Salvia - Tricky Ally?

Correspondence picking up on conversations about the potentially tricky nature of the ally


You’ve recently talked to me about the 'unmasking' quality of Salvia - or the cutting through the 'horseshit' quality of Salvia – this seems quite a bit further on from an earlier 'party trick' assessment of it.  How do you feel about its party trick quality now?


One of the main issues I’ve had with Salvia is the way it can dissipate so quickly and you’re left wondering what it was all about.  At times I’ve wondered whether Salvia doesn't just pull some kind of ‘party trick’. 

These doubts were a reflection on the way it can simply carry you along.  Once it’s taken hold a Salvia ‘reverie’ can go pretty much anywhere, only to leave you high and dry as the experience recedes.  I wondered if the ally didn’t simply have a tricky nature.

The ways I’ve been trying to overcome this have included the idea of pushing against it, saying, “okay, I’ll take charge”.  And cranking up my levels of scepticism, so as not to believe just any old thing it tells me.

As you’ve said about a recent experience, when it presented itself as the ultimate reality and you responded, “no you’re not”. 

Your inflection then was not insistent (NO you are NOT), but sounded like if Salvia was teasing you, then you could tease it back (n-oh you’re not).

On balance, even though it may be potentially tricky (or party tricky), I think there is something, or at least potentially something, in the Salvia experience revealing potentially something fundamental about the nature of existence, - which I why I’ve persisted with it.


On the subject of the Salvia experience receding quickly and being left wondering what it was all about - I think this is comparable to the onset of the experience too - where the substance of the individual self recedes quickly - and one is left wondering what that was all about.  Struggling to remember the self as the experience hits is similar to struggling to remember the experience, when the self returns.

The experience of the self receding to nothing is suggestive of non-existence.  My experience has been one of realising that I don't actually exist.  And yet there is an experience.  It's an impossible paradox.


Something else.  The experience seems to have a strange kind of bearing on what one is doing.  Or what one believes one is doing.

Like, in anticipation of the experience, one is quite aware of what one is doing.  This morning for example, I was lying on my bed, I was looking at the clock, it said 7:35, I thought I've got time to smoke 10X and get to work for 8, I opened the 10X, I put some in the pipe, I picked up the lighter, etc etc.

And then wham.!  When the experience hits it's like realising I'm not doing any of those things.  I thought I was me, doing things, and now I realise that I never was.  I do not, in fact, exist.  How strange is that?

Does your experience suggest that nothing is impossible?



It's like it deals with the nature of the self - but not in an obvious psychological sense.  It deals with the energetic motivational flicker we regard as ourselves.  Like when I say to you "hey you.!!" - It's the bit of you that pricks up its ears in response to that.


Having a little doze on the couch just now I was able to relate to the idea of a motivational flicker - as like a responded to impulse to wake from slumber.

Another thing I wanted to say was how, on coming to yourself again, Salvia seems to offer possibilities. I've run away with these before - the idea of intending myself lots of money has run quickly to greed - like the cautionary tales of being granted three wishes and this bringing ruin.

Now I'm a bit more, "go on, get outta here", ...but have found I can say, "okay...I'll intend... ecstasy". And have this accompanied by the realisation that I am having an ecstatic experience. - Simply the appreciation that one exists at all and that this in itself is almost impossible, - the joy of being alive.  I've found the afterglow can carry through long after the fireworks have faded.


I was thinking about the 'party trick' aspect to the experience - in the context of Savia's usefulness. Considering how it can seem like nothing is impossible, I wonder to what extent it is actually possible to utilise that realisation.

In other words - how true is it that nothing is impossible? If you accept the truth of that statement - then what can you actually do? It doesn't seem to tally with the somewhat frustrating aspect of finding yourself back where you started, once the Salvia has worn off.

Salvia's revalations seem important - as if they relate to existence itself. Then the effect wears off and life carries on as if nothing was ever revealed. We can remember how strange and impressive it seemed - but the experience itself fades away to nothing. Another Salvia paradox.

I was thinking about the name 'diviner's sage'. If Salvia is a tool then what are its uses? Maybe the way it makes everything seem possible is a way of making all possibilities seem equal. And when all possibilities are equal, maybe that's the best time to answer questions. As 'diviners' maybe we should be going into the Salvia experience with very specific questions - or even searching for lost objects.

So far I have not really being asking Salvia questions - and I'm not sure how to go about it. But if my subliminal question, deep in my subconscious, has been 'what am I?' - then it only seems fair that the answer coming back has been 'I am reality itself'.

And when I push back and say 'no you're not - I am reality itself.!' - maybe it makes perfect sense for Salvia to yield - cos maybe it was talking about me in the first place..?


It's like the self is illuminated as some kind of wayward child of reality. 

There is the realisation of being reality itself, and then the re-assertion of the self as the 'pushing-back'.  What I mean is that as the experience comes on and you become all of reality - the driving motivational force of the self seems a bit naughty and mischievous, and somewhat embarrassing.  It's like being with a group of friends and looking at old photos of yourself as a toddler - with a snotty nose and your nappy round your ankles - there's a "oh no, that's what I was!  How embarrassing.!" sort of feeling.  The 'self' seems to carry the same weight of embarrassment when seen from the perspective of reality.


