Citation: Kevin. "The Wheel of Death: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (extract) (exp87594)". Erowid.org. Sep 6, 2018. erowid.org/exp/87594
I have taken lots of drugs. I'm a left over 70's hippy, so the only thing I haven't done is injectables. I've had probably more than my share of really good trips, blotter, barrel, microdot, windowpane, mescaline, shrooms, peyote, yohimbe, morning glory and woodrose seeds. Hell, I even smoked hops once. One night in 1977, I took 21 hits of purple microdot with a friend (we each took 21 hits, that's a whole other story). We joked later about seeing God. In retrospect, I don't think either one of us was joking. Nothing I've done before could have prepared me for my first Salvia trip.
Several years ago, a friend, Erik gave me a little baggie with some Salvia. I added some to some bong hits a couple of times, can't really recall the buzz, so it couldn't have been that great. Little did I know at the time, it was operator error. Fast forward to August 4, 2008. The month and year I'll turn 49. A new friend 'Oh, you wanna trip? Yeah sure I say. 'No, I mean REALLY trip?' He's talking about some fresh very potent 32x 'Purple Sticky' Salvia, being power smoked in a big, clean, ice cold bong. I'm like 'yeah, sure man, I'm down for whatever.'
So, I'm at his place, he cleans up a nice big clear glass bong. It sparkles. He loads a 'party bowl' and then is like 'Take it all in one hit dude. Power toke it like you do that kush.' It looks like a pretty big bowl for a one-hit, but I'll give it a shot. I spark it up. I watch the herb glow red and watch the wisps of white smoke bubble up out of the clean bong water. I see I'm gonna make it a one-hit, easy. Robert is cheering me, 'Pop the bowl dude, take the whole hit.' I do. ''Hold it in, hold it in', Robert cheers. I do.
As I slowly blew the hit out, I remember saying WOW! as the room started to warp around me. There was music playing, and I could feel it. Suddenly, I was someplace else. I had no idea I was under the influence of a drug. I was immediately anxious. I had no idea where I was or what was happening to me. Throughout the trip, I never once connected my altered state with the fact I just took a bong hit of Salvia.
Throughout the trip, I never once connected my altered state with the fact I just took a bong hit of Salvia.
I was sitting across the couch from Robert and could see him, but could see nothing else that was actually present. Instead, the room, my space, in fact my universe had been turned into what I can only describe as a giant rotating, pulsing, flashing, colorful wagon wheel or ferris wheel type of thing. I was riding as if standing up along a spoke. On each spoke around me were other people. Robert was riding somehow in the spoke position directly across from me. The music was setting the rotation and pulse of the wheel. At first it was kinda cool.
The rotation sped up a little bit, the music seemed to take control of the trip then. Everything, the lights, the colors, the rotation of the wheel, everything was moving, pulsing, flashing in time with the music. Suddenly I realize, this is bad news. I can hear the people on the spokes around me starting to freak out. It was definitely not a ferris wheel. It was like a wheel of death. It was like the drain for the entire fabric of all existence, and I was slowly spiraling down the drain with EVERYTHING else.
I remember trying to understand exactly what the fuck was going on. I was looking at Robert and I'm sure I was trying to say, 'Hey man, what the fuck is this?' Again, the fact that I had just taken the hit, totally escaped me. I was never less aware that my current state, was due to being high on something. I can remember many an acid trip, or for that matter, a couple of really heavy sessions of bonging some great weed, where I thought, I'm too high. Previously in these cases, I would totally understand that it was the effect of the drugs I took, and that if I just realized that and relaxed I would be fine. I would be coming down soon. Everything would be fine. That was not the case here. As a matter of fact, I vaguely remember thinking that I was ANYTHING but high. I should be. In fact, maybe that was just what I needed to make this all better. Maybe, that was the problem!
Everything was ending. This was the 'drain' for the Universe. Actually, Universe is not big enough, it was the spiraling drain for EVERYTHING, and I was going down it. I can remember that out of what seemed to be my peripheral vision, I could see the entire fabric of space and time was spiraling inward. Distorting in shape as it was being drawn in. I could see off into the distance, FOREVER. Everything was going down this drain and I was in the final spirals before just being GONE. As I was nearing the end of whatever it was I was on, I sensed and could somehow see that I was being stretched and flattened out into a single dimension, like a cardboard cutout. I was coming to the realization that this was the end of everything. In some strange way it didn't matter, because I became aware that nothing was really real. All existence was this spiral, and it needed me, us, everything for it's own existence. It was just a big machine, and all of our perception of life and everything that makes it up was needed by the machine. That is what powered it, the music set it's pace, It was kind of like a carnival ride. The same kind of carnival ride that has the clown, with bloody fangs. This was the engine that powered everything and everything was it's fuel. The people on the spokes around me were none too happy either. I could hear the fear of millions of people realizing that this was the end of everything. At the same time, it was the end of nothing, because there really was nothing except this.
Off in the distance I continued to watch everything being drawn in. I could see like a 'Google Earth' view of the surface of planet earth curling and rotating in towards the center. It was just as if you took a knife and stuck it into the center of a table cloth on a huge table and started twisting it. It was a facade, there was nothing underneath or beyond but blackness. I tried to speak. I'm looking at Robert. He had this shit-eating grin. It was as if he knew what was happening, knew that it was going to happen. I remember trying to say 'NO!' While I don't think Robert actually said anything, from his expression, it was like he was saying, 'Yeah man, it's just what you think, hope you enjoyed the ride.' Maybe it was the smile he had. If he was smiling, he HAD to know. Otherwise he would be terrified, as I was. There was something being repeated over and over again, almost like everyone else on the wheel was chanting. I can't remember what was being said. Maybe, it was just the music.
Then, I can remember thinking, it was Robert. HE set this up. I had just met him. Now that became part of the trip. I was destined to meet him because he had to take me here, it was my time. I didn't want to go, I wasn't ready. Again, it was like the look on Roberts face was saying, 'Yeah dude, that's what everybody says.' I thought about my life, my sister, my brothers, my friends, my dog. I'll never see them again, or will I? Their turn on this ride was coming as well, everything was going to be here eventually.
I was about to be pulled into the darkness, my right foot and leg were the first to go. I heard my phone sounding a distorted tone, it was on the floor by my foot, I could see it going away, flattened into one dimension then, just gone, the sound stopped. Just as I was about to be erased from existence, I began to become aware of my surroundings again. I was sitting on the couch in Roberts apartment, my right leg stretched out towards what was, just a few seconds ago, the end.
I was drenched in sweat, I mean dripping. I can remember saying something like, 'What the fuck just happened?'
'What the fuck just happened?'
Suddenly, it came to me, I saw the bong. 'Holy Shit!' That was all from the Salvia? No way! I was astounded. I looked at Robert, all I can remember thinking was I was glad I was back, and I absolutely could not believe that what I just experienced was from a single bong hit of this legal plant. I was literally, blown away.
It took several more minutes to fully come down to where I knew I was OK. I drank a beer, I smoked a cigarette. I asked Robert why the fuck he didn't warn me. 'You're a big boy' or some shit like that. Yeah, I wanted to try it, Robert said he'd hook me up. He did, boy did he ever. As I smoked the cigarette and drank the beer, I tried to explain to Robert where I had just been. Anyone who has tripped, knows how that works out. So, here a couple of days later, I'm trying to understand more about my experience.
Would I do it again? Yes. Will I do it again? Probably. What would I change? I will do it someplace I am more familiar with, and with a person I know better. I'll be prepared for what is to come. Oh yeah, and I'll do it someplace COLDER.
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