Citation: Kayesem. "Instant Respect: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp114413)". Erowid.org. May 24, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114413
I first tried Salvia 4 weeks ago at 30g [fresh leaf, chewed] in silent darkness. The effect was very mild and I knew I needed to increase the dose next time. I was not expecting to re-visit so soon, but my plants had other ideas and one thing led to another. This is what happened.
I had eaten brekky early and then fasted the rest of the day. I also decided to use mouthwash this time, after lightly brushing everything inside my mouth besides my teeth, which in itself was weird. I was a little nervous, but otherwise calm and curious. Nothing much else has been going on in my life, apart from work and chilling. Things in general have been good for me lately. I am in ketosis and feeling healthy. I eat and sleep well. I work out and I'm not taking any medications.
Having found some research indicating that the plant's stems contain next to no active material, I took the extra effort this time to cut more of the main stem out from the middle of the leaves.
I took the extra effort this time to cut more of the main stem out from the middle of the leaves.
After doing this, I weighed my bundle of 24 leaves out to 51.2 grams, which I was pleased with. My rough aim was for around 40 - 45 grams, so this was on the high side. The weight of the stems that were removed = 18.5 grams.
I placed the leaves in a neat stack and then retired to my studio. I was going back and fourth between my studio and bedroom with a bit of last minute indecision as to where and how I should proceed. The skeptic in me wanted to remain in the armchair in front of my computer where I had spent the day on the net. I thought maybe nothing much will happen again this time, and if I feel like it, I can probably get up and shift to the bedroom without much hassle. The wise and respectful part of me called for silent darkness in the bedroom like last time, but I ended up choosing the chair rather than the bed. I had already established a comfort zone there, so I went with it.
I bring an empty bowl, some tissues and some water with me. I sit and listen to a comforting audio conversation that I tripped on mushrooms to recently. It is a bit of a cold night and I don't have any heating on, but i feel fine. I put a light red blanket over my legs.
It's 6:30 pm. I roll up my bundle of leaves length-ways and just bite off one end. Rather than try to shove as much in my face as possible, I continue to take bites, one chunk at a time, chewing as I go, until the stack is gone. That takes a few minutes, then I focus on chewing and retaining it all inside my mouth. I am not chewing fast or slow, but somewhere in between. The taste is very bitter, but I am expecting that and I can handle it a bit better than last time.
I keep my eyes closed, except to check the time now and then. I sit there, chewing away. By around 10 minutes in, I can feel and sense something. It's like a fuzzy buzzing. A light blur of faded colour that kind of teases me. I pay attention and try to decide if I can actually feel or see anything there. I do feel a light warmth that is very gentle. I do perceive a vision dimly. It's difficult to notice and does not seem to expand and clarify like a mushroom vision would when observed. I keep on chewing...
Suddenly it comes on. It hits me like a train. I can feel it without any doubt, ramping up with unsettling speed. There is no messing around. No getting a run up or any real warnings given, besides my own realisation that I must have hit the 15 minute mark. It takes off like a jump jet and hits top speed within moments, leaving me reeling in my chair and holding on for dear life. A wise man once said, regarding the power of Salvia, that even DMT test pilots come back white knuckled. This is certainly true, though at this stage it seems like there may be no coming back for me.
It feels like my body expands 10 - 20 feet in all directions. Like all air and space is being quickly replaced by a strange material which is connected to me and a part of me. I am merging with my immediate surroundings. I remain physically still, tensing my body and forgetting my breathing. A few feet away, directly in front and slightly above my physical body, I can feel the whole structure of reality and the world; peeling and tearing apart at the centre. I can feel this very literally and directly, as if it is happening to my own body.
