“The Teachings of Don Juan” – that is a Yaqui way of consuming hallucinogenic plants

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My good friend, Ernesto from the evil empire told me a couple of years ago about Carlos Castaneda’s book “The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge”.

He briefly explained to me what this book is about and I had kind of mixed feelings. I wasn’t sure if I will be interested enough to read about the black magic and the rituals of native americans.

Despite that I’ve read it and I’ll probably recommend it to everyone who likes magic mushrooms and other hallucinogenic plants. Not because it’s some sort of bible for mushroom freaks but because it actually teaches the readers the respect for the Yaqui culture and the plants itself and the rituals surrounding the use of it.

The author describes his hallucinatory experiences, which took place during his apprentice with don Juan.

There are three plants which were used during those experiences:

  • mescalito
  • yerba del diablo
  • humito


Mescalito, better known as peyote is a small, spineless cactus. Usually people consumes 12 to 15 buttons and the taste is bitter. Apparently vomiting is very common and the high starts after 45 minutes. Some of the users experience sensations that are enjoyable. It can also be a negative experience, like anxiety, fear of insanity and fear of death, fear of losing control or anxiety.


Yerba del diablo, knows as datura plant or devil’s weed is very dangerous and need to be carefully prepared before using. The plant produces the feeling of complete inability to differentiate reality from fantasy, in addition some of the symptoms include rapid heart beats, violent behaviour. The plant also affect the body afterwords: photophobia, which can last several days, or pronounced amnesia (whatever it means). Apparently most of the Datura users are describing the experience as mentally and physically unpleasant, sometimes even physically dangerous.


Humito is a psychedelic mushroom. The trip usually starts after 10 minutes to one hour after the consumption and it will last up to 6 hours. In the beginning the users starts seeing and feeling better, which then is followed by the rapid change in the perception of the ordinary world. Then the user starts to feel confused, while the inner vision become clearer.

That brief explanation is very dry compared to the book itself. Although I have to stress that the ending of the book can bit a bit boring because it includes the whole analysis bit.


Onward and upward,

Tsaritsa Katarzyna


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