Through pottery and sculpture if you are certain that the ancient Peruvians belonging to the Chavin culture had knowledge of use of San Pedro for their magical-religious rites. In the ceremonial vessels held, they are recorded Jaguares, snakes and columns that are obviously Cactus plants San Pedro, represented by stylized designs that approximates the modern art for its simplicity and expressiveness. In the same Temple of Chavin de Huancar, we found this kind of symbolic representations. It also has found ceramic objects and painted with images of cactus related to highly sacred in Ancient Peru, like cats, birds and snakes shamanic San Pedro animal tissues. Not only in the Chavin culture, but also in the Mochica, Nazca, Lambayeque and other minor. This combination images of San Pedro with Jaguares, snakes and birds is no coincidence, since the power to see, to observe, to be able to travel in spirit, of unfolding was attributed by ancient Peruvians to this shamanic hallucinogenic plant.
The spirit of San Pedro is associated with the power of the gods, creative energy or Kamac manifested in representative totemic animals of the three Andean worlds: the sky (eagle), land (jaguar) and the depths of the earth (snake). Peruvian ancient indigenous cultures before the arrival of the Spaniards used the “San Pedro” for their magical-religious and healing ceremonies. They grew it near their homes to be protected by the spirit of the “Achuma” (its native name). The natives gathered at night, accompanying this work with dances and chants to please the spirit of the plant, whose power and “beneplacitico” achieve healing and resolution of the difficulties attributed to the negative spirits, evil, contrary to the human being . The Shaman penetrated with their visions each of the three worlds, through the ritual of making San Pedro; and their gods also accompanied the Shaman the hard way of the questions and answers asked for the men and women of the Andes.
If the visions appeared totemic gods: the jaguar, the eagle and the snake, with benevolent intent, was a clear manifestation that there would be healing, ie, restoration of the balance. For the shaman, the important thing was to reach the depths of consciousness, the paradise that each indigenous intended to find. For this shamanic vision, “Yenian Peruvian natives Achuma”, the native name of the plant was changed by adopting a symbol of the Catholic Church: San Pedro, to continue to maintain the ancient occult beliefs of persecution of extirpators called idolatry. Syncretically, with much irony, shamans and healers sought assimilation to the dominant Catholic beliefs “saying” that the plant had been used by the Apostle Peter to find (see) through the taking of hallucinogenic as Judas had betrayed Jesus. San Pedro is the one who has the keys to enter paradise.
Father Bernabé Cobo (1580-1657), known as naturalist, in an effort to combat and eradicate the native beliefs, says that this plant makes it lose the reason the Indians, without understanding the cultural roots of this ancient shamanic practice in the ancient Peru. However, this same characters recognizes that San Pedro has important healing properties for human health.