The whole thing is completely unexpected and surprising the hell out of me. It appears like a large zipper, but more refined. Like a hundred zips layered into and over each other. It feels like a mechanical sequence has been initiated. There is an interlocking and meshing of many pieces. Nothing is rounded though. The pieces are like small tendrils, pins or connectors. Densely packed. It's all connecting straight across and / or diagonally. I can't tell if it's all coming apart or all going back together. The sensations are like both happening at once. Like my old paradigm is being torn apart and a more accurate, primary, or at least extremely different model of the structure of reality is being rapidly filled in. There is a light tingling in various parts of my physical body, where it feels as if the tendrils have not yet clicked into place, or out of place.
The visions are detailed, yet also highly abstract. It looks like many dozens of line shapes, horizontal, coming across from each side, towards and away from the centre, alive and intent on completing this process. The lines seem like small, hexagonal tubes in faded, obscure greens and dull neon glows. They all angle down in a slight V shape as they meet in the centre.
Feeling dominates. I can feel these pins, these layered reality connectors, far more than I can see them. It does not cause any pain.
Feeling dominates. I can feel these pins, these layered reality connectors, far more than I can see them. It does not cause any pain.
They feel like a living memory of part of my body being revealed to me, that has always been there, but I had long forgotten. Recollection is instant, alarming and undeniable. The structure seems to exist outside of ordinary space and time. It seems more real than I can easily handle, and carries this tone in a way that obliterates my entire life as I know it. My way of existing and living in the world seems like a fantasy that has had the cosmic rug pulled from under it. A total fluke, propped up by social conditioning and delusion.
I blast through a wave of psychotic episode-like darkness. It is a runaway process that has been unleashed and is inescapable. I could not even begin to hope to stop it. It reminds me of all my previous dark psychedelic experiences rolled into one. I have enough wits about me to know not to struggle. Not to try to fight it or turn and run. There is nowhere to go and it's too late. I've gone and done it this time and it's all over. It's happening. I'm losing it and nothing can be done. I'll never be the same again.
As terrifying as all of this is, that dread only lasts a few moments. It subsides very quickly and I have a chance to remember to breathe. That I can breathe. That air still exists. I feel like my body has merged with my outer reality and that there is no longer any space within it. The perception is one of constriction and suffocation. Quite unpleasant in many ways. I keep on tearing open and closing myself off. I have this urge to move my body in various, surely bizarre manners and directions, to avoid being locked up in this compressed matter. I thankfully do not bother to physically move much at all, except to check and realise that actually yes, my normal body is still here and it is fine. Things are going to be OK.
I notice that within this weird, locked-in predicament, only my imagination seems free to move about with ease, unable to be tied down or set in stone. I am thankful to have this small degree of freedom. I still have thoughts and emotions I suppose, but my simple awareness seems clear and this is the most reassuring aspect for me. I open my eyes, although it has seemed as if they were open the whole time. 15 minutes have elapsed since it came on.
It's now 7:00 pm.
I feel the cold suddenly and begin shivering. I regret sitting upright and being somewhat tensed. I crawl to the floor and just lay there, shivering some more, trying to relax into the experience. I soon realise that the peak has passed, and I feel stupid laying down here, so I climb back up into my seat.
The fact that ordinary reality is still there, visible and tangible, is incredibly reassuring. I close my eyes and pay attention. Things are relatively mild now and have calmed down considerably. I focus on breathing and keeping my mind clear. There is a continuous stream of vision I can perceive with great detail, but i can say almost nothing about it visually. It's vague, and appears as if it is both there and not there. Dream-like surfaces are out in front of me, taking up the whole field, and occasionally it seems like the entire structure spins slowly. This is all pleasant enough. A welcome relief, really.
The rolling conversation of audio that I have playing in the background has been a bit of an anchor for me. It has also taken on far deeper levels of meaning. I feel like I am tripping hard in at least this one sense that is familiar. When you feel like you understand things on a super deep level. That what you hear, see and feel is more true than it would usually seem to be on the surface. It's all interrelated, even though rationally it may make very little sense. Abstract topics of discussion pertain directly to my immediate experiences.
It's now 7:15 pm.
