The Sacred Cactus of the Andes
San Pedro (also named Wachuma) is a cactus that has been used as a sacred plant medicine for at least 3,000 years here in the Andes of Peru. It is a medicine that can be used to help us perceive our self-created barriers and limitations, and greatly aids us in opening and connecting with our hearts.
Each ceremony is a reunion with ourselves, Mother Nature and the Divine. It is a medicinal mirror that can help us see where we hold onto self-limiting beliefs and patterns in our lives, gently guiding us toward releasing that which no longer serves us.
San Pedro is often underestimated as a powerful plant medicine, due to its gentleness. However, we have found San Pedro to be incredibly powerful and profound. In our opinion and based on our experience, there are few limits if any to its capacity to help us heal.
We prepare our own medicine with sustainably harvested whole San Pedro cactus from the Huaraz district in Peru, with care, love and gratitude. We also replant all our cactus bases, helping to grow the plant population.
A San Pedro ceremony at Ubuntu Ayni is an intensive, daylong experience that can be profoundly deep and transformative. It is good to arrive for the day with a deep willingness to engage with yourself on all levels.
We provide San Pedro ceremonies regularly or upon request. Our ceremonies are kept small (a maximum of ten participants) and personal attention is provided throughout the day.
Please contact us at least 3 days before you wish to participate.
The cost of ceremony is $80 US per person. For accommodation costs, click on this link.
Currently, ceremonies are being held by Bernhard only as Liza-Marié is focusing on her role as a mother for our two children.
The ceremony begins in the morning between 8.30am and 9.00am. The group gathers in the ceremonial maloca and Bernhard explains certain logistical elements for the day. The medicine is then served to each participant, whereafter the ceremony begins.
After the opening ritual, each guest is free to find their own space in the garden to start honouring their process. We ask that all guests refrain from engaging with one another throughout the entirety of the day up until the closing of the ceremony as to respect and give space to each participant's process. Our main intention is for each person to be present to that within themselves that needs attention and expression.
At around noon, your fast will be broken with a bowl of provided fruit salad.
We close each ceremony at around 5pm with a gratitude based closing ritual in the maloca, followed by a grounding, nutritious meal around the fire.
Like most plant medicines, the individual experience of the medicine varies for each guest. It is important to remember that no experience is ever like another and that whatever the medicine gives to you is exactly what was needed for that moment.
Bernhard remains present throughout the whole ceremony to assist each individual if anything is required. Providing experienced, grounded advice for navigating the experience and a calming, stable presence.
Preparing For Your Ceremony
Preparing for your San Pedro ceremony plays an integral role in the quality of your experience. Here are our recommendations for preparation before your ceremony or retreat.
For a good connection with San Pedro, some preparation can have a very beneficial effect. We recommend as clean a diet as possible as preparation. Fresh, healthy food and plenty of water is important, as well as the avoidance of pork, excessive sweets, desserts and fat, alcohol, caffeine and recreational drugs (including marijuana). It is also beneficial to not release sexually as to keep your vital energy available for use in the healing process.
For longer term participants, we suggest a preparation period of at least 5 days before arrival. For those coming for a single ceremony only, the preparation can be done for 2-3 days before ceremony.
Following these guidelines and a clean diet will provide the best conditions for the San Pedro to work within your system. This is why we recommend it. If, as a result of flights and travels you have not managed to stick to it perfectly, please do not stress about the diet, just focus on keeping your diet as clean as possible.
We advise a light fast the night prior to ceremony with an early, light dinner followed by only water and herbal tea until we drink San Pedro the next morning.
*** Please let us know on first contact if you're taking any medications or have any medical conditions ***
setting your intention
It is beneficial to have a defined intention for a shamanic ceremony. This is what you are aiming towards in the ceremony as well as in the time around or after ceremony. It is not the same as an expectation – as it is better not to have any expectations at all.
The intention that you bring to the medicine is wholly up to you and can play a crucial role in your experience. Being able to clearly state where we would like ourselves to be moving towards, and asking for help in that movement, is in itself an energetic opening to enable us to receive what the ceremony has to offer us.
We advise our guests to reflect on their intention prior to ceremony and we will discuss your intention with you before ceremony starts. There are no wrong intentions in our experience.
In our experience, expectations can sometimes become an obstacle in an individual's process. Whether it's your first or thirtieth time drinking San Pedro, we recommend all participants let go of expectations during ceremony and allow the medicine to do its work.
What To Wear & Bring To Ceremony
We provide warm blankets, pillows and blankets to sit on the lawn to make for a comfortable ceremony. Here is our recommended list of what to wear and bring on your ceremony day:
- Yourself! - ready, open and willing
- Comfortable clothes - keep jewellery or anything that could get in the way to a minimum
- Something warm - it tends to cool down in the Valley, make sure you bring a jumper or jacket to keep cozy
- Sun protection - we're blessed with consistently sunny days in Huaran, bring a hat, scarves and sun cream protection to keep yourself covered
- Stones, Amulets, etc. - although not necessary, you're welcome to bring any stones or amulets to accompany you on your experience
- Musical Instruments - feel free to bring your instruments... we love having music after ceremony around the fire
- While you are welcome to bring your electronics, we ask that you refrain from using any during the entire ceremonial day