questions we like to answer...
We all had so many questions we wanted answered before we embarked on our own first journeys with the San Pedro cactus, we can imagine that so might you. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please don’t hesitate to contact us: send us an email, or request a personal call at anytime. Our priority is for you to feel safe, comfortable and taken care of throughout the whole process in whichever way we can!
I want to come, but don’t know how the travel situation will look when it’s time to travel. HELP!
Don’t worry! We fully understand how difficult it is to plan ahead right now with the Covid craziness! That is why we have upgraded our cancellation policy.
Cancellation policy *COVID-19 Related*
We understand this is a weird time to plan a trip. We want to be as flexible around it as we can. So, if you need to cancel because of COVID-19 regulations – and ONLY because of regulations unknown prior to booking with us – you will get a voucher that is valid one whole lifetime (this one), for your down payment. The rest of the amount, we intend to pay back to you in full. If in any case this is financially not possible due to already made expenses, we will turn this amount into a ‘lifetime’ voucher for you to use for another scheduled retreat in Portugal or for a personalized retreat with us in Spain. Under no circumstances will you ‘lose your money!’
Cancellation policy *Other reasons*
If you need to cancel your trip with us for other reasons then COVID-19 regulations, our normal cancellation policy applies.
- Cancel up to 8 weeks before the arrival date, you will receive your payment back MINUS the deposit.
- Cancel up to 6 weeks before the arrival date, you will receive 50% of your payment back.
- Cancel up to 4 weeks before arrival date, you will receive 25% of your payment back.
- Cancel 4 weeks or less before the arrival date, you will not receive a refund.
Depending on ‘why’ you cancel your trip we may offer you an alternative.
I have never tried any hallucinogenic before, can I try San Pedro cactus?
Absolutely! At TAITA Travel we provide a safe environment and have a loving, experienced team to take care of you. We ask everyone to sign an agreement so you know what behavioral guidelines we expect of you. This way, we co-create a safe playground for everyone present. We’ll also have one-on-one meetings, where we can discuss the right dosage for you and address concerns, if any. If you are in need of more information before deciding, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Is San Pedro cactus the right plant for me?
We strongly believe that only you can know what is truly right for you so, if you listen to your intuition you will know if it is or isn’t. We do want to mention however, that to this day, we still haven’t met anyone (and we’ve met quite a few) who regretted coming to the medicine. Somehow, San Pedro knows exactly what you need at the time, no matter if we ourselves are aware of what that really is beforehand. Many have expressed their surprise over how intuitively the plant works and how different the journey was from their expectations.
However! There are some contra-indications, especially if you’re on medications and/or experiencing (or have in the past) mental health issues, please read all about that here.
Are there any contraindication for (people who shouldn’t drink) San Pedro cactus?
You should not partake in a San Pedro ceremony if you:
- are allergic or hypersensitive for mescaline, or other substances of the cactaceae family
- have or had experienced borderline, schizophrenia, psychosis or have been hospitalized in a psychiatric institution
- are pregnant
- take medication like anti-depressants
- are experiencing an addiction at this moment like alcohol, meth, crack etc. (smoking cigarettes excluded)
- experience an extreme high or low blood pressure or take medication for this
- experience heart/blood vessels disorders (cardiac arrhythmias) or take medication for this
- experience diabetes and take medication for this
- experience liver and/or gut related diseases
- take any medications such as antihistamines/ sleep medication/ chlorpromazine/ phenothiazines/ immunomodulators
- have a bleeding ulcer
IMPORTANT: Please contact us when you are in doubt!
What can I expect when I drink San Pedro cactus?
San Pedro adapts the experience for each and every participant which makes it’s hard to say what one can expect. With that said, in our experience, this plant medicine works specially with re-connecting us with all parts lost, forgotten or severed from the heart (or source). It can look very different for each person, just like our lives, experiences and emotions can be similar to each other’s but in the end are very individual ways of being and perceiving. We recommend one to have an intention coming into the ceremony, but also to leave it at the circle and allow San Pedro to unfold in its unexpected ways.
Why should I drink San Pedro?
There are as many reasons to drink the medicine as there are people coming to drink it. It is a very intuitive plant, who seems to know how to adapt the experience so you can receive the teachings in the most profound way possible. In this day and age, more and more people confirm a feeling many of us have felt at some point. An indescribable emptiness, a loss of direction, a loss of connection to our hearts and/or emotions.
