Citation: Gecko. "Journey: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp19080)". Erowid.org. Aug 12, 2005. erowid.org/exp/19080
Feeling somewhat buzzed, I looked around, slowly taking in my surroundings. I made a mental note of the obviously high iron content of the reddened soil and smooth, yet twisted rock formations randomly springing forth from the ground. I saw no signs of civilization, or even life, at that. The thought then crossed my mind that I wasnít exactly sure where I was. I wasnít scared. I was puzzled momentarily as I realized that I had no idea how I got there, where I had come from, or even how long I had been there. It seemed inconsequential. I began to walk, and my feet, along with the rest of my body felt heavy. A flash of nervousness came over me, but I convinced myself that there was nothing to be worried about, so I continued on my way.
As I walked, I couldnít see the sun in the midst of the orange and purple sky, but I could feel itís rays of heat beating down upon me. I was sweating quite a bit. I needed a cigarette. I was about to take one out of my pack, but I then decided against it. It could wait.
My mind was clear for the most part as I carried on. Several hours passed, and I thought I saw something on the horizon. The sky was beautiful now. It reminded me of an oil spot glistening in the sun. I was impressed by the fact that I couldnít even remember when the last time I ate or drank anything was, but I wasnít hungry or thirsty. I was content. The sky gradually darkened to a peaceful midnight blue, with stars of various colors. I continued to walk in the same direction for hours until the sky eventually regained itís familiar purple and orange hues, and revealed a small town or settlement in the distance. There were no trees or mountains to obstruct my view; just the occasional rock formation.
I began to wonder why I hadnít reached the town yet, but I then remembered that looks can be deceiving on level ground. A smile crossed my face as I remembered a joke about someoneís dog running away but still visible on the horizon for days. I realized that I had been walking for well over a day with no food, water, sleep, or companionship, but it still didnít matter. I could have kept going indefinitely. I still found it strange that I had no idea where I was going or if I had ever been there before, and the fear burned in the back of my mind. I shrugged it off and assumed that I would remember soon enough.
As the sky once again began to dim, I suddenly thought I heard something. I stopped for a second and strained my ears trying to pick up the barely audible sound in the distance. I could barely hear it, but it sounded like a sitar or some other exotic instrument playing a slow mellow tune. I was thankful that I now had something else to listen to other than the beating of my heart. Even though I wasnít tired, I decided to humor myself with a short break. I figured that I owed it to myself by then. I sat down on the warm, sandy soil, and I decided that I was going to concentrate on trying to figure a few things out.
I tried to remember where I had been before I got to the lonely desert, and it was then that I realized that I had absolutely no memory what so ever of anything that had happened to me before I began my walk. It frightened me not knowing anything. I then redirected my thoughts to something a little more light-hearted. I smiled to myself once again as I suddenly realized that I had a better understanding of John Lockeís theory of oneís mind being a blank sheet of paper at birth upon which experience writes. This calmed me down. I decided not to worry myself with any more troubling thoughts, and convinced myself that when I got to the town up ahead, something there would surely trigger my memory.
I continued on for several more hours, and the sky grew lighter again. I was excited to see that the town wasnít too much further ahead. It looked as though it was only a mile or two away, but I told myself that it was probably not quite that close. I picked up the pace a little bit, and it was about mid-afternoon (I guessed) when I finally came to the edge of town.
As I walked around town, there were a few people out, but no one looked familiar. I also noticed that every building looked like it was a residence. I didnít see any commercial areas. I decided to just go up and talk to the next person I saw, because I hadnít found anything yet that triggered any memories. I approached a woman who appeared to be several years older than me, and I simply asked how she was. She gave me a funny look and said nothing, so I extended my hand as I greeting and said, ďHi, my nameísÖĒ I stopped dead when I realized that I had no way to end the sentence. I hadnít the slightest clue as to what my own name was.
She saw my expression change, and she asked something in an inquisitive tone of voice. I asked her to repeat it because I didnít understand what she said the first time, but it then struck me that she wasnít speaking English. She said something else, but I had no idea what it meant. Although I couldnít understand what she was trying to say, I recognized her speech as a legitimate language. It sounded like something out of a movie that Iíd normally expect to see subtitles under. Some European language perhaps? My focus shifted from her to nothing in particular. Sounds just faded away as I became overwhelmed with the realization that something definitely wasnít right.
