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Rushing Over Niagara Falls in a Bamboo Crate
Salvia divinorum (5x extract)
by George Douvris
Citation:   George Douvris. "Rushing Over Niagara Falls in a Bamboo Crate: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (5x extract) (exp1597)". Erowid.org. Jul 17, 2001. erowid.org/exp/1597

 
DOSE:
1 bowl smoked Salvia divinorum (extract - 5x)

BODY WEIGHT: 180 lb


Greetings. Before I submit my recent experiences with salvia, I would like to ask for any suggestions for enhancing the traditional method of eating the leaves. My experience with this method was very negligble yet smoking the 5X standardized was traumatic. Do the liquid extracts also have their own personality and if so please explain as I would like to try Salvia again but without the nightmare I will soon share.

The entry I will make is transcribed from my traveller's journal of several months ago when my family and I were in Amsterdam. First here are my vital statistics:

Age-48
Gender-Male
Occupation-writer/teacher/traveller
Education-college graduate
Psychedelic experience-LSD over 50 times(mostly as college student), Psilocybin mushrooms 20 times, Woodrose Seeds 5 times, morning glory seeds 5 times, peyote 5 times, toad 1 time, synthetic DMT 5 times, Mescaline 3 times, San Pedro 2 times, Ayahuasca 1 time, Aminita Muscaria 1 time, eating of salvia 3 times, smoking the Salvia 5x standarized extract leaf 2 times

In the 1960's, millions of psychedelic journeys were launched by singer Grace Slick's chorus of 'feed your head'. At least with the familiar pills and plants then, there was at least a vague continuity of knowing which head you were feeding. While in Amsterdam, besides the pot, hash, mushrooms, and ayahuasca which are illegal almost everywhere else in the world, the local smartshops also supply a variety of lesser known psychoactives which have no legal restrictions anywhere. For the most part, these various flowers, plants, and weeds can be found in gardens as well as growing wild. They are not considered very important as their usage doesn't have a long history nor are they considered to have much of a potent chemistry.

Several years ago, writers Terence McKenna and Jonathon Ott presented indications to the psychedelic community that there are a large and dispersed number of these botanicals which are rich DMT, very easy to find and very legal. One of these plants having been researched previously by Gordon Wasson but at that time deemed unstable and weak is Salvia Divinorum, a type of wild sage used in divination which grows in Central America. Intrigued not only by the experience but also the melodic sound and imagery of its name, I was pleased to find a variety of Salvia products readily available in Amsterdam. Before deciding on use and purchase, I researched various books and websites. I learned about the traditional use of chewing the leaves and waiting for visions in the darkness. Terence discusses how he has used this method and often experiences 'elf like self generating' entities.

A more novel method suggested by psychonaut pioneer Daniel Siebert and others is the smoking of an extract soaked leaf whose experiences, though still related to DMT, sounded even more intense and intriguing. Since these experiences would not last more than 20 minutes anyway, we decided it would be safe enough to buy some Salvia to chew but also the extract to smoke as well.

Research notes studied, set and setting in place, art supplies, and all the usual temple ambience right, I filled the deep metal pipe bowl and said goodbye to the mundane and followed the trail of the puff through the burning bush towards divinity.

The intensity of the experience ahead was in no way possible to explain-not a journey across a steady path but like rushing over Niagara Falls in a bamboo crate. Whatever grace and enchantment-mushrooms, woodrose, or any of the other known psychedelics have blended in my soul were nowhere to be clutched in this Salvia experience of crumbling bridges with no guardian angels to embrace my fall. The portals into an infinity of parallel realities so frighteningly familiar was sheer panic. Glimpses of 2 dimensional slides squeezing out of some deep memory banks like express trains pulling me into their windows.

Could the 'mainstream reality' I had come from be nothing more than a low order thought while these other be the master copies that until now I had only been reacting to? How could I pick which extension to pull myself through? Infinity all within the moment of mirror images with emotional bonds compelling me to leave behind all other memory banks and merge. Potent images of relatives, perhaps parents and/or ancestors reaching out to me. Which one to chose as I felt related to all. Stephanie, John (my wife of 23 years and my son) and all that I felt I was a few moments ago were disintegrating quickly as well as my body, ego, and room as I now started screaming for help before the portal back closed.

My bed was not a secure womb or sanctuary but some sort of plasma of self generating ferris wheels. Ah yes, the elves McKenna was talking about. For me, they were a kalaidescope of thin men with white outfits, bowties, and cookhats. The feeling was very 50's-bright, crisp, and so real. Could these portals be the pathway moving souls through bodies. Reincarnation? But where was heaven? Where was God? Angels? Any answers? If this was the place all religions were pointing to, where was the wellcoming home? I panicked at this mechanical factory of reality processing. Such a place offers no salvation. No sanctuary. No quarter-no one gets out of here alive!

Just one dead end after another...

Once not being enough, I got my nerve up to smoke Salvia Divinorum again several weeks later. Again the slide was fast and dramatic with familiar images claiming me as their own engulfed me with confusion and self disolution. Deep programs were triggered as I found myself speaking Greek as a primary language, the first time since I was 5 years old. The images were again intensely familiar and a peculiar clarity to thus submit. The fear of parallel universes perhaps more real in magnitude then the one we considered as reality. In Greek, I cried out to these images, the most basic essential question 'who am I.' But the question was asked not in a tone of philosophical inquiry but in frantic desperation of a man fading fast in a death experience with this extremely important thought his lips. Are these the bardos mentioned in the Tibetan Book of The Dead or a hostile god's idea of a terrible joke?

Curiously, John's first few experiments in smoking Salvia were inconsequental-even with loading equivalent dosages as my nightmare journeys. On his third attempt, he did cross the threshold like being beamed out in Star Trek to a peculiar and terrifying universe.

So much activity with so little smoke is quite perplexing and worth being brought to the attention of humanity as a fundamental question. Has any society or shamans in the past been familiar with these other dimension or in the smoking of Salvia in itself pioneering work way beyond Columbus' discovery of a new land? Another possibility is that the smoking of a concentrated extract also compresses the experience into frequency unmanigable by our mental, physical, and psychic receptors. On the other hand, as for chewing the leaves in a traditional manner, the experience was negligible in intensity or significance. For me the correct portal still awaits to be found.

Amsterdam is indeed a gateway city for travel anywhere in the world and even beyond...

Exp Year: 2000ExpID: 1597
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Jul 17, 2001Views: 10,165
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Salvia divinorum (44) : General (1), Difficult Experiences (5), Unknown Context (20)

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