Plant Medicine in Peru Part 2: Lares and Love

cactus plant medicine blog post

I never felt a calling to participate in the Huachuma (aka. San Perdro) journey when I was in my 200-hour yoga teacher training in Peru, maybe because the universe had other plans for me when I was finished. Most of our group went up to the hot springs in Lares to melt into the heat of the waters of Mother Earth to release and relax after our intensive learning experience.

We stayed the first night and experienced the steamy waters and yummy fish and plantains. I was told by some of the other students that Huachuma would be an option for the following day on our hike up the mountains. I was opened to the idea and prayed about it before I went to sleep.  

When I woke up, my body and mind were ready for Huachuma and planned my breakfast accordingly. I had the strongest pull … my intuition guiding me to participate, even when I had never experienced any type of medicine this strong or potent before. I was in for an incredible and mind blowing experience without even realizing the magnitude when I put the cup to my lips and drank in the spirit of the cactus. My intention of release during the training continued as I released control and surrendered to the journey and the process of being present and in tune with nature and those around me.

On a physical level, I became like a cactus. My fingers swelled up and retained water, my skin had a green tint and my body was so calm and still. As we were encouraged to sit by the river and try different breathing techniques, I began to feel the magic of San Pedro. My senses came alive, in a way that only a plant would see the world. I released control over my mind and body and let my thoughts drift as I fell into a meditative state.

I became one with nature and was absorbed by the beauty surrounding me. I could see the wind dancing on every leaf as they slowly swayed from side to side in the forest. I could see all the birds moving at once, groups of hummingbirds slowly flapping their wings and moving from each flower effortlessly.  I was amazed by the ability to see every bubble glistening in the stream nearby, with the rocks under the water morphing from green to purple to red hues.

huachuma journey blog post kula collective

As it started to rain, the raindrops fell like hail, slowly gliding from the sky then bouncing off the dirt path. I could hear all the plants speaking to me, singing their tunes and shaking from the cold breeze that suddenly arrived in the forest. The sweet smell of the eucalyptus wafted through my nostrils as I began to float down the path that followed the stream down the mountain. There were donkeys perched on the top of the mountain, and I could see each short hair on their bodies and feel their slow and calm nature from a distance.

As the horn was blown and we were to return to base camp, we laughed in the forest and hit each other with eucalyptus leaves, the smell and the touch both intense and full of love and light. Time did not matter to us as we were consumed by the spirit of San Pedro, just as nature operates all in its own perfect timing. Every cell of my being was immersed in love and laughter, as I reached higher levels of being out of my body and mind. I arrived more into my consciousness, settling in my third eye for the rest of the magical day.

Once we managed our way to base camp, we made a fire. I was amazed how the dainty sticks slowly melted into ash and how the smoke rose in slow waves from the fire pit, the flames turning from blue and purple to orange and red. We were all full of love and peace and joy and were so connected with each other as we sang together surrounded by the majestic mountains and expansive forest. After our feast of cacao, bananas, coconut yogurt and granola, we meandered back down the mountain.

Coming down the mountain was overwhelming to my senses, and it felt like I was floating, flying even – the invincible cactus juice flowing in my veins. As my Kula played sweet tunes around me, I stay grounded through their sweet tunes and my connection to my breath. Closing my eyes was like a kaleidoscope full of beautiful plants and streams flowing in breath taking patterns.  

mountains blog post

The mountains melted in and out and danced with the clouds that were floating and swirling around the sky. The energy continued to circulate from each body part until it landed on my heart as we closed the ceremony at the bottom of the mountain. Huachuma slowed my senses … especially my sense of time.

At the end of the closing ceremony, we were all still on our journeys and for me, it was my time to release. I bursted into tears and exploded out of my body as I watched myself fully let go and surrender to God - all that I am and all that I am called to be. At the time I didn’t know what I was letting go of ... only after reflecting did insight come.

blog post waterfall huachuma journey

After what seemed like hours of release, we ate dinner in community. I don’t think food had ever tasted so good … even plain rice was mouth watering. I asked for Huachuma to be kind, to be abundant, to be healing and to be loving and I felt each of these sensations and whispers from the spirit of the plant throughout my journey.

We sealed in the goodness of Huachuma and reflected on our journeys in the hot springs. Our skin sparkled … literally … and our smiles were full of peace and unconditional love.

My sacred journey ended in fetal position laying in bed … a pose of rebirth, renewal and restoration.

I am forever grateful for the gift of Huachuma … the plant helped me to realize my sensitivity to all living beings, and allowed me to see my evolution as a hummingbird.

I am free

I am alive

I am unconditional light

and love

and I am enjoying the sweet nectar

of this beautifully abundant life.

Peace & Love,


Want to learn more about plant medicine and see where your journey takes you?

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About Jill:

jill bio blog post

Jill is a health enthusiast and yoga teacher passionate about holistic living through being conscious of the mind, body and spirit connection. She is a free-spirited veggie-loving yogi that loves any kind of adventure that comes her way, whether that is rock climbing, paddle boarding, waterfall rappelling, cliff jumping or learning a new inversion. She finds balance and inspiration in her happy place of being in nature and swimming in the ocean. She ensures that everything she does is in alignment with her truth – to have a grateful and vulnerable heart in order to live in a positive and light filled way.