I thought I had been holding myself together remarkably well for not knowing where I was, how I got there, where I came from, or how long I had been there, but when I realized that I didnít even know my own name, and that chances were that nobody else around knew who I was, I just about lost it. The woman I was talking to pulled something out of her purse that distracted my attention from my own misfortune. She handed me a small round stone, and pointed at a house down the road. She said something else, but it was no use. I still had no way of understanding what she wanted to tell me. It didnít matter, though. I was stunned by the object I was holding. I canít even begin to describe what it looked like, as it was of a color not found in any rainbow. It was different. Thatís all I can say. It wasnít any hue or shade of any color I had ever seen before. By the time I took my eyes off of it, I realized that the woman had disappeared. I was still overwhelmed by everything that had been going on, but I made a mental note of the house she had pointed at, and I decided to try talking to a few more people to see if there was even a possibility of meaningful verbal communication.
Frustration built up inside of me as I desperately searched for what seemed like an endless amount of time, but everyone had disappeared. There wasnít another soul around. I even resorted to knocking on doors, but not a one was answered. I suppressed the urge to panic as I decided to see if there was anything significant about the house that the woman I had spoken to pointed at. It took me a little while to find it again, but I eventually did, and something told me that things would be different there. I had a false sense of hope as I rang the doorbell of the cream colored house, but my confidence soon faded as I stood at the doorway. I knocked on the door, but no one answered. All I heard was the same exotic music in the distance that I had first heard several hours before reaching the town.
I decided to see if the door was locked, and I wasnít surprised to find it bolted tightly closed. In dismay, I worked my way around the house checking the back and side doors, but they too were locked. As I came back around to the front of the house, I leaned against the dark brown garage door, and my tears of frustration ceased immediately as I was overcome with the sensation that the door wasnít completely solid. Though it appeared to be made of the same familiar aluminum as most garage doors, I felt as though I was about to fall through it. I jumped back from it, and my eyes widened as something deep within me told me approach it again. I had no other better judgment to abide by, so I extended my arms in front of me and slowly walked toward the door. As my hands appeared to touch it, the door suddenly rippled as though it was a fluid suspension. Some force gently drew me further into the door, and I realized that it was not just any door. It was a gateway of sorts. Fear gripped me, but was soon accompanied by an even stronger sense of curiosity, and I continued through it.
My jaw dropped as I witnessed innumerable oval shaped vertical portals that all appeared to be rippling fluid suspensions, yet they all looked like they were filled with static, like a television that wasnít tuned to any station. I didnít quite know what to make of the whole thing, but it soon became apparent that I was no longer in control. I was suddenly feeling something that I cannot even describe. My vision suddenly became a separate entity from my physical form, and I saw myself in the third person. I was something that no longer had any physical existence. I had no body; only my senses of sight, and sound, and as my center of vision began to zoom out, I panicked. I saw what was once my physical body suddenly disintegrate into millions of tiny pieces that were simultaneously pulled into the different portals.
My view was rapidly accelerating away from this scene, and I began to see the world become smaller and smaller. My vision was getting far enough away that I could see the entire town standing alone in the middle of the red desert. The sky darkened, and then something very odd followed. The sky, the ground, and the entire world suddenly could be seen within a frame of sorts. There was some sort of finite border to this world, and as my view continued to pull farther away, I realized that the entire world I had been a part of moments ago was nothing more than a picture on a page of a giant book, floating in the middle of nothingness.
I didnít know what to make of the situation. Fear plagued me to the point that I couldnít process thoughts very well at all. I didnít even know what I was. I had no physical attributes. I was simply a formless observer. The thought occurred to me that all I was seeing was one page in this giant book, and suddenly, a page turned forward. I saw a world similar to the one I had just been in, and it may have even been the same one. I did notice that the town in the second picture looked like a very well developed version of the one before. It had grown in size and population, and it seemed to be more technologically advanced. Many of the homes now had some sort of efficient solar energy panels on their roofs, and there were several other minor changes.
