Citation: CS. "The Existential Painting of All Reality: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (7x extract) (exp45146)". Erowid.org. Feb 15, 2007. erowid.org/exp/45146
Having never even heard of salvia until I recently, I found an online supplier and ordered a gram of the 7X. Honestly I must admit I was a pretty apprehensive about trying it, having read most of the salvia experiences and determining that it was for the most part, shockingly intense and widely experienced to be unpleasant. So I decided to start small and work my way up. I put a tiny pinch on top of a small nug of herb. I held it in and got a weird feeling, I think most of it was placebo now that I compare that feeling to what salvia really does. I certainly wasn't tripping or having any of the mind bending out of body experiences I had read about, so I figured it wasn't enough and stood up to go downstairs. My roommates were asleep and I didn't want to try more without a sitter.
As I stood up I was a little dizzy and swayed as I walked, and only then did I notice the body load. I felt like a had taken a small amount of ketamine or something. Random areas of my body felt like there was a sphignometer on them, the blood pressure pump that the doctor puts around your arm. Other than that I was certainly sober, but as I laid down to sleep I had shroomy kinds of thoughts; images, words and sentence fragments morphing around in my mind continuously. I lingered on the edge of sleep for about an hour, sometimes coming out of it a bit and suddenly realizing my surrounding and that I had 'woken up,' and then drifting off into that zone of half consciousness, all the while weird dream fragments flowing through my mind.
That was on Thursday. I went river rafting over the weekend and sprinkled about twice the amount I had tried before into one joint, and then made another with about 3 times as much. Over the weekend we smoked these Js but I never even felt anything as strong as the 1st experience. I determined that you need to take a moderate sized hit and hold it in for a long time. For it to work in joint form you'd need a lot of salvia to get enough in one draw, or you'd have to use the 15 or 20X.
Tuesday night, my two roommates and I, Matt and River, decided to delve deep and figure out what this stuff was all about. I have smoked pot consistently for the past 12 years, done acid a few times in high school, mushrooms 20+ times, E probably about 50 times, plenty of coke, K, GHB, nitrous (a lot in college), and many combinations of the various aforementioned in a more dangerous capacity than I would healthfully recommend. None of this prepared me for the salvia trip, although when I was there I found myself somewhere in territory that was vaguely familiar. I've had a few difficult mushroom trips and taken up to 7 grams at once, so I'm pretty good at thinking myself out of bad spots. I am 27 years old now and a working professional, so I pretty much only smoke pot, do coke at parties sometimes, and eat mushrooms about once a year.
I told my roommate my impression of the effects he could expect based on my research. We dimmed the lights, turned off the TV, put some Boards of Canada on, and I packed a pinch of salvia on top of a tiny weed nug to cover the snap hole in the bong. The pinch was about half the volume of a new pencil eraser. After watching Matt go on his trip, I'd say I was even more apprehensive, although he seemed to really enjoy it. He laid back, closed his eyes, and kept saying 'whoah,' and 'wow!' and laughing and touching his face and kind of slowing writhing around on the couch. 'This.... is..... soooo..... weird......dude....... It feels...... really good.......'
He slowly came back over the course of 5 minutes. He immediately began trying to describe it to me, and I could see his speech evolving from a fucked up guy to being completely sober. Having seen that he was completely fine and that he didn't have any unpleasant effects, I felt better, although I still had adrenaline in my veins. I loaded up a hit about as big as his, and took it, but was still nervous so I only held it in for about 15 seconds. I had a mild buzz that lasted 2-3 minutes, and I felt like I had taken a nitrous hit. I was really out of it for about 30 seconds, but never left reality completely. I was able to describe it to my rommates while it was happening, and I said, 'its a very disconnected feeling' and Matt thought that was a very good description. I said, 'its kind of like K, where you feel disconnected form your body, but,' and we both said this in unison, 'way more psychedelic. Yeah.' 'Its like K but less on the Vicodin side and more on the mushroom side.' I added.
River decided he wanted one now. I packed him a little one because he usually does much less drugs than Matt and I do, but he said, 'hey if I'm gonna do this I wanna do it right. No half ass.' So I gave him about twice as much, about the volume of a whole pencil eraser, because I wanted to see what that amount would to to a person, and he DID ask for it. His hit was a big milky lungful. He took it and reacted about the same way as Matt, although his hands remained at his sides. He seemed more out of his body that Matt did. He barely moved. When he came back he just said, 'Wow! I see what you mean about its not to be taken lightly.'
