Citation: Sami. "Semana del Salvia (A week of Salvia): An Experience with Salvia Divinorum (leaf & 20x extract) (exp83535)". Erowid.org. Apr 29, 2012. erowid.org/exp/83535
S E M A N A * D E L * S A L V I A
(A week of Salvia)
====== Monday: I Forgot About the Layer People =======
I decided to smoke Salvia every day for one week as part of a mental journey. Or something.
When I asked about Salvia at a smokeshop I haven't been to before, the other customers in the store exclaimed to each other, “Salvia, whoahh. That shit can fuck you up!” Why yes it can, sweet young grasshoppers. I already had a shoebox full of leaf, but I decided to start off the week with 20x. $40 well spent, I would say.
'Chickadee' took a hit first. She was about to take another when she suddenly seemed to no longer see what was in front of her and I pulled my bong out of her face. She looked dazed and seemed unable to talk. Awhile after she came back to reality she explained that she entered a different planet through its airport where everyone had my face. I apparently wore a red brocade hat that seemed like an accordion. Then she said when she started to touch her skin she felt like it was cardboard and uncomfortable. She didn’t particularly like her trip.
Before I got high, I painted half of a portrait as part of a project where I needed to make art “under the influence.” I took my hit, a big one, and held it in for longer than usual. I felt the trip coming on, put one pillow under my head and clutched another to my chest. The world turned into layer people and I lost my orientation. Layer people. I had completely forgotten about them. I remember another trip where my surroundings connected into repeating layers – sort of how it looks like when you open the medicine cabinet so that the mirrors reflect infinitely into each other. But these layers aren’t darkened by shadow or limited by what you can sandwich between the mirrors. And each layer has a face, I think. Hence, 'layer people.' In my trip that night I remember how the little rubber coated forks that support the plastic sheet for a recessed ceiling light had faces, as well as everything else that formed these vertical accordion layers. I rolled on the ground, side to side, which made the layers move like flipping slowly through a deck of cards.
I laughed hysterically, trying to explain the layer people to an almost sober Chickadee, and completely sober 'Peaches'. At some point I found the layer where my canvas was “above my left shoulder” (not really, just in my mental orientation). I rolled around through layers some more but eventually decided to come to the one where I could paint. “Here’s the real layer!!” I didn’t even pick up my palette knife and went straight for the paint with my fingers, smearing blue and yellow onto the canvas. I remember being manically happy, laughing and shrieking. When I did use the palette knife, I would be convinced I was painting certain things – the red and pink vertical lines were a city, a blob was a swimmer, blue and green smears were water. Sometimes I didn’t want to paint because everything seemed perfectly beautiful just the way it was. The same thing happened with music - it was aesthetically satisfying the way it was and this sense quelled any urges to change the song.
Aside: when I smoke Salvia, I typically hallucinate, and then have an after-high with various effects like increased sensitivity to my senses and imagination, and finally a 'content' state.
When I was back in reality (but still high) I would shift between feeling normal and spazzing out. I would randomly have tremors and laugh into my pillow. Salvia awakens a wild, manic world of hysteria, and I think my painting (on the 'high' half) reflects that. Textures, music, sensations became transfixing. I got caught in a romantic gaze with my camera, far up on a ledge as I reached toward it.
A good first day, I think.
====== Tuesday: An Inherent Logic ======
So, I got home, made some tea with honey to cool down so I could soothe my throat after my trip, and some “snow” to put in my bong. Go, industrial blender, go. I stuck with leaf, because I was determined to figure out how to enjoy it – I have half a shoebox of the stuff, after all. Hence the snow, since leaf is quite harsh. I also made sure to put nothing even resembling a stem into the bowl. This helped immensely.
It took a few moments to feel the first effects, but soon enough I felt the inflating-helium-laughter rising in my mouth. I decided to get out of the chair and onto the ground for safety. Chickadee peered over her homework at me, bemused. I started to see and feel the world connecting and accordion-expanding into the layer people again, but was still able to be connected enough to reality to start crawling across the floor. My goal: the couch in the other room. I laughed and shrieked, coaching myself “come on sami, stay in reality, you can do it.” Once safely on the couch, I peered through the doorway into the kitchen.
