Praying In The Gardens

Drawing by Joey Santore. Muchas gracias amigo! Photo credits- Mr.and Mrs. Lorax and Anthony Morelli.

The plight of peyote is an ecological crisis caused by humans. It is not a plant problem, it is a human problem. For this reason, one of Morning Star Conservancy’s spiritual elders, Randolph Thompson Jr., inspired a gathering of people to come together to pray for the future of peyote.

Shrine of Guadalupe, with medicine. San Antonio, Texas.

Last weekend a prayer ceremony was held in the peyote gardens of South Texas for the purpose of bringing together many of the people who share a concern for this medicine.

Starr County, Texas

Every ceremony is a function of unity and cooperation. And yet, challenges exist, even with the best of intentions. We live on a planet managed and mismanaged by humans. Humans have foibles and imperfections that affect this earth, and the home of peyote. And this is what we saw, and experienced, and prayed about in Texas.

Peyote’s native habitat at sunset.
On the way to the tipi site.
The humans making a prayer before raising the tipi tripod.

Economics breeds politics which in turn influence human relations, sometimes antipathy. In a huge land that once stretched free for hundreds of miles, fences now surround everything in South Texas, including all the medicine. There is virtually no public land, so all peyote is in ownership of large, private ranches. You might even say this is its protection. But it is also analogous to the casting of lots for Christ’s garments at the crucifixion. Land is leased to deer hunters and peyote pickers for considerable prices. Competition follows. This is the way of humans.

Father and son completing the tipi tie.
Forming the prayer altar.
Alex meets the neighbors.
Tribute to the late peyotero, Mauro Morales
Potted gardens at Morales home.
Greeting sign at Grandma Cardenas’ home and prayer site.
Texas historical marker noting the human pressure affecting peyote.
Old set of tipi poles at Grandma Cardenas’ home.
Grandma’s house.

But there are alternatives. And the key to these alternatives is cooperation. This was the purpose of last weekend’s prayer meeting. We are praying for a future of more cooperation in working to preserve peyote’s wellbeing as a species, as well as our own.

Creator of all seen and unseen, guide us through these times of change. Bless those who cooperate together to make a better world. Also, bless those who don’t. Bring us together for the common good so that regardless of our personal shortcomings, our children’s children can partake of this medicine, in a good way, with their grandchildren. And on into the future.

Talking Texas on The Peyote Lorax Podcast

Please visit for more peyote conservation information.

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Growing The Future!

3 responses to “Praying In The Gardens”

  1. Wow, did you take these photos yourself? They are stunning!!!


    1. Thanks. I took some, my wife, and our friend Anthony Morelli.


  2. What a powerful force to bring together so many people who care for the medicine. I am grateful to you all for your wisdom in guiding in the future and building for the next. I feel fortunate to have your example


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