I was attempting to comprehend what had happened when the page suddenly turned again. I was delighted to see my physical body in the picture again, but I looked older than I had remembered being. I recognized myself without a problem, but it still appeared that I had aged several years. I simply saw a portrait of myself, nothing more. I studied this for several minutes, and I then wondered if the pages were going to turn again. No sooner had this thought crossed my mind when the next page turned, almost as though on command. I didnít really think too much of it at the time, but the next page revealed an even older me. I saw myself working in a laboratory of some sort, but I wasnít exactly sure what I was doing. Much of the equipment looked very unique and unfamiliar to me.
Though fear was still prevalent within me, I also noticed a subtle spark of curiosity. I thought to myself, ďI want to see whatís on the next page,Ē and again, the page turned. It was then that I realized that I had some sort of telekinetic powers. I could turn pages of this book with nothing more than my will. I examined the next picture and I saw myself, older still, sitting with what I assumed was my family. Everyone seemed to be content, and this scene calmed my fears slightly, though I still had no clue as to where I was, who I was, or what was happening to me.
It was the next page that started to get to me a little more. I was yet a few more years older, and it was another portrait. I couldnít tell what it was, but my eyes in the picture had some sort of deep sadness to them. I could tell that it looked like one of my half-hearted smiles, as though I was doing it only to humor the audience. The picture was slightly cloudy, though, like it had a very thin layer of dust or fog over it.
I again willed the pages to turn, and I was beginning to become annoyed, as this page was even less clear than the last. I was a little bit older, but my face was not one of a happy person. I was sitting alone in a dwelling that looked as though it had definitely seen better days. The place was just messy. There were a few dirty dishes in the room, and it simply looked like it needed straightened up quite a bit. What bothered me most was the fact that I looked like I didnít even have the energy or motivation to clean up. My face showed that I had been experiencing a great deal of grief or depression for quite some time, and I looked as though I had just given up on life all together. My fear hadnít decreased at all, but it was now accompanied by a feeling of sadness. I was sorry to see anyone looking the way I did in the picture. I didnít know whether to classify my feelings as empathy or self-pity.
I decided that I didnít like looking at this picture much at all, so I willed the book to turn itís page again. The next scene hit me hard. There was no motion, and little light. I could tell that it was very rainy, and that there was something dark that seemed to be the main focus of the picture. As I looked closer, I realized that I was looking at a headstone. This caught me off guard, but then I focused more clearly on what was engraved in it. All I was able to read was my name.
This threw me into a state of panic like none other. My mind suddenly raced with every different thought and emotion I had ever experienced, all at the same time. I felt as though I was being smothered mercilessly by these thoughts and ideas, though I didnít even have any sort of a physical form to be worried about. I suddenly felt my mind break through and plead for the pages in the book to turn back, and that they did. The pages were now turning backward fairly quickly, never stopping on one particular image. I saw myself grow younger in each picture, and then pages then showed my travels to a small town, then through a strange red desert. After seeing the page which showed my earliest memory, that of me waking up in an unfamiliar place (the read desert), the pages began to depict a different world.
I saw myself in various places, but my age seemed to be closer together in each picture, as though less time had passed between them. This thought made me stop. Time. What the hell was time? I knew basically what the concept of time was, but I then realized that time was nothing to be hung up on. Time was relevant. Relevant to everything and nothing at the same time. Time was just a way of dealing with things. It existed only as an idea manifested by man.
I didnít know what it was about the world that I was no seeing in the pictures, but it seemed familiar somehow. It didnít make any sense to me how I could recognize it, but there was something familiar about it. Almost a dť jŠ vu of sorts. The pictures showed me in different places with different people in a certain town or settlement. It seemed very different from the red desert world I had been (or would be) in. I was still getting younger and younger with each page, and I saw myself as a teenager, a pre-teen, a child, a toddler, and even an infant.
I was still panicking from the picture with my grave in it, and it took me a second to realize that the pages were still turning backwards but I was no longer in the picture. I saw two adults living together fairly happily, and they too began to get younger with each new page. I then saw them in college together, and then in separate high schools.