It seems to me that Salvia lends itself to a blissful or ecstatic experience quite well.  It requires some intent to utilize it in this way.  I know it can/could also be traumatic and frightening and all that. But there seems to be a luminosity or a glow about it which is basically... quite nice.

When I say glow I mean to emphasise afterglow. During the peak I'm in too wide eyed with wonderment to isolate just that part of it. - Trying to take in as much as possible of what's being suggested by the experience.  One of the feelings I got (again) this time, was... well, we've talked about this.. in order to resolve the impossibility of little old me being capable of having such an experience, - taking Salvia - becoming a luminous being (sounds rather unlikely doesn't it?), I see that my already existing luminous self has decided to 'take Salvia' in that other dimension, and peer down, or backward in time to me at this point. 

I can relate this to some of the things you were saying. Like 'realising' that it wasn't 'you' that was taking the Salvia.  And the idea that an 'older' you is looking at an earlier version of itself.  It's like there is a transaction or an exchange going on, which gives it quite a divinatory aspect, but the only reason you think you've decided to take Salvia in the here and now is because you have in the there and then.


This motivational flicker I was talking about - this intent that's pressing into reality.  It's like you and I are made of the same stuff - I mean connected.  I mean everybody.  There is this thing that is reality - outside space and time - pressing in on it - as you and me.  It's not that there is a thing which is me and a separate thing which is you - but there is one thing which is me and you.  Gosh it's hard to explain. - the word intent keeps coming back.


I'm thinking that if I struggle to explain the experience to you and you struggle to explain it to me, then we might come to a better understanding of what it's all about.  And what I just experienced was needing to remember I was a person needing to explain it to another person - rather than reality needing to explain it to reality.  There's an aspect of needing to remember one is a person.

And then comes the question: so what's a person then?  In relation to reality what is a person?  I had this feeling of the substance of reality being quite pleased with itself cos it had learnt to move about. My arm, for example, is a concentrated mass of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, within a sea of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that surrounds it as the world.  The elements of my arm are in direct contact with the elements of the world - and the elements of the world are fully aware of, and quite pleased with, their capacity to move physically in the form that is me.  It's like carbon, the carbon of the world or universe, is saying "look how part of me can move!". - Like my body is an intended movement of carbon, by carbon at large, a concentration, or bubble, of intent.


We describe our experiences in different ways. In the past this has maybe suggested (or we have maybe concluded) that we have quite different experiences on Salvia. Now, to some extent, one could simply say to this, “of course we do”, thinking that’s the way this stuff works, - through the psyche, - through the personality of the experient.

And to some extent I think this is fair enough, - natural and to be expected. If Salvia only brought up personal issues it would still be interesting. There would doubtless be worth in working these through. It would still be a useful ‘tool’.

But there is also something quite persistent about the experience suggestive of the fact that it’s revealing something fundamental about the nature of reality itself. This is Salvia’s really surprising aspect, - what makes it ‘news’. And what encourages us to make the effort to explain and better understand it.

The trick is unravelling it. And it’s tricky because it’s tricky. We’ve talked about getting ‘carried away’. It doesn’t seem as if Salvia, of and by itself, does anything to stop one doing this. Okay, it is probably part of the human condition, but if anything Salvia seems to mischievously encourage a tendency to ‘reverie’. As sorcerers we learn to push back against this.

Your recent account describes a feeling of being in elemental contact. It does this with reference to specific elements, e.g. carbon, hydrogen, oxygen. When I first read this I thought, “I don’t think I’ve had that experience”.

Then I thought, “What I often get is the feeling that nothing exists outside my field of vision.” Like behind me is nothing but ‘blackness’. Not the cold vacuum of empty space, but a ‘denser’ blackness, - the blackness of non-existence, which is also just beyond, or behind, the surface of things in my field of vision, - things seen. If I open a door behind which is blackness, I will see the adjoining room or hall, but that’s just something that ‘unfolds’ with the action of me opening the door.

This field of vision feels like a membrane. I’m aware of being attached to it. As the experience intensifies I can feel quite literally ‘stuck’ to it. I counter unpleasant connotations of being ‘stuck’ to a membrane by telling myself that this is just one of Salvia’s ‘tricks’. - A visual trick if you like. As the experience recedes I’m inclined to see it less as a ‘trick’ and more as a metaphor. – A metaphor suggesting that I exist somehow on a membrane. The feeling of being ‘stuck’ to it can be flipped to a feeling of being ‘connected’ to it. And the notion of being connected to a membrane can be seen as something quite elemental, including in terms quite relevant to recent physical (new physics) descriptions of how reality is at a fundamental level.

Again, in the intensity of the peak experience, I almost feel that I can move objects (matter) telekinetically. If I’m really ‘connected’ to other stuff on this membrane, then it ought to be possible. Then, as the experience recedes, I interpret this ‘exaggeration’ also as a metaphor. I may be able to move things with my intent. But whereas a fully-fledged sorcerer may be able to levitate a coffee cup for example, in practice some objects are easier for us to move than others. It requires much less energy to move your arm and to reach out for the cup than it does to make it rise without apparently ‘touching’ it.

If you want something even more amazing, a more novel idea than the fact that your body can move according to your will, you can realise a new mechanism. You can realise your computer as a work of imagination, having the potential to respond to your voice for example. And you can start doing something to make it so.

- Practical steps towards the culmination of Salvia’s grand vision.