“I tried to keep a journal of my experience, but after a while writing, naming, and recording seemed pointless. At some point, probably six hours into the Walk, the trees transformed into mother’s arms; the bark and scrub brush seemed to watch me; a felled log on the hilltop above my campsite pushed itself up from the ground, as though coming alive after a long rest. The Arizona flag that stood next to the log flapped in the wind, playing the same song as a roaring campfire.
“The visual hallucinations intensified at nightfall against the backdrop of the endless canyon sky. It was the perfect canvas for Horus, Ishtar, and gods from cultures far older than the Judeo-Christian one I’d been raised in. Hohokam ancients, shamans, and entities from Hinduism, Buddhism, and mystery cults lit up the blackness. Around the campfire I heard invisible children singing “Ooheeaaatah, o e o e ahh tay” over and over. The desert floor teemed with life and against the chorus of coyotes and owls, the land felt more vibrant now that it ever had during the daytime. I watched the sky for several hours until the hallucinations lost their appeal, rather, until one image stamped itself over another and all of them folded into the next. The warmth of my sleeping bag suddenly felt like a good option and I went inside the tent.”
—excerpt from a Peyote Spirit Walk journal