Shifting Sands
Salvia divinorum
Citation:   Prototype-2. "Shifting Sands: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp52131)". Oct 19, 2006.

8 hits smoked Cannabis (plant material)
  1 hit smoked Salvia divinorum (leaves)

I had ordered a 1/4 ounce from a website, noting that the prices on Salvia leaves had gone up since shopping a few years ago.

This was the infamous day that, at 1:02 plus three seconds, the official time and date were: 01:02:03 04/05/06. This had nothing to do with my journey, although I did feel that this was definitely the day to become reacquainted with Salvia.

One strange noteworthy 'coincidence' did occur that day however: One of my favorite video clip websites , featured a new clip entitled 'Salvia Sandwich' in which a group of twenty-somethings challenged their friend to smoke Salvia and then try to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After three tokes this poor fella didn't even know what a sandwich was, let alone have the ability to make one! I thought this was just the oddest thing ever, because this was the first time the website had ever featured a clip containing any type of drug use, and it just happened to be Salvia, and it just happened to be on the same day as my trip! However, I have come to believe that there are no coincidences as such, rather that everything that exists and occurs is the product of our collective higher consciousness. By this logic, everything makes 'sense' at some level, and the more of these synchronicities we notice the better attuned we are to the truth of our existence. Moving on...

The participants in this experiment were myself (32) and Jessica (25). It would be her first full-fledged Salvia experience (by full-fledged, I mean that we were using a 15 inch glass bong) and my first time in over 3 years.

To my surprise, Jess decided that we should trip simultaneously. I would do my hits, and then her boyfriend (Mac) would reload the bowl with fresh leaves for her immediate consumption. I pondered this idea for a moment and, after making sure he could sit both of us at the same time, I agreed that it would be more 'fun' with 2 people going at once (or at least more comforting.) I can't really comment on her journey. She went into a fit of laughter and said she had 'no idea what had just happened.' Sounds about right for a first timer. As for me...

After smoking about 8 good hits of cannabis (standard practice) Mac loaded a fat bowl of Salvia and handed me the bong. Admittedly, I was way more apprehensive about tripping than I wanted or needed to be. I was actually nervous! However, as an experienced journeyer and long time 'backyard philosopher' I knew that my emotions were well within my control so long as I believed them to be.

For music, I requested the new David Gilmour album 'On An Island.' The title track, in my opinion, is probably the most beautiful song ever written. I knew this album could help soothe even the most savage hell ride, should one occur.

It was still daylight outside. I requested that the window be shut, the blinds closed and no animals be allowed into the room. As the music (Castellorizon) started, I considered again my level of anxiety about the task at hand, and being the cautious Capricorn that I am, I decided that I would take one good walloping hit and be done with it - for this journey anyway.

Now, anyone who has followed David Gilmour and Pink Floyd through years will note that David's songwriting style (especially the post-Waters years) at times contains prominent 'water element' themes. For example, the opening track of Momentary Lapse of Reason gives us a very watery impression, as well as titles such as Division Bell's 'Marooned' and, of course, 'On An Island.' This comes as no surprise, since Gilmour is a Pisces (hmm.. Gill-mour) and anyone who was studied astrology will note that most people hold true to their signs, dualities and elements. Neptune-ruled Pisceans are the 'dreamscape artists' of the zodiac, and no one does it better than Gilmour. Moving on...

I took my giant hit like a champ, but I didn't hold it in as long as I could have. For some reason, my personal brain/body chemistry is VERY receptive to pretty much every substance I've tried. I see this as an advantage in many ways, including the fact that I know I can take it to just about any level (that I'm ready for) with less chemicals than other people require.

First came the mild 'stoner buzz' that heralds the onset. This occurred within about 15 seconds. This is using the regular unenhanced leaf, mind you. I have never tried the enhanced leaves or extracts, and quite frankly it is mind-boggling to me how a person could endure something so potent. Then again, I'm sure that I'm a 'lightweight' compared to many psychonauts.

