Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Peyote Pathways

Published: February 17, 2011, Author: JayTaber

When I first encountered peyote in the powdered form known as mescaline,
it was still a legal substance in the United States. That changed in
1970, but was later amended to exempt members of the Native American
Church when using peyote for religious purposes.

As hippies seeking to escape the madness of American society, we
ingested mescaline — along with psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis — as a
means of expanding our consciousness. Described by Aldous Huxley as doors of perception,
experimentation with these entheogens was the only pathway available to
us as inheritors of traditions that no longer practiced a natural
spirituality.

Although I once shared peyote with some Indians camped above the
Grand Canyon, as hippies we had to find our own way in this uncharted
territory of entheogenic stimulation. Many years later, I discovered the
remarkable history of entheogenic usage by indigenous peoples of the
Americas, including the peyote pathways between the lands of the Inca
and Kiowa.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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