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Wavy Starfish Carried Me Away to Oblivion
Salvia divinorum
Citation:   Rahasya. "Wavy Starfish Carried Me Away to Oblivion: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp23058)". Feb 9, 2006.

2.5 leaves smoked Salvia divinorum (dried)
The first six tries were interesting, especially the first one when the CD I had playing was 'Shakti Yoga' by Russill Paul. The chant to the Goddess with drums took on an indescribably penetrative sonic quality with a vast amount of psychic space around each note. The second time I was listening to 'Quiet' by Sheila Chandra; her raga wailing backed by ambient blues piano set just the right mysterious tone for Salvia to transfigure my aesthetic sense. However, I lacked an efficient means of smoking, so I was not getting the full effect. (With no smoking paraphernalia, I just rolled up 3 leaves into a mini-cheroot and lit one end.) On subsequent attempts I did it in the dark, in silence, trying to send greetings and mentally communicate with 'Marķa,' the plant intelligence, to politely request her to allow me to visit her world and learn from her.

Then I bought a bong. This was what I had been needing to achieve 'breakthrough.' I didn't anticipate how powerful it would be. Oh...My...God...

I got in four good, deep bong hits in rapid succession. The bong was necessary, because the active principle salvinorin-A is released only at really high temperature, so you have to hold the flame on it while drawing; this is possible only with the bong to cool the smoke and protect my mouth from the extra heat.

As I set down the apparatus after the fourth hit, I was beginning to mentally formulate my appeal to 'Marķa.' I was starting to go, 'I hope you wouldn't mind if I...'

Then I forgot what it was I was trying to say. I started again,
'I hope you wouldn't mind if I...'
'I hope you wouldn't mind if I...'
'I hope you wouldn't mind if I...'
'I hope you wouldn't mind if I...'
but rapidly forgot who I was, where I was, what I was doing there, and what was the meaning of this interrupted phrase that kept repeating. I never did complete the sentence. Meanwhile I saw a many-colored pattern of fivefold radial symmetry just like a starfish. There was a partially opened mouth (which actually was my mouth) in each of the five starfish parts. The figure became very wavy and fluid as it rotated languidly. All I could to was to watch, stupefied, feeling both embarrassed and awestruck. The trip came on so suddenly it caught me unprepared. I could not do anything except recline back in my chair, leaning my head back, and watch the light show motionlessly.

One part of my mind, the detached observer, was still functioning. It was thinking: I know objectively the Salvia trip will last only a few minutes...but this doesn't seem like it can ever end! There was a remarkable time dilation; I was in a timeless realm. Finally when I got some motor control I sat up and placed the bong under my desk, because I heard someone walking around upstairs. I sat back for a minute more, but soon snapped out of it. I was back to practically normal in another couple of minutes. That's how quick Salvia goes. The incense I was burning was high-quality Indian champa. I don't know why, but champa seems the perfect scent to accompany psychedelic exploration.

I am learning to appreciate that it takes a skilled psychonaut to navigate Marķa's realm. The Mazatec shamans in Oaxaca have had centuries of experience with this; they use it for healing, and to benefit their community. I knew going into it that this is not something I can carelessly mess around with. It is not a party drug. It is a plant intelligence of formidable power and must be approached with utmost caution. I had worked on developing mental control through yoga, but found that to derive benefit from the experience, one must bring to bear all the mental concentration skill one can muster. It can sweep you away to oblivion before you know what's happening.

But you know what? Perhaps the most interesting effect of all was not the Salvia trips themselves. It was after the first trip had stopped and the next day I was aware of a lasting brain change. My thinking power had been revivified after spending months in doldrums. Suddenly my mind was more creative, brighter, and fresher. My spiritual inner life felt more inspired than it had been in months. Feelings of depression were lifted away, replaced with a sense of simple, open joy at being alive.

Exp Year: 2003ExpID: 23058
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Feb 9, 2006Views: 15,420
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Salvia divinorum (44) : General (1), Alone (16)

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