I suddenly found a new fear as I realized that I recognized the people in theses pictures. I recognized them as my parents, though I wasnít sure how I knew that thatís who they were. This realization struck me as I realized that maybe there was such a thing as time. Time in fact did exist, and here I was stuck somewhere in it with no idea as to where or when I came from or belonged. I didnít even know what was real. I started to wonder if maybe reality was by bodiless vision just exploring this giant book that definitely seemed to be the end of things. The entire universe and all existence was contained within itís pages; somehow, someway. I felt overwhelmed with this thought as I wondered if all of my memories; all of my experiences were nothing more than thoughts that had crossed my mind at one point or another. The worlds depicted in the book couldnít be real. The book was the only true existence.
I felt hopeless as I frantically tried to figure out what, if anything, to do next. I decided to see if I could figure anything out in the pages of the book, and I willed them to begin turning forward again. When the book got to the pictures of myself as a teenager, I noticed that there was one picture in particular that seemed to draw my attention. I didnít realize that there was any significance to it until after it had passed, and I was reminded of my fears when I realized that I was coming closer to the page with my tombstone on it, and I willed the pages to turn backwards once again.
The did on command, and I was still trying to remember what page it was I had seen that had some sort of significance to it. Eventually, I came to it again, and I managed to stop the pages from turning so I could examine it a little more closely. I saw myself and two other people sitting in a dimly lit room, but the people in the picture were incredibly clear. I suddenly felt some force drawing me, or my entity, rather, closer to this picture. As I came nearer, I had the realization that I was going to be sucked into the picture unless I could do something about it. I panicked, but made the decision that it would be worth a shot trying to see if I could find anything new in this page.
As I came nearer, I suddenly felt as though I was beginning to gain control of a body again! This excited me and then I shifted my vision slightly downward only to see that at last I had a physical form again. Now the picture in front of me was almost like a mirror, but something more. It felt like my reflection in the page of the book reflected another reality entirely. One completely separate from the reality in which I could simply will the giant book to show me existence. As I came nearer still, I felt my reflection drawing me toward it as if the body I had now was going to pass through the mirror and merge with the picture of myself on the other side. I didnít know what to do, but I felt as though I had absolutely no control in the situation any longer, so I simply gritted my teeth and waited for something to happen.
The picture in the book suddenly gained another dimension and it was more like looking into a window rather than at a flat picture. It then became a window all together. I reached up to the sill of it, and I felt the room drawing me into it, so I decided to go with it and see what would happen. The world I was trying to gain entry to seemed like a memory from a distant past. It looked like something I might have thought about at one point in time, but it seemed like I hadnít known anything about it for decades.
I suddenly fell into this world, and I cannot come close to describing exactly what happened at the precise moment I crossed over. I felt the force of multiple worlds around me, and I heard every sound experienced by an entire existence all at the same time. It felt like in the short second I was crossing through this window that memories and experiences of a lifetime suddenly came to me. It was like a startling realization of so many things at once. I then realized that I had become one with the picture of myself. I was physically sitting in a room with two other people who I somehow knew suddenly as my friends John and Sarah. My fear hadnít come close to subsiding as I frantically shouted, ďWhatís happening to me?!?Ē I still felt vibrations of another entire reality rippling through me, and I felt as though if I leaned back or laid down at all I would proceed to fall back into the world with only the giant book.
This thought only seemed mildly frightening compared to what suddenly went through my mind as my eyes fixed on a bong in front of me. I remembered all of a sudden that I was there with my two friends and I was trying a new drug of some sort for the first time. They had called it salvia, but told me little of what to expect from it. I froze as I realized that what had just happened to me was the result of smoking this substance. I had never even imagined that any sort of a drug could come close to doing what salvia did to me, and I realized that I was dying from it. I had been tricked into taking a poison of some sort that would finish me off shortly. I was teetering on the edge of reality, almost to fall back out of the window, when John said, ďJust lay down, go with it.Ē Tears of frustration, sadness, and anger came to me as I realized that my ďfriendĒ was trying to get me not to fight the poison. He wanted me to die quietly and easily.
Chills went down my spine as I made one last desperate attempt to pull away from the window and stay in the world of the living. I managed to ask between gasps for air, ďWhy are you trying to kill me?Ē But John simply repeated himself, ďLie down, donít fight it.Ē He and Sarah seemed far to calm not to be expecting this to happen to me. I just knew that they for some reason were waiting for me to die, but I had no idea what I had done to cause them to do this to me. A sudden peace came over me as I abandoned all hope of surviving. I had just voluntarily smoked some sort of a substance that was going to kill me, and I had to deal with that. There was no use fighting it, so instead I tried to free my mind of all negative thoughts. Time seemed to freeze as did my abilities to do anything other than receive and process thoughts.
