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HISTORY OF CACTI AS HUMAN ALLIES The white man goes into his church house and talks about Jesus- The Indian goes into his tepee and talks to Jesus J S Slotkin The Indians once believed and still do that Peyote is a God or at least a messenger of the Gods sent to communicate directly with the individual worshiper BP before present 10000 BP In several Northern Indian tribes the Peyote ceremony is descended from the mescal bean ceremony The mescal bean is the highly toxic seed of the Sophora secundiflora tree The odd thing is that other than Cacti the mescal bean tree is about the only other thing that blooms in that part of the desert It is also associated with Peyote in that both species often are found growing together There is evidence that the mescal bean has been used as an oracle for upwards of 10000 years Its use was however very dangerous as just eating a little too much would have very fatal consequences One quarter to one half seed would be roasted by the fire until yellowish brown It was then consumed causing a sleepy delirium that lasted three days Not really my idea of a party Fortunately the Peyote ceremony has completely replaced the use of the mescal bean Do not confuse the bean with Peyote or the mescal plant which is a Maguey source of pulqua liquor All three are separate and unrelated entities Some Peyotists still use mescal beans as amulets 6000 BP Legend has it that Peyote was discovered when a lost and starving man came across it in the deep desert A voice was heard to emanate from the plant saying that it was good and should be eaten The man ate of the bitter
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