Citation: Vivid. "A Clock: An Experience with Salvia Divinorum (20x extract), Cannabis & Alcohol (exp74040)". Erowid.org. Aug 2, 2009. erowid.org/exp/74040
(Written: September 19th, 2008)
This is a chronological story of a collection of plant material and its journey into unsuspecting minds. I will go into detail about trips I felt were more significant, while merely mentioning others to preserve your attentiveness.
..And so it goes.
I held it in my hand, a small unopened bag of salvia divinorum that my friends and I had been anxiously waiting for since I clicked the checkout button on the webpage of an online botanical vendor. Three grams of ground up black leaves and stems, with a label that read “20x Standardized Extract, Not for human consumption.” I had done quite a bit of research online and decided it would be fun to try, and I didn’t want to half-ass it so I bought the 20x standardized extract as opposed to crude extract. Sixty dollars and a week later the package arrived on a beautiful spring day; the air was crisp and cool and the sky was full of puffy white clouds.
Although I had been smoking ganja for about a half a year everyday, and occasionally dabbed in the college-alcohol scene, I had never tripped on anything. Neither had my roommate (D), nor two girls we frequently smoked with (C and S), but another friend (K) had tripped on a variety of substances. Around 2 P.M., the campus was alive with students walking from building to building, and I headed back to my freshman dorm room. Those who were tripping, which included D, C, S, and me, lounged around in my room preparing to have a good time. I pressed a new screen into the bowl of my bubbler, poured some water into the carb, and set a small pinch of the extract-blackened salvia evenly on the screen. Since I had, at least I thought I had, a basis of knowledge toward the plant, I was to pack the bowl for my three friends individually, and then pack my own. One by one I assisted my friends into a state of oblivion, as they blew the smoke out of the window after it had spent 15 seconds in the lungs. One by one I watched their nervous faces take a relatively small hit in fear of what was to come. One by one their faces morphed into an expression of confusion accompanied by excessive laughing, as they fell helpless to the futon conveniently placed a few feet away.
None of them took the whole hit, so I spread the left-overs and some new leaf onto the screen. I was bursting with anxiety after seeing my friends hit the bowl, but I gathered my breath, flicked my bic, and took a massive 3-4 second rip followed by a breath of air. I set the bowl down on my desk and started counting. It tasted exactly like what it was; a natural earthy taste so concentrated that it tasted like it was chopped up on a stainless steel desk in a chemical lab. After a 17-second count, I exhaled a large amount of smoke through the window fan.
As I was turning around to look at my friends, a jolting sensation shot up from my heels to my scalp, instantaneously shattering my anxiety, fear, and anticipation. Still on my feet, I turned around to a completely different room. My friends weren’t there, all I could see across my whole field of vision were conveyor-belts of patterns moving in random directions, all connected and all parallel to one another. Within seconds, all the conveyor-belts starting moving left very rapidly, and I was sucked into them, resulting in me falling to my left with the patterns onto the futon.
I gazed around, feeling helpless and confused, at my new surroundings. I was part of what I saw previously to falling down, parallel to the sectioned linear patterns, tumbling around in some sort of machine. The linear patterns were flowing through me, and I soon had a very uncomfortable sensation that my entire body was being cut vertically into sections by this machine. I panicked, and in my mind I came to the conclusion I was dead and moving on to give myself comfort in having an explanation. Then I started to gaze into the infinite machine, and had a distinct feeling that I could sense all other separate consciousness, and that all consciousness was directly and visually connected. I also had a thought loop that made me feel aware of a presence watching over all the connected energy tumbling around in the machine. I felt like I was the victim of a cruel joke, because somewhere within my mind I knew this my reality had drastically changed, but I could not dislodge the feeling that this new reality was true. It felt like a joke because it was so true that I convinced myself it was real, as I had no recollection of smoking anything.
