Famous Users of Peyote

During the peyote revival of the 1960s, a lot of notable authors and musicians used peyote. In fact, some of the best works of art and literature were inspired by peyote. Here are a few of the most famous peyote users:

Aldous HuxleyAldous Huxley

Today, Huxley is most famous for his book “Brave New World,” but he also brought peyote into the mainstream. Always ahead of his time, Huxley wrote the groundbreaking book “The Doors of Perception” in 1953. The book focused on the ways in which Huxley was impacted by using mescaline.

Jim Morrison

Jim MorrisonThe frontman of the Doors was notorious for his drug use and wasn't afraid to try anything at least once. Although he was not a frequent user of peyote, Jim Morrison did experiment with it on occasion. Morrison was deeply inspired by Aldous Huxley, who was also known for his frequent consumption of peyote. In fact, Morrison got the name of his band from Huxley's book “The Doors of Perception.”

Ken Kesey

KeseyWithout peyote, the world would not have the bestselling and extremely influential book “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.” Literary genius Ken Kesey was inspired to write this novel while he was on a peyote trip. At the time, the author was working on a psychiatric ward. In later years, he explained that “Peyote... inspired [his] chief narrator, because it was after choking down eight of the little cactus plants that [he] wrote the first three pages.”

CarlosCarlos Castaneda

Arguably, it was Carlos Castaneda who started the whole peyote craze of the 1960s. The anthropologist wrote a bestselling book about his research. Today, most of the book is seen as fictional, but at the time it was published it influenced readers to try peyote as a hallucinogen. Watch a video here.

Aleister Crowley

CrowleyAlso known as Frater Perdurabo and the “Great Beast,” Crowley was a famed British occultist and magician. He was also an accomplished philosopher, poet and mountaineer. Crowley accomplished all this in spite of his nearly constant drug use. The magician was said to be happy to try anything at least once. He included peyote in his arsenal of drugs. Some people believe that Crowley's religious philosophy of Thelema was inspired while he was using peyote.

LearyTimothy Leary

As an influential psychologist in the 1960s, Timothy Leary advised others to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” His drug of choice was LSD, but he also perused mescaline after Mana Trujillo introduced him to the peyote ceremony in 1962.

Antonin ArtaudAntonin

The famous French playwright and actor wrote “The Peyote Dance” following his encounters with the Indian tribes of northern Mexico. His experience with peyote is also recorded in “Voyage to the Land of the Tarahumara.”

Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S ThompsonThe famous Author and Journalist, Hunter S. Thompson once ran for sherrif of Aspen, Colorado and his logo for his campaign was a red fist clutching a green peyote button. The same logo was later used to symbolize the entire gonzo journalism movement and was deemed "The Gonzo Fist". Mescaline is also used in the novel "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

Richard Evans Schultes

Richard Evans SchultesConsidered the father of modern ehnobotany, Schultes studied indingenous tribes and their use of hallucinogenic and entheogenic plants. He studied peyote usage in the Kiowa peoples in Oklahoma. From here went on to study plants in The Amazon and Tropical locations around the world.