Citation: Pancho. "Classic Mistake: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (20x extract) (exp114764)". Erowid.org. Oct 16, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114764
I am 27 years old and have had numerous psychedelic experiences in my life, none of which prepared me for the breakthrough Salvia experience.
I have done LSD two times and mushrooms at least five or six times. I have a really healthy relationship with these powerful chemicals now that I am older and wiser, but my high school and college days were quite a bit wilder than I would recommend anyone experience, so I was under the impression I had really seen it all when it comes 'to tripping out.' I have learned (sometimes repeatedly) painful lessons about dosage, set and setting, and my own ego, and I haven't felt the need to use psychedelics for fun since college...but every couple years I feel drawn to them for my own mental health and clarity - my brain starts to feel cluttered over time, and I consider a strong psychoactive experience to be like spring cleaning, refreshing my resolve and reminding me of my worldy and existential goals in life.
But like I said I have grown calmer as I get older, and now that I am a father and husband, the risk vs. Reward of illegal substances is so ludicrously high that I can't in good conscience seek out LSD or mushrooms. I was thinking about all this and how unfair it was that these chemicals that really help me are impossible to get safely, when I remembered a certain trippy substance that I had dabbled with in high school- and which was completely legal.
So I searched out a vendor online and purchased some 20x Salvia. The last time I had tried Salvia all those years ago, I had gotten some 5x and didn't notice any effect whatsoever, which I why I got 20x this time - luckily, I had been spooked enough by trip reports not to go for the 40x or 60x (this decision probably saved my life in retrospect).
So the little foil bag arrives in the mail and the brown, nondescript plant matter goes on top of a little nugget of marijuana in the water pipe (just so that it won't fall down into the water; it is very finely ground). I was extremely cautious with the dosage - I'm talking literally three small flakes of the 20x. I had four flakes in there but that covered up the nug of weed entirely, which struck me as ominous somehow, so I carefully removed one of the flakes. Then I torch it all, hot as I can, empty the bong completely and hold it all in.
I am sitting on my couch with my trip sitter (wife) next to me, and we have a Planet Earth show playing on the TV with a colorful exotic bird of some sort. While I'm holding in the smoke I immediately notice something incredibly off about the image on the TV - namely that it was swelling to a gigantic size, like when the walls breathe during a mushroom trip, except instead of going in and out, it just kept slowly expanding. Flabbergasted, I violently exhaled the smoke I was holding, trying to get it out as fast as possible.
"Are you OK?" My wife asked (I had ejected the smoke from my lungs with a "Whoosh" like someone punched me in the stomach).
"I am glad I only tried a little bit." I managed to say. I heard my own voice flat and tinny, from far away. My vision was dominated by the giant bird on the screen now. The bird turned and looked at me, in perfect slow motion. That was the last coherent moment I had until the end.
The bird kind of, rolled its shoulders at me? It seemed like a "Come at me, bro!" type of body language for a second and I laughed, but to my horror I realized that it wasn't just his shoulders; this bird's entire head was rolling. It opened its mouth and the bottom beak opened, wider and wider, first a yawn and then a scream and then an impossible bent angle - it looked like when Pac-Man died, and his mouth curled around.
I laid back on the couch to try to process that, and suddenly became aware of a huge and powerful force pressing against my body. I sensed a presence below me, and it was weirdly familiar, and I seemed to intuit that I had been locked in battle with the entity for quite some time. But that was a very vague feeling, and although it was incredibly foreign and disturbing, I thought I was still present and mostly coherent, so I didn't get too scared.
I rearranged myself slightly on the couch, to see if I could get a look at what was pushing on me, and I felt a sudden wave of relief as the pushing feeling faded. I stood up and looked at the couch, and was struck by the sudden epiphany that the pushing force I had felt was the couch itself! I realized that every time I sat on the couch, it was like pressing down on the couch as hard as I could; and the couch was pushing back against me as hard as IT could.
I got my first hint of dissociation then, started to see things like how an inanimate object might, if it could - I abandoned the couch and laid on the floor, feeling like a rock, or a tree, stuck motionless in a world with forces constantly pressing and pummeling against me - I realized that was the true nature of the world, and my human perception protected me from the harsh reality around me all the time, but now I could see it all - harsh and cold and alien. I had a brief mental image seeing myself lying on the ground, looking 2D and pointless. But I was able to stand up and the images faded easily. The TV was at proper size and the last of the gravity waves ebbed away.
I was ecstatic. I had survived the Salvia experience! It had come very close to overwhelming at times but I was always able to fight my back to a semblance of normalcy. I felt good about the experience, but not quite satisfied I had completed the mission. I decided I wanted a full-blown "breakthrough" experience, after all.
Looking back and writing this, it is painfully obvious what happened - and now I believe I understand why my next trip would end so horribly. My initial trip with Salvia taught me a lot, but it was too mild to humble me. I wish that it had. Instead it inflated my ego
My initial trip with Salvia taught me a lot, but it was too mild to humble me. I wish that it had. Instead it inflated my ego
; I started to believe I had seen everything under the sun and that I could handle whatever this plant had to throw at me.