I began to think I could explain how the layer people form, since it was happening less dramatically. The doorway in the kitchen stretched with their faces, and its wall became my “floor.” I had to logically deduce what the real floor was by keeping note of its color. All orientation with gravity was lost. I would fall completely into the rolling, visually repeating land of faces made up of my surroundings in mostly vertical or triangular shapes. Then I would laugh hysterically and loudly tell myself to come back, since I really liked being able to feel the threshold between worlds. Eventually I came down enough to get back to my chair in the kitchen, although I was still seeing the world mutate slightly, and the shadows on my hands became translucent dark green trails.
I took another hit, this time intent on learning to control myself. I was nervously anticipating smoking with other people in the future, and I don’t really want shrieking and rolling to be a part of every trip. Sitting in the chair was fascinating, because it became a layer by itself, attached to my back and arms. I remember quietly telling myself what to do. At one point, I wanted to see things really badly and started to abandon my mission of being controlled. Then I closed my eyes and put my hands over my face - the layer people I saw were instead triangle faces(lips mostly)/people – mostly dark red, skin color, and black from the color of my slowly blinking eyes and moving fingers. The visual images (as usual) repeated in a geometric/repetitive pattern, this time with triangles (a common theme in my trips). I remembered the first time I broke through and wondered if all the black came from my eyes being closed, if indeed they were… (The first time I broke through and hallucinated was several months ago on 60x.)
“I am so selfish,” I laughed, and reminded myself to remember to be quiet and still. I talked in a very soft, somewhat baby-talk voice. I continued to lose reality in the layers and was amused by how I wouldn’t be able to find Chickadee (or my pet cockatoo, who was sitting on a nearby railing). Coming back, I remember talking about my experiences and saying, “I’m not as high as I sound.”
After I was mostly sober, I felt clear headed and as if colors were sharper. I immediately became productive, cleaning up any mess, washing dishes, forming words for my wordpress post in my mind. Salvia could fit into a regular lifestyle with a little bit of practice. Well, it does seem to mess with my short term memory and spelling skills – maybe not. I do think, however, there’s a way to see Salvia as less of the crazy badass that it tends to be. Of course, my trips are always happy hysteria and quotes like, “it makes you highly suggestible to your imagination.”
====== Wednesday: Learning the Controls ======
I think I smoked salvia 3 times throughout the course of the evening. I think. It’s interesting how much I’m learning about its effects. One thing I’ve noticed is that it makes me think everyone is paying attention to me and listening to what I’m saying. It’s almost as if I expect them to feel the huge, bright emotion of my trip. This means that the more people there are around, the more distracting and intense that visibility feels. (I smoked at a party in my house with about 10 people nearby.)
I’m also loving how much I’m learning to control myself. If I concentrate beforehand, I can keep from shrieking with laughter. It’s hard not to, since the drug puts me into a “Hey, look at me! Join me!” state and I end up vying for attention. But the people on the “real layer” aren’t necessarily looking, and I have to remind myself of that. That night, coming back, I felt the world separated into only about 3 layers – the 3D “real” layer in front of me, a “flat” interpretation of the layer right next to (in front of?) the reality one – forming a slice, and everything behind me connecting to my back and supporting arm as a hollow field of black.
The last trip of the night was beautiful. I closed my eyes and saw hundreds of women (all the same), still like magazine cutouts, their bodies bent like dancers. These tiny women were translucent over a dark green background, and their images surged softly like ocean waves.
