Peyote, ever virgin: A case of religious hybridism in Mexico

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In 1570, in the mining city of Guanajuato in New Spain, the Inquisition convicted a daughter of the Count of La Gomera (in the Canary Islands) of sorcery and eating peyote, the hallucinogenic cactus native to Mexico. Witnesses claimed that Catalina de Peraza, alias doña Beatriz de Ayala, had eaten peyote to divine the amorous interest, or lack thereof, of the Spanish magistrate and notary of the town, Andrés García. She was also accused of a variety of other practices involving divination and magic. For these activities, defined as crimes by ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan inquisitor of Michoacán, don Pedro de Yepes, sentenced her to a one-year exile from the diocesan capital and ordered her to pay for the costs of the trial. Yet in his sentence he did not specifically mention witchcraft or peyote use and simply handed down the sentence without comment.1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Linking of Heaven and Earth
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Religious and Cultural History in Honor of Carlos M.N. Eire
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317187660
ISBN (Print)9781409439431
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Peyote, ever virgin: A case of religious hybridism in Mexico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this