Citation: Soav. "Boyband Conspiracy: An Experience with Alcohol - Hard & Salvia divinorum (40x extract) (exp68136)". Erowid.org. Apr 26, 2008. erowid.org/exp/68136
Setting: in my studio flat with a recently acquired male friend
I am a 23-year-old female (22 at the time of the below mentioned salvia event) with a fairly respectable quota of psychedelic experiences. Aside from the usual suspects, namely tobacco, cannabis and alcohol, my trips prior to the below mentioned incident had involved drugs such as magic mushrooms (a few different sorts), amphetamine (the street variety), MDMA crystals, ecstasy, H.B. woodrose seeds, herbal ecstasy and 20x salvia extract.
At 02:45 in the morning of a few months ago, my friend B and I decided rather spontaneously to have a go at my 40x salvia divinorum extract. We had been drinking and talking all night and, as is often the case for me, drugs had featured solidly in many of the conversations. B had tried salvia only once before and had found it quite frightening; I, by contrast, have tried 20x extract twice and whilst it was definitely strong and utterly unique, I had not experienced anything close to what I’d heard is possible with salvia. I am extremely curious about drugs and have always taken them in order to explore my mind and the 'supernatural' (or perhaps 'beyond immediately obvious') qualities of the world rather than for social purposes. I enjoy experimenting with drugs on my own and in the case of salvia I have come to hypothesise that for me it is in fact advisable to do so, as my trips have consistently involved a particularly unsettling form of paranoia, generally exacerbated by real-life company. I am by nature a socially paranoid person (delusional OCD-type notions of people scrutinising me at all times featured heavily in my childhood) and I have an inkling that this may have caused me to respond to this salvia trip in the particular manner described below.
In any which case: at a quarter to three in the morning B and I tracked down my elusive pipe filters, excitedly poured one fourth of my one gram salvia vial into my pipe – forgetting to line the bottom with tobacco as I did the other two times I tried this absurd drug – and turned down the volume of the television. A music channel was screening the video of some nondescript boyband, but in spite of the fact that I had both heard and experienced that salvia decreases appreciation of music I decided to leave it playing so as to keep B relatively entertained; he was planning on waiting with taking his hit until after I had had mine, and I felt it would be best to avoid adding 'oh-no-he's-bored!'-sentiments to whatever other feelings the salvia might trigger. I also opened a new Word document in case I would want to write something during my trip, which I had done on the two previous occasions. Finally I tied my ankle to my desk leg, as has so far always been my salvia-specific custom – much as I (somewhat) trusted B to prevent me from jumping out the window or otherwise injuring myself, I like to remain on the cautious side, particularly with drugs that strike fear deep into my heart the way salvia does.
My hand was trembling slightly as I brought the pipe to my lips (no other drug induces such terror within me; I had not yet had a bad as opposed to merely unpleasant salvia trip but could easily imagine it happening) and quickly lit the plant material. Taking a deep drag and leaning back in my computer chair, I estimate that I had inhaled about half of the 250 mg. I looked at my mirrored wall clock and counted along with it until I reached about 15 seconds, when I was overcome with that highly particular salvia feel that I have learnt to recognise. It’s a very difficult sensation to describe in spite of it being so tangibly invasive: in essence, it feels as though my auditory and visual realities pulsate and fold inwards with light levels seemingly diminishing to leave an atmospherically brownish-reddish screen covering everything, all the whilst a strange metallic bass beat – presumably my heart, which beats hard and fast during salvia trips – strikes up in the background. I could feel as I was holding in the smoke that I was in for something powerful and after a mere 17 or so seconds I exhaled and started to giggle anxiously. B took the pipe from my outstretched hand then offered it back to me immediately, prompting me to wave my arms in front of my face defensively whilst repeating loudly, 'Hah! Hah! No! No more! Fuck! Never touching that again!'
The next thing I remember – at around T+00:01 if you'll allow a wild guess – is looking at the TV, where three or four boyband members were standing with their arms around each other's shoulders looking out at me and laughing in a disturbing, maniacal fashion, like the cave ghosts in the third Lord of the Rings film. Some sort of wall ran from the TV through me and on to and through B who was standing behind me to my right. This wall - which seemed to be connected in some absurd and indescribable way to my eyes and the roof of my mouth - was about a metre or so high, flesh-coloured, of indefinable thickness, had a wavy top edge and seemed to signify the border of reality.
As I realised this, something quite unlike anything I have ever experienced before happened: still hearing that metallic bass music overlaid with scarcely humanoid rhythmic laughter, I suddenly realised that the group of men on the television were talking directly to me. B was also talking – I’m not sure if he was actually talking in real time, although I do know from what he told me later that he was laughing hysterically due to having thoughtlessly smoked some salvia himself in the midst of my trip – and I realised that they were all telling me that my whole life had in fact been nothing but an illusion; a cruel joke. The sensation of white-hot terror and grief running through me in that moment cannot possibly be put into words. My personality, memories, friends and family – none of whom I was able to recall – had been nothing but a product of my imagination, as vapid and unreal as a psychedelic trip can appear when scrutinised from a sober standpoint.
B and the boyband all told me that they had come to take me away to 'real' Existence, apparently residing in some super-dimensional parallel universe located through and beyond my laptop (incidentally not perceived by me as a functional machine at the time); the flesh-coloured curly-topped wall running through me was to be used to drag me forward and to the right into this new world, where I would finally be taught what life actually is. The reality their strange, neither two- nor three-dimensional, flesh-coloured appearance and mocking tones hinted at seemed so much more real in its brutal rawness than my current one that I did not doubt them for a second. There was no questioning it at all, as opposed to sober reality which I am forever questioning, and the feeling of cold shock at the thought of having been abandoned by reality itself was... well, truly something else. At this point I had no concept whatsoever of the fact that I had smoked salvia only a couple of minutes previously. B told me afterwards that I was looking very KO’d indeed throughout most of the trip, what with slouching over the desk, staring fixedly at the TV and groaning.
Throughout the peak of the experience I kept hearing that very loud, rhythmic sound; it was tinny, metallic and of low frequency, and there seemed to be incoherent voices mingled inside it. The handful of flashbacks from this sound that I experienced in the days following the trip rang bells of odd, creepy familiarity in my brain, but I have not been able to place what the voices were saying and what the sound resembled.
As I was going through all this, B took a couple of tokes of what was remaining in the pipe. He told me afterwards that there had been quite a lot left in it and that he had decided to take some immediately after I put the pipe down. The trip he subsequently had was entirely different from mine: he was standing up at the time of smoking, and he later divulged to me that it had felt as though his body was folded up by means of some sort of metal-like contraption, after which 'someone' or 'something' attempted to ship