Salon2 033 – “The Psychedelic Archives of Keeper Trout”


Guest speaker: Keeper Trout


Year this lecture was recorded: 2017

The wonderful Keeper Trout shares with us today includes his experiences archiving the files of Dr. Alexander Shulgin, working to collect the chemistry of psychedelic plants and medicines (particularly mescaline containing plants), and the cultural and legal history of the Native use of peyote and cactus as well as its suppression by the United States government. Keeper Trout is a multifaceted and delightful character who gives us today’s engaging interview.

See Trout’s work on Shulgin’s archive here:

More about his work conserving the cactus here:

And his own excellent and thorough work on the chemistry and history of use of psychedelics:

Also, here is the article in which Keeper mentioned: Hallucinations of Neutrality in the Oregon Peyote Case, by Harry F. Tepker, Jr.

To support the Psychedelic Salon 2.0 broadcast, join the No Nonsense! Club on Patreon:


PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option

Hemp for Victory

Posted in Books, Keeper Trout, Lex Pelger, Medicine, Mescaline, Peyote, Psychedelics, Religion.


  1. Hey P Heresy, I have also had similar experience with the seasonal variation in cactus potency. My general rule of thumb now is to harvest in winter/dry season when they are dormant and naturally are not being watered or rained on. I have heard about people stressing the plants prior to harvest to increase alkaloid yields, but I prefer to just leave them be and harvest at the right time of year. I like that you saved the tip to propagate a new plant, I have found for me that is an important part of the harvest ritual – to show your appreciation for the treasures the plant has gifted you. There is also significant variation amongst the different species, cultivars and clones. Trouts Notes are a wealth of information on this topic – more than you want to know?

  2. I have a comment and some NON expert anecdotes about San Pedro cactus. I did my reading about it and learned that the potency of San Pedro varied greatly. But it even varied within the plant itself through the seasons. During the time of rapid growth, it was very weak. During the time of drought and low light, the potency increased dramatically. I also read that shamans draped cactus with fabric and refrained from watering a month before harvesting.
    I lived in Los Angeles during early 2000’s. I found my first patch of San Pedro growing in the strip between the front lawn and sidewalk in an Echo Park neighborhood. It was planted there to stand next to the trash cans on garbage night.
    I cut a 16 inch length from the part most likely to be pruned off next. I placed the section in a dark closet for a month before its time to ingest. The color of it had become a pale, almost purple color. I skinned, cored most of it, leaving intact the very top to transplant in a small clay pot. I cooked down the fillets adding lemon juice to the mix (supposedly to make the alkaloids more bio available). I shared the mix with a dear friend and made a night of it.
    It was VERY potent.
    Every time that protocol was followed it was the same results no matter what the source of the cactus as long as it was well established. I knew it was not as concentrated as peyote, but if you could chug down the thick bitter brew by the cup, you would NOT be disappointed.
    I found myself transplanting dozens of sections of San Pedro and presenting them as gifts for friends and acquaintances over the years I lived on LA,
    I wonder if my limited experience (regarding potency) matches other’s.

  3. Thank-you Lex and Lorenzo for a most enjoyable podcast! For me personally one of the most intriguing aspects of psychedelic culture and knowledge are the plants, fungi and animals that humans have discovered can be used to induce mystical experiences. With his particular fascination with trichocereus and lophophora cacti, Keeper Trout appears to share this perspective that others such as Terence & Dennis Mckenna, Christian Raestch, Kat Harrison, Jonathon Ott etc have also espoused. I’m always drawn to the line Tim Leary once used when introducing Terence: “Terence reminds us that it is all about the plants” (I think it is podcast 128, “state of the stone”). I feel that there is a risk of devaluing/profaning the psychedelic experience by reducing it down to the ingestion of a particular molecule, especially when that molecule is artificially synthesized. As Mr Trout said in this talk, for the Huichol et al it is not sufficient to substitute another cultivated species for wild peyote, as their sacrament is not the mescaline but the plant itself and land that raised it. I feel that something we as members of the psychedelic community can do to steer this ship in the right direction is to go back to the plants and fungi (probably best to leave the toads and fish alone for the moment). And it is not just about ingesting them – by observing and cultivating plants and fungi we can be taught many lessons.

Comments are closed.