Citation: Sully1971. "Plunged in the Abyss: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp98811)". Erowid.org. Apr 5, 2018. erowid.org/exp/98811
This report will consist of the subjective experience of my first trip on salvia divinorum 20x strength extract during my first semester at college.
All through my life until this point, I had no experience with psychedelic drugs. I had done MDMA twice and had smoked quite a bit of the ganja, but nothing like Salvia. I was recklessly arrogant about what the drug would do to me, mostly because of the flippancy of the guy at the headshop that sold me the salvia. He laughed when I told him that I had never done it before and that I wanted 20x. I asked if one package was enough, as it supposedly was 7-10 people’s worth. He said that I probably wouldn’t finish it and then did not elaborate any further. I should have taken this as a sign.
Anyway, when we got back to the house, my friend, D, told us that maybe we should wait to do it until we were in a more relaxed state. My other friends G, S, and L, and I, all wanted to just go ahead and do it.
Stage 1: A fluke
I was the first person to load up a bowl of the finely ground salvia. The salvia smelled to me of tea, and it had a disarming kind of aroma. The instructions as I had received them were simple, torch the bowl and then hold the hit.
I filled the bowl up packed, and started lighting and pulling. I took in roughly half my lungs capacity worth of smoke, and immediately coughed it all out because of the nasty taste. It tasted strongly of sharp chemical to me, nothing like Mary Jane. The effects were quick, and overwhelmingly disappointing. I felt as if I was slightly disassociated, and had a vague feeling of being turned and rolled into a tortilla, as if the wind was more of a directionally sporadic force, focusing on me periodically.
The effect lasted around five minutes, and nothing else happened. I was pissed, but I let the others in the circle have their turn. G, my closest friend who was tripping, took a full hit and held it for a solid three or four seconds before letting it all out. He became very silent and was looking around in a way that made him seem anxious and a bit frantic to figure everything out. After about five minutes of saying nothing about the trip, G left angrily to the gas station to go get a drink. It was all very odd feeling to me. I was so desperate to trip and feeling a few weird sedated effects from the near-trip I had that I was jealous of him feeling effects, in a way. The others in the group were becoming uneasy about taking it and, one of them suggested I go again since I didn’t really trip. I excitedly agreed, and then grabbed the bong.
Stage 2: Tripping seems a soft word for what happened
I loaded a full, tightly packed bowl in a bowl that was bigger than the one we had been using, but only by a little bit. I torched every inch of the bowl, and cleared the roughly 2 foot chamber a full three times, before handing it off to D, on my left.
T:00:01: As I sit back into my chair, I immediately lose all peripheral vision. I'm tunneled straight ahead at the fence and the sky in the background behind it. I was in the shade of the tree, cool. After three seconds, everything in my perceptual plane (besides vision) went away. All touch, smell, sound, taste.
T:00:10: Visually, everything I was once able to see is taken from me. It feels as if the entire world was being rushed, sucked into my head. Then, all of a sudden, I sunk. Dropped. I was violently ripped from this earth, in a way that I can only compare to the feeling a walrus must have being ripped through a hole in the ice by a polar bear.
I was violently ripped from this earth, in a way that I can only compare to the feeling a walrus must have being ripped through a hole in the ice by a polar bear.
What happened at this point changed me forever.
I lose all physical sensory perception. I cannot “on the outside” see anything or interact at even a basic level with those around me. I am drooling, open mouthed, wide eyed but unresponsive. My hands curl up and contort spastically and I repeatedly try to sit up only to fall back down into my chair. I grab at my face and my chair and then finally cross my arms vertically and put my head down. (I should note that I was aware of none of my behavior here. I know that I did all this only from the video that S was taking.)
Imagine yourself standing at the tallest point of the sharpest tower on on earth. That is “sobriety”. The feeling of being dropped by salvia is like the feeling of falling off of this point, and descending past the earth’s surface, past the physical realm and into the netherworld.
