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Cactus of Mystery

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Cactus of Mystery

The Shamanic Powers of the Peruvian San Pedro Cactus

By (author)  Ross Heaven

ISBN-13: 978-1-59477-491-1
ISBN: 1-59477-491-9

Quality Paperback — 11/20/12

Page Count: 392; 6.00 (width) x 9.00 (height)

Includes 8-page color insert

Imprint: Park Street Press

Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days.

Price: $19.95



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About Cactus of Mystery

The history of San Pedro and its uses for healing, creativity, and conscious evolution

• Includes interviews with practicing San Pedro shamans on their rituals, cactus preparations, and teachings on how San Pedro heals the mind and body

• Contains accounts from people who have been healed by San Pedro

• Includes chapters by Eve Bruce, M.D., and David Luke, Ph.D., on San Pedro’s effects on psychic abilities and its similarities to and differences from ayahuasca

San Pedro, the legendary cactus of vision, has been used by the shamans of Peru for at least 3,500 years. Referring to St. Peter, who holds the keys to Heaven, its name is suggestive of the plant’s visionary power to open the gates between the visible and invisible worlds, allowing passage to an ecstatic realm where miraculous physical and spiritual healings occur, love and enthusiasm for life are rekindled, the future divined, and the soul’s purpose revealed.

Exploring the history and shamanic uses of the San Pedro cactus, Ross Heaven interviews practicing San Pedro shamans about ancient and modern rituals, preparation of the visionary brew, experiences with the healing spirit of San Pedro, and their teachings on how the cactus works on the mind, body, and illness. He investigates the conditions treated by San Pedro as well as how it can enhance creativity, providing case studies from those who have been healed by the cactus and accounts from those who have been artistically and musically inspired through its use. Psychedelic researchers Eve Bruce, M.D., David Luke, Ph.D., and journalist Morgan Maher contribute chapters delving into San Pedro’s effects on conscious evolution and psychic abilities as well as its similarities to and differences from ayahuasca. Exploring plant communication and the vital role of music in San Pedro ceremonies, Heaven explains how healing songs are communicated by the sacred plants to the shamans working with them, much in the same way that other gifts of San Pedro--from healing to inspiration to expanded consciousness--are passed to those who commune with this ancient plant teacher.

About the Author(s) of Cactus of Mystery

Ross Heaven is a psychologist, healer, and workshop facilitator and presenter with extensive training in the shamanic, transpersonal, and psychospiritual traditions. The author of more than 10 books, including Plant Spirit Shamanism, he teaches workshops on shamanism and plant medicines in Spain and England and coordinates trips to Peru to work with indigenous plant shamans. He lives in Spain and the United Kingdom.

Praise for Cactus of Mystery

“This is a simply splendid book! Ross Heaven has written and edited an insightful and information-filled volume including reports from several shamans who have worked for many years with San Pedro. We finally have a definitive book on this remarkable psychedelic plant. Thank you for opening so many doors, Ross Heaven.”
James Fadiman, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide

“An amiable, intelligent, and passionate introduction to the sacred medicine of the Andes. Ross Heaven’s Cactus of Mystery is valuable not only as an orientation toward the ancient Huachuma tradition but also as an exploration of the experiences of healing and creativity common to all sacred medicine traditions.”
Robert Tindall, author of The Jaguar that Roams the Mind and The Shamanic Odyssey

“This book brings to light the possibilities that await us as an evolved conscious species if we reach out and communicate with plant species in a true ‘communion.’”
Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide Magazine, April 2013

“In conclusion, due to the paucity of literary information on San Pedro, this is a particularly needed book for not only does it bring this cactus to a wider audience, raising awareness of its potentials for healing, it also manages to bring together diverse and interesting disciplinary takes on the plant. Heaven, whose own knowledge and experience is clearly a wealth in itself, has collated an admirable selection of texts that provides the reader with a thorough perspective.”
Psychedelic Press UK, August 2013

“Ross details the rituals surrounding the traditional ceremonies involved – from the Mesa (or ‘control panel’) required to focus the ceremony, the songs sung to invoke particular energies of cardinal archetypes, to the diet required for the shaman to approach the spirit of the plant in an impeccable fashion – an absolute necessity for a successful healing session, and much more. Comes highly recommended.”
Odyssey Magazine, October 2013