We’ve seen (and experienced for ourselves) people break negative thought and/or behavioral patterns that didn’t serve them anymore, experience self-love, find their life’s purpose, find connection again to themselves and the world around, work through trauma, find profound answers to the big questions in life and deeply connect to their hearts. We’ve seen those who have come just for curiosity’s sake and found answers to questions they didn’t know they had.
San Pedro can offer clarity on how to start a new phase or find a new direction in life. It can help us see ourselves from new perspectives, help us find forgiveness, compassion and ease. It can illuminate the feeling of darkness so we can see what really lies in the corners of our beings. It helps us bring all those parts back into our periphery so we can integrate what at some point has been disconnected from us.
The beauty of working with this sacred plant is that, as we have experienced, it gives you exactly what you need at that moment in your life when you seek it out.
What is the difference between San Pedro Catus and Ayahuasca?
You might have heard of San Pedro’s ‘colleague’ and more well know plant teacher Ayahuasca. Or maybe you’re new to all of this! Both are plants that hold incredible jewels of wisdom. Both will take you on a journey of exploration. Although they’re ‘cousins’ in the world of sacred plants, there are some significant differences between the two. Hopefully this overview will help you see which plant suits you, or if you would like to try them both. Please keep in mind these are generalizations and are here to give you an idea, but don’t have to be true for you or your neighbor!
Journey usually takes 8-12 hours
Physical (side) effects:
About 1 out 8 people feel like purging, more likely to have a emotional purge.
Almost always during the day. The first hours you’ll probably feel like laying down and can have visions even with open eyes, you’ll feel energetic enough to move around and explore the world; very much experiencing the environment.
Described often as being very grounding, feeling connected with your heart and everyone, thing, being, energie, source, life form, around you and obtaining a better understanding of who we are and why you are here.
Has a reputation for being gentle, loving and profound.
Journey usually takes 4-7 hours
Physical (side) effects:
About 9 out of 10 people feel like purging.
Almost always at night in complete darkness, you are laying down continuously during your journey with your eyes closed, a shaman will sings and perform rituals to guide you through your journey.
Described often as cosmic and/or astral with an outer body experience looking at your life and obtaining a new perspective(s) and/or definition of who you are.
Often described as being tuff (confronting) and profound.
What is a purge and will I have to do it?
There are different kinds of purges. Probably the most commonly talked about and dreaded is the physical form of being sick. With Ayahuasca, it’s almost a given but with San Pedro only a few get sick. If the purge takes a physical form, 9/10 times you will be able to specifically name the purge by emotion (anger, bitterness, doubt etc.)
The most common form of purging in San Pedro is emotional. Tears, words, a need to move the body, sweating or maybe laughing even; the expressions are many. We understand you might be apprehensive of purging, until you realize how releasing it is. For example, if we experience nausea (or other physical sensations), we treat it as a clue in an investigation and begin asking questions around it. What am I sick off (in my every-day life)? What would I have to feel if I wasn’t sick to my stomach? As we begin asking the right questions, the nausea either fades away and the journey continues in a different form, or an appropriate purge will occur and that (trapped) emotion, feeling, pain is released.
What will a San Pedro cactus ceremony day look like?
We don’t offer breakfast on ceremony days because 1) we want to allow the medicine to begin working with you directly, instead of first “competing” with the contents of your stomach (if you imagine everything holding a vibrational frequency, food included, maybe you can see how those energies must first be excluded by the medicine, when it’s initially “scanning” your system to see what needs to be brought up to attention) and 2) in our experience, about one in eight will have a physical purge. We find that having breakfast increases the risk of experiencing nausea and/or purging.
We do offer hot beverages in the kitchen area before heading down to open the ceremony at around 10AM. Before entering the ceremonial space, everybody will get a personal energetic cleansing, or a smudge (the practice of burning sage (or other herbal materials) has been used in ceremonial settings for thousands of years, to lift negative energies from a person, a group or a space) from the ceremony guide.
Once the ceremony has been opened, we drink together and everyone who wants to can share their intention for the day. After about 40 minutes you’ll feel like you want to lie down, and we strongly encourage you to do that. The nature around the ceremony space is beautiful, and offers many spots for you to dive deep into your own experience.
The ceremony guide and helpers will check on you from time to time to make sure you feel safe and have everything you need. They’ll do anything they can to make your day flow as comfortably as possible. (Getting tea or blankets, guiding through a process, being a swimming buddy or just keeping company and holding space for you).
The first couple of hours you are likely to experience a dream-like state. After that, you’ll be more energetic and you may feel like moving around a little bit. Water and tea will be available for you the whole day and a delicious bowl of fruit will be served for a snack around lunchtime.