I was wrong.
Round 2: I decided I wanted to be outside for this one. I load a solid pinch of 20x Salvia into the bong, only vaguely worried - the first trip had me pretty cocky about the whole thing. Deadly hubris. See, this is why I need a good powerful trip-out every so often - I have some gross, frat-bro type tendencies, some real Chad-like behavior and thought patterns, that I am still working on, and will probably always be working on.
So I clear the good-sized pinch and lean back on the chair that I have on my porch. The sun is almost all the way down and there is a sliver of pink on the horizon. I can hear a Mozart song playing through the window - my wife distracting the kids with Baby Einstein.
Suddenly I feel the world start to spin - I am getting dragged by the gravity forces again. I try to relax and close my eyes.
In my mind's eye I see myself suspended in a green world, a topsy-turvy cartoon land that is twirling to the sounds of Mozart. I get the sense of a giant pine tree, with many layers of pine branches, and underneath each layer are hundreds of men like me, who are also spinning endlessly to the notes of the piano. Suddenly I feel a presence, a princess this time (I never "saw" her so I don't know how I know that) and she is talking to me directly, very sweet and loving, but I can sense her disappointment with the men spinning under the tree.
This was all very surreal, but I opened my eyes and the images evaporated quickly; I could meditate and bring the pictures back but I knew this was not the "breakthrough" I was looking for. I load one more big pinch into the pipe, torch it and hold it all in.
I exhale. Out of the corner of my eye I see a kid from our neighborhood run by. I remember thinking "Wow, that kid was running really fast."
Looking out at our apartment complex I feel an intense rush of speed - then I literally hear a cartoonish "SMACK!" sound. My view of the apartment complex seemed too dense, too real. I try to turn my head away from it. My head turns - but the image before my eyes remained unchanged.
I don't know if that sentence did it justice. It was like the scene I was looking at had been painted onto cellophane, and then someone grabbed the cellophane and slapped it onto my face so hard it stuck. I did not realize any of this at the time, this is all retrospect.
The image stamped onto my eyes shifted and transitioned, compacting and compressing, becoming a blurred mess, then an infinite series of parallel lines, then finally a single, tight string, flailing and convulsing hopelessly in a dark purple void. I blacked out.
When I came to, I WAS the string, but I didn't know it at the time. I didn't know who I was, or that I had taken a drug. All I knew was that I had always been in this horrible purple void, and I always would be - forever. I was flat and being warped and distorted from every angle, and suddenly realized that something was doing this to me - something was grinding me into the cogs of the universe, and I could hear it talking!
It was a woman's voice, tinny and echoey and somehow familiar. She was screaming at me, but the tone in her voice was quite pleased.
"OHHHHHHHH, YOU WANTED TO COME HERE!" She cried, and I heard other voices join in, laughing at her joke, mocking me for actually wanting to be in this horrible place, for bringing it on myself. She told me that I was never going to leave and laughed at my feeble attempts to move around.
That lasted for infinity. There is no way to explain this if you haven't felt it. I used to think it was impossible for humans to comprehend infinity. It's not. I felt it. I was there forever. I never "arrived" there, do you understand? I had a vague notion that this was all wrong but I had no idea what I was supposed to be, or "used" to be, at all.
So after a certain amount of eternity had passed something changed. I could see the shadowy figures that were taunting me and had trapped me here, but there were two shapes flying toward them from across the purple void...They looked like geometric shapes spinning in a cluster around an atom, but I instantly thought of them as space ships for some reason.
As they accelerated, flying toward the giant she-demon and her minions, an insane, nearly maniacal hope overtook me; because everywhere they flew they cut a swath of the purple void away, hacked at it like longmowers through thick grass, and dear god I could SEE SOMETHING behind the purple void. It was like they were unzipping the purple void and letting my old life back through the hole. I had a deep feeling of something communicating with me and it came to me these space ships needed my help. I tried to move as hard as I could, and I saw something that confused me endlessly - it was like a fleshy spider. But the spider wiped away even more of the purple void, and now I could see that it was my hand, not a spider.
The scream of dismay that came from the she-demon will haunt me for the rest of my life. The ships crashed into her with a spectacular bright explosion (I caught a glimpse of her real form, she looked like the Cloverfield monster but a woman) and then I was back on the porch again, shaking and sweating, staring in awestruck wonder at my own hand.
So in the end I was humbled quite firmly. I was so grateful to be back with another chance at life that I almost wept there on the porch. After the experience I read a lot about Salvia and if I ever do it again I'm going to try to do it the traditional way, not with the smoked concentrate. I think that the kind woman spirit in the second trip was showing me all of the people that abuse salvia without respect for the immense power it contains, and the woman in the purple void was punishment for sacrilege against this precious plant. They might have been the same woman.
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