It feels like the peak is definitely over now. The effects have quickly faded into an afterglow, and this lingers for a while. It becomes similar to my first experience, but slightly more active. I sit for another 30 minutes and meditate. I feel a nice, clear space within. Like the internal structure of my being can allow for this breath to move through it, despite being crowded with a strange material. There are non-descript objects that I do see, but mostly feel and perceive inside. They are kind of blocky and magenta coloured. Their transformations are slow and disjointed, while still maintaining a flow and rhythm. The finer energy moving throughout is like a pale, clear, glowing light, or a soft breeze, in muted greens and purples. These subtle visions are quite unlike those found on other substances. The physical sense of warmth and slight numbness, together with a finer mental clarity; this gently reminds me of absinthe.
When it first hit me, I was taken so much by surprise that I struggled to find the spit bowl, reach for it and spit the wad out into it. It felt like a huge accomplishment. It came on so hard that I lost all awareness of it for a moment. It took a little while to register that I could surely discard what was apparently still in my mouth. I had not swallowed any saliva or material, nor did I feel any moral obligation to. It had remained as just one big mouthful that was very manageable. There was no great chewing method revealed this time and it largely took care of itself. I did not end up with so much saliva that I could not handle it or anything. The nasty taste seemed to disappear after take off. Now and then I was reminded of it and noticed how weird it was, still having a few clumps and dregs stuck in my mouth. Bleh.
It's now 7:45.
I rinse my mouth with water and spit into the bowl. I feel like replacing the flavour in my mouth with something else and I wouldn't mind eating some food, so I get up. Wandering to the fridge I feel a little light and floaty, but mostly in good order. My balance is not affected. I eat some smoked ham and cheese, then rinse my mouth once again with mouthwash. Finally, this overpowers any bitter flavours in my mouth.
It's now 8:00 pm.
The entire experience feels like it is now over. Done and dusted within 1.5 hours. I sit down and type out my notes. I recall things quite well, unlike after say; taking nitrous on top of acid. I can bring a fair amount back with me, I just struggle to find words for it. Folding up and unfolding is a good way to describe things, but I refer to the motif of zipping and unzipping, as that closely represents the feelings I had this time. I did not put 2 and 2 together until much later on. This unzipping is perhaps a fairly common thing to go through, but the descriptions of it only take on true meaning after the actual experience is
Salvia Divinorum is incredibly powerful and unusual. I have developed an instant respect for this plant and its outrageous abilities. It is unlike psilocybin or LSD. Salvia generates a very different set of experiences in a class of it's own, and is definitely not for the faint hearted. It does remind me of ayahuasca, insofar as it gave me a solid head kicking. So it can make regular life seem less difficult by comparison. Being able to resume functioning in this world... to do simple things like move about and breathe air, this seems miraculous to me.
Being able to resume functioning in this world... to do simple things like move about and breathe air, this seems miraculous to me.
I was sure I had been rearranged beyond repair. Reconfigured into a truer form.
I realise that not everyone goes through an ordeal with Salvia. I think that the darkness I experienced must be related to me somehow. There are common threads that link my own dark trips across many different substances, including psilocybin, LSD, THC and methamphetamine. Even dreams and nightmares. So I know that the substance is not the cause. It's maybe a chemical fear reaction triggered deep in the ancient, simple areas of my brain. Or maybe it's karma catching up with me and running me through the mill at random. It could be purely emotional. I went through a dark moment one day without any substance at all, walking home after rejection from a girl that I liked. I think I was dealing with amphetamine withdrawal on that occasion though. So maybe it's aliens from other dimensions, trying to tear me out of my body and crush me. Maybe it's death itself, coming to haunt me in the face and punch me in the soul. Slamming the fear of god into me for no apparent reason... I have never really worked it out.