Throughout the whole trip, the most distinct element in my mind was a sensation of lagging time. When I was part of the machine, I felt like I was moving in the same forward-back pattern, like I was part of a hand on a clock that was stuck. I would try to break the hold of the machine, only to be thrown back onto the futon by unexplainable forces. This repeating occurrence, along with my thought process, made me feel like I was stuck in time. My thought process was so strange; it felt like a story was being unfolded, but every time the forward-back motion happened, the story would start over. I quickly realized the seemingly complex story was actually my existence at that time. My existence would gradually become unveiled in reality, but in my mind time was lagging and I would fall into a void over and over. It was very strange and frightening, I felt as if I would never leave this loop and time would never continue; my mind would just keep going back to a single moment in time, expanding on the story more and more each time.
As I was lying on my side in awe, under no control of my movement or speech, I started to hear voices. I realized these were my friends yelling at me, all forcefully saying “Come on, we have to go outside right now!” That was about the last thing I wanted to do, but the face of my friend S became clear amongst the madness, and she grabbed my wrist and pulled me up. I stood still as they all ran out of my room, disgruntled in confusion and almost in tears because my friends left me behind. I booked down the hall and down a flight of stairs like a savage, running in a straight line to my friends who were lying on the cement by a bench. I sprawled out on the cement and the four of us stared at the sky for thirty minutes or so.
(From here on, Written: September 22, 2008)
Despite the lingering fear that accompanied my after-glow, I took 2 more hits of salvia that day. I smoked in my room with K, who had a very intense trip proclaiming that the effects were more ridiculous and frightening than her acid trips. It had only been an hour since my first trip, and the hit I took was not quite enough to send me off. Before dinner, around 5 P.M., S and C wanted to smoke again because their first trip wasn’t nearly as intense as their perception of my description. They both took much bigger hits and I could tell the fear had overtaken them. I distinctly remember S standing up to a corner of the room formed by the meeting walls, clawing at it and laughing hysterically. She was struggling to mumble something the whole time, and a bit after the peak she yelled “There is something important here if I can just open this corner!” It was quite hilarious and she seemed to enjoy the trip.
I decided that my mind needed more feeding so I packed up another hit and inhaled. I don’t remember much after I exhaled, it certainly was not as clear as the first trip albeit just as intense. Again, I fell to my left onto the futon, but this time my mind grasped that I was back in a familiar place, the sensations were recognizable due to prior experience. I had an intense urge to explain what was happening to me, it seemed obvious during the trip. I tried as hard as I could to speak, the phrases formed in my head but I was unable to convey them in a manner other than gibberish. I kept trying to say the same thing over and over, “You just have to say ‘I don’t know’” but it was impossible and very frustrating. Then I heard laughter and felt again as if I was the victim of a joke that I was not let in on. I yelled angrily “Stop laughing!” later to find out that K was laughing at me because I was drooling and mumbling the whole time. The lagging time sensation was back in full, and it seemed to coincide perfectly with my struggle to utter that simple phrase. Every time I failed to say the phrase, I felt like time reset to the point right before I tried to speak.
The rest of the day was sober and I had a very profound after-glow, everything was much brighter and I felt exhilarated having survived some very intense trips. For about a month my mind was trying to explain the world I saw on salvia, it felt so real and significant. My mind would race all throughout class and other situations where I had little to focus on, pondering my own existence and the collective existence of the universe.
I stashed the bag in a drawer for a while, only tripping one more time during the school year. This was also in my room; my roommate and I both tripped very hard when my brother was up to visit for sibling’s weekend. The trip was relatively the same, but increasingly familiar based on prior experience. I felt like it was pointless to smoke salvia after this trip based on some reasoning: I would forget what the salvia gravity felt like, along with the time-lagging sensation, only to be abruptly and unpleasantly reminded by the extract. It seemed like a vicious circle.
