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Peyote 51. conserve







On the mesas of Tamaulipas and Jalisco, in the dry infertile regions of Mexico south of the Rio Grande, a cactus grows amid the rocks and sand. It is not erect and magnificent like the Saguaro or the bearer of gorgeous flowers like the night-blooming Cereus. It is, in fact, a thoroughly insignificant little pincushion projecting a bare three inches above the barren soil, a round, dark green protuberance connected to a carrot like taproot, its surface covered with tufts of silky hairs. Though utterly uninspiring in appearance, this humble cactus, Lophophora williamsii, (Formerly Anhaloniurn lewinii) produces in its fleshy top one of the strangest drugs in the pharmacologists' collection.
Antiquity shrouds the origins of the cactus cult. We do not know, nor are we likely to discover, by what accident some wanderer in the Mexican deserts first stumbled upon the secret of the plant's effects. We may assume that the discovery of the drug resulted from the usual causes, a quest for food on the part of some wanderer, reduced to extremity by hunger and thirst, devouring anything containing moisture and nourishment, however evil-tasting that something might be. We can envisage that long-forgotten man, Aztec or pre-Aztec, chewing the nauseous, bitter cactus tops and lying down to rest, then, in a rising tide of astonishment, finding himself ringed on all sides with fantastic visions, with shapes, colours and odours, the like of which he had never even dreamed. Small wonder that, when he found his way back to his tribe, he informed them that a deity dwelt in the cactus and that those who devoured its flesh would behold the world of the gods.
So, by the time the Spaniards arrived in Mexico, they discovered that, along with such gods as Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli, the Aztecs also worshiped a triad of plants called teonanacatl, ololiuqui, and peyotl. Of these three the peyotl was the chief, a veritable divine substance, the "flesh of the gods.' This presented a challenge to the Spanish priests, who had their own ideas on the subject of God's flesh and had no intention of tolerating any rival claims to that dignity. They promptly dubbed the peyotl "raiz diabolica," and persecuted all who used it without bothering to investigate its nature or its properties. Thus the divine peyotl languished in the shadow of the Church's displeasure for some three centuries, officially excommunicated, secretly enjoyed. The Indians, having other values and other memories, were little moved by the priestly denunciations nor could these bringers of a foreign creed root out so easily a practice that had been established for centuries. Though Montezuma was dead and the glory of the Aztecs had passed away the worship of the divine plant continued. It was still regarded as the flesh of God, the flesh of Christ rather than that of an Aztec deity. Had not the Lord declared, giving bread to his disciples, "Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for thee and for many. Do this in remembrance of me"? And who would dare to find fault with the humble Indian if, in his eagerness to obey the command of Christ, he chose to eat not a sacramental wafer but a plant having properties so wonderful that it unrolled before his eyes all the glories of the New Jerusalem?
And so over the dry plateau in northern Mexico in the states of Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Queretaro, Zacatecas, and Chihuahua, the seekers of the divine plant would set out to gather the cactus. God, they maintained, had provided maize as food for the body and peyotl as nourishment for the soul. Should they then merely live on maize like hogs? Ought they not rather to go and gather the divine food that both body and soul might receive appropriate nourishment?

This site may look ancient
It is the result of an evening class in Dreamweaver 4 website construction
I attended in 2002.
But it is current and working, thank you very much.

Now in Feb. 2015.
They are all having their winter sleep.
This is a good time to travel to a new home with no disruption to growth.



Plea to conserve home of the peyote cactus

from the UN Environment Programme

25 March 2006 - New Scientist