I saw my life pass before my eyes. Funny, it wasnít that ďflashĒ I had heard people speak of. It was going slowly enough I felt as though I had enough time to fully enjoy watching each moment as it passed. I saw my home, my family, my pets, my friends, all the fun times I had had, along with everything else I had ever lived. I took one final breath and decided that I had fought long enough. It was time to let go. I had always heard that heaven was a better place anyway. I exhaled my breath and opened my eyes. I had a birdís eye view of my body lying down on the floor next to my two friends who were just sitting calmly. A sadness filled me as I realized that I wouldnít be able to have any more fun times with my friends. A tear seemed to fall from me. I watched it fall for several seconds until it landed and splashed on my body below.
I sat up suddenly, feeling very winded, scared, and confused. I looked around, and I suddenly realized that I was back. I was sitting between John and Sarah, and I actually felt as though I was now a part of this world. Sarah asked, ďYou there yet?Ē I thought about this for a second and said, ďYeah. Iím back.Ē I was trying to comprehend just what had happened to me as I again looked at the bong sitting in front of me. I remembered taking two hits off of it, and then I started to take a third. I couldnít remember finishing the third hit, though. I seemed to remember choking once on the smoke. That was it. I had taken half of my third hit when I coughed on the smoke. I then remembered the sudden rush of fear and adrenaline as the smoke seemed to engulf me and drag me somewhere else. I remembered a tunnel of sorts in the shaft of the bong that I slid down, and it dropped me off in a strange place. That was it! Thatís how I had gotten to the red desert! Everything suddenly made sense.
Then John asked me, ďDid you break through?Ē I slight grin crossed my face. I realized that I had just had my first exploration into an alternate reality, and salvia was my vehicle. Though still shaken up by the experience, I made up my mind that I would have to try it again some day, but for now I needed to rest. Though I had only been away for five minutes, according to my friends, I felt as though I had just lived several life times. Time wasnít a concept that I was quite ready to deal with, though. I just needed to rest and reflect on my journey.
I didnít really say too much else for the rest of the day. I went about my business and did what I needed to do, went were I needed to go, but I seemed somewhat disassociated with the world. I felt as though I couldnít really trust anything. Even though I knew the drug had run itís course, it was able to teach me that there was much more to reality than I had previously believed. How did I know that the world I was in now was real? Though I seemed to be the most familiar with this world, it was possible that salvia simply awakened me from a dream to allow me to experience the true reality for a short time. I didnít even know which reality time belonged to. It didnít seem possible for it to be a part of both realities at the same time. It just wouldnít work. I decided that I shouldnít overwhelm myself trying to make perfect sense of everything at the same time. I spent several hours that day just sitting down by myself out in the country surrounded only by nature. I felt a certain serenity now that I had been exposed to a sliver of another existence, and it was something I wanted to see more of. That would wait until another day, though.
And thus concludes my first journey with salvia. I have since taken this magnificent substance many times, and have seen glimpses of many different places. I have also experimented with smoking a cannabis and salvia mixture which I find very pleasant. When smoking the mixture of 1 part cannabis and 1 part salvia, I find that is has a very similar effect to smoking cannabis on its own. In other words, itís great to mix salvia with your last little bit of cannabis to make it last a little longer. When smoking more amounts of the mixture, I definitely feel the stony effects of the cannabis, but I also notice an overall feeling of disassociation with the world. I feel as though it doesnít matter quite as much, and Iím able to make light of situations that I otherwise found very stressful. I also notice that I donít feel quite as lethargic when smoking the mixture as I do when I smoke cannabis alone.
All in all, I would have to say that salvia can be a remarkably fun alternative to the reality we think weíre a part of, but the full effects of salvia can overwhelm an unsuspecting user. Itís not something to be taken lightly. Yes, salvia can be fun, but it should be respected as well. Having a sitter is a must even for a veteran salvia user so as to assure that no harm comes to the salvia user or anyone or anything else around him or her.
Wishing you many fun times and safe travels,
(names changed so as not to involve those who wish to remain anonymous)
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