Psychedelic Art of the Huicholes

Los Huicholes are an indigenous people from the northern and central mountains of Mexico. In the native Huichol language, Huichol directly translates to “medicine man”. Although the Huicholes have a very long lineage, they have maintained their ancient beliefs better than any other indigenous group in Mexico.

” The religious faith of the Huicholes is still based on a “trinity” of veneration of the deer, corn and peyote The last is ritually gathered each year on a long pilgrimage to the desert area of San Luis Potosí where the people are said to have originated and used by shamans. The importance of this and the pantheon of gods is seen in their stylistic representations on just about everything that the Huichol decorate. They did not have a written language until recently, so these symbols were and are the primary form of preserving the ceremonies, myths and beliefs of ancient Huichol religion……. Most [pieces of art and clothing] have religious significance and many are influenced by visions which occur during peyote rituals. ”

- (see sec. The Huichol People and Huichol decorative designs)

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Rebecca Horn

A German artist, Rebecca Horn creates elongated attachments to the body and performs with them. When she was 20 years old and living in Barcelona, she was creating art using glass fibre without using a mask, and since it was 1964, the dangers of this was unknown. She developed severe lung poisoning and was forced to spend an entire year in a sanatorium. During this time she lost both of her parents. She was still extremely ill after being released from isolation, and was stricken to bed rest most of the time. From bed, she began to design and sew these bodily attachments, in attempt to defeat her loneliness by communicating through bodily forms.


Alex Grey Performance’s


February 17, 1975
Museum School, Boston, Massachusetts

I ate a plate of spaghetti and then cut my hair onto the empty plate. I placed a human brain onto the hair, took the universal antidote, Syrup of Ipecac, and vomited the spaghetti onto the brain. After that, I put it all in a garbage bag.



May 28, 1975
Boston, Massachusetts

After I returned from the North Magnetic Pole, flat broke, I realized that my performances were an exhaustive desperate search for “something.” And although I called myself an agnostic existentialist, I challenged “God, whatever that is” to appear to me. Within twenty-four hours the following two life-changing events occurred: At a party I took LSD for the first time. Sitting with my physical eyes closed, my inner eye moved through a beautiful, spiraling tunnel. The walls of the tunnel seemed like a living mother of pearl, and it felt like a spiritual rebirth canal. I was in the darkness, spiraling towards the light. The curling space going from black to gray to white suggested to me the resolution of all polarities, as the opposites found a way of becoming each other. My artistic rendering of this event was titled the Polar Unity Spiral. Soon after this I changed my name to Grey as a way of bringing the opposites together.

The same evening I met Allyson. She was the only other person who had taken LSD at that party. We have been together ever since that night in 1975. Our love has been the greatest teacher in my life. For me she is the flesh and blood incarnation of God’s infinite love. So my challenge to God, my prayer, had been answered.


August 1989
Lincoln Center Plaza, New York City

Allyson and I, with the help of friends and passers by, laid out 5,500 apples in the shape of the Goddess.

Then Allyson sat at the heart center of the Goddess nursing daughter Zena while I performed one hundred prostrations at the feet of the figure.

The creation of the figure was a ritual acknowledgment of our source of life, the Mother Earth, who nourishes us and whom we must preserve if we are to survive. At day’s end friends assisted us in reboxing the apples which were then donated to a shelter for homeless families.

*Descriptions taken from the Alex Grey website