T
houghts on the effects of Salvia divinorum:

There are many different psychedelics.  It is often unclear which one is being used when the state is described through the medium of language; reading a report "blind" it would be difficult to guess if someone had consumed LSD, 2CT-7, 2CB, DOB, DPT or Psilocybin for example. For this reason it is sometimes pertinent to look at some of the differences between the compounds. The materials listed above all come from what I shall call the two main entheogenic chemical families; tryptamines/phenthylamines. Although there are vast experiential differences between them they do seem on the whole to constitute a broad group, - as opposed to THC and Ketamine for example.

Salvinorin A is one-such who’s effects are quite distinct and individual and at the risk of being foolhardy I shall attempt to quantify these a little or at least make some comments based on my usage and that of what I light-heartedly call my "research team". 

Firstly salvia produces a very physical trip; many note sensations of being pulled ("the twist") or of bands of tightness. Most entheogenics produce a spatial expansion of some sort but on salvia space constricts; there is a plant-like rooting in the environment. Left or right can become the limit of space or "behind" can cease to exist. On occasion I have felt that unseen entities are pulling me, others have experienced this as the drag of past events on the individual.

These entities have seemed to me like dwarves or elves and to another like some Andy Pandy-like character which brings us to the observation that many have made that much of a trips content seems to spring from childhood memories and there is a familiarity to it as if the salvia was known to you in the past. One odd experience involved salvia taking me back to a point in my childhood in the playroom on a boat heading for Sweden, but the child-me was unaware of us (the now-me and the salvia) because he didn’t know what to look for so we just appeared as a shadow in the room or a reflection on a door handle for instance. 

Although most people feel very good after a salvia trip many do not find the trip itself joyous – there is little euphoric content – I wonder if this relates fairly directly to one’s happiness / sadness in childhood. More than most this drug is a serious tool, not a party drug, again and again people introduced to it have made comments to the plants "intelligence". One goes back not for fun but for a lesson and although I have never seen fright or fear occur (perhaps due to its disassociative effect) it is a stern teacher who gives what you need to learn.

Visual phenomenon is also specific to this plant; there is some heightening of colour perception but although there are stretching effects (again to the right or left of constricted salvia space) there appear to be none of the fractal patterning and magnification type effects of "classic" psychedelics; things look odd but what is more important on salvia is in the "minds eye" and the general feelings brought up therefrom.

Another effect noted in opposition to most psychedelics yawning stretching waves is Salvias pulse like action as if consciousness if moving fast enough to perceive the void like gaps between the brains reality-constructing operations; again this can be quite a physical looping phenomena. 

A last point that I would mention here is Salvia’s speed and duration, which are very much part of the experience. Oral/sublingual salvia is generally milder and seems to last about an hour but most trips by smoked extractions are over in around 10 min (obviously leave considerably more time before normal operations like driving etc. are undertaken). With high doses the important thing is that disassociation/amnesia occur in a flash and as the personality restructures, all sorts of information is left unfiltered to well up in front of the individual. For this reason much of the learning occurs after the trip has ended, when one has to make sense of the short and bizarre glimpse one is given. There have been suggestions that the Salvia state relates to that of the disassociative entheogens PCP and Ketamine; there is some validity to this, but I have to say that impressive as these might be Salvia is totally distinct and as far as I know there is no neuro-chemical similarity between their action either.

Salvia is a very strange ally (perhaps the most shamanic / pagan ally) that has gained the respect of most who have used it.

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