Citation: Ashton R.. "So We Enter the Aethyr: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (10x extract) (exp32490)". Erowid.org. Nov 15, 2005. erowid.org/exp/32490
'When the senses contact sense objects, a person experiences cold or heat, pleasure or pain. These experiences are fleeting; they come and go. Bear them patiently, Arjuna. Those who are not affected by these changes, who are the same in pleasure and pain, are truly wise and fit for immortality. Assert your strength and realize this.'
-Bhagavad Gita 2:14-15
Hallucinations are images - disconnected pictures on a movie screen; presentations in symbol, open to interpretation. They can happen, or they can be directed - either way, like virtually everything else, they can serve as tools in the right context. Maybe because of the synesthesia, LSD (the few times I tried it) never did much for me besides causing some gastrointestinal discomfort and head pain. I have never tried mushrooms or mescaline - and will probably never try them, because after a certain amount of time there is only impatience for the chemical alteration to end (I am wary of anything proposed to last longer than an hour in effect and after-effect). For myself, I do not believe in taking drugs for recreation - but, one part of my take on the drug-related issue has changed. If there is a specific intention, and - like anything else - if intuition points favorably to furtherance (and the person is question holds sufficient maturity - is undertaking for a genuine purpose and has the capability of wise discernment), I see no err in taking a drug as part of a ritual; for spiritual purposes, or for purposes of gaining a different form of insight to a situation either not accessible or blocked from consciousness.
So, it was with that intention and environment that I tried salvia a few weeks ago. It had been a while since I had done any kind of drug - psychedelic or otherwise (over the past year, the closest I've come has been smoking mugwort occasionally and taking one or two hits of hash on Thanksgiving). From my interpretation of the accounts I had read and the information I found on salvia, I was a little disappointed (the experience did not fall out of line with the descriptions given - I would just describe it in different words; the way some accounts were worded gave a hyperbolic impression: using phrases like 'felt like dying', 'losing time', and 'loss of self'... none of which I experienced, but where I can see how what I did experience could be described in those terms, from a differing perception). Anyway, here's what happened:
I was in the living room with [a friend] sitting down with soft music playing and the lights dimmed. I took an experimental hit of the salvia extract - and the first thing that happened, almost instantly, was the sensation of wood both pressing into and growing from the hinges of my jaw. Two straight branches of dark wood emitting from jaw hinges (seen) - and then a scene incorporating the parallel extensions into a construction. It was night-time, and I was hiding under desolate rafters at what felt like a carnival in the distance. Subsequently, with eyes open, my entire body felt amassed with pinpricks (something like an allergic reaction) - this, along with the pain at the hinges of my jaw, was unbearable the way a tattoo being done in a sensitive area amplified by 100 is unbearable. I curled into a ball - and every molecule (eyes still opened) on my leg separated - it looked as though my leg was made up of hundreds of blue and white pills - that had little arms, legs, and faces - and were all screaming in a really high pitched tone, looking up at me. My body felt entirely composed of these pill-people (which linked back to a dream I had about a month before).
I attempted to adjust my vision and look over at [my friend] to say something coherent - and burst into brief laughter instead (which was somewhat annoying - a physical reaction). The initial unpleasant feeling (that I imagine may have been the 'felt like dying' reference, though it did not feel like death) passed, and the scene returned. The wooden construction multiplied in the motion of something like a ferris wheel extending into rafters - same setting - with giant black marigolds swinging from the wooden boards and toward me. There was also a constant chanting that I could not decipher. Taking note at the time - it sounded something like 'hath-her-ru' or 'hack-her-up'... it was actually more like 'het-her-ru' or 'het-heru' - another name for Hathor.
(The name Hathor was 'remembered' after the experience - finalizing the link. I actually could not remember whether Hathor was a goddess or if it just formulated in my head - but the name was familiar and I seemed to recall it in Egyptian mythology. Looking up information on Hathor later on, it all made more sense - though not much more... as there really isn't much know about the origins of Hathor. Very ancient goddess, with one of her aspects being that of welcoming the deceased to the underworld and offering them water from the branches of a sycamore. Also, as I was entering into the experience - besides the branches growing from the sides of my jaw - [with eyes closed] I saw a black woman [who looked similar to some of the depictions of Hathor I encountered in subsequent research - in facial structure] who looked at me and told me [with some surprise] 'You shouldn't be here'... me disregarding the statement and pushing onward, with some caution.)
The chanting still going on, but with the unpleasant physical sensations subsiding, I attempted to look around. I was under the rafters again, with a carnival in the distance. Looking between the spaces, I saw a tall figure in shadow standing under a street lamp. He was looking around, and I was hiding from him (linked to 'little girl' image - an Archetypical manifestation). The image faded, and I was seeing a lot of what looked like glowing neon neurons. I was moving from neuron to neuron through synapses and electricity, guiding myself, but unsure of where this was going. I saw some images, the only one of which I recall being seeing a cave covered with almost cartoonish strings of grey-pink moss, and some people carrying a large throne (with a person in it, dressed in red and gold) out of the cave. Seeing this (I was standing in the grass by the cave), I thought 'royalty' and 'Africa'. I opened my eyes and looked around. As the trip was fading, I saw blue iridescent flowers swaying in tune with the music. Then, I saw a translucent giant eye superimposed over the room - as though part of a face rather than just being a floating eye. It opened. The eye then transformed into a giant translucent butterfly sitting on my nose and slowly flapping its wings. The trip faded.
Two things were realized from this experience: the music was a bad idea - I found it really distracting. and the living room was not an ideal place - I was not comfortable. I wanted to lie down. So, grabbing some pillows and a blanket, we moved into my room and I situated myself on the floor.
The second time around, the first thing felt was, again, the unpleasant pinprick sensation along with pain in the hinges of my jaw. Anticipating this, I attempted to breathe through it - which did not help all that much. So, instead of trying to push it all away, I focused on the pain in my jaw and looked around. The room was made up of flat plant creatures - like, seeing through the wall and into void, there was a wall beyond the wall made up of flat, smooth green plants (arranged like snake-skin) with sharp teeth at the center of each one. Focusing on the pain in my jaw, it felt like there was a giant spider trying to climb out of my mouth. A part of me looking down at me, I saw many huge tan-colored tentacles surrounding my lips - but I still thought it felt like a spider (I'm having to make word adjustments - like the swinging flowers I saw actually looked like black marigolds, but I originally registered them as 'geraniums' because they looked and felt more like the word 'geranium' than the word 'marigold'... similarly, this feeling of something with 'many legs' is more closely attached to the idea of 'spider' than 'octopus' - as is the idea/sight of tentacles, for some reason).
Regardless of what it was, something was trying to push out of my mouth, and whatever it was was causing pain - so I focused my energy on pushing it out. It ended up being an enormous, long, worm-like creature. As it was being pushed out, one of the wall-plant's mouth opened (like a black hole, surrounded by sharp teeth) - and I 'pushed' harder. I pushed until the tail of the worm entered into the void, and the plant's mouth closed. I felt better.
By this point I had realized that I would not be able to 'lose control' - I had to guide myself in the traversion. I was hoping for some kind of direct realization, but it was not to be. I was in a somewhat dangerous realm of consciousness, and if I was not willing my motion in it, the darker side of it could immerse me. There were some frightening images of death and decay, which I pulled away from because I felt I could not handle them at the time (there were also voices coming from every direction, saying contradictory things - goading me, insulting me, praising me, telling lies, etc.) - searched elsewhere, and entered into loops of tunnels. Each tunnel had an end to it - like a door or a light. Again, I realized that if my motion was not guided, I would only continue looping through the tunnels - never reaching a light or going through a door. So, when I found myself in a tunnel and seeing the light/door, I focused all my energy on reaching the door. Opening it if it was closed, or peeking through it if it was open. The amount of focus required proved to be significant - a lot of concentration was needed.
Sometime in all this, wondering where I was, it suddenly registered that I was in the 'flow of information' (thinking about the lies in the voices sparked the realization) - and after that, I resolved to do some magickal work; working with it instead of trying to 'let go'. Traversing the tunnels, I opened as many doors as I could to the light behind them. I passed through many images, but I was not able (or willing) to peek through every door I opened (either being pulled away to somewhere else or just unable to remain long enough to look). Some were more difficult to get to than others. I don't remember everything I saw - but a couple things stick out.
One of them was being in what I would call a hallway - but was actually more like a defined road colored white - with the ground not being ground, but a falling away of ground in blue. The picture had a very technological feel to it. There were feature-less people walking along the road, who looked as though they were made of white clay or coated in white plastic. Some were taller, some were shorter - but they were featureless and clothing deprived, not male or female, and hairless. They were human. They were all passing under this door frame that was around the middle of the road. Nothing happened to them - the door frame simply happened to be there. I was like a ghost, passing over them and through them. This did not seem very important/did not strike me - but I do remember it. More importantly, however, I remember a couple of other things:
During the exploration, I came across a pool of thick black water - it was almost shiny. The black pool solidified into stone wall, and I knew that whatever was on the other side was something I wanted to excavate. A pick-axe manifested, and I began chipping away. It was slow going, and I was soon energetically exhausted. I was surprised to find that underneath the stone I had chipped away, there was only something like chunks of flesh - or something equally repugnant. I had loosened the foundation, but the wall/pool was deep and sturdy. I remember someone standing next to me in the space, though I did not pay much attention other than marking their presence in the periphery - I don't know who it was or what they were doing there, though they appeared to be male.
At one point, I encountered a human figure made of metal. I understood that the metal was a coating, and focused on 'blasting' the coating (experimentally). The metal shattered, and there was a coating of something else underneath. I continued blasting until the layers had all been shattered, and (this was the only part of the trip that was real/did not feel like watching or moving through images) - when I shattered the final layer, I felt a 'zap' physically and mentally passing through my being. I little 'burst' and something like a 'clearing' that permeated through me. When all the layers had been shattered, there was only a floating condensation of shimmering liquid gold. This 'zap' only happened once more - when, after chasing down and breaking different armors (both energetically and in imagery) with varying degrees of success, I willed myself to the 'lake of renewal' by calling down golden energy - infusing myself by drinking the water or having the energy wash over me... same thing (the lake is the image of the occurrence - and a visualization often used in guided meditation or hypnosis for similar purposes: 'you are in a lake filled with gold water' and/or 'you are in a lake filled with silver water'... 'you take a drink'). The background of these encounters was just floating in black space.
I was trying to hold on to the trip - extend it - but after a time, it was just me working/forcing - and I was spent. I opened my eyes without any lingering visuals. Not mentioned, but through the whole trip, there were always plants and flowers either in direct view or in indistinct view (translucent overlay or felt presence). I hardly thought anything of mentioning it, because the plants and flowers felt so natural being there that I hardly noticed (as in 'of course there are going to be images of flowers... why wouldn't there be?'). I believe the first trip lasted about 25 minutes, and the second lasted about 40 minutes... there were no lingering after-effects, except for the expected short-term increase in head tension.
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