Citation: TheSeeker. "Through the Rent and Into the Void: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (15x extract) (exp13862)". Erowid.org. Apr 11, 2002. erowid.org/exp/13862
I’m going to try to provide some depth to this report by including a lot of detail, so bear with the length in the interest of enlightenment. I’m a 43 year old male, married with 5 children, ages 2-13. I’m employed as a network administrator for a telecommunications company.
I have a number of health problems, including hepatitis C, diabetes, severe osteo-arthritis, and a history of intermittent, mild, non-clinical depression. Due to the almost constant arthritic pain I suffer, my disposition tends to run the gamut from mildly cranky to downright mean. I turned to religion during the waning years of the Jesus Movement in the late 70’s, but in recent years have become progressively more disillusioned with mainstream religion.
Having reached mid-life, I find myself experiencing a largely unfulfilled desire to expand my consciousness concerning the existence of self, life, and the material universe. Needless to say, I have a deep desire to find lasting tranquility. Lately, I’ve been thinking with renewed interest about the psychedelic experiences of my youth (I had experimented with a multitude of substances in the early 70’s, primarily to get high).
My renewed interest in psychotropic substances now tended toward finding a deeper meaning to existence, and inward peace. I first read about Salvia Divinorum in a recent online news article. Researching everything I could find concerning the plant, I was intrigued with some of the trip reports. Especially the ones pertaining to the disassociation of mind and body, excursions into the “void”, extra-dimensional travel, and communication with various perceived presences and entities. I determined smoking to be my method of choice and purchased 1/2 gram of 15x from a reputable Internet supplier.
I arrived home from work on a Monday at 7:00 PM, ate, and took a nap. I got up at 11:30 PM and prepared to embark on my first journey with Salvia. I was feeling groggy from sleep, and sore from arthritic pain. Still, I was determined to go ahead.
My wife agreed to be my sitter. I trust my wife implicitly. I instructed her to remain silent and not interfere with my experience unless I requested her assistance, or was in some kind of physical danger. I also instructed her that if I freaked out to: (1) try to reassure me; (2) remind me that I had just smoked some Salvia; (3) remind me that the effect was of a short duration; (4) remember that no matter how strange my behavior might become, the trip would be over in a short time; (5) remember not take me to a hospital or involve anyone else unless I was in some kind of serious physical jeopardy.
She sat away from me in a completely darkened room. Some ambient electronic music was playing softly on my computer. My 2 year old son was asleep in a crib in the same room; my 4 other children were asleep upstairs. I sat on the edge of the bed in total darkness and placed a tiny amount of 15x in a medium stemmed wooden pipe with a clay bowl. I closed my eyes and tried to completely relax, but after several minutes still felt a little apprehensive.
I lit the butane lighter, drew the flame down into the pipe, and sucked the smoke down deep into my lungs. Because of the tiny amount of 15x in the bowl, there was not much smoke produced. The smoke was not harsh, however; it had both, a very strong flavor, and a strong reefer type smell. I held it in while I counted to 30, then exhaled. I laid back on the bed and waited…nothing, except a slight lightheadedness and a warm feeling all over my body. After 10 minutes, I asked my wife to turn on the light. I told her I thought I needed to smoke a bit more.
I placed a single layer about the size of a 10 penny nail-head into the bowl. Let me emphasize that this was a very small about of 15x leaf, but about 2 to 3 times as much as the tiny amount I smoked the first try. I collected my senses, applied the lighter to the leaf and took a good hit and put the pipe down. This time there was considerable more smoke produced. Like before, I held it deeply in my lungs and counted to 30 while lying back on my bed.
Suddenly, about the time I exhaled, I felt a warm wave quickly sweep through my body, staring at my feet and flowing upward. It happened so fast it startled me and I tried to sit up. The only sound I could hear was a sound like the roar of a jet engine, only much lower in volume. As I tried to get up, it felt as though my body was being sucked into something, or that the part of the bed I was sitting on was melting away and me with it. It was definitely a physical feeling of being pulled downward to the right and into something. I opened my eyes and saw deep blackness in front of me.
In my peripheral vision I saw a herringbone type pattern with, as best I can remember, alternating white, dark green, or possibly black colors. I felt confusion and a growing sense of alarm. I knew I was about to go somewhere and I had the distinct feeling that I absolutely was unprepared and did not want to go. Somehow I vaguely remembered that my wife was out there, so I called her name. From far away came some sound. I called her again, starting to feel panicked. I heard her reply, “I’m here.” I asked her to turn on the light.
