from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A spineless, dome-shaped cactus (Lophophora williamsii) native to Mexico and the southwest United States, having buttonlike tubercles that are chewed fresh or dry as a narcotic drug by certain Native American peoples. Also called mescal.
- n. See mescal button.
- n. See mescaline.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small, spineless cactus (Lophophora williamsii) found from southwest United States to central Mexico that produces buttonlike tubercles that can be chewed for its psychedelic effect, primarily from the drug mescaline. Also called mescal.
- n. A mescal button produced by the plant.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name applied in certain parts of Mexico to several low, fleshy, spineless plants, especially to Lophophora Williamsii, which is used medicinally and has narcotic properties. Also written pellotè. See mescal-buttons.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the hallucinatory alkaloid that is the active agent in mescal buttons
- n. a small spineless globe-shaped cactus; source of mescal buttons
This moment of the sharing of the peyote is the fulfillment of the highest goals in Huichol religious life.
Employment Division v. Smith concerned a practitioner of a native American religion where the (illegal) use of peyote is a key ritual.
He spent several months with the Tarahumara people, partaking in peyote and other rituals.
Katuza then produced a large peyote bud from his pouch, which he treated with great respect, explaining that the peyote is like a god to the Huichol.
As the principal agent for a tribe described as healers, peyote is considered a panacea and a health aid as well as a hallucinogen.
While I rather lamented the fact that I saw no hallucinations, shapes, lights or special effects (what is expected with peyote, which is chemically "mescaline"), the idea is that the sacred plant peyote meets you ": where you are", and perhaps, for me, that was precisely in profound unease with group dynamics?
Honestly, there's just too much ground to cover on this topic, like peyote, which is legal to use for ritual purposes within the Native American Church, or that Simpsons episode where Homer goes to the chili cook-off and eats some crazy habanero pepper, which causes him to hallucinate and set off on a spiritual journey guided by a coyote voiced by Johnny Cash.
There are some resident hippies, perhaps looking for the peyote, which is part of the Huichol Indian religion.
As a "roadman," or traveling pastor, of the church, he is authorized to conduct prayer meetings and act as a "custodian" of peyote, which is grown in Texas and brought legally to California for religious purposes.
Teodosio Herrera is spiritual leader of the 30-member Rio Grande Native American Church and calls peyote "the medicine," a monicker used by everyone who deals legally in the cactus.