====== Thursday: Salvia Sex ======
(leaf with 20x)
Someday I will have to post about all my experiences of combining Salvia with sex. This was the first one, and a part of my week of Salvia. 'Wonka' and I took off our clothes first, and I had him start the bowl since he's bigger than me and I assumed he should take a bigger hit. Even as I set down the bong, I felt myself starting to metaphorically fall and moved to lie down in my bed. I pulled Wonka down, saying 'Come with me, I'm going to sunflower land.' We lied next to each other, tripping hard. I didn't know if my eyes were open or closed. I think I was shrieking with laughter at one point. Wonka told me we were looking into each others' eyes but he looked away because it was too intense.
We talked to each other about what we were seeing (I think our eyes were usually closed at this point) - I saw abstract sunflowers, and I interpreted one vision as school children. Wonka was seeing gardens and after he said that, I started seeing them too. I had begun my trip lying sideways with one leg over him, but once I returned to mostly normal vision I was surprised to realize I was lying on my back (and naked. I had forgotten I was naked.) I looked at Wonka and we empathized in our mutual exhaustion. I told him to come, lie down for a moment. But after a very brief rest, he looked at me and one of us said 'we can do it.' I realized that I was very wet.
I'm not saying that to be erotic, I just have discovered through my experiences that Salvia enhances sex at the physiological level as well as the mental and emotional level. It gives Wonka a superb erection, as well. The sex was amazing (even more so than usual), Wonka was drenched with sweat, my mind filled with sensation and the sounds of soft breathing. There was a time in the middle when it seemed like we were going really fast. It felt like an hour of sex but in reality it was about 10 or 15 minutes.
I hope that my description is detailed and not overtly arousing nor too clinical.
====== Friday: A Direct Account ======
The following is directly quoted from that Friday:
'I’m going to try something different – I’ll take my hit and then try to type as much as I can.
(Bowie’s Space Oddity plays in the background)
I’m holding in my hit. typin is diffllacult
at the this point ttttttthing s thin aweruaergjoi gggggkjf
uueguyyhu iu ugy nnghvvvhghgkhgggy
ohhhh my goodness you have no ideea what i just whent thgroug. that song was way too intense. because. i had a blue cup in my room and the song said if planet earth is blue. typing that sentence just now was difficult. the letters all have mouths and are singing (the year 2525 is playing). in fact i’m not quite sure what position i’m sitting in because it feels like i’m sitting on the ground sideways but i can’t be sure. My head is connected to a stand and floats above my disembodied hands. yeah i can sit up now. it’s been 10 thousand years by the way. expletive. that was intense. i attached to the ground and i couldn’t tell my face from the things sitting in front of me. shit phone call.
haha that was interesting. i could understand everything she was saying but i couldn’t really talk right. my mouth feels a bit buzzy and wet. typing feels funny too – like the letters are really light like popcorn. okay, so – when I was tripping, I couldn’t tell my face from the things in front of me – i had the keyboard propped up on fire log and it became a big part of my trip. and i had scootched back onto my stomach sorta with my legs sideways. the carpet (which is multicolored neutrals) became a sea of people – like a very very large crowd as viewed from an outdoor stage during the day. I think they were singing the song. Space oddity:
Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five,
Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff
This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do
Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much… she knows
Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.
So, whoever the “I” was in the song seemed to be singing to me. I felt his/her/its presence in the room and forgot that I’m actually alone right now (badass, smoking without a sitter i guess?) I forget what else… I started typing randomly after that first coherent “at this point” because it helped me re-orient to which layer reality was on – somewhat below my face and the hallucination/loss of feeling layer. i had forgotten i was even at a computer. but i felt like i could only type certain letters. also, i remember figuring out where my right eye was and something shot slowly toward it… uh…
but around the time i regained enough conciousness to control my fingers (enough to type “oym”) the song went “the planet earth is blue.” The cup to my left is blue, so I was definitely convinced that was planet earth for a couple seconds, or at least that the song had consciousness if that makes sense. it basically became my narrative for a little while. Anyway, definitely more trippy, and it came on faster, than I was expecting for just leaf. But I did take a fat hit.