Time is not a discernibly separate concept from that of existence in a living plane. Imagine absence of light, property, value, time. Absence of thought. Absence of life or death. The reality that I experienced at this time felt as if it lasted for many lifetimes. It felt as if I had lived and died as many times as all the souls who have ever walked the earth. I felt the energy of the worms in the dirt. I also felt every horror, every terror, every negative feeling associated with pain, suffering, and loss. All of the insects and creatures of the earth were one. I became one with what felt like a never ending system of cogs and gears- a network of infinite expansion, set to a rhythm that was offset by nothing. It was a brutal neutrality, void of reason and logic. It was colorless and cold. I knew, and know deep down that this “place” is a kind of end point, or home for me. By that, I mean that the consciousness that will exist after my death will be a consciousness in that world. I’m hit right here with the first true and profound revelation of the trip: I will die, and I have a human existence separate from this plane of eternality.
The feeling of sense is slowly, slowly coming back to me. In a nutshell, the feeling was what I imagined the bad guy from the second Terminator movie felt when he was shattered and slowly reformed in the foundry. Although as far as intensity goes, it was more like the Iron Giant being hit with a nuke and at the very end, the pieces coming back together.
For the first thirty seconds or so, I feel as if I am being violently spun by a merry-go-round that contains all of civilization and earthly constructs, and I am barely clinging on, a finger’s grip away from plunging back into the darkness. The merry-go-round was massively expansive, and contained infinite different worlds, all of which seemed cartoon and alien. I felt as though I was viewing through the eyes of the Lorax, (yes, the Dr. Seuss creature) seeing tiny worlds with unending, limitless possibilities. I didn’t think about it then, but looking back, I see those worlds as the perfectly harmonious but totally separate worlds of experience. Vague is the only way I can be when describing the worlds, but suffice it to say that I was introduced to the concept of infinite realities in a way that felt as if I was a villain for not acknowledging them earlier.
All of a sudden, I am aware of being in a chair. I am profusely sweaty, and all I want to do is get the sweat out of my eyes and change my clothes because they felt dirty. I can see, but I am not cognizant. I can speak, but I am not aware. I am awake, but not conscious.
Briefly, a feeling of serenity takes me, and I am listening to the voice of my own conscience, in a way protecting me. My voice tells me that I have to return to the human existence. I saw, in a flash my entire life as it had unfolded. I was able to see and relive every part of my life. However, It seemed small. It was meaningless and wasted. The feeling of futility, the utter hopelessness of living makes coming to grips with my human existence a harrowing thought.
I now return completely to my body. I know I am me. I know my friends are around me. I know that I have taken a drug, yet none of my values have returned. What I am left with is a feeling of dread. I know that what I had just done was of my doing. I thought, however, that I had screwed my whole life up. I thought I had ruined everything. I began to ascend in thought. I had the physical sensation of being able to “see” the pieces of my life from a very geographic, birds-eye view. It was all in my head and I knew it, but this was where I pieced together what all I had just experienced. I began the process of amalgamating the eternal with the ephemeral. I saw my new girlfriend and my new apartment, I saw my old life and the vacations I had taken. I saw new friends and all of my college expectations. I saw my relatives, and I relived the death of my grandfather. It was simultaneously the most humbling, painful, and uncomfortable feeling I have ever experienced.
It was simultaneously the most humbling, painful, and uncomfortable feeling I have ever experienced.
After I moved on from past experiences, I saw the present. Immediately, I wanted to leave the back yard, and despite not quite being able to walk correctly, I made it back into the house.
As soon as I opened the door back inside I saw my other friend, B, who told me someone was looking for me and tried to stop me in the hallway only to have me (without thinking or acknowledging it) walk straight past him to lay face down on my couch, where I laid for the next ten minutes, struggling to come to grips with being alive. The only thing I wanted to do was to sleep, to bring normalcy back. For around ten minutes I did nothing but hope dearly that the madness in my head (I am still putting the pieces of my life together, almost involuntarily) would cease.
For the next hour or so after that, I didn’t say a word to anyone about the trip. I began to tell the tale of what had happened, and since that day, every day I have thought in some way about the way that trip changed me. Matured me. All of my friends say that during my trip I was speaking lunacy under my breath, talking about fire and hell. I have no recollection of this.
This experience was, at the time, overwhelmingly negative. It was unpleasant, brutal, and extremely challenging emotionally. However, it has made me fearless about drugs and psychedelics. I have tripped numerous times since then, on various substances. Never have I ever come close to rivaling the extreme degree to which I lost myself on that trip. In its own way, it made a man out of me.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid.
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.