The summer begat many new experiences; I tried new things such as DXM and LSD, and quickly learned how to play my current instrument of choice, the guitar. Four days before my first LSD trip a fellow dreamer and friend, W, and I got really high and I had an urge I hadn’t felt for months, the urge to smoke salvia. I mentioned it and he agreed, but I was instantly feeling regret when the fear and anticipation started building up. All previous trips were during sober periods, and we were both a bit curious as to how marijuana and salvia would interact. We took my bubbler outside in my backyard and sat next to each other at a picnic table. This was my first time without a sitter, but my backyard is fenced in so we couldn’t escape. I let W hit it first before I packed it for myself, we wanted to trip at the same time. He took his hit in and blew it out in a few seconds, and I said “Damn, you didn’t remember to hold it in for 20 seconds.” I was about to put another hit in for him, but he starting tripping really hard, making strange repetitive movements with his arm. I could sense it; the lagging clock had taken him and I was soon to follow.
I took my hit and waited for the jolting sensation, but it never came. I’m not sure if it was because I was outside or I was high, but I wasn’t shot into another dimension like before, I could still recognize my backyard and I was very comfortable there. It had been a few months since my last salvia trip so the sensations were repressed, but quickly unfolded just as I was about to load another hit. I had all the sensations from before, strange pulling forces to my left, and a lagging motion whenever I tried to resist the pull, but I was more aware of the situation this time and felt some control. I turned to my friend who was still making strange motions and blurted uncontrollably “We are on a clock, that’s what salvia is, a clock.” Terrified, he stopped moving and stared at me, as if I’d just uncovered the universe for him. I could sense he felt the same sensations, but didn’t have enough control to attempt to explain them, sort of like my struggle during my first few trips.
I had a desire to break free of the repeating motion and did something I previously thought was impossible, I stood up. I felt free, like I had burst through a cage violently into a beautiful world. I don’t remember what I did but I must have just wandered around my yard for a few minutes when suddenly I realized W was no longer there. I immediately was overcome with worry, and I started searching for him even though I was still tripping pretty hard. I went out front to my driveway and I saw him desperately trying to open his car door, even though it was locked. I asked him what he was doing and told him to come to the back; he looked absolutely terrified of me, like I was a monster or something. He entered the backyard through the gate and froze, staring at me, like we were in an old western stand-off. As he came to a little, he told me he was trying to drive away because he thought he became part of my sidewalk, and that I appeared to him as some kind of beast. We went inside, and after about ten minutes W still looked very frightened. He walked over to me and told me to touch his arm and tell him that he exists in reality; I complied and reminded him that he smoked salvia. After that he became calm and we talked about the trip, which happened to be his most intense salvia experience yet.
After this trip my mentality about salvia changed drastically, I felt powerful, like I had enough control to actually explain the effects of salvia. Every time I thought of the clock, I knew exactly what it felt like to be on salvia. This hasn’t gone away; unlike before where I would forget the sensations completely, I could now recall the thought process I had during my trips. All I wanted to do was write about salvia, I felt like I had uncovered something important. After reading hundreds of reports, it started to come together; everyone has the same effects, they just perceive them differently. After enough tripping, each report I read sends chills down my spine because I can recall the feeling; all the reports have comparable aspects to my experiences.
Then I met Lucy. (Drawn out in a separate report)
Over the course of the summer, the small bag of salvia got around, I sold a half gram to some friends, let my brother’s friend smoke it in my backyard, and one time I randomly decided to take it to a party at a bonfire. I feel this is worth mentioning to show the potential risks of salvia. At the fire, I let two friends smoke the extract free of charge, the first of which was glued to his chair, watching the night sky for the whole trip. The second friend (B) was your typical 19 year old burnout; a vibrant explorative soul who had countless trips under his belt, well educated in the LSD and mushroom realms. B began to boast about how he had smoked 80x extract before, assuming that my extract would be much less intense. He even laughed a little when I told him he only needed one hit. His arrogance wouldn’t go unnoticed by Lady Salvia.
B took the hit standing up and handed me the bowl, exhaling after about ten seconds. Everyone around the fire watched intently as he started to sway ever so slightly, and then fell directly backwards on his back, his fall broken by a pile of firewood. He started laughing hysterically and the other friend who had just tripped asked “Hey man, are you alright?” In a fit of laughter, B said “No! Can someone please help me up now?” but the words were understood. He was helped up, and he started swaying toward the fire, we formed a perimeter to make sure he didn’t fall in. It was hilarious and everyone was bursting with laughter until suddenly he froze on his feet, looking around suspiciously.
