Thanks for the latest account. It is all interesting stuff. I think all
experiences are valid. I'll copy your accounts to my web-site; I feel they
will be of interest to other people also.
Yes, Salvia can be a wonderful experience. I find it sometimes quite
sensual, like the liquid flow of a green metallic form of consciousness
running through my body.
But, it can be a difficult experience too. I have had many such
experiences. I usually find them instructive in some sense. I feel that I am
being taught some kind of lesson. Sometimes the lesson is hard and unpleasant.
But, at the same time as being open to the lesson, I think that one also has
keep ones wits about oneself. -
As Terence McKenna has said.
I think this relates very much to Castaneda’s (i.e. Don Juan’s) ideal
of the warrior. I have read all of Castaneda’s books. I think ‘Journey to
Ixtlan’ and ‘Tales of Power’ (the 3rd and 4th
books) are the best and contain all one really needs to know. In later books
Castaneda seemed to de-emphasise the power-plants. - I don’t really
understand why he did this. For me this resulted in writing that was not as
clear. The warrior philosophy derives its original impetus from the use power-
plants. It is a response to them. And I do not think that I would still be
using plants today if I had not read these books.
In fact, I had used psychedelics (LSD) in my younger days at university,
but I stopped after my first really bad experience. I stopped for seven years.
It was not until I felt that I had started to understand the warrior’s
attitude that I felt able to try again with psychedelic mushrooms.
Anyway, what this means is that as well as being open to the lesson, one
also has to treat these dimensions as real, - not just simply a projections of
the unconscious self. The classical psychoanalytical perspective can only see
these experiences as being to do with the unconscious, with repressed or
hidden personal material coming to the surface. This is sometimes what they
are, or sometimes there is an element of this, but it is often not the whole
story. Sometimes when an entity challenges you it is best not to wonder what
it all means and how this is a manifestation of your own doubts and fears, but
to simply tell it to fuck off.
Don Juan when asked what a warrior would do in this or that terrifying
situation said he would probably shake in his boots. If the situation were
even more terrifying he may even wet his pants. But, in any case, he would
always try to act as if he knew exactly what he was doing. This is being
immaculate. It is not having no fear, it is simply not indulging in it.
You seem to realise this in your conclusions, so I am only saying here that
I agree with you.
Of course, there are aspects of the self that do get revealed, so it is
never easy to unravel it or come up with a straightforward strategy of what to
in every conceivable situation. Salvia seems particularly full of surprises to
keep you on your toes!
I think what counts the most is intent. I have had many
frightening experiences since I started with psychedelics again, even since
reading Castaneda. And one should look for the path of least resistance, not
make things deliberately difficult, but sometimes a bit of grim determination
and artless willpower helps too.
I hope that more enjoyable experiences are forthcoming. You may find this
easier with untreated leaf, or you may not. You may find that growing Salvia
for yourself helps you develop a relationship with the plant, and that this
leads to better experiences, or you may not.
Unfortunately I cannot promise anything specific. I can’t even encourage
you to persist if you feel you must stop. But I don’t think that you have
exhausted all the possibilities. For one thing, there is still the possibility
of trying the best method of ingestion, chewing the fresh leaf, at some future
I have a feeling that Salvia has something else to show you