Citation: Devin. "My Return from the Abyss: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (20X Extract) (exp56819)". Erowid.org. May 2, 2007. erowid.org/exp/56819
Note: Iím writing this the day after my experience, so the entire situation still seems very surreal. If the text seems out of place or strange, my apologies.
ďLevel - 4 'V' stands for VIVID visionary state. Complex three-dimensional realistic appearing scenes occur. Sometimes voices may be heard. With eyes open, contact with consensual reality will not be entirely lost, but when you close your eyes you may forget about consensus reality and enter completely into a dreamlike scene. Shamanistic journeying to other lands--foreign or imaginary, encounters with beings (entities, spirits) or travels to other ages may occur. You may even live the life of another person. At this level you have entered the shaman's world. Or if you prefer: you are in 'dream time.' With eyes closed, you experience fantasies (dream like happenings with a story line to them). So long as your eyes are closed you may believe they are really occurring. This differs from the 'eye candy' closed-eye imagery, of level 3.Ē
( Taken from Wikipediaís section on Salvia Divinorum)
The above description is a fairly accurate one for my first experience with salvia, which was, in fact, my first experience with a psychoactive drug of any kind. I had experimented with weed, but thatís a completely different experience. I read somewhere that you can experience the same effects as a psychoactive through deep meditation, whether yogic or otherwise. Iíve had some experience with meditation through Tai Chi, but it was nothing like what I experienced through salvia. Iím not quite sure of some of the specific details of the experience, such as if I actually sat up to take another hit, because I have not discussed what I actually did or did not do with my sitters. All of this occurred under the influence of a hit of 20x, which my friends tell me is stronger then a hit of acid. Iíll have to look into that.
(All of my acquaintances shall be known only by their first initial, as I wish to respect their privacy)
I had always heard that psychoactive drugs such as Salvia Divinorum, LSD, peyote, and mescaline could bring about very beautiful, almost religious experiences. I had always been curious about such an experience, so when my friend S told me he was expecting to get some salvia from a friend later that night, I jumped at the chance to experience it for my self. We went over to a friend, Mís, house, where J, M, R, and D were already smoking pot and drinking. We joined in, and waited several hours for the salvia to arrive. I had already come down by the time the delivery was made.
J took the first hit, and after coming back around, described the experience as ďfucked upĒ. S and R both said that I should go next. I finished the bowl J had started and laid down. Almost immediately, I felt a pricking sensation along my skin, as if thumbtacks were being continually jabbed into my flesh and pulled back out. I eventually became aware that I was facing anÖ expanse, I guess. It was utterly dark, with swirling bits of a lighter black moving within. I was fascinated by it. It was beautiful, in a sort of alien way, and I didnt want to miss what might happen. I sat there observing it for a while, before I realized that my friends were telling me that I hadnít gotten much of a hit, so I rolled over and sat up. This was a mistake. It felt like I was, I dunno, my being, was part of the border of that shadow, that expanse of blackness. Like I was the border. And when I rolled, it felt like I was tearing, somehow, going against the fabric of that universe. I tried to express this to the others, but they just laughed. My suspicion is that my language was too garbled to express what I was feeling.
S lit the bowl for me, (as I was twitching too much to hold it and light at the same time) and I took a fairly large hit, large enough that I couldnít even empty the chamber properly, my lungs were so full. I laid back down, exhaled, and immediately became part of the border again. This time, however, everything felt much more real, more defined, somehow. Everything was real. I felt S poke my head and ask if I could feel it. I assured him that I could, and told him to fuck off. There was something moving in the expanse. I tried to see what it was, but was distracted by the others talking to me. I had a lengthy conversation with them on what I saw, until I heard M say ďGood job, S, you fucked everything up!Ē
When they asked me if anything was wrong, I told them I wasnít sure what was going on, but apparently it was all Sís fault, to the laughs of all. I went back to watching the darkness for a while, and was starting to come back to myself. I looked out of the corner of my eye, and saw, I dunno, static, I guess. It was like the snow you see on the TV when you go to a channel you donít have cable for. I canít really describe it any more concretely than that. I quickly turned back to the Abyss as another voice said that we should get moving. And then I was. All of a sudden, the blackness had separated into a bunch of different shapes. Some were like squares, while others were entirely asymmetrical, unreal shapes Iíd never seen before. In between these shapes were lines of a bright, bluish-white color. The shapes started moving along these lines, and I wasnít sure whether these were paths the blackness was moving along, or if the blackness was trying to cover up the light.
The others were talking again, so I tried to respond, though at this point I was barely speaking coherently to myself, much less to them. S asked me if I was finished, so I glanced in the direction of his voice, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the static again. All of a sudden, I felt an overwhelming need to see that sight full on, and, with one more glance at the blackness, which was now whole again, I told them to flip me over. S asked if I was sure, and I responded with something to the effect of ďI have a feeling Iíll see something really trippy.Ē
I was flipped over, and all I saw was the ceiling. It was over. Holy shit. They asked me if I was alright, I assured them I was, and clambered onto the top bunk of Mís bed. Apparently I had a grin on my face, because they asked me if I had had fun. I was still feeling the effects somewhat, and was kind of weirded out by what I had seen, so all I said was yes. They told me I had been talking to people while I was down. I asked if any of them had said anything, and they told me that they had all been quiet. They filled the bong with weed, we passed it around until it was done, and I realized that I probably needed to head home. They assured me Iíd be alright to head home, that the effects were done. I believed them, got in my car, and began the journey home.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
Damn, were they wrong. They was much weaker then the visions I had seen in Mís room, but I still experienced hallucinations on my way home. At one point, I became almost positive that I was, in fact, still in the room with them, and started narrating what I was feeling. I felt both slightly ridiculous, because I knew, ultimately, that I was alone, and vaguely schizophrenic, because I could still sense the presence of people behind me, just like when I had been lying down in Mís room, and they felt like my friends. Just to be sure, I checked over my shoulder, and saw part of Mís room, and both M and S. But something was wrong. Sís eyes were glowing. Not reflecting light, but literally projecting a soft light, the same hue as the light in between the black shapes had been. M was even worse. He was grinning like the Cheshire Cat from ďAlice in WonderlandĒ. The grin was covering most of his face, and did not seem kind at all. It had a cruel quality to it, and was projecting the same sort of light that had been emanating from ďSísĒ eyes. I absorbed all this in a quick glance, before growing terrified and whipping my head back around to watch the road. I could still feel their presence behind me.
All of a sudden, I felt disassociated from myself. There were two of me, and one was angry. The angry Devin told me to turn around and confront what I had seen, that I needed to tell them to fuck off, or whatever. The other me, the one that was driving, knew that I had swerved fairly substantially when I had glanced back, and told the other Devin that I had to park in front of the house first, or at least find a safe place to stop, otherwise we might crash. The angry Devin called me a coward, and said that I knew that by the time I found a safe place to stop, they would have left. I shrugged, and kept on driving. He kept on going for a while in the same vein, but unfortunately, I canít remember anything else, except that it was fairly profound, and had to do with my whole nature of being.
Eventually, the other Devin, and the sense that there were other people behind me, gradually faded away. All the same, I still felt this nagging need to turn around and look again. At the light to go to my house, I got in the left turn lane, which was red, and then turned around again to look behind me. Nothing was there. Feeling ashamed of myself for not doing it when I had the chance, I turned around and faced the lights again, discouraged. I saw the lights of another car going along beside me, and was somewhat puzzled when they came to a stop, as the light to go straight was still green.
Wondering, I looked over and saw a man leaning out of some big old battleship of a car, maybe a Cadillac or a Buick. My heart sped up. He had the same Cheshire Cat grin that M had had, still full of that grinning malice, and he was looking right into my eyes. We sat there for a split-second, before there was a flash of light, and his car was gone in the headlights of and Impala going through the intersection. My turn light went green, and I made my way home.
Conclusion: As disturbing as the grinning people and the subsequent conversation with myself was, I am ultimately more interested in the world I saw while in the room with the others. There was something about that place, and especially that blackness, that fascinates me. I want to find out what it was I saw moving in there. I want to find out what that blackness was, that Abyss. (It just feels like it should be capitalized, yíknow?) Thereís an underlying story to whatever happened there, (and I do get the impression that something happened, that that wasnít always the way things were) and I want to find out what it is. If that means taking salvia again, then thatís what Iíll do.
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