Tripping Through Time: J. F. Burke's 1960s Adventures with Legal Peyote

Tripping Through Time: J. F. Burke's 1960s Adventures with Legal Peyote

In this whimsical narrative by J. F. Burke, we are transported back to the late 1950s and early 1960s when peyote was a legal and trippy adventure. Burke and his wife embarked on a 15-month peyote escapade, and their experiences are nothing short of psychedelic wonder.

Ingeniously tackling the notorious bitterness of peyote, they ground the dried buttons into a fine powder and encapsulated it, cleverly bypassing the challenge of taste. Their inaugural encounter with peyote unfolded in mysterious ways - a friend, cocooned in a Navaho blanket, chanted "in praise of everything," while Burke found himself overcome with fits of laughter, convinced that laughter was the purest response to the world's mysteries.

As they delved deeper into their peyote journey, they discovered profound transformations taking hold. Mescalito, their affectionate moniker for the enigmatic substance, became a constant companion. Their habits underwent a metamorphosis; they embraced vegetarianism, kicked the tobacco habit, and developed an aversion to alcohol. Additionally, Mescalito introduced them to the captivating realm of yogic literature.

Beyond introspection, Burke and his wife embarked on an experiment – working while under the influence of peyote. Contrary to Aldous Huxley's assertion that mescaline is incompatible with action and willpower, they found themselves extraordinarily energized and laser-focused on their tasks.

This enchanting tale is sprinkled with amusing anecdotes, like Burke casually offering a peyote button to a curious colleague, leading to an uproarious reaction. Eventually, their peyote adventure met its conclusion when government regulations restricted its use to Native American rituals.

Burke leaves us with a tantalizing hint of another, even more euphoric experience involving sugar cubes from an East Village psychedelic artist. This tale from the golden era of legal peyote not only serves as an amusing narrative but also provides a thought-provoking glimpse into a bygone era of psychedelic exploration.


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