Peyote Pilgrimage Inside Out
Mario Bautista was determined to find some clue in this vast, unforgiving landscape and went on a Peyote Pilgrimage. For nearly eight hours he had waded through the brush with nothing but his knife and courage; 25 members of our community were nearby as support- they knew what could happen if we didn’t succeed today.
He walked out into nature’s scheme: an endless patch so thick it felt like you’d be stuck wearing needles on both sides – while all around them enemies lurked unknown aims—but no worries! He carried only one thing with him into battle–his willpower (and plenty more).
The sun was high in the sky, and it beat down on us like a hammer. Sweat trickled down my forehead as I surveyed our surroundings for any sign of peyote or hikuri – both plants that could give us some relief from this furnace-like heatwave.
The Peyote Pilgrimage
We had been walking since early morning without much luck; all they found were other common herbs with little medicinal value such as lavender flowers which did nothing but make things smell nice instead what we needed right now seemed very far away.
The group came across a small squishy cactus that they believed could be the psychedelic plant known as peyote or hikuri.
The entire group searched for something: the psychedelic plant known as peyote or hikuri – a small cactus that lives underneath shrubs.
As Indigenous peoples living in the mountainous region of Mexico, members of one particular tribe –The Huichol People– rely on a plant known as “hikuri” for spiritual salvation. What does this mean? Well essentially it’s their lifeline; whatever they find will be brought back home with them so that all can partake in its benefits thanks again to our old friend peyote which has been considered harmless.
Every year, Wixárika communities make a several-hundred-mile pilgrimage to their sacred place called Willirikuta. Groups travel under the direction of leading shamans or marakame who protect them from outside threats and guide healing practices like peyote ingestion which are only allowed on Indigenous land but have become increasingly difficult because it’s now illegal for nonindigenous people to find this plant unless they ask permission first.
This should give an idea about what type of work is being done here: Every day brings new challenges as these wonderful individuals search tirelessly across Mexico plotting ways in order to bring peace into all corners.
Matt Reichel and I joined Mario on his pilgrimage this past March. We were guests of the community, invited to learn about their traditions as they make one last journey before setting out into unknown territory together with only each other for company—a family divided by blood but bound by destiny.
In Wirikuta’s ancient culture there are few notions more sacred than those relating back home- whether it’s a place or an experience; all roads lead somewhere.
In Mexico City we met up again after many years apart–myself transformed from humble beginnings into someone who could finally appreciate it.
The pilgrims walked through the hot sun, protected by colorful dresses and scarves. They were all dressed up in their traditional clothes for this special occasion; it is an event that cannot be missed! The men wear white shirts with embroidered depictions of deer on them while women cover themselves head-to neck or feet arises like angels from above casting nets into our world below -just trying to capture what they believe will last forever.”
In the desert
On their first night in the desert, a group of people changed their names to signify that they were entering a new world. They also went through an evening ritual where each one confessed all past sexual relationships for public reading by flame around midnight – this let go of our historic baggage which can be difficult but necessary when confronted with such deeply personal questions about oneself.
On their way to Xochimilco, the pilgrims made offerings at sacred sites — areas where their ancestors had found water during previous pilgrimages. Water was key in these rituals because it helped them forget about any difficulties they may have been experiencing on this journey by being able to make sacrifices for what is most important: spiritually cleansing ourselves and giving thanks through acts of compassion with others’ needs before our own so that we can begin anew once more!
We arrived at our destination after a long walk through the harsh desert.
As I stepped out of my shoes, sandals made from cloth wrapped around each toe tightly to protect them from hurtling stones and sharp rocks that can cut deep into your feet if you’re not careful enough while walking on this terrain full time without any water source nearby for miles upon end except one small spring somewhere else in another direction which is too far off course anyway so by now it’s already sunset but we have no choice here since there isn’t another place closer than Bernalejos where people could meet up once per week during harvest season let alone stay overnight unless they want theirs.
The morning of the harvest, a community walked into the sunlight with machetes and baskets. Everyone stayed together at first but gradually families spread apart as they each went about their own business on this special day.
The people who followed the Peyote Pilgrimage painted themselves yellow from cheek to chin in order to symbolize how our hearts are like rays that reach out into the universe; carrying hope for all those who await word from above – be it good or bad (or anything else).
Collecting peyote was an arduous task that took hours. The largest patches were underbrush covered with thorns, making them difficult to reach and even more so in the heat of the day when colors blended together into one anothers’ palette rather than standing out individually against their backdrop like they should have been doing if left unchecked by sun rays streaming through clear skies above us all week long while drying indoors before being blessed by our church fathers–fathers who knew what blessings really meant because without them this world would surely come undone at any given moment
At sunset, we walked up a hill to make one final offering. Mario asked us to hold out our hands and tap our faces with him so he could heal them from whatever ailments may have been bothering us during this time period- which turned out not to be too much trouble at all because there wasn’t anything wrong! The families only ate about an average amount for microdoses meant just to facilitate calm reflection before bedtime; however, it worked wonders on everybody except those who had already ingested significant doses earlier in the day.
We left our campsite feeling like we were leaving behind a part of us, but also knowing that this was necessary in order for the earth’s ecosystem to be healthy again.