Citation: frecklyfawn. "Emotional Baggage: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp34407)". Erowid.org. Jun 16, 2004. erowid.org/exp/34407
I am not sure I will ever take Salvia again, but my experience went 'badly' because of my own denial and things in my subconscious. I knew that I shouldn't take anything psychoactive unless I was in a good frame of mind, but I thought I was. But things can get buried in time or denial, and it seems there is nothing like psychoactive substances to peel back the layers of the mind and soul.
My husband and I purchased two doses from a smart shop in Rotterdam. I can't remember the concentration, but we each smoked one portion, each by water pipe, about three puffs. Our mood was excited and our expectations were of a positive and vivid experience. We had read several articles and had done research on salvia.
We explored one at a time and took notes of each others words and states; we also tape recorded our experiences. Since neither of us had ever tried Salvia, my husband went first.
He just felt he was flying over the neighborhood and saw a man and woman in their home. He felt the superficiality of society and banal existence of city life. His experience was so-so, he said, and lasted less than 7 minutes, though I couldn't not tell when his experience truly began. He had his eyes closed, but nothing about his voice or mannerisms changed at all. He seemed completely normal, but what he experienced seemed very real to him and detailed. Afterward, he commented that he was not particularly impressed with salvia and said he much preferred mushrooms because he felt nothing spiritually with salvia even though he tried to guide his own experience. His experience with salvia was much more visual and mental than spiritual and emotional.
I had my eyes closed for my entire experience which took about 2 minutes, according to the notes, to begin. At the time, though I didn't realize I was even experiencing anything. It all came on very slowly to the point that I didn't know I had even entered a full-blown experience. 'I see nothing. I hear nothing.' I didn't realize at the time that this was literally my very pain coming to the surface... Feeling abandoned and utterly alone and hopeless, subconsciously. The salvia was bringing out my pain from deep within, and I didn't realize it. I began to 'ask' the void for experiences and when nothing came, I felt myself even ask 'satan' if he would visit me. 'Even satan won't share anything with me...' I said out loud. This is extremely meaningful as I am devoted to Christ, and asking the 'enemy' to befriend me represented the absolute low and desperately lonely state I was in. I was distraught. I cried for not seeing 'the fathers,' as I have native american heritage which always surfaces when I take organic/plant-based substances. 'The faces of the fathers are no longer in the mountains,' I said calmly.
I finally began to see forms. Then I was walking along a path, everything was grey and appeared as blurred shadows, smokey and black and grey. Then I arrived at a beautiful gilded and ornate door way. Very strikingly beautiful. I stood at the doorway and began to look around.. Realizing that the home that had once stood around the doorway was burned, nothing but ash and rubble, though the door was still beautiful and pristine. I began to cry, though still calm. 'Satan won't even talk to me.. I have nothing. This is the door to my dreams... This was the door to my hopes...it's a cruel joke...these ashes are my dreams..' weeping ensued, though I was not frantic or speaking in a raised voice. I was subdued and traumatized, though crying very much.
My experience lasted 5-6 minutes and did build to a peak and then wane. It was visual, and what I saw was linked to me emotionally, though I felt no emotion was coming from the salvia but from me; however, the images did feel like they were coming from the salvia, if that makes any sense.
I still feel haunted somewhat by the experience. Then, I couldn't shake it easily and get back to normal life. I felt betrayed by the Salvia itself, though I knew then, as I know now, I had to deal with my feelings, and that is what really haunts me. We had just tried to relocate to the Netherlands, but because of no employment, it was becoming evident that I would have to return to america without my husband, having just used our savings to make the move. It meant more than relocating. I have come to realize that subconsciously felt betrayed by everyone, my husband, friends, my God, and family on both sides of the Atlantic, but I didn't understand the depth to which it affected me then.
The Salvia was indeed instrumental in bringing these feelings to the surface, but it offered no euphoria or positivity to cope with it. I felt ravaged and vulnerable but without hope. That positive aspect of my self was not brought to the surface, so I had to do the work the hard way to overcome what I felt; I had to work through it without inspiration, and it has taken time.
I don't truly blame the plant. It's merely a tool, and its power to unlock hidden pathways and dimensions must be respected. I learned about more than salvia itself; I learned about my own self. I just wish I could have learned something nice, easier to swallow.
I don't know if i'll ever use Salvia again because I cannot predict what is buried and will rise to the surface. In any case, I recommend that users make SURE there is someone there to offer support and some sort of after-care in case of a 'bad' trip. In the end, it wasn't truly bad, but seeing one's own 'demons' is never a happy time.
Was it therapeutic? Maybe.. That aspect was up to me. Salvia only showed me things. It doesn't seem to be the teacher or counselor, but a powerful revelator. Use it with respect, and even that is no guarantee that your experience will be beautiful, insightful, or positive. Anything seems possible...
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