I decided I was ready to not be half assed either, so I loaded up an almost eraser sized pinch on top of weed again, and snapped it and held it in for as long as I could. I exhaled and waited. In about 30 seconds, it kicked in. By the end of 40 seconds, I was deep in it. The only way I can describe it is this: suddenly, I was on 5 hits of acid AND I'd just taken a huge nitrous balloon. Boards of Canada sounded incredibly amazing and perfect. Whatever was in my field a vision became like this godly image, I described it as an 'existential painting that represents the entire universe,' as soon as I came back. But for the moment the whole universe is just this microcosm that is my coffee table with candles on it.
I was part of it, and it was part of me. Actually, there wasn't a sense of self, I was a disembodied observer, watching this painting. It was the subject of every thought in my head, the complete and utter center of my attention. So much that it felt like its the only thing that exists in the universe. Everything else was gone, including my body. The only thing that existed in the whole universe is this abstract concept of observer and subject, and there is a weird duality of connectedness between those two things. I am the observer, and THAT is the subject, however we are really one and the same in a way that I can't quite grasp or fully realize or comprehend.
Slowly reality begins to drift back in. The godly painting consisted of this: a black background. On the lower half of the image is a wooden triangle or trapezoid with 3 candles embedded into it. (This triangle is my coffee viewed at an angle.) The upper half of the image is a sort of an ovular, dark blue, weird textured object. (This was my roommates legs and knees, sitting in chair across the table from me, wearing jeans) This cosmic painting is for a while, my very existence. But suddenly the top half begins to move (River standing up) and this subject of my observation is coming to a cataclysmic end!
The universe is being ripped in half and there's nothing I can do about it. Its the end of everything and I am going along with it. It wasn't scary for me, there was no sense of panic, just this profound sense of, 'Oh my God I can't believe this is happening.' Its the end of the world but I'm okay with that and I'm going with it, because its the only thing I know of right now. As reality slowly creeps back in, this is where the shock hit me.
As River stood up and my cosmic painting came to its cataclysmic end, I started to come back. Just as I felt like something was really wrong because reality itself was tearing apart, I realize that this THING is not reality itself, its actually just a table, and I can now recognize it as simply, a table. And that other thing was just River's knees!? Holy shit this stuff is weird! I still felt weird and stoned and nitrousey and had a body high, but I realized that that whole huge cosmic reality that was EVERYTHING and held the only meaning that existed in the universe, was actually just a coffee table and my stupid roommate's legs.
This revelation was the shocking part. But its wasn't bad, its wasn't like bad trip panic, I wish this was over, I wish I was sober; its just, 'Holy shit I can't believe I was so far out and my thoughts were so twisted and it was all based on this most mundane thing ever.' The shock isn't from reality itself, its from the realization, 'I'm back NOW, but where the fuck did I just GO!?' And just as quickly as it crept up on me, it let me down. I still felt slightly disconnected and mentally stoned for another 20-30 minutes, but there is a definitlve moment where I said, 'okay, I'm back now.'
I should also note that I had taken the cumulative equivalent of a normal sized bong rip from the weed underneath the salvia, so the stoniness was coming from that too. I went over to my computer and stared at the itunes visualizer for a while. I haven't tripped out on the visualizer for years, and WOW! has it gotten better. The algorithms they've got and the way the music pulses to create the image is mind blowing. I said to my roommates, 'Can you guys imagine doing it while staring at this!?' We all agreed that it would be way too intense. I intend to try this as soon as possible. :)
We also discussed doing it in complete darkness, and again, all agreed, that it would be way too crazy. You need something to grab onto, something tangible to pull you back into reality. Without anything to visually see, to ground you, it would probably feel like you're falling endlessly into oblivion. I'm interested in trying this too, although the prospect does scare me a little bit. I'll have to try a small hit in darkness. This is where I can see panic being a factor. Otherwise its fine. Panic is usually from trying to resist, and I would say that the concept of resistance isn't in the realm of imaginable possibilities while under the influence of the initial salvia wave. There is one reality and one only, its a simple reality, and going with it is the only imaginable option. Trying to imagine another possibility is like trying to imagine a 7th color of the rainbow, or 1+1 equalling 3. Its mentally impossible.
I would liken the experience to a very psychedelic ketamine trip or a heavy nitrous hit while on mushrooms or acid. Its over so quick that I don't see how a bad experience could really be that bad. I look forward to exploring the secrets of Ms. Salvia in the future, but I will always remember to treat her with respect. We took relatively small amounts of the 7X. I cannot even imagine what a huge milky bong rip of 20X would do to me.
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