The famous San Pedro cactus grows commonly in the central Andes of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. It is commonly used as a natural medicine and for shamanic rituals to cleanse the body.
Beyond its use as natural medicine, many people in Cusco affirm that it is also a great guardian of their homes. It is said that if a thief were to try to get in your home to steal with your permission, the cactus would keep them out.
It is said that thieves tried to break into a home in one of our traditional neighborhoods in Cusco. The home’s residents had taken a trip to Lima for health reasons. The thieves knew and decided to break in during their absence to steal.
While they were trying to get in, there was a sudden whistle. The thieves though someone was watching them. After a few minutes they realized there was no one there and so began again to break into the home. Now, a man dressed in black was waiting for them when they went over the fence separating the home from the street.
He began to whistle, like an alarm, and the thieves turned and fled in fear. This man in black was the shadow of the San Pedro cactus. It had transformed itself into a man to take care of the home and forbid the thieves from entering. After a bit, all the neighbors came out to see what was happening.
You can see why people say that they San Pedro cactus is a great protector of people’s homes. In this it is like the skull of family members that is also kept in many homes. They both watch over the home and protect it from thieves.