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For more than 3,500 years the visionary cactus, San Pedro (Trichocereus Pachanoi), has been used by many different civilizations within the Andes for its profound healing and visionary properties. This ancient plant medicine is sometimes referred to as ‘the doorway’, punku, as it allows passage to a realm of heightened consciousness, enhanced creativity, wisdom and healing thereby reawakening one’s passion for life and restoring equilibrium of mind, body and spirit.

Like Ayahuasca, San Pedro allows you to receive what you need and teaches you the tools to bring your life back into balance. This powerful healing brew offers the opportunity to work within your shadow and move deeply into your subconscious and ego to unearth the underlying issues preventing you from leading a life of love, harmony and balance. When we truly connect with the healing energy of San Pedro, we are given the space and loving support to release, nurture, receive inspiration, rediscover our true nature and find our path and purpose.

“When our hearts open with San Pedro, we have the feeling of profound love of self, of others, of Mother Earth, the Universe and beyond. We experience enthusiasm for how beautiful our lives truly are and a connection to the Great Divine. Some would call this bliss. Very often one becomes aware of their path, purpose and service. As a psychotherapist, I have experienced the medicine providing individual guidance in reaching deep into the shadow and releasing the pain of past trauma, crisis and early childhood issues.”
Michele Costa Lukis
“I only now realised how sceptical I was about the healing qualities of the medicine plants. I have healed and enlightened. For the first time in my life I discovered my spirit, I now feel MYSELF. I finally feel what love and trust is! I’m also aware that there is more work I need to do and Ruben & Michele are definitely the best guys to do it with.”
“My experience with San Pedro was beyond what I imagined, very beautiful, very life changing. I felt bathed in love for the whole duration. I am very grateful for the experience I had with Michele and Rubén, for all the care that they put in, making sure that each of us had an amazing, loving experience. Thank you Michele and Ruben for what you created.”


San Pedro leads us to embrace the divine dark, where nothing is hidden.

Under the guidance of Dr Rubén Orellana PhD, Michele Costa Lukis and Leandro D’Andrea, we will learn from Wachuma within traditional shamanic ceremonies with the intention of healing spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. We do not work with the medicine in a recreational manner but in authentic and sacred ceremonies and ask that those who journey with us to bear this in mind.


Prior to working with Wachuma, Rubén and Michele will hold a Shamanic cleansing and a workshop on the historical and shamanic uses of this power plant, discussing the ancient and modern rituals of this sacred medicine as we prepare to receive its teachings.

We will also discuss the power of intention in working with the medicine with Michele, Rubén and Leandro on hand to help you discover and communicate your personal intention to Wachuma. In working with Rubén’s visionary brew our intention is never to ‘trip’ as with many modern recreational drugs as this distracts from the healing benefits of the plant and takes us away from our needs. These powerful medicines can provide great personal insight and raising of consciousness when they are met with respect, care and a personal intention.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything in private prior to ceremony, Michele, Rubén and Leandro are always available. We offer a dieta (diet) appropriate in working with Wachuma and explain our recommendations thoroughly to the group.


Dr Rubén Orellana PhD, archaeologist, anthropologist and curandero will brew for the group. Having majored in chemistry and social sciences, Rubén is an expert on the historical and contemporary aspects of San Pedro shamanism and healing in Peru. Ruben spent twenty-two years as head curator of Machu Picchu where he is credited with the discovery of forty-four new sites. In addition to his academic credentials as a historian and scientist, Dr Orellana is a practicing shaman himself, studying with the healers or Paqo (Shaman) of the Andes from the age of seven.

Rubén’s knowledge of how to prepare the seventy-nine varieties of San Pedro has been passed down to him through generations of Andean Curanderos and from the plant itself. Rubén works on an esoteric level with the plant; As he brews, he connects to the energy of Wachuma within a relationship spanning many years and is shown how to brew the medicine according to the needs of the group. He places his intention into the medicine, in this way the plant can also learn from the healer. When Michele once asked Ruben how many times he had conducted San Pedro ceremonies, he paused and said “over eight hundred”. Rubén is considered a ‘Maestro’ and has been conducting ceremonies since 1976 with an unblemished record. It is his privilege and honour to share the customs and traditions of Andean culture. Read more about Rubén here.

"When people ask me how many hours they will be affected by San Pedro after they drink it I tell them it will not be hours but the rest of their lives. The energy will always stay with you, as will the wisdom of the plant and through San Pedro you continue to learn and grow."
Dr Ruben Orellana


Rubén works in the traditional manner using the elements of the mesa, scent and sound. During ceremony, Rubén, Michele and Leandro work together to hold space, meeting individual needs and offering support where needed. Rubén may use ikaros (healing songs communicated by the plant), the sound of the rattle, the drum, whistling, different scents and crystals among other traditional healing tools.

Ceremonies will be held by day and by night. Working in the light of day holds the purpose of growth, allowing people to connect with the energy of the universe and ask Father Sun to return to their lives. Ceremonies at night, when you do not have cognition of time and space, are for healing. Penumbra light allows you to truly see; to go into deep meditation, move backward and forward in time and to journey deeper into healing. Many refer to this as shadow work. In this time the veil between the visible and invisible world is thin and sometimes non-existent.


Our primary concern is always the safety of our group members during their time with us and beyond. We are known for our unblemished record and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You may wish to take a look our testimonials page.

We maintain working within small groups of no more than 14 to allow for individual care and attention with curandero Dr Rubén Orellana, psychotherapist and shamanic practitioner Michele Costa Lukis and shamanic practitioner Leandro D’Andrea holding space for the group. A careful eye is kept over all group members at all times and we will be with you for the duration of the ceremony. Following ceremony, processing and integration circles are held to help each individual to ground the experience and interpret the teachings of the medicine.

If you decide to join us, we would need to ask you a few personal questions regarding your medical history for your own safety. We hope you do not mind.


Our ceremonies are held legally in carefully chosen locations within Peru and Portugal. In Peru, we work with Wachuma on sacred sites available to us through Rubén’s position as a renowned archaeologist. In Portugal, our space is a beautiful retreat centre in the hills of Central Portugal surrounded by trees. Every ceremonial space we work in is carefully chosen and cleansed prior to ceremony. Throughout ceremony we hold space with music, ikaros, scent, colour and other healing tools to create a calm and peaceful environment for the group.


Following each ceremony, Michele and Rubén hold processing and integration circles to reflect on what Wachuma may have brought forth for each member of the group. Bringing their years of experience in working with the medicine and Michele’s expertise of twenty-five years as a transpersonal-psychotherapist, they help each individual to interpret the teachings of the plant which may appear as symbols or metaphors. Michele, Rubén and Leandro are always available to discuss any elements of the work in private should you wish.


Wachuma REtreats


We are honoured to offer the opportunity to work with San Pedro in small, safe, supported and legal ceremonies within Portugal and the highlands of Peru.









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