Anyway, thanks for listening! Some friends will be coming over soon :) '
So you can definitely get a sense of my changing mood and personality throughout the experience. I remember deleting and retyping words/sentences several times in the second half of my first paragraph - being careful. For example, 'expletive' was not the first word I chose, but I thought it gave the right effect (understated, funny, hinting at intensity). In the later paragraphs, I typed more freely. 'It's been ten thousand years, by the way' referred to the song lyrics that had just played.
====== Reflection ======
(I also smoked Saturday and maybe even Sunday, but didn't write it down and would rather not scour my brain right now.)
Here are quotes from my notes. I wrote this on that Saturday:
'This week feels like less of a landmark than it really has been. I feel a little bit too normal (not spacey, weird, whatever) on the surface. But I do feel a little bit like I am separated from my past a bit. I’ve noticed a few symptoms of what I like to call depersonalization (but not the disorder of course). I get a little caught up in sensory stimuli; I get a little lost when I hear my name. There’s sort of a blankness.
I’ve noticed several lasting effects of doing a lot of Salvia beyond the initial high – that is, how I am the morning/day after a night of smoking. I am more in tune with my senses, and more fascinated by them. I was cleaning something with water, and it shot up in an arc. I noticed the (naturally-occurring) reflected colors in the water beads and marveled at how they looked like diamonds. I have also been more productive – or at least whatever productive things I have done have been without any real mental blocks. I think, also, my mood has leveled a bit. I’m not as spacey as I expected to be, in fact, I feel pretty clear-headed most of the time, now (although a tiny bit disconnected). My sleep has also continued to be very solid and satisfying, even though I might stay up really late some nights. My eating was getting a LOT better too (although tonight I tried to eat dinner and failed – maybe I just need to cook something else).
Overall, I declare Salvia better for my mental health than freaking Wellbutrin. Gah that stuff sucked for me. So glad to be off of it. (Better luck, Zoloft?)
I’ve also learned a few things about how other people interact with Salvia. Breaking through is more difficult for others until they do so on the extract first (that’s how it worked for me in the past as well). Some people just plain don’t like going all the way gone. One friend said he metaphorically ‘left his house’ and really wanted to get back. I remember during his trip (on 20x extract) he said something like, “I don’t want to be a part of this. You know?” But the next day he had some leaf since he loved the body high. My other friend, 'Butterfree', prefers going all the way through and doesn’t like the threshold place that leaf sometimes causes. It seemed important that I was there to empathize with her during her breakthrough trip – someone who understands the intensity of feeling and has “been there.” She started speaking about how she wasn’t herself and had to say certain things – a narrative. A friend started to disagree, causing her some consternation, but I interjected about understanding the (insistence of the) narrative and she relaxed. I can’t wait to smoke with her some more, she really seems to understand my love for Salvia and I’m sure we’ll have some amazing, enlightening times.'
Just to clarify my personal notes - I was taking Wellbutrin for Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder but was hyper-reactive after 10 or so days. (Zoloft didn't work out either, 2nd night I took it gave me severe heartburn and an anxiety attack). I mentioned sleeping because I had been having insomnia a week or so before. The eating thing was (is?) a side-effect of depression that seriously bothers me. I usually over-eat, but recently went through (and am still transitioning from) a phase where I had no appetite, and couldn't finish meals I started. Salvia helped with that, I'm pretty sure. It doesn't 'give the munchies' but it boosted my overall mood for the week and getting back to normal eating was the natural result. In summary, I am shocked that I can handle (and enjoy) a traditionally tough plant, but can't even get through a regimen of antidepressants. I also have serious over-reactions to caffeine, by the way.
I don't know if my *prescription drug sensitivity / lack of problems with Salvia* puts me in a specific category, but I thought I should mention it for the sake of 'science.' I have never had a 'bad trip' beyond getting annoyed at a (real life) dog that was watching me and feeling worn out afterward.
So, I would definitely do this experience again. I do need time in between, though. I ended up smoking once a week after and it ended up feeling a little too soon, but now it has been almost two weeks and I am looking forward to the weekend.
freedom & art,
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