Citation: Seeker. "Shaman Medicine: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp57385)". Erowid.org. May 2, 2007. erowid.org/exp/57385
I took salvia on the same night I was introduced to its existence, so I virtually no planning for it nor preconceptions about it. This was, in hindsight, both blessing and curse. After reading many of the reports here and elsewhere, I somewhat doubt now that I would have taken it had I first read those reports. However, I am still glad for the experience, just an interesting note.
I had been prepared to journey that evening (albeit with mushrooms), and had two friends coming over -- one a very experienced mentor/shaman figure who has a great deal of experience with sitting, as well as with salvia and many other what I will call 'shaman medicines' (he himself is of true and impressive shaman pedigree), and the other a longtime friend of mine with whom I have done a fair amount of psychonautic adventuring over the years.
We started by making some mushroom tea but before we began my shaman friend mentioned that he wanted to offer us the opportunity to try either DMT or Salvia, the former of which we had previously discussed, but the latter of which was new to myself and my other friend. We made some mild shroom tea which didn't really do much, and I think that subconsciously we had intended that to happen as the allure of trying something new was very strong.
It was thus that we went into my home studio, set some candles up, turned the lights down low, and setup a pipe with the salvia. I went first, taking a number of hits off of the pipe, but feeling nothing -- even after waiting several minutes. My friend went next, and he seemed to get more effect than me, but didn't 'cross over' as has been described here and elsewhere. I decided that I must continue exploring its depths, so began to take several more hits. It was only after about 7 hits or so that I began to feel different, and then suddenly it was upon me.
I laid back, and at that point I was enveloped -- or swallowed -- or shot -- into a completely different reality. At the same time, my being split apart (as if a samaurai sword had cut me in two diagonally from my right shoulder down through my torso at an angle), my normal vision disappeared, and time was completely gone. As I lay back, my being split open, peeled back like paper pulled from a sheet of papers, on a diagonal, with the hinge of the 'flap' being centered on my heart.
I cannot give a linear time perspective of events, but here are all of the bits and pieces that I recall:
I was in communication with an entity, or a stream of thought information, although I could not 'see' the entity. It was communicating with me, providing information. The voice (more like a high-speed thought stream) was transmitting information at a very fast pace, at 'thought speed' rather than 'voice speed'.
Reality was streaming out of me. I was like a fountain of reality creation, and could feel and see my projection of energy into tangible objects.. like a movie projector (where I was the projector).
I was very frightened at the feeling of the situation, and most of all because it felt very familiar..and with dark and foreboding overtones. It was like I was reminding myself of something that happened long ago, or that I once knew but had forgotten. It was scary deja vu. The fabric of reality had, quite literally, been torn away, and the sensation that I had had was that of falling down (as I lay back), and to the left.
Perhaps most frightening about this experience was the total reality and clarity of everything that was happening.. it did not seem 'trippy' or 'hazy' or dreamlike in anyway.. it was as real as what I'm looking at right now as I write this. This is very different than any of the experiences I have had with other substances such as psylocibin mushrooms, mescaline, marijuana (pot actually tends to provide me with horrible negative psychoactive experiences, believe it or not).
This made it very difficult to accept anything that happened during the experience as being anything less than true, equal to what my rational mind has until now accepted as true. Very unsettling, but very powerful!
The strongest rememberance that I have of this stage of the experience, and I do not know when exactly, was a full knowing as I sat back up and looked at my seated friends that they were part of me, that we were all part of a single unified existence. I was told, and was convinced, that they were each part of my existence, my being -- each represented certain traits within me, and essentially I was externalizing these traits via their presence in my 'dream' of reality. This created intense feelings of fear and loneliness, as I suddenly was convinced that I was simply dreaming, and that the real 'reality' was that I was a singular entity (or part of that entity) that was simply dreaming to entertain and comfort itself. 'Self' and 'other', 'subject' and 'object' suddenly ceased to exist on a dime, and I could not deny its truth.
I was saying things to my friends, but really it was to the 'voice' providing me with these insights, such as: You're kidding me, right? THIS is what it's really all about. Are you me? Am I you? And I'm just supposed to wake up, and then go back to sleep and pretend all of this wasn't real? I remember every bit of how this felt. I remember being convinced that my friends didn't exist, but were my own projections of reality. I could actually, physically see at this point the emanation of light coming from my navel area, into them, and the entire scene.
Further convincing me of the reality of this non-reality was the fact that I was, in my mind, controlling the words of my friends as they spoke to me, or rather, I thought their thoughts at the same moment they thought and said them.. It was a feeling of being totally 'fused' to everything, including them (as it turns out, they were interacting with me at the later stages of my peak experience, although some of what I thought had been said actually was, and some of it, they tell me, they did not say.
At some point, I was heading towards full dissolution of my being, and I began to fear total destruction. I'm not sure, but this may have happened when I apparently rolled over onto my face, which I have no consensual reality memory of, but was later informed about by one of my friends. At this point, and after things were feeling particularly bleak, that I asserted that I still had free will and 'zipped' back up reality into a normal coherent picture by focusing my intention on doing so. At that point, my torso and head had the sensation of zipping back up from a hanging position at the bottom left to normal sitting position, straight up and down.
I then gained normal visual perspective and merged back into a mostly normal frame of mind. The next problem was integrating what I had just seen into my normal reality, which is something I'm still trying to do even now. The summary is that I felt that I was shown that I am dreaming in my normal reality, and that my dream is merged with the dreams of others. The 'reality' behind this dream, the place where I went during this experience, didn't feel very warm or friendly, and offered little comfort. It felt very lonely, like a purgatory or limbo state. I always imagined the dissolution of ego and self as being pleasant -- 'enlightenment' -- but this didn't feel like what I had imagined.
However, all of that said, I'm glad for my experience, and after further meditation and storage of personal strength, I may very well go back and visit this place with Salvia again someday. There are lessons to be learned there, although the journey is most definitely not for the faint of heart.
Let me say that if you mistreat this substance, or the experience, you are asking for trouble. Have a sitter (or two), be in a comfortable space with no music and low lighting, and make sure that your sitters only approach you or touch you if absolutely necessary, as this can be taken as a threat in the altered state salvia creates, and integrated in a negative fashion into the experience.
This is the most powerful psychoactive substance I have ever tried by a wide margin, and it is a formidable power plant. My friend and I compared notes with his 3 hits of DMT experience (which he did 5 mins after my salvia experience), and we concluded that DMT, though powerful, is Disneyland compared to Diviner's Sage.
I highly recommend it to any true seekers who want to peel back reality and take a peek. I hope my words don't frighten anyone away from trying it, I am merely providing as accurate an account as possible of my experience and intepretations, which is of course in the end a futile endeavor. Who knows, my next experience, being better prepared and experienced, may be much different.
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