I have found that as horrific as the dark trips can be, on the whole at least, they are not typically traumatising, or leaving any residual damage which might be a hindrance to living a normal life. When substances are involved, removing the substance will sail the ship straight back towards equilibrium. Either minutes or months later. In all cases, struggle will only exacerbate the situation. What is needed is to surrender and pass through it. Mostly what remains are questions. This dark time with Saliva was thankfully very brief and did not dominate the entire experience. At 8:00 pm I feel totally fine, straight and normal, as if nothing ever happened. I just have new memories, some of them terrifying, which I now find somewhat amusing. Man, she really snuck up on me this time!
While 24 leaves at 50g felt like a very large dose, I am not sure where to place it, or whether to dose higher or lower next time. Maybe 40g, or 60g? I also cannot gauge the effectiveness of brushing and mouthwash at this point, though I suspect that it does help. I do feel that tripping while sitting down was a mistake, and that I would have fared a lot better had I been able to fully lay down and relax (or attempt to relax) into things. I feel I may have broken through in that context, but that being all sat up in a chair kept me tethered to this world. Perhaps this partly caused such a difficult time for me when it came on. I have heard that sub-breakthroughs can be rough. Other people talk about leaving their bodies and entering dream worlds at sufficient doses. Properly busting through into other dimensions. I would really like to experience that. I was unsure whether this dosage level would turn out to be as active as it needed to be. I should have been more trusting and prepared, but at least now I know.
I don't think I will ever do Salvia again, unless I'm fully committed to laying down in silent darkness. When it was hitting me, I doubted ever wanting to do it again full stop. This is not something to take lightly or do for fun. I am thankful for going into it with a solid amount of previous psychedelic experience. I am sure it helped me navigate safely when the waves came crashing in. Salvia really seems like just another version of doing the work. Another difficult journey that requires courage and discipline to undertake. It's a strange life path, where we subject ourselves to these experiences voluntarily. It's not easy, but I do feel enriched by my inter-dimensional travels. I struggle to relate to people who choose to ignore altered states completely. Unless they are children.
So there you have it. I feel fine and normal the next day, as I revise and edit these notes. I have no great urge to repeat anything in a hurry. If was 6 months or a year before my next visit, I would be fine with that. I'm not sure what I got from it this time. I mean for a while there, all of my life seemed impossible, even the simple things. So in that sense I have a greater appreciation for simply being alive. And without Salvia bending my face in, I feel naturally quite well equipped to deal with reality as I encounter it.
I guess that Salvia is a teacher plant, though I could not discern any presence or guiding voice. And what to make of the lessons being taught, I don't know. I feel like maybe i should or could have left my body and it would have opened up properly into something else. But, I was not laying down and so just kind of got stuck. What I was seeing and feeling seemed to be very real and true. At least the experience of it was undeniable. But it was all in the mind. If what happened was actually true, the way reality is shaped, I would be a drooling pretzel on the ground right now. Gridlocked into the prison of a reality where all things become tangled up shapes embedded in matter, without space between anything. Like the end of a game of snake, where you have grown so large that you get all twisted up and run out of room to move. Then you eat yourself and die.
I have heard people reporting a dirtiness and unpleasant residual effects lasting a few hours following Saliva use. My guess is that this is simply due to smoking the material, which is by far the most common method outside of South America. Smoking apparently also yields a far shorter duration of experience and a higher intensity, which I can hardly imagine. It is already difficult enough to bring anything back from it. I am pleased to note that simply chewing the plant has definitely been very clean, with no body load or traces remaining after the experience. I don't give any weight to the superstition that the plant does not appreciate being smoked. I think all methods are equally valid when approached with care and respect. I have never tried extracted leaf and so cannot personally compare smoking with chewing plain fresh leaf.
One thing I now know for sure; Salvia is dam weird. It reportedly has a reverse tolerance effect. Apparently, this means that if I leave the dosage the same, all future doses will become stronger from now on. This in itself is so strange and backwards from the way things normally go. I wonder to what extent it will actually hold true, and how it will affect the situation once I settle on a dosage level. I might just begin to dose less and less, until I can simply chew on half a leaf and find myself bouncing off the ceiling. That would be something.
this here is one truly strange little plant.
Lay down, be respectful and stay safe.
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