up to the ceremony. Get adequate rest, nourish your body with healthy foods, and engage in activities that promote relaxation and mental clarity. It's also beneficial to engage in practices such as meditation, yoga, or journaling to cultivate inner stillness and self-awareness.

  • Emotional and Mental Readiness: Be prepared to face and process emotions, memories, and experiences that may arise during the ceremony. Cultivate a mindset of openness, surrender, and self-compassion. Trust in the process and allow yourself to be guided by the wisdom of plant medicine.


Remember that preparation for a San Pedro ceremony is not only about physical and logistical aspects but also about creating an open and receptive mindset. Approach the ceremony with respect, humility, and a willingness to surrender to the healing and transformative potential of the plant medicine.

San Pedro experience at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru
San Pedro experience at Modern Ancient Sanctuary in Iquitos, Peru


San Pedro, San Pedro, ancient cactus divine,

In the realm of the heart, your essence aligns,

A medicine from nature's sacred dance,

Unveiling the love within, a mystic trance.

Your form, a bridge to realms unknown,

Where love's currents gracefully are sown,

A journey to the depths of inner space,

Where hearts open wide, embracing grace.

In the whispers of your gentle thorns,

Ancient wisdom, the earth adorns,

With love, you heal the wounded soul,

Mending broken pieces to be whole.

San Pedro, San Pedro, in your tender care,

The world dissolves, illusions rare,

A new reality, love's vibrant art,

Emerges in each beat of every heart.

Not for the timid, your power's might,

Yet, for the courageous, a beacon of light,

To find a truth profound and higher,

In the tender warmth of love's own fire.

Oh San Pedro, San Pedro, you gently steer,

To the place where love's truths appear,

In unity of spirits, we find our home,

As visions of love forever roam.

- Embrace of the Heart by Suya Devi


San Pedro is a powerful plant medicine that has been used by indigenous people in Amazon for centuries. If you're interested in learning more about San Pedro below are some suggested materials. 


  • "The Hummingbird's Journey to God: Perspectives on San Pedro, the Cactus of Vision" by Ross Heaven and Howard G. Charing

  • "The Shaman & Ayahuasca: Journeys to Sacred Realms" by Don José Campos

  • "San Pedro: The Gateway to Wisdom" by Joan Parisi Wilcox

  • Sacred Plant Initiations: Communicating with Plants for Healing and Higher Consciousness" by Carole Guyett

  • "Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul" by Ross Heaven and Howard G. Charing

Documentaries/ Videos

  • "Huachuma: The Forgotten Psychedelic" (2018) - Directed by Will LaFever, this documentary explores the traditional use of San Pedro in Peru and its effects on individuals who have experienced its transformative power.

  • "Shamans of the Amazon" (2001) - Directed by Dean Jefferys, this documentary covers various Amazonian shamanic traditions, including the use of San Pedro, Ayahuasca, and other plant medicines.

  • "Ayahuasca and San Pedro: Exploring Indigenous Plant Medicine" (2017) - Produced by Psychedelic Times, this video features interviews with shamans and individuals sharing their experiences with San Pedro and Ayahuasca, highlighting the spiritual and transformative aspects of the plants.

  • San Pedro: Pilgrimage to the Divine" (2013) - Produced by Lorna Liana, this video provides an overview of San Pedro ceremonies and interviews with practitioners, discussing the healing and spiritual potential of the plant.

  • "The Sacred Plants of the Amazon" (2016) - Produced by Gaia, this video series explores the traditional uses of sacred plants in the Amazon, including San Pedro, Ayahuasca, and more, providing cultural and spiritual insights

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