Joseph D. Calabrese II brought up some interesting question in his article relating the NAC. The use of Peyote as a tool or medicine to induce self-reflexivity in a Peyote Meeting. By now you may be wondering what is a peyote, will it is a psychedelic cactus.
“Native American categorization of Peyote as "medicine" and the relation of this categorization to the physiological effects of Peyote ingestion. Schultes called attention to reported cures as the key to Peyote's widespread therapeutic reputation; LaBarre, seemingly discounting any actual therapeutic efficacy, maintained that Native Americans had been impressed by the visions brought on by Peyote, which they took to be evidence of its "medicine power" (Calabrese II 495).
How do we measure the efficacy of peyote in NAC meeting? According to Calabrese, it is “the Peyote Meeting, symbolism has become a tool in the ritual generation of self-awareness, which, in turn, has become a tool in the therapeutic utilization of Peyote. As such, consideration of Peyote's therapeutic efficacy must include not only knowledge of its psychoactive properties but consideration of the Peyotist ritual process and symbolism” (Calabrese II 496). Peyote sometime often refer to as medicine, but Calabrese is pointing out that it only a tool in the therapy. “Peyote is itself an important symbol, linking the general idea of personality with a natural substance. To my consultants, Peyote is not only a medicine that is used, it is also a spirit with which a relationship is maintained” (Calabrese II 498).Base off that statement we can say that the use of peyote is to reconnect with the traditional mythical aspect of Navajo religions. However there is more a peyote than meet the eye. “Peyote in terms of a psychotechnological revolution fulfilling the same goals as the traditional ceremony but in a shorter amount of time (one night versus five or nine) and with a much more profound psychotransformative impact” (Calabrese II 502). Peyote can be a medicine base on this quotation because it seem to preform similar function as a medicine. We can also state that peyote is a link between traditional ceremony and NAC ceremony where thing are shorten to fit in with today modern lifestyle of the Navajo. So can peyote be view as a symbolic element that link religion and health together?