Every year, for the last 10 years or more, I travel to a small island off the west coast of Scotland to pick mushrooms (psilocybe semilanceata) – and to have some ‘deepwater’ ‘shroom experiences whilst walking round the cliffs and beaches (typically a 100 to 150 ‘shroom dose). More often than not these experiences are not exactly ‘enjoyable’ as such, since they can be so challenging and terrifying – and such hard work. The experiences are always enlightening though, and I always end up learning loads of stuff about myself, and what makes me tick...

I’ve just got back from this year’s trip – where things went a bit differently – cos during the peak of the mushroom experiences, I tried smoking some Salvia 10X. I’ve been smoking Salvia for a few years – but this was the first time I’d ever tried it whilst on mushrooms. I’d have to say that the results were extraordinary – not to mention extraordinarily enlightening...

It’s always difficult to describe power plant experiences – but then, on one level – that kind of seems to be the point. There’s something in the experiences suggestive of evolution – of being pushed, by the plants, into a state of being, or an order of reality not normally accessible; somehow above, or beyond, or more inclusive, or from an entirely different perspective to everyday reality – and if anything is to be gained from these experiences – then it seems necessarily ‘part and parcel’ that the language used to describe the experiences should be part of that evolution. But we’re often left resorting to metaphors and hinting at meanings. Nevertheless, there is something I’d like to try and say about Salvia in relation to mushrooms.

The awesome power and energy of mushrooms is undeniable (especially on a 150 shroom dose). If you’re not already ‘unhinged’ – then the mushrooms will certainly unhinge you. Something in the psyche seems to start moving, like rusty cogs that suddenly start turning again – and one can realise (or remember) that these cogs were built to turn – but have been seized for so long that they had been forgotten about. It can be a moment of true realisation.

Sensations, emotions, feelings, memories and perceptions start coming in thick and fast. There is a definite knack to relaxing the tension. Each moment to moment perception can bring a new tension – and it can be bloody hard work to keep an eye on it, and not be overwhelmed – either to be dragged down into a deep pool of self-pity, or despair, or grief, or to get carried away laughing so hard until you start to scare yourself. You can feel quite buffeted by the onslaught – and sometimes it’s all too much – and you just want it to stop.

I was with my brother – and during the peak of the experience I was working hard not to get hooked – not to indulge – not to get wrapped up in any single train of thought at the exclusion of all others.

In fact – a metaphor that sprung to mind at the time – was that I felt like I was juggling five kittens.

When my brother suggested smoking Salvia – he might as well have said "would you like to hold this puppy?" – my immediate response being ‘well – I’m actually extremely busy at the moment...’

I was scared. Scared of being reckless – of taking on more than I could handle – and going off the deep-end.

In spite of my fear – I decided to smoke Salvia. It was a revelation. And this is where it becomes even more difficult to describe...

I immediately experienced myself as a ‘higher-self’ (very poor term – must come up with a better one), witnessing my ‘lower’ or ordinary self. I realised my ordinary self – and the fear it had been feeling – as part of the same phenomenon; that is, the self was a reflection of the fear, and vice versa. In any case – it was now a non-issue – since the lower self seemed nothing more than an inconsequential splinter of what I actually was (or what I now perceived myself to be).

I felt myself to be outside of space and time. Not only that – but space and time were things I had made – in order to create beings who had the capacity to learn about themselves – so that I could learn about myself through them.

What I actually experienced – was that space and time formed a relatively inert matrix, or field – upon which I would press my ‘hyperdimensional’ finger – and the pressure of that indentation brought a new being into existence. The being appeared as a ring of luminosity, made by the shape of my ‘finger’ pressing on spacetime – and this new being would then go ‘swimming’ off through space and time – very much like goldfish swimming about in a goldfish bowl.

Not all the beings I created were the same intensity of brightness. If I pressed lightly – I got a fairly dull being – actually a very dark shade of grey. If I pressed harder – I got a bright one – sometimes bright white and shining.

The being which was my lower self, was a tiny splinter of me which was now attracting my attention, since it glowed so brightly, and I was reaching out to touch it with my hyperdimensional finger.

It almost seemed to be a game I had made. I had created space and time for my own amusement. I had created beings that were tiny splinters, shards or reflections of myself – made in my image by the impression of my hyperdimensional finger. I had made the game to have rules – to flow with a certain order – because without the rules of the game – there would be no game at all.

Anyway – back to the mushrooms. When the Salvia wore off - the buffeting of emotions and perceptions had stopped. No more kitten juggling. I felt peaceful and clear.

It occurred to me that mushrooms operate within the order of reality – they follow certain rules. Not only that but they play certain tricks – they can haunt you with moods and feelings you may not necessarily want to go into. In a sense they always want to work things out from first principles every time.

Salvia is of a different order altogether. It operates outside of spacetime and seems to lend itself to intelligence and understanding. There seems to be a certain intent behind it. It’s like it comes along – reveals the game of reality – and introduces itself as a cosmic player. It is more intelligent and superior to the mushrooms simply because it is beyond the order of reality in which the mushrooms work. Salvia is not limited by time or the fabric of reality. It is more like another ‘higher-self’ that is playing with reality like a game.

The upshot of all this was a totally weird and new experience I had a few days later in the week. After taking mushrooms again – I felt the energy of the shrooms begin to expand from the pit of my belly. Starting to play their old tricks of making me deal with this emotion, making me deal with that perception etc. After a while – I felt like I had a boiling cauldron of demons in the depths of my abdomen. Raging, screaming, insane snarling demons were trying to push their way up the muscles in my back – and I felt that I was wrestling with the spectre of insanity.

So I threatened those demons with Salvia – and do you know what? They went right back down into their cauldron. And every time they tried to surface – even the very intent of taking Salvia was enough to smack those beasts on the nose, and send them off whimpering.

I felt like I had ‘tamed the ally’ of the mushrooms – by pitting them against Salvia. Salvia seems remarkably intelligent and totally extraordinary – not only that – but it seems very friendly too (too me at least).

Gotta stay on your toes though. Don’t let the Salvia push you around either. Push back on the experience. Don’t just let it take you wherever it will. Don’t just let it impose itself on you. Impose yourself on it. It will yield.