Citation: Avra Kedabra. "The Edge of the World: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (20x & 35x extracts), Mushrooms & Cannabis (exp65400)". Erowid.org. Aug 22, 2009. erowid.org/exp/65400
Before I start I should say that my report is based on two occasions. I found that during the second occasion, which was conducted in similar circumstances, (also after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms and alcohol), I was able to remember more fully what happened during the first experience. I think the initial experience was just so wierd I repressed most of it, until I re-experienced it the second time. I usually prefer plant entheogens to drugs like LSD, ketamine or MDMA, though I have some experience of these. I am familiar with higher doses of psilocybin mushrooms in a sensory deprived setting, and find I can generally orient myself in that space, and always seem to gain benefit and insight from those experiences.
The first time, I had already drunk several cups of mushroom tea earlier in the night, containing possibly around 100 liberty caps, and had a fair few pints of ale over the course of an evening. I was not heavily tripping, since I had spread my intake over several hours. I was in a very good mood, with some close friends whiling the night away in the kitchen of a remote farmhouse. My friend hosting the party suggested we smoke some salvia, about which I knew nothing at all, other than a couple of reports from people who said it was 'wierd' and they didn't like it much. My friend said he really enjoyed it, and I decided to trust his opinion.
I took a single hit of around 0.1 to 0.3g of 20x extract in a bucket bong. I held the smoke as long as I could. I don't remember breathing out at all. I have no memory of what happened immediately after this, but according to my friends I fell off my chair and lay under the table writhing around and moaning, with my eyes open. The next thing I was aware of was being embedded in an utterly physically tangible alien dimension, colourful and constantly rotating both within itself and relative to my point of view. It seemed flat somehow, and had a rotating aspect to it. I had no memory of what, where or when I was. I had no body as such, but seemed to be impaled by this colourful dimension, composed of cartoonish geometric and organic shapes, somewhat like topiary or an ornamental garden, I was stuck halfway through it. I had no comprehension of what was happening to me. there was a continual tumbling sensation, which I could not stop, and I soon started to encourage the process, because it seemed like it might get me somewhere familiar.
This willful engangement began to seem almost victorious, like a toddler would enjoy showing off walking to his mum. However I was soon very worried and aware there were concerned people around me. I thought I might have been in a car crash or that I was awaking from a long coma. I wondered if I would be paralyzed, or maybe have limbs missing. soon though, things began to stabilise, the spinning stopped, and as soon as I regained awareness of the room I sprang up shouting 'Fuck, fuck what the fuck was that?!' I have never been so astonished in my life. I couldn't believe that my friend was about to smoke a hit after what had happened to me, and I tried to say 'No! don't smoke that!' but I was still disoriented and incoherent. It didn't seem to hit him so hard though.
Despite this, after about 20 minutes I decided to smoke another similar sized hit, this time lying down in the lounge. I remember very little from that time, other than that the music that was playing was very disturbing to me, and I leapt up and went outside in a disoriented fashion, and staggered inside a greenhouse. I had the peculiar sensation that a word was stuck through my head and was curving out into the plants of the greenhouse, the end of the word was actually the entire phenomenal world, it was like a magic word that was creating the world as a semantic flourish. The syllables of the word were constantly changing, but it sounded like anagrams of my name, and nonsense words, mixed together. this impression slowly faded as I returned to baseline. I thought that 'abracadabra' sort of summed up how it felt to me, a magic but somehow nonsensical word. I later found out that a possible etymolgy of the word abracadabra is the ancient aramaic for 'creating by speaking'
The second experience took place at a party in some woodland a month later. I had eaten some philosophers stones (not a high dose), and drunk a few ciders. A guy dressed like a ghostbuster was handing out nitrous balloons, and I took several into a quiet part of the woods. I have never got an interesting effect from nitrous, and I was determined to get as high as I could on it. However after 3 balloons all that happened was that I saw a tedious cubic geometric pattern, which seemed identical to the onset of my salvia visions, despite the fact that previously I could not remember the onset of my salvia visions. As I came down, I felt deeply discouraged, feeling that the nitrous and the salvia had simply triggered some meaningless generic neural misfiring.
This discouragement inspired me to go to my tent and get some 35x extract I had procured, to prove to myself whether or not there was anything worthwhile that salvia could show me. I went back to the quietest part of the woods, lay down my coat under a tall oak tree, and settled down to make a pipe. There was little noise, and just a few people moving around in the dark. I was basically alone, which I knew was supposed to be a bad idea, but it seemed like a safe place, and I consciously told myself to lie down, relax, and not move during the trip. I smoked perhaps 0.15g of the extract in one hit and held it in.
Again I could not remember breathing out. I suddenly felt like I was somersaulting or constantly turning inside out, and at the same time I felt like there was a moving visceral border, or an edge, which was transecting flesh, emotions, memories, language, bones, and veins, as I tumbled. The moving edge was cutting a cross section through what seemed to be my body, and other substances like wood, stone, or plastic, which also seemed to be part of me. It was unpleasantly like being sliced into layers, but in reverse. It felt like the process should be intensely painful, but it was not, although I had a strong feeling that I was stuck somehow through this border by millions of sharp points, and it would be bad to try and rip away from it before the processing was complete. It was as if the 'wound' cut by the edge was forming a sort of fast healing scab, which I could peel away from when it was ready, and then lay down new layers by physically tumbling until the slices of me would eventually build up a world of some kind. the process was frightening, because I didn't know what I was making, and I was worried I might do it wrong, and I would be stuck half way through stone or wood or some other nonliving material or plant. I felt that I must be dead, I certainly had no body, I was worried I might not be able to reconstitute my body from this abstract dimensional processing.
It seemed as if the process would happen whether I liked it or not, but at the same time I had an element of control over how each cross section formed, by wriggling and concentrating I could try and align the section more perfectly. I found this element of control an emotionally fraught experience, I struggled with my faith in completing the process, which seemed to go on for a long time, forever perhaps. Sometimes I enthusiastically lay down the next layer as best I could imagine it should be, and at other times lost all hope of ever understanding what I was becoming, despaired, and just let the spinning continue of its own accord. I really thought that I might never make it to anywhere comprehensible, and I still could not remember the human world ever existing.
The revolving 'edge' seemed to be a boundary where all meaning was destroyed, I could know nothing beyond that boundary. The world itself had ended within the revolving space, it was just over, and worse, seemed to never have been real at all, which gave me a great sense of loss, I wondered if I would ever see my family, friends and world again. I had only a vague impression of what these concepts meant, but I felt emotional anguish. I was being inexorably extruded back through the boundary. The process was relentlessly physical, almost painfully so, but it seemed my only hope of ever returning to a familiar place. There was a very strange atmosphere to the whole space in which this took place. It seemed vast and impersonal, yet strangely familiar. it was colourful and full of strange sounds, and seemed to also be made of words, nonsense words, very much like the ones I had heard in the greenhouse. I had the impression there was some intelligence at work, rolling me through this thing, but I could not fathom its motives, or whether it was good or malevolent.
I slowly began to feel more familiar spaces around me, and again became scared that the process would not fully complete. my arm and shoulder were fully embedded in the oak tree and I felt I might rip off my arm if I stood up. soon however, I was back to baseline. I had impressions of strange words and syllables for a while afterwards. looking around, I noticed my coat and bag were gone, and started to believe I had been robbed while under the effects of the salvia. However, as I walked about, I realised that I was under a completely different tree, and my stuff was about 40 meters away. for the next few hours I strongly felt that the world had folded up and then reconstituted in a different configuration, one in which I was under the other tree. teleportation seemed a real possibility. However it seems possible that I blindly rolled across the ground without realising.
I am finding it very hard to understand what happened to me on both occasions. It seems like an opening up of more spatial and perhaps temporal dimensions, and some kind of vortex of dislocation from the dimensions in which we normally live. It seems like the apparent flatness of the 'edge' might be due to having a perspective from outside our 3 dimensional space. The edge feels like the edge of the world, and I think I was outside it somehow, and then rotated back in. I didn't feel a presence of any distinct salvia entities or intelligences, but the space was so alien that it was hard to find points of reference. The experiences were all about process, and I don't understand at the moment what meaning or insight to draw from this. I found the experiences absolutely astonishing and very frightening and unsettling. Perhaps I will try lower doses.
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