And just like that, he started sprinting toward the front yard. A few people went after him, not including me (I was stoned and didn’t think the situation was dangerous), but they were outrun by him. I started to walk to the front yard when I saw B being tailed by a friend, then he veered off into the road. My heart jumped as he started running into on-coming traffic, bombarded by flashing headlights and car horn vibrations. A 6’3” lanky teenager, with long red hair and a bandana, booking down the street in a tye-dye shirt; the autos did their best to veer around him. B slowed down a bit and my friend tackled him into the ditch, leading him back to the fire before the cops showed up. We were all in shock, but the party went on. I put the bag back in my shorts and nobody asked me to pull it out again for the rest of the night, what a surprise. The next day, news of the past night was spreading around town, and B called me and spoke “In all honesty, that was the most intense trip of my life.” Based on the events at the bonfire, my fear and respect for salvia returned, even though I didn’t trip that night.
My next trip occurred at the end of summer, four days before another trip with W where we would combine LSD and DXM. However, W was not smoking salvia with me, instead another good friend, E, was anxious to dab into the bag that he had heard stories about. I chose to get high before the trip, and he opted not to because it was his first experience with salvia. We went outside to the picnic table in my backyard, my brother and his friend sat in front of us on the ground with their guitars. My anticipation was relentless as was his, so we smoked a cigarette, and I packed him a hit. I told my brother to start playing Across the Universe, and then I took my hit. E started tripping off his hit, but after 20 seconds of waiting, I had to take a second hit. I started to get pulled left and started to lean that way, and when I looked over, E was doing the exact same thing. I began laughing uncontrollably because of this, which is something that hadn’t happened to me on salvia previously. E wasn’t sharing my giddiness; he looked very frustrated as he struggled so say something to me, mumbling incoherently. Again, I was being pulled left, and every time I resisted to the right, I was pulled back like a pendulum.
I had the mentality that I was on a clock again, but for the first time I didn’t feel trapped; I was certain I could get up at anytime. I started to notice the music from the guitars and it was extremely annoying because they were both playing different songs at the same time. I could tell E was trying to get them to stop but he couldn’t speak, so I yelled at them to stop playing. Then E got up and wandered back to the train-shaped play-set that is in my backyard. I felt an urge to follow him, and as I got up I started sprinting, which felt strange because I had the sensation that I was under no control of my body. We spoke to each other with broken phrases, and for some reason I did a pull-up on the swing-set, which made E laugh. He started to chill out and sat by a small garden in my backyard for a few minutes, while I attempted to play the guitar. We then discussed the trip, E saying that it was well worth trying and somewhat enlightening. An hour later E had to leave for work, so I went inside and took a short nap.
Went back to see Lucy with a stomach full of Robo pills, complete breakthrough experience to the void. Still reflecting on this one, hopefully I’ll be able to write about the day sometime.
The bag and I came back to campus two weeks ago, the 8th of September. I still had about a half gram left of the black extract. My roommate and I invested in a vaporizer which proved to be a great call, it made a half-ounce of weed last significantly longer than usual than smoking would have. I was curious about vaporizing other legal herbal blends, but especially salvia. Last Saturday my roommate (D) had a friend come up (C) who brought up some alcohol for the night. We kicked off the night at 7 and I started drinking boxed wine, along with D. C was mixing energy drinks with vodka. Over the next 5 hours I drank the equivalent of 5-6 glasses of wine, frequently hitting the weed-filled vaporizer throughout the whole night.
All three of us went outside and C and I smoked a cigarette. C had been pondering for the past few hours over whether or not she wanted to try salvia, but finally decided to as we were walking back inside. I had a nice buzz going, although the alcohol was beginning to wear off a little, and I decided on impulse that I would try salvia too. Something was different about this time though, I really had no desire or urge to trip as before all previous trips. I covered the screen for C and she took a few pulls out of the hose, handing it off to me. She started laughing really hard, almost losing her breath, and went into a different room to sit on the couch. I put a small pinch of new leaf in the bowl and stirred it around with the old, lacking the usual pre-trip anticipation.
