Citation: Piscea Indica. "Lucidity A Dreamtime Retrospective: An Experience with Coleus (exp106880)". Erowid.org. Nov 6, 2019. erowid.org/exp/106880
||6 - 7 cups
While perusing a blog concerning itself with psychoactive substances, I came upon a thread about the potential effects of Coleus blumei (now Plectranthus scutellarioides), a common ornamental in my area. In fact, several varieties grew in my neighborhood. The vague information I could glean from this source was very contradictory, and gave me little background on the composition or active status of the plant. Some told of it as a powerful substitute for Salvia Divinorum; others spoke of it as possessing no effect beyond placebo.
The Internet is rife with misinformation, and I felt as though I needed to form my own opinion, and indulged in an experiment.
After spending a day dedicated purely to research of the plant, its effects, and means of preparation, I collected several of the plants from my neighbor's home (after obtaining permission to do so, of course). I had four hybrid cultivar varieties; 'Amora,' Black Magic,' 'Burgundy Columns x Pagoda,' and 'Carnival.' The foliage was beautiful; I understood why it was commonly referred to as 'Painted Nettle.' I refrigerated the Coleus overnight, in plastic storage bags, as I wouldn't be using it until the following morning.
For the first day, I would be testing the effects of 'Amora,' a beautiful specimen with pale pink and green-splashed foliage. I brewed a tea using the entire plant; the leaves and other plant parts, and ingested the leaves after the tea had finished steeping. The flavor was not unpleasant; I would compare it to fresh spring dandelion greens, with a slightly pungent aftertaste.
I sat down with my journal, and began an entry. After journaling (I am pleased to note I had spent an hour on the particular lyric set of the song I was constructing), I went for a walk to the local play park, where I swung and listened to music (a common pastime of mine). I was feeling nothing but a slight sedation, though colors seemed more prominent. I spent about an hour at the park despite my slight disappointment, and then returned home. I was not hopeless, however, because I truly believed this plant to be active in some way.
Two days later, I was free of any social obligations in the evening. I decided to try a different cultivar, 'Burgundy Columns x Pagoda,' a mix between two well-known hybrid species. The leaves of this plant were very dark purple, bordering on black near the veins. The frilled edges of the leaves were a rich blood-red. I was enamored by its beauty.
I prepared this plant as a tea as well, this time adding a bit of the cleaned root material. I finished the tea, and ingested the remaining dregs. This plant had a stronger flavor, though still palatable.
It was growing dark outside, so I went to my bedroom rather than walking to the park as I had done before. I read and waited.
About forty minutes later, I felt it. Just what 'it' was is difficult to describe; it was very relaxed and mellow, though clear and aware.
Feeling very nice, I made some Chamomile tea and decided to prepare for bed. I had not been sleeping well, though I felt as though I would be able to because of the relaxation and comfort I was experiencing.
It was after drifting off that I learned the true use of Coleus.
The dream I had that night was incredible, indiscernible from reality in its moment. In the morning, I was able to recall and record the dreamtime events I had partaken in entirely.
'In my dream last night, I had been walking through the streets at night, in the misty darkness. I eventually reached the local play park, where several friends of mine (as well as an acquaintance, who I rarely speak to in reality) stood beneath the overhang of the pavilion, drinking beer and beckoning for me to join them. I walked to them, of course, and had a beer of my own. The conversation was pleasant and meaningless. All was well, until my high-school advisor came by on her bicycle. She was wearing strange goggles, almost seeming to be a those of a turn-of-the-century aviator. Without acknowledging our presence, she poured herself a glass of Southern Comfort, and pedaled away. We were all exceedingly confused, even within the spontaneity of a dream. After a few moments, we accepted the visitation from our advisor as mildly interesting and continued our festivities. Just then, however, we were interrupted once again. An unmarked black car had pulled in to the space beside the pavilion, and, as the unknown driver began to open the door, we ran. Through the darkened streets we went, escaping an unknown assailant. A few of my friends had gone in opposite directions as they frantically tried to put distance between themselves and the strange vehicle. Eventually, we all met at my home. I felt as though I needed to distance myself from the others, so I went to my bedroom. I was unsurprised by the fact that it had been overtaken in an indoor forestscape. I hid among the foliage, safe.'
Sensory perception and thought processing were active and evident throughout the course of the dream. I was able to fully comprehend the terror and confusion, and feel the hard cement beneath my bare feet as I ran. The colors, textures, and feeling of the settings were intense and incredibly real and vivid.
After this experience, I began using Coleus for dream exploration. Over time, I was able to manipulate my dreams to my pleasure. However, I soon learned that after a few weeks of partaking in the Coleus tea each evening, the effects begin to wear away. I dreamed no longer (or, more maddeningly, could not recall my dreams).
This plant has many teachings, undeniably. Though, it is far more effective as a tool for dream exploration when used in moderation.
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