What I saw when the lights came on, really scared me (that’s a classic understatement.) Someone that looked like my wife, only slightly cartoonish, was standing to my left. In front of me was…how can I describe it... a rent, a rip in the fabric of reality. By reality, I mean the room that I normally saw as my bedroom. The room was still there but I was being pulled into a rip. The edges of the rip where sort of undulating as if there was some type of wind or current flowing out from within, what can only be described as, a void. Within the rent was a pitch blackness like I have never seen in my life. The edges of this undulating rent had the herringbone pattern I saw earlier, which sort of gave the whole rip the appearance of a zipper, but it wasn’t a zipper. The rest of the room was visible but it seemed to be fading out.
I felt some presence in the rent. It was a vague, undefined presence. I wouldn’t describe this presence as evil, but I wouldn’t describe it as good, either. At this point, I looked down toward my legs and perceived that both of my legs were melding together and flowing into the herringbone pattern at the edge of the rent. In other words, my body was becoming part of the surface of the rent, yet I felt pulled into it at the same time. This sight produced an extreme inner terror.
The thought instantly occurred, “NO! I have got to get away from this place” (I was aware that it was a portal of some sort leading to someplace outside my “normal” reality.) Right then, I literally pulled myself out of a deepening Salvia trip by sheer willpower. I reached out to my wife and asked her to help me up. She thought I meant up off the bed (I actually meant out of the void I was being pulled into). She said, “No, lay back down, you just smoked some salvia, you’ll be OK.” I then realized I had smoked salvia and replied, “Well, I don’t need to smoke any more.” She found this amusing and replied, “No, you’ve had plenty.” She helped me up. I felt very wobbly. I suddenly said, “Is it the kids? Is it the kids?”. She had no idea what I meant and again, reassured me that I was under the influence of the salvia.
Next, I tried to go out my bedroom door to go upstairs to see my kids. I’m not sure why, but I think I was afraid they had gotten sucked into the rent (the rent was no longer visible, but the room was still distorted and dreamlike.) My wife said, “No, you’ll be OK and they’re OK”. She redirected me back into the bedroom and toward the couch she had sat on earlier. I sat down and immediately got back up and was holding on to my wife’s arms and looking at her.
I asked her “Are you my wife?” She replies to the affirmative. I ask again, “Are you REALLY my wife?” “You’re not one of THEM are you?” I remember thinking that the presence from in the void had taken on the appearance of my wife and was trying to deceive me into a calmness as a ruse to lead me back into that void. She had a slight unreal appearance. The room was still sort of looking like it might have appeared through a water drop in my peripheral vision, although it was a lot clearer and more normal looking straight in front.
I felt I had to get out of that room and asked her to take me outside. She tried to object, but somehow I convinced her and we walked out the door onto my front porch. The outside had a calming affect and I felt like I was a lot closer to normal. I was convinced at this point that my wife was really my wife and I was completely aware that what I had experienced was due to the 15x I had smoked.
At this time, we went inside and sat down in the bedroom to discuss what I experienced in relation to what her perception of the events were. The whole scene I just described transpired in about 7 or 8 minutes. I started a program called “Mandala” on my computer. It produces some very sweet eye-candy. The visuals appeared especially fluid and creamy.
At one point, I remember reaching out and touching my wife’s leg to see if see if it was real and had solidity. I remained in an agitated state (sort of confused about a lot of things, lots of spiritual thoughts, etc.) for about 1.5 hours. About an hour after the 2nd bowl was smoked my wife and I laid down to sleep. I had trouble sleeping and kept waking up. When I would wake up, I felt extremely calm and peaceful. I might add, we had sex and it was very GOOD. I finally fell into a very restful sleep.
Perceptions of Salvia Divinorum:
To begin with, this is a very potent substance! The visions were the most apparently REAL hallucinations I have ever seen. I have tripped on acid and mescaline and had some very intense experiences, Salvia is definitely in the same league. In fact, due to the sudden intensity and the difficulty in recalling being under the influence of Salvia, it may be in a more major league all its own.