I started to take pulls out of the hose, one set, then another, and a third. My roommate tried to take it out of my hand every time I exhaled, but I wouldn’t let him. I was pushing the trip, forcing myself deeper into the unknown. I even took the bag back out and put another pinch in, proceeding to take three more sets of pulls. My roommate looked at me in awe as I handed the hose to him after six exhales, and I took but a half step before I realized that it was incredibly difficult to walk (I was standing still the whole time vaporizing the salvia). I went out into the room where C was sitting and commented out loud on the emerging patterns of pink light bending over the white walls of the room, racing to the left.
I started tripping hard and I felt the salvia gravity pulling me to the left, and I started a repetitive motion leaning left, and jerking back to the right so I could stand straight. Again, in my mind this represented my lagging existence through time, but I felt a little scared this time because I was getting severe deja vu related to my first salvia trip. The forces on my body were stronger than ever, and I started to fight them as a test at first, but the feud within my mind elevated quickly. The force was exactly like that of a pendulum; how ever hard I pushed through the left-bound force to the right, my body would be shot back to the left with equal force. I began to become confused and wondered whether I was imagining this occurrence or trying to fake a trip for my observing friends. So I fought it harder, gradually increasing force and being thrown back.
The event quickly went from an interesting feeling to overwhelming fear of a spirit of some sort tossing me around, which felt very forceful and gave me bad vibes. Finally, I threw my whole body to the right in an act of desperation to break free, but my progress was halted, and I was thrown to the ground to the left, landing on my side. I felt so helpless on my side, staring at the bottom of my guitar stand, completely unable to stand back up. I said a few things to myself while lying there which resonate in my thoughts to this day, but it felt like something was forcing me to say them. “You don’t know anything at all, it’s not a clock,” and then “Stop telling people it’s a clock.” I was overcome with a degrading feeling, as if I was being shunned by salvia. In seconds my mind flooded with memories of feeling in control of the drug, and feeling like I knew what a salvia experience entailed. The memories shattered and were swept away by this new feeling of nothingness and sheer lack of knowledge. All I could manage to say sincerely was “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” before my trip came to abrupt end leaving me baffled on the ground.
I immediately tried to describe my trip to D and C, but they just looked at me like I was crazy while verbally trying to assure me I was fine. I felt completely insane and out of touch with reality. I went back to being stoned and we walked up to town to buy a pizza. I chain-smoked some cigarettes (something I very rarely do) and on the way back I got a little nauseous and extremely exhausted. I threw up a little bit when I got back to my room but not much came out. I couldn’t even eat my share of the pizza and passed out in my bed within the next half hour.
Although I have wanted to write about my collection of salvia experiences since the first day, this last trip was the spark I needed to bring some culmination to a strange set of events. I certainly don’t regret any of the salvia trips; they were all very significant, and enlightening as a whole. Salvia has sparked much creative thinking for me, helping me enjoy life on a day-to-day basis while appreciating the mind-expanding opportunities presented to me by psychoactive substances. The leaf has also contributed to the gradual decay of my ego and social boundaries, inspiring me to be more motivated and interactive in social situations as opposed to my previous shy, anxious nature. I feel more connected and aware of human beings, especially those who have seen the altered realities that exist as frames in my memory.
But most importantly, salvia has taught me that if I want to pursue something, only my effort will make it happen. I keep this notion in the back of my mind when I pluck my guitar strings or think about my desire to start yoga. Despite the negative feelings associated with the last trip, I’m sure John Lennon would agree when I say it all boils down to love. I love salvia and the life lessons it has presented me, and I can only hope the spirit or entity associated with salvia is aware of that love.
I still have the bag, and it’s down to about two good sized hits. I wonder which set of lungs is next on the continuum…
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