Around 6PM we gather for the closing of the ceremony. Here, everyone who wants to, can share something about their day. There’s no pressure to do so, and we have more time to share over dinner. We’ll serve an amazing (yes, that’s a promise!) soup and the rest of the evening is yours. In the common area we have seen people chill out, paint, play guitar and sing together, drink tea until late and we’ve heard many laughs travelling through the hills.
This time of “after-glow” can also be a beautiful time for journaling and contemplating your day in solitude. But also, after a day like this, sometimes crawling into bed is exactly what one needs!
What do I need to think about in ceremony and should I bring something special?
After opening the ceremony, we strongly encourage you to take some personal space for your own journey and respect each other’s privacy. There is nothing wrong with sharing space and coming together during the day. It’s just that so many have become masters at distracting themselves. Instead of really allowing the medicine to work with us and show us what needs to be seen; sometimes we seek outside entertainment to essentially avoid doing what we came to do in the first place. Remember, this is your gift to you and you deserve to get the most out of it!
– Limit the distractions to a minimum, but bring music with headphones if you like. We can’t decide what to listen too, but want to give a friendly reminder that we become more sensitive and impressionable after drinking the medicine, so keep that in mind when choosing a playlist.
– A journal and a pen are nice to have just to get that one thought, vision, feeling or healing on paper.
– Water (and tea) is available the whole day, but a water bottle will save you the small walk to go get it.
– Sensations of being hot or cold is pretty common so having an extra sweater can be nice to treat the cold (extra blankets are also available). The hot is easily treated with the beautiful Mondego river that flows through the property in Portugal and in Spain you can make use of the pool, so bring some swim wear!
Other than that, the most important thing you can bring with you is willingness. You don’t need to have the answers to anything, you don’t even have to have all the questions lined up. All you need is to be willing. With willingness comes an ability to see, feel and meet what needs to be seen, felt and met and it brings with it the courage to see it through.
Is it scary to drink the San Pedro cactus?
From personal experience, we now know that it is not scary to drink San Pedro, although we always have (and still do) feel a little anxious before ceremony. Healthy anxious, though and that’s perfectly normal.
Here are some personal stories from our team:
“My first time, I was scared sh*tless. In fact, I wasn’t even planning on drinking myself but I just went along for the ride with Marijn and was planning to read a book that day. But after I met and talked to the facilitator, I changed my mind and decided to drink after all. And I am so glad I did. The whole day of my first ceremony, I felt like I was laying in Mother Nature’s lap. She just held me. I did shed some tears, but all from gratitude. The next day, we decided to stay for another ceremony… then another, and another and… here we are.”
“For me there was definitely a lot of apprehension around drinking San Pedro the first time. I had just come from a 20-day long Ayahuasca retreat, where my Shaman had advised me against participating in any plant ceremonies for at least six months. About two weeks later, I had decided to follow my intuition despite deeply trusting my Ayahuasca-shamans wisdom. So, I was pretty nervous going into the first ceremony. I had no reason to be, I found out. We were introduced to each other and I asked if I could just enjoy my day, instead of doing hard work. San Pedro said yes, and all I remember is sitting for hours on the same spot, watching the mountains, the clouds and all the insects breathing and dancing the dance of life. It hasn’t always been as easy. I’ve had to meet many, (for me) scary parts of myself and my shadow sides. It has felt overwhelming sometimes, and I have cried a lot. But what I remember most vividly from all my journeys is the gratitude, the love, the deep appreciation for life. I’ve learned that fear is not real, but what lies on the other side of it is.”
Why should I come with TAITA Travel?
Why should I come with TAITA Travel?
We offer the medicine in safe and beautiful surroundings, hidden away from the busyness of the world. You get a chance to disconnect from your phone (internet) and re-connect to yourself (heart), nature and like-minded people. We have made sure to include activities for your sense of adventure and workshops to tickle your sense of curiosity. Our experienced team at TAITA Travel will make sure you’ll have all that you need. There will be a lot of room for fun or, quiet reflection. No obligations but a lot of going with the flow.
What happens now that I have my reservation?
From the moment you arrive we have everything arranged. Your job is to get there, and after that you don’t have to worry about a thing. We’ll come get you and bring you to the retreat location, where we have prepared delicious meals, fun outside activities, workshops and more. You will receive a welcome/information-email where we’ll explain what you need to bring, how to book your travel, information about the location and more.