I first heard about “peyote light” from Carlos Castaneda at lecture in Santa Cruz, CA in the early 1970’s. He was promoting his first book, “Don Juan A Yaqui Way of Knowledge“. At a bus station in Nogales, Arizona he met a Yaqui Indian elder from Sonora, Mexico. Carlos Castaneda’s primary interest was to learn about peyote. We read in his books that peyote is seen glowing in the evening hours and this light helps to find the small cacti that is naturally camouflaged within the desert environment. Yarn paintings by the Huichol Indians also reveal peyote luminescence.
Peyote is the holy sacrament of the Huichol Indians, and for the (US) Native American Church. The later consumes tonnes* of peyote (each year ) during weekend – all night prayer ceremonies throughout the US. The Huichol Indians of Mexico have a tradition of walking from their Sierra Madre villages several hundred miles, eating only tostadas in the evening, and after three weeks of hiking consume and gather peyote in the high altitude desert, and then hike back to their families and celebrate.
Night vision is usually improved after consuming the very bitter (and nauseating) peyote cacti. It (seems) easy to see in the dark and walk about the desert without difficulty. Research has discovered that peyote and various other natural “hallucinogens” have the very interesting characteristic of florescence (and also piezoluminesence). This occurs when UV light is shinned upon a solution ( strong tea) of the cacti. The UV light is received by the solution and stimulates the emission of visible light: this reminds me of the work of Dr. Fritz Popp and bio-photon emission.
Parke Davis pharmaceutical corporation sold peyote extract to the American public in the late 1800’s as a herbal remedy: it was well received and popular. Market places in Mexico sold peyote to the public before 1970: train cargo cars were filled with sacks full of peyote and sent from the desert to Mexico City and Guadalahara. Today it is illegal except for traditional indigenous use.
Selegiline (deprimyl) is a PEA (phenethylamine) drug that has similar pharmacological characteristics as the basic structure of phenethylamines found in peyote. Just as with the mood enhancing/antidepressant effects of peyote (and good chocolate), this pharmaceutical yields multiple mental and emotional benefits and has earned billions of dollars. PEA (phenethylamines) have been identified within the human brain as natural mood elevators, the deficiency of which results in various symptoms including depression.
* Peyote, when harvested correctly, by cutting off only the top, reproduces as with a cutting, and often results in clusters of many cacti growing from the same root-stock. Mescaline, a PEA associated with visions, can be absent, or found in very low concentrations from peyote harvested from the high altitude desert of Mexico. Peyote is commercially grown in deserts for the quarter of a million members of the Native American Church, and is harvested after 5 to 8 years (like ginseng).
(c) Paul C Adams 2014 updated: 6-19-14