Apple Cider Vinegar, Peyote and Carlos Castaneda

Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem. 1150 also known as peyote
Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem. 1150

Just had my evening shot of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and remembered the time I ate peyote buttons, in the very north of British Columbia, in the middle of winter. (Bragg is not a sponsor).

The fur on the buttons you see, on the outside of the Astrophytum asterias cactus (above) are poisonous (arsenic) and have to be carefully cut off with a razor blade. The taste of those little buttons is ten times more wretched than vinegar to the body, the second you bite in it’s almost too much. Really interesting effect from the plant though, extremely introspective, without time (as we know it) very deep understanding of things in a new way. Probably a good idea to have a guide but make sure you have lot’s of time on your hands and forget about food, you’ll not be able to hold anything down, even if it looks good.

The thing that I remember most was that it was 40 below and my first Christmas away from home, I was 18 years old and living alone, it was holiday season so every one was festive in the town of Fort Nelson and from outside the houses I could see the waves of energy and heat pulsing off the frozen exteriors, like I had special vision. Also the sound of my own boots crunching on frozen snow was almost an endless source of fascination, to the point where one single step was filled with intense new interpretation of the sounds. Walking and walking and observing every detail with awe. I can still remember the experience, it was deep.

Organic, Raw, Unfiltered, with the 'Mother' (Naturally Gluten Free - Certified Non-GMO)
Organic, Raw, Unfiltered, with the ‘Mother’ (Naturally Gluten Free – Certified Non-GMO)

People have asked me if Apple Cider Vinegar has helped me, or what benefits have I noticed since I started. Truth is that I don’t know for sure but I do believe I discover a breakthrough technique. The idea came to me from watching Wim Hof (the Iceman) describe how the mind as ability to control systems of the body, we just didn’t know we could.

The Teachings of Don Juan
The Teachings of Don Juan

Apple Cider Vinegar is revolting to drink, the only thing I know worse is peyote buttons, which are a natural source of mescaline, they taste so bad that some people wretch and others just can’t put them in their mouth. It was a long time ago but I remember it well because I was living inside the arctic circle at the time. My peyote adventures were inspired by Carlos Castaneda and his incredible; “Teachings of Don Juan.”

I learned long ago, from experience that clarity, sobriety and fitness is way more fun and the clean mind too important, to risk by playing with recreational drugs. I’ve lived substance free for many years, however I do plan to experience Ayahuasca some day in the future (in Brazil). Fortunately for me, altered states hold no interest any more. Plus, to be clear I never did trust anything synthetic, so Apple Cider Vinegar becomes my substance of choice now. My technique is a “Power of Intention” excercise and practice of wisdom right from Don Juan. I use the shock of the taste, hold it under my tongue while engaging my mind to re-set my body.

By breathing in the correct sequence, while you hold the apple cider vinegar under your tongue, you can force the shock of the revulsion into your body as a blast of energy from God. Imagine that some ignorant sick people put vinegar in the mouth of Jesus, when he was told it was water. Think how you are going to survive and thrive! Play sequence of thoughts in your mind and become fully aware of your immune system. In those seconds your mind has sent big wave of love through your body. You just joy jolted your entire system, now swallow!

As with so many things, it’s the simple repetitive discipline of doing it day after day. The key difference is the Power of Intention and the amount of focus you’re able to conjure with your mind. Frankly, many people just don’t have the time nor the inclination but I want influence over my own body, so for a daily ritual I borrow from the Yaqui Way of Knowledge suggested by The Practical Wisdom of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico.


Ayahuasca, iowaska, or yagé, is an entheogenic brew made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine and other ingredients. The brew is used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. It has been reported that some psychoactive effects can be felt from consuming the ayahuasca vine alone.

Peyote Photo credit: Skolnik Collection on / CC BY-ND

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