Citation: Zonker. "The Dessert of the Real: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp17467)". Erowid.org. Jun 14, 2005. erowid.org/exp/17467
When I ordered the Salvia online, I was at the end of my rope. Seven years of counseling, psych drugs, a psych ward and plenty of recovery group work, and I still felt lied to. My world was spiraling out of my control—hell, it had never been in my control in seven years. My vices were going to end my life, but I looked and acted just like everyone I knew. I believed I had given the allopathic model of medicine more than a fair try, and had found it to be worse than worthless. I was desperate. I hadn’t even seen a mushroom in that entire time, and didn’t know where to look. I remembered someone mentioning Salvia, so I looked it up online and ordered some. During the three days it took to arrive, I carved a chillum from hardwood, heat-seasoned and oiled it. Even before I got home that day, I knew the Salvia would be waiting. I retired to my silent room, toweled the door, cracked the window and loaded up. I took the first hit.
I must have misread the description on the order page. I thought it said that smoked Salvia took fifteen minutes to kick in, and eaten Salvia thirty minutes. Imagine my surprise when I blew out the second inhalation and found myself in the Twilight Zone! My room rippled like fire, like everything was made of fire. I had a fan on in the room, and the curtain actually was rippling. The motion caught my eye, and I looked… what a strange sight it was. I saw elfin, smiling faces dancing in the fabric. They beckoned to me enthusiastically, saying “Come on! Come on! Tell us about Texas! Tell us about Texas! Come on!” It seemed really important to them… Actually I felt far out of my depth, but acting as if I had power gave me power, if you can understand that. “Just a minute,” I said, “I’m going to hit this thing again.” I managed to draw another toke, but couldn’t feel my body when I exhaled. It was more like watching myself on a movie screen. I put the chillum down.
All this happened in about a minute, from the first effects to the third toke. The little elfin guys were still in the curtain when I looked again, and I thought about a lyric in a Cramps track, “Spiders in my eyelids and ghosts in the cheese/ What in the world’s come over me, I’ve lost touch with reality.” Well, I figured I was game to tell the elves about Texas, so I tentatively drew back the curtain a couple of inches and saw — Joy! — my cactus plants on the windowsill. I felt myself drawn to the five-inch gap in the sash while my cacti egged me on, “Come on! Out here! Tell us about Texas!”
Somehow, while this was going on, I felt the presence of Someone in the room. It was as if my housemate had walked in on me to ask to borrow my...something or other, and asked if I was okay. I was so far out that I believed it was possible, even though I could not see him. Just to be safe, I said aloud “If you are standing right in front of me, I couldn’t begin to describe this.” It also seemed safer not to try to jump out the window, so I closed the curtain and knelt down to pray.
I prayed for just and peaceful leaders for seven generations, for an age of lowered expectations and regrowth, and other things. It was a bit of an effort to concentrate on positivity and hope. As if from within an adjacent room in my mind, I felt muffled violence and saw blurred images of gore. Yet for all of that, there on my knees I was safe and in control. The prayer held back the bad vibes. While some part of me was praying and holding back the negativity, another part was aware of other travelers telepathically. The sudden, bizarre high reminded me of bad craziness, obviously, and I felt in contact with mental patients and my shady, pothead neighbors. I could hear their conversation in my head. I felt like I was near the periphery of sanity, so I prayed for the Earth.
As I sank below the psychosphere, I felt alone. Isn’t that a metaphor for my life...caring about the Earth and feeling alone! I became aware of the presence of a reserved, academic being. I felt approval and may have heard encouraging sounds. It was as if I had bumped into somebody in the shadows, someone who was trying not to call attention to themselves. I felt like I had impressed a beloved teacher. While coming down, I reflected that although most of my mind was distorted and tripping, there was still a deeper consciousness that was unchanged. That was me, kneeling on my bed and praying for the Earth to hold it together.
I also got a neat little visual special effect of some desert flowers on a poster becoming three-dimensional. When things calmed down a bit, my strait-laced housemate came home with a date, jumped into bed and started getting it on with her. Holding my position, unmoving, for ten or so minutes really made my back hurt. Eventually I eased my self down and feigned sleep until I could make a more dignified exit. On the way out of the room, I noticed that the towel was still under the door—no one had entered. I had imagined it.
The next day, I felt like I could control my own mind for the first time in years. I felt powerful and able to deal with my junks. My gloomy, depressed world was replaced by a strange, alien, cheery place with bright colors. I could smell the Earth. When people looked at me they smiled, on the day after I smoked Salvia Divinorum. I did notice that I was more irritable than usual, but only briefly. Overall I am glad that I took the trip. However, I still feel like something’s not right… I feel so much better after smoking some weird herb I got online. All that medicine, all that psychotherapy, and all that work just left me feeling powerless, helpless and hopeless. Aren’t I supposed to feel worse when I take matters into my own hands? Don’t I have to pay a lot for coal tar derived meds and hire a medicine man to monitor me? Now I have some hard choices to make. How can I return to my day-to-day? My recovery groups seem like a joke now. But all my friends are doing it. I don't know how to function outside of A.A. Should I leave, or try to fake it and blend in? We’ll see.
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