I received your dried salvia last weekend, so thought I'd let you know what I tried and what happened.

First thing I tried was a few bongs, but I didn't experience anything. I think the bowl was too small to get enough leaf in to produce any effects. I was quite disappointed.

I decided to try soaking and chewing around 8 of the fullest leaves - as much as I could manage to chew at one time. I did find it really difficult - it tasted much worse than I had imagined - but I managed to chew the leaves as much as possible for probably around 30minutes, which wasn't easy, and I did have to swallow quite a few times. There were no effects at all. I assume it may be to do with the fact it was my first time, the leaves had been rehydrated (I guess it's more effective with fresh?), and that I maybe didn't have enough leaf or didn't chew enough. I was tempted to give up trying altogether after the ordeal of chewing and the disappointment of it.

Later on, I decided to try my sheesha pipe. It has a large bowl, and I decided it would be much easier as I could use a charcoal, rather than having to hold a lighter over the leaf while I inhaled, although I thought it may be a bit big for the job. Anyway, I found this to be much easier, I could just sit back and smoke. I put in around two small dried leaves, and this was the first time I experienced any effects.

They came on very suddenly and only lasted around two or three minutes. They were also fairly mild, I could quite easily shake myself out. It was exactly as if having a dream while wide-awake. Although I had my eyes opened and could still see around me, I wasn't aware of it unless I forced myself to see. All my attention was focused on my dream. It was very cartoony. It was like stepping through into a different world altogether, into a sort of magical fairytale land, where everything was bright and colourful and happy. It was almost like Alice in Wonderland, or The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, and I could sense the door back into reality behind me, but it was really dark and shadowy in comparison with the world in front of me. I felt really like a young child. I found it so exciting that I'd found this hidden world that I couldn't stop myself from laughing, and I really wanted to go back through the door to tell my friend and take him back to show him, but I was torn between the two worlds, because I didn't want to leave. Even after I had 'woken up' I felt young and excited and couldn't help laughing to myself.

Later on my friend came round and I excitedly told him about what had happened. He tried it for himself and didn't seem to have any sort of 'trip', but at one point he burst out laughing and I asked him what it was and he was telling me he could feel his head being pulled around to the left like a magnet, and he couldn't stop himself. I've seen this mentioned a lot in other people's experiences, so I guess it's fairly common, but I never felt anything of it myself. Maybe more being pulled forward into the other world.

I've since tried smoking it with the sheesha once more, with very similar experiences to the first time, but with slight negative undertones. It wasn't quite as happy, and I had the feeling that I was made up of pins (like those pin gadgets that you press your hands or face into and the pins remain in the position showing the shape of your face or whatever) and whenever I touched my face the pins pressed into me. I also didn't feel as young and excitable.

Anyway, it's been quite exciting and I'm keen to try it again, hopefully with longer experiences.

  A Later Attempt

How little did I know when I e-mailed you the last time! The next time I tried it - using around the same amount - was completely different. Much more intense, and actually pretty scary. I honestly thought I'd go crazy because I couldn't get my head around it. Spent about a week thinking of little else.

It doesn't seem like such a big deal now, and there isn't much to say about the experience, it all seems a bit distant and my memory of it isn't great. I basically felt like I was falling/being pulled (felt the pull along my back, which I later read is where the soul leaves the body) away from my body into another reality. Just as real as the one I had left. I was falling into pure darkness and the reality of my room was a slit of light getting smaller and smaller as I fell, until there was nothing but darkness. It was almost like I'd been eaten by a giant, and I was looking from the darkness of this giant's mouth out into my room, before being swallowed. Then I was in these dense, dark woods, with this expressionless wooden-puppet thing just staring blankly at me. And there were two cheeky-looking elf-like things, one either side, pulling me towards the wooden guy. Thinking of it now, it doesn't sound too scary, but there was something really, really sinister about it and I felt really weird after I'd woken out of it. I was almost surprised to be back. It's like you forget about this existence when you're in this other place. Anyway, that freaked me out enough to not try again for another week or so. Certainly makes you consider things that you would otherwise have laughed off as ridiculous. Not sure how real reality is anymore!