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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***

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The Visionary San Pedro Cactus: Healing, Sustainability, and Sacred Relationships with Huachuma | Laurel Sugden ~ ATTMind 175

This episode explores the mescaline-containing cactus known as San Pedro, otherwise known as Huachuma. Our guest is Laurel Anne Sugden.

Laurel Sugden Adventures Through The MindLaurel Anne Sugden is a Ph.D. candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia. She grew up in rural Montana, where she developed deep connections with the Rocky Mountains and their creatures, and went on to earn a B.Sc. in Molecular Biology. She has traveled through much of Latin America and studied the shamanic practices of traditional healers in Peru. Her current work centers on the visionary San Pedro Cactus (Huachuma), and its cultural and ecological roles in the Andes. With Josip Orlovac and Felipe Pereda, Laurel co-founded Huachuma Collective, a nonprofit association in Peru, which works with Indigenous communities towards the biological and cultural sustainability of San Pedro. She lives in Montana and Peru.

We discuss the objective side of things, that is habitat, history, sustainability, poaching, pollination, propagation, fruits, flowers, and alkaloids. However, we also explore what we might, for lack of better language, call the subjective side of San Pedro; we explore “who is San Pedro”, the qualities of experience it catalyzes, and what it asks of us and offers us in perspective, healing, and relationship.

We also explore the impact anthropocentrism has on our capacity to be in relationship with sacred plants, safe preparation methods of cactus powder, the subjectivity of ethics, why it takes more than breaking the ego to make us wise, and a deconstruction of the modern fascination of “hyperspace entities” and aliens, among a handful of other topics throughout the flow of the conversation.

Check Out Laurel in our Psychedelic Café: Visions For A World In Crisis

***Featured image courtesy and copyright Laurel Anne Sugden


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The Huachuma Collective

Huachuma Collective is an Indigenous-led nonprofit association in Peru which cares for the bio-cultural sustainability of the San Pedro Cactus. We empower communities to plant San Pedro and collaborate with Indigenous leaders to create reciprocal models of growing, working with, and distributing medicine. In turn, these regenerate local ecosystems and Andean traditions.”

Main Website: https://www.huachumacollective.org/home
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/huachuma.collective/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/huachuma.collective/

Check Out Their Upcoming Seed Project!!!

“Huachuma Collective has been working on a wild seed-collection project in collaboration with several of our partner communities, and we will be launching our first round of seed-planting in the next couple months! We will germinate and raise the seeds for three years in Chaclacayo, then return the seedlings to their communities of origin for planting.”

Folks can support this seed project at https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-san-pedro-cactus-conservation-in-peru .


Episode Breakdown and Time Stamps

  • (0:00) Opening
  • (4:45) Patreon Thanks | Support The Podcast
  • (5:57) Introducing some cacti friends
  • (8:20) Interview begins: what is Huachuma/San Pedro? 
  • (9:42) The different cacti used for ceremonial purposes
  • (16:03) San Pedro flowers, fruit, and propagation
  • (21:01) Hybridization and cross-pollination 
  • (23:47) Reductionist science and anthropocentrism erase our connection to the spirit of the plant
  • (29:22) The different alkaloids in San Pedro (beyond mescaline)
  • (30:35) A brief history of Cacti and their worldwide distribution 
  • (33:57) Serious conservation concerns for san pedro | overharvesting and poaching of wild cactus for international cactus
  • (39:41) Ignorance supporting ecological devastation | A failure of relationship
  • (42:08) The subjectivity of ethics and learning to listen to the plants
  • (44:29) Your store san pedro powder is likely illegally poached | How to safely prepare raw san pedro power
  • (53:03) Reciprociy to indigenous San Pedro communities: The Huachuma Collective 
  • (54:56) Who is San Pedro?
  • (57:07) How San Pedro helps us heal
  • (1:01:45) It takes more than breaking the ego to make us wise
  • (1:07:10) We learn from the plant, but the plant also learns from us 
  • (1:16:02) Deconstructing the modern fascination with “hyperspace entities” and aliens
  • (1:22:07) What lesson the cactus has to offer us in our present times
  • (1:24:35) Follow-up links for Huachuma Collective and Laurel Sugden 
  • (1:26:02) Outro

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