In-between deliberations about whether or not to take Salvia one evening, I was pottering about and tidying up, and as I went close to one of my plants it snagged my sleeve, like it was tugging me. I took this to be an omen, so I smoked some before going to bed.

In a way, the experience had a lot of familiar aspects, but I remember thinking at the time, "how extraordinary!" I can’t quite recall exactly what made it feel so extraordinary, but there are elements that continue to spark in the imagination.

One theme is reality shifts. The idea that there are parallel universes, similar in some ways to the one we normally inhabit, but differing in the qualities of consciousness that inhabit them.

When one communes with a plant ally such as Salvia or mushrooms, one's quality of consciousness becomes so altered that it becomes more appropriate to exist in one of these parallel universes. The main difference in the new universe is that consciousness plays a greater and more apparent role in shaping reality.

This could simply be a fantasy. While ‘under the influence’ anything is possible, so any notion that takes your fancy can seem real. Ultimately we return back to normal, and proving anything one way or the other seems difficult.

But my contention is that the reality we return to is also different.  Not as markedly different admittedly, maybe it’s more similar to ‘ordinary’ reality in direct comparison to the ‘far-out’ realms, but it’s different nonetheless.

For example, in Salvia-space you can easily experience things that seem to be magical, impossible. This differs from normal reality, - ordinarily one doesn’t experience everyday events as being either impossible or magical.

However, some reflection upon return reveals that one is surrounded by impossibility. For one thing, the fact that you exist at all is extremely unlikely.

On other levels too: I remember during my days at University thinking that, although LSD provided no doubt wondrous experiences, I shouldn’t seriously contemplate taking it for the rest of my life. It would be like doing something artificial (that I justified only because I considered my circumstances to be also artificial, - and beyond my control), when I should be working toward something more natural and pure.

I may have been able to overcome this in time as being for the most part conditioned guilt and taboo, but for mushrooms, not only to have appeared on the scene, but to be there right under my feet, so-to-speak, seems almost impossible.

Likewise, to be sitting in my flat surrounded by these Salvia plants that have come from nowhere to be so, well, accessible, suggests that something very strange indeed is going on.

More than this, it seems that the act (or, if you like, the discipline) of communing with these plant allies is part of the process that ensures these reality shifts, that progresses us toward these magical realms, away from the mundane, and the fall into physics.