Let me put it this way…I was glad it only lasted 10 minutes instead of 10 hours. It has been 3 days since I smoked Salvia. I have felt very good mentally since then, no depression. Maybe Salvia has an ability to effect one's mood over a period of time. We’ll see. I somehow feel wiser (nothing tangible... rather an overall sense of deeper understanding), and more in tune with myself and the world around me. Actually, a good overall way to describe my attitude since I smoked Salvia is... more in possession of an inner calmness.
Secondly, and some may think me off the deep end for saying this, but I’m not sure if what I saw isn’t 'real' in one sense or another. I mean, was the rent something 'real' in my own mind, a sort of dark side of my being, and the presence I felt, a facet of my own personality? Was I about to embark on an INWARD journey to discover a deeply buried part of me? If so, maybe I was simply terrified of the revelation of what lies within my self. OR, does Salvia in some inexplicable way open up our perception to an alternate reality or dimension? A dimension replete with its own inhabitants.
Maybe I was about to embark on an OUTWARD journey... I honestly don’t know, but I think it has to be one way or the other. Very interesting thought. I don’t know what would have transpired if I’d have allowed myself to “go with the flow” so to speak.
Thirdly, I think to some degree it is possible to “shake off” a Salvia experience that’s not going in a good direction, at least at the dosage level I was at. Now, as to whether I’ll find that to be the case as I proceed further with this substance, we’ll see. Also, at higher doses this probably isn’t the case. I really don’t know due to my inexperience with the substance. I certainly was able to do pull out, and it seemed to be an action of sheer willpower. Finally, Salvia may have an aphrodisiac effect, at least during the “afterglow” period. Will I do it again? Absolutely! In fact, with some apprehension and great respect, I look forward to exploring whatever it is that Salvia Divinorum has to impart to me.
Advice to would be first timers:
(1) I reiterate what many have already stated: THIS IS NOT A PARTY DRUG. If you’re merely looking to get high, I strongly suggest you explore some other substance. After only one very intense experience, I KNOW Salvia is not a substance to be trifled with. If you have a desire to explore the limits of inner and outer space, Salvia could aid you in your journey. If you’re only looking for a legal buzz, you have been strongly cautioned, you may find Salvia anything but “Fun”. It is not for the faint-hearted (I’m wondering if I’ll have the courage to go further when the time comes.)
(2) Before experiencing Salvia, I read the trip reports where people said
they got up (even though it was hard to walk), or they went outside, etc. I thought to myself, 'That’s stupid, I’m going to stay put on my bed.' Wrong! I had to get off my bed because I thought it was melting into a void and me along with it! I had to go outside because I was terrified of the room I was in! Don’t fool yourself that you’ll be in complete control of your body (or you’re thinking.) You may not be. That brings us to another classic bit of good advice:
(3) Have a sober sitter present. Some one you respect and completely trust. Especially, the first time. You have no idea how a substance as potent as Salvia Divinorum is going to effect you. Believe me, it is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, so PLEASE heed the advice of nearly EVERYONE who has experimented with Salvia; have enough respect for this substance to not go about haphazardly trifling with it. Personally, I plan to continue my investigations with a sitter. I can’t stress this enough. Do yourself a favor: have a sober sitter present!
(4) When they say extract is potent, it is! Experiment with very tiny amounts. If you need to increase an amount to go to a higher level, do so by small increments. Better to have to add a little more than to have a more intense experience then you’re prepared for.
(5) Mindset is very important…are you tired, sore, mentally fatigued, or emotionally disturbed about something…might be better to wait until circumstances are more conducive to having a favorable experience. I believe a lot of negative energy was floating around in me which contributed to my first experience being frightening. It’s probably not a foolproof way to avoid a bad trip, but the more at peace you are inwardly, the less tired, etc., the greater chance there is for a favorable outcome. I’m also convinced that Salvia works within the framework of your own personality and attitude. If you’re troubled, this may manifest in some strange way in your trip. Of course, you can’t really change your personality easily, but you can adjust your attitude for positive results.
(6) Setting is extremely important! In my case, the pitch darkness played on my apprehensive mindset. The presence in the house of my children and my parental love and concern for them, showed up, in an almost disastrous way, as part of my Salvia trip. Shoot for no distractions.
Well this has turned out to be way long, but I hope it gets printed because it’s the kind of stuff I looked for, and thankfully found, when I was contemplating experimenting with Salvia Divinorum. More to come…Be wise. Be safe. Peace. --TheSeeker
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