On the edge of two realities...
I took Salvia for the first time last night. I was given a small quantity
of 10x herb by a friend, and smoked about two pinches in a pipe.
I imagined it might be a "nice" laid back trip with pretty
colours, and as it was a balmy evening and I was in the house on my own I put
out our new red deckchair and prepared for a peaceful 10 minutes experience
with pretty colours.
Within 10 seconds of smoking I was whisked into another place - it was like
the experience of getting on a major new funfair ride and deciding after 2
seconds that you were not going to like it. I dropped the pipe on the floor
and stumbled into the deckchair. I felt a hit akin to the rush of amyl
nitrate, but soon the mental effects became more prominent than the physical.
I felt that over my right shoulder there was a veneer between this reality
and another that I had never experienced before. I was being pulled to the
right, where a centrifuge would dissolve me into this other reality. There
were animate beings there, laughing, exuberant beings who clearly understood
something that I did not. I was terrified.
They were clearly not animal shapes - in fact they were snapshot mental
representations of a visual impression over my right shoulder - of a section
of concrete - of a bit of the deck chair, of a watering can - incarnate and
humming with an intense rhythm.
They were all right on the edge of the two realities, like a breaking wave.
They were talking to me, and I knew that I might break into the wave and be no
I knew that if I let myself go to the right I would dissolve. I fought with
all my might, and kept moving to the left - if any of my neighbours had
observed me I imagine that I would have made a fairly comical sight,
staggering round in circles in the garden.
The clearest image that I could come up with was as if someone (a god) was
pulling the veneer of reality away from its surface, just as someone pulls
away a sheet of sticky back plastic from a 1960's kitchen table. As it comes
away, it stretches and becomes transparent, and your fingers mould in to the
As a teenager I went through a phase of sniffing glue, and the characters I
met in glue hallucinations were the closest to what I met on this salvia trip.
It was unlike any acid or mushrooms I had ever experienced - stronger and more
intense than any rush I had ever had before.
In the peak of the trip I was definitely thinking of God and the universe,
but found it hard to really focus. In truth, I was fighting the effect as
strongly as I could, because I was fairly sure that I would die, dissolve, or
change and not come back if I relaxed. I wanted to take off my coat as I was
claustrophobic, but for some reason did not. I know that I picked up my pipe
and put it in my pocket at some point, I think because I felt paranoid that I
would be "found out".
I thought about going inside to lie down, but felt that if I closed my eyes
or relaxed too much the temptation to "give in" would be too much,
and adverse consequences would follow. So I stuck it out, and eventually felt
like I was getting on top of the experience. I could sit down in the deckchair
and begin to breathe (in fact I believe that many of the paranoid and
fear-related feeling may have been the result of something like a panic attack
and not being able/remembering to breathe). I stroked my rabbit, which was
very comforting - to think that there was an animate being that I could see
"outside of the drug experience. For the previous 10 minutes or so
EVERYTHING had been within the salvia universe.
Finally things calmed down and my wife came home. I needed reassurance from
her, and felt dislocated for the rest of the evening. Every time I went into
thinking about the trip my thoughts were "fucking HELL! that was weird".
Today I have been coming to terms with the experience. I have been feeling
palpitations of my heart, which is concerning as I am a keen cyclist, but
perhaps these are either psycho-somatic or related to something else (I am on
a strict diet at the moment).
On reflection, I am glad that I have experienced this, but if/when I do it
again I will certainly take a smaller dose, and would like to be with an
experienced user who could encourage me to breathe naturally, and spot if
there was anything they could do to relax me. I will also research more on the
herb, particularly on the effects on the heart of smoking the herb.
I wish that I had been able to stop fighting the rush, as I am sure that
there is potentially an infinite resource the "other side of the
veneer". I hope to explore this again.
I have always been interested in shamanic experience, and salvia did not
disappoint in this regard. I think it needs to be treated with respect, and
would like to thank it for giving me a new insight, if a somewhat harsh and