The second effect, and my favorite of the trip, was perhaps influenced by the music. 'On An Island' had started, and I began to feel the most realistic physical effect I can ever remember experiencing, even beyond shrooms and LSD: Without closing my eyes, and with my vision still intact, I began to describe to my friends that I had become. It was like I was a pile of sand that was being blown and shifted about, as if by the wind. I felt myself 'pouring' over myself, as if my whole body were fragmented into millions of pieces. It felt very good and natural, like I was able to feel certain natural processes of my body that my brain normally ignored.

As I was trying to describe this 'shifting sand' effect, I found it hard to separate myself and my experience from the other two people in the room. For some reason I thought they could understand what I was experiencing, or were actually party to what I was feeling. I suppose this was a threshold level of the 'merging with objects' effect that is common with Salvia.

After about a minute of this, the buzz intensified and changed into something less pleasant; Something more OMINOUS. I recalled from reading other Salvia trip reports, that participants often feel a looming sense of guilt or doom, like they had crossed some type of forbidden boundary. This feeling is probably why many people don't try Salvia for a long time (or ever again) after an intense experience. It's probably why I too hadn't wanted to try Salvia in the 3 years since my last time, although I had done shrooms several times since then.

The third effect was what I would call a total change in my biorhythm. Now, I realize that biorhythms are normally measured in weeks, months or years, but anyone who has meditated on the nature of cycles has probably realized that cycles occur in every aspect of life and nature, from nanoseconds to aeons. It's like my body was forced to abandon its own natural rhythm and adopt the biorhythm of the plant itself. It seemed to cause my heart to beat in sync with the 'beat of the buzz' if you will, and this was where I got a little paranoid and was ready for the feeling to subside.

The 'shifting sand' effect had diminished and centralized in my chest. It now felt more like a rope or vine that was being pulled up the right side of my chest, over my heart and down the left side of my chest. I believe this is because the Salvia was resonating strongly in my lung tissue, obviously because that was the point of infusion. I hadn't smoked enough to illicit a hallucinatory state, but a threshold experience was all that I wanted on this occasion, and for my body this was the perfect amount.

Naturally, the imagination will search for metaphors and comparisons to accompany and explain what the body is experiencing. During the rest of my 10 minute escapade I was overcome with the feeling of being somewhat immobilized and non-human. In fact, I would say that I felt like some type of plant stalk. This led to impressions (but not visuals) of being in a field. I felt like something crossed between a corn stalk and a scarecrow. It seemed very primitive, like I was getting back to something which I had been long ago.

I began to go into the 'Savlia Spin Cycle' which is common in reports, although mine were only incomplete threshold spins, and gave me a very strong impressions of the crescent shape. These spins also affected my attention span, 'tripping it' or resetting it with each spin. This gave leeway to other crescent-shape thoughts, including hooks (organic, not metallic - like a bird's talon) and bird beaks, crescent moons, the swirling lines of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' and the deep, mysterious color cornflower blue mixed with organic greens.

I was simply a plant-once-human, soaking up these impressions and pondering the limited life cycle of a plant. A sad but beautiful thing. More beautiful than sad, but that cornflower blue... it's such a melancholy color, sad and beautiful itself. After this, the effects slowly subsided and I felt a bit drained.

To close out this long-winded report, I would like to make special note of the timing of the partial spins that I was getting. The spins were occurring at about the rate of 4 beats per second which is congruent with the rate of shamanic trance drumming. It is this particular rate of speed which propels the brain into the theta wave state, which is associated with deep dreams.

I recall that several times during this experience I wanted to go outside. So my next Salvia setting will be outdoors, preferably away from all people and manmade structures. I will also try to have a friend on hand with a drum playing a 4 beats/sec. rhythm... either that or I will record such a beat and use headphones. I think I will also do it at dusk, to have 'just enough light' for the imagination.

Exp Year: 2006ExpID: 52131
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Oct 19, 2006Views: 12,445
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Salvia divinorum (44) : Music Discussion (22), First Times (2), Small Group (2-9) (17)

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