Citation: Comradez. "Sneaky Sleight of Hand: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (extract) (exp83979)". Erowid.org. Oct 17, 2018. erowid.org/exp/83979
Salvia's Sneaky Sleight of Hand
Taking salvia sublingually in a homemade tincture form was interesting and definitely seemed like something worthwhile to try at least once, because it offered a slow, relaxed investigation of the typology of the salvia experience--something that one cannot usually piece together when one is smoking salvia and having one's universe instantly obliterated and re-assembled. What one finds with the tincture method is that salvia can execute its reassembling of one's reality in a very slow, subtle, and sneaky (and, as I found out, equally surprising) way as well. I might have thought that, with enough of a gradual experience, I could see salvia's tricks coming, but the funny thing is I couldn't.
This homemade tincture was composed of about ~1 oz. of plain (unextracted) dried leaf material that was ground into small sawdust-chip-sized (but not powder-fine) leaves with a hand-cranked nut grinder. This leaf material was then left in a dark place to ferment for about 5 days in a 200 ml-bottle of 151-proof Bacardi Rum (I had removed about a fourth of the original rum to make room for the leaf material, so we're talking about maybe 150 ml of rum mixed with the ounce of salvia leaf).
For this trip, I ended up using about a third of the resulting bottle of tincture, although some of that was spilled and dribbled out of my mouth a few times when I began gagging from how hot the alcohol was burning in my mouth (I learned that, even with 151-proof alcohol, diluting it a bit before serving is a MUST!), so I'd say the amount that I actively consumed was maybe around 1/4 of the bottle. This was over the course of about 30 minutes, with about 7 or 8 (I lost count) doses taken at about 4 minute intervals, held under the tongue, and then swallowed (I thought, 'Why the hell not, don't want the alcohol to go to waste...') I didn't use an eye-dropper--I just basically poured some of the tincture into a paper cup and took tiny swigs of it--enough to fit under the tongue each time. My plan was to just take as much tincture as possible until I became too disoriented to dose myself any more. I suppose I succeeded eventually.
(And by the way, the 'taste' actually wasn't that bad. It just tasted like rum with a slight hint of mint. In any case the 'taste' was completely overpowered by the scorching heat of the alcohol on my tongue. My batch had a dark, dark green color of such neon-green hue that it reminded me of the water colors from those Easter egg coloring kits.)
For about the first 15 minutes I felt nothing. Then I started to feel a little weird and spacey. By about the 6th dose (20 minutes in), my awareness was starting to be gently tugged along down interesting paths. Towards the end of holding the 6th dose under my tongue, when I would close or even just blink my eyes, I would start to see some vague shapes flit in and out of my mind's eye. These shapes at one point materialized, most memorably, into a parade of hot girls in bikini outfits that were floating towards me and past me on my left side--just floating through the air doing flips and whatnot, as if diving from horizontal high-diving platforms in zero gravity. Then I would open my eyes about halfway, and this sense would peek through into my open-eyed state, as if the girls were hiding in the wall and peeking out, or as if the conveyor belt or parade of them was coming up from the other side of the wall, and as they came through the wall, they would dissolve as if passing through a filter, just before entering my full open-eyed view. I thought that was pretty funny.
At about this time my friends got ready to leave to go see a movie. As they were saying a few last things to one another, I noticed that time seemed to be going at two slightly different rates depending on what I paid attention to. If I paid attention to my friends talking, time seemed to go on as normal. But if I paid attention to my own thought processes, time seemed to move much more slowly.
If I paid attention to my friends talking, time seemed to go on as normal. But if I paid attention to my own thought processes, time seemed to move much more slowly.
And then my friends would speak, and I'd notice once again that time was not going any differently at all based on the rate of their speech passing by my awareness. But then I'd think about the spacey-ness that I was feeling, and time would seem to go a bit slowly again. It wasn't as if I thought it was going slowly because I had judged some activity whose normal duration I already knew as taking longer to play out. Rather, it was just a visceral, pre-deductive feeling.
As my friends were leaving, I took what was probably the 7th dose, which would prove to be the peak dose. I laid back, I felt the bed bob up and down as if it were floating on the ocean (sort of like a water-bed feeling, which is notable because my bed is about the stiffest, creakiest thing imaginable). At this point time definitely seemed to be going more slowly when focusing on my own thoughts or on the shapes in my mind's eye with my eyes closed, and I soon got into this mode of saying all of my thoughts to myself in my head repeatedly and repeatedly in echoing fashion. This was salvia's sneakiness starting to manifest itself because it wasn't like I was saying it once in my head and then hearing it echo in my head. It was like I was in this 'mode' where it just felt good and natural to say all of my thoughts in my head in a flanging, echoing fashion. I felt like it wouldn't have been difficult to fight this impulse and say each word to myself in my head only once, but it would have been hard, I guess, and in the silence between one word and the time when I would think of the next word in the sentence, I'd be bound to get distracted from my train of thought, whereas saying the word over and over in my head sort of helped me constantly remind myself of my train of thought. So I went with it.
In any case, it didn't really seem that out of the ordinary at the moment. I was thinking to myself (in echoing fashion): 'Man, this salvia isn't really doing anything. This inclination to chant my thoughts is not all that extraordinary and would be quite possible to deal with in ordinary life.' Once again, this was because I honestly felt like I was voluntarily echoing stuff over and over to myself and that I could willingly get out of this groove if I wanted to, and that it was really just an inclination to stick in this mental groove of operating like this, and not a shift in reality or anything interesting, that was making me do this. In fact, it felt like, in doing this, I was doing something that I normally do anyways when I'm feeling absent-minded, like whistling a tune that's stuck in one's head, and that the only shift was in it feeling slight more fitting or 'groovy' to yield to this spacey, absent-minded impulse. (I would only rediscover, upon coming down, that this chanting or echoing of my thoughts is not at all like my base state of consciousness, of course.)
The next aspect of salvia's sneakiness came as I echoingly and nonchalantly continued this train of thought: 'Yeah, this tincture method is pretty boring. I think I'm gonna leave this balcony and go do something else...' For now I was of the casual impression that I was standing on like a balcony of a parking garage-sort of building, or some apartment block with no walls and an open view on one side, and my room appeared as a large, far-away cityscape. The lamp off to my left seemed like a warm, golden afternoon sun. The thing about this building, though (and this didn't seem at all strange at the time), was that it was not like I was looking at it, but that I knew how it was laid out, how the two storeys and walls and roof were laid out, because I could feel the entire building. Because, in fact, the entire building was my mouth and head, with my jaw being the bottom floor, my tongue being the 2nd floor (on which I was standing), and my head on up from there being vaguely the 'upper' floors that I could sense. I only figured out that the building was my mouth a few moments later, of course. But basically, this is how you would construct it:
*Take one normal size copy of me, and inflate to about 10x the size of normal me.
*Then take a normal size copy of me and place me on the tongue of the big-size me.
*Then wire the two nervous systems together so that the normal size-me can feel myself standing on my own tongue, the tongue of the big-size me.
*Now put the two versions of me together like a Klein bottle, without distinction between the 'bigger' me and the 'smaller' me, but still with the same self-looping topology.Just as there is technically no 'inner' or 'outer' surface of a Klein bottle, so was there neither any 'big me' or 'small me,' except I could still feel myself standing on my own tongue. Yeah, pretty weird...but I didn't quite realize what was going on yet. The salvia had somehow so slyly rearranged this aspect of my reality that I didn't originally notice that anything had changed.
So here I am, standing on my own tongue and gazing out into the cityscape of my room in what seems like the afternoon sunlight
So here I am, standing on my own tongue and gazing out into the cityscape of my room in what seems like the afternoon sunlight
, and soon I feel some stuff that sort of feels like slick-wheeled carts rolling off the building ledge that I'm standing on and falling out of the building. The sensation that this stuff produced as it rolled to what was in fact the tip of my tongue was a sort of sensuous gratification. I ask myself, 'What is this stuff rolling off the balcony? Ah, I feel that there's more of it sitting and gently rolling around in the corner of this room behind me.' At this point I realize that this is the tincture, and that this apartment building that I'm standing in and feeling is actually my mouth. So I had enough sense at this point to swallow the rest of the tincture, thinking that the safest thing to do, lest I become confused about the nature of this stuff in my mouth once again and think it a neat idea to try sending these chairs rolling down the proverbial 'hallway' into the proverbial 'lung.' Anyways, needless to say, the sensation of swallowing the rest of the tincture was...weird.
So then I went back to my echoing mental thought perusal, and I casually remarked to myself in this chanting inner monologue how well my chanting was synching up with the chanting of the other presence in the room. This other presence's chanting manifested itself as a calm, constant, Buddhist-like vibrational hum of energy and light coming from my lower right. It seemed like a pleasant, grounding, perfectly familiar companion. At first I had the notion that, even though I was just now paying attention to it, this companion had been in the room, doing its thing, the whole time, and that I had even known this companion for a long time preceding immediate recollection. And in a sense I was correct because I soon realized that this pleasantly humming 'companion' was the soft hissing of my laptop's power adapter (I have one of those adapters that makes a slight hissing sound that is barely noticeable, but with the room being as quiet as it was and with me spacing out like I was, I was bound to notice it once again). Needless to say, I felt pretty silly when I realized this.
Even after consciously remembering that it was my power adapter, I couldn't get away from this tension in the room that was starting to develop out of the hissing of the power adapter--this sort of feeling of expectation that I was being expected to be getting ready to 'do something,' so I decided to unplug my laptop to get some peace and quiet for the moment, as the usually-quiet power adapter was now deafeningly occupying all of my attention.
When I finally unplugged the power adapter and heard the hissing shut off, though, I felt kind of sad, now that I had silenced my 'companion,' and I tried to plug it back in, but I was still very clumsy at this point, and I dropped the cord behind a table leg, and I was so demoralized at the prospect of executing the complicated actions necessary to get the cord back around, that I just left it there and laid back in my bed, feeling a bit wistful now.
After that point, I began to come down. I took one more tincture dose under the tongue, but it only seemed to prolong the tapering-off just a bit. I spent the rest of the time listening to myself chant some thoughts, and when I got tired with that, I put on some music [Love/White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour].When I was watching this while coming down, I swore that I was discovering faces in the light shows that had been there all along, but now I'm not sure if I see them anymore. I guess not.
So, what did I learn in general about the way that salvia works its magic?
I got to see just how sneaky salvia is in working its magic. When one smokes a high dose of it, the incredible discontinuity of the rearrangement of one's reality is not just because it is coming on so fast. The shift in consciousness is just inherently elusive with salvia, it seems.
Going into this trip, part of me had this aspiration to put salvia into slow-motion so that I could continuously and consciously monitor every facet of my reality and sort of catch the salvia 'in the act' of rearranging my reality. I sort of hoped that there would be a moment where I'd be able to say, 'A ha! Gotcha! So THIS is how you go about rearranging my reality!'
I sort of hoped that there would be a moment where I'd be able to say, 'A ha! Gotcha! So THIS is how you go about rearranging my reality!'
But like a true magician, salvia seems to work its magic by performing its sleight of hand where you are not looking, and if you then try to look there, it rearranges these bizarre alterations into your reality somewhere else, like a mischievous elf that is always rearranging the furniture in your room behind your back--while also simultaneously planting false memories or sensibilities in your mind that your room has always been this way, such that you don't notice that anything at all has changed...until you start to come back down and get to compare the disco parlor that your elf has transformed your room into with a photo that you are suddenly able to retrieve from your memory's filing cabinets of the former version of your room as a quiet Victorian study. This is how salvia's rearrangement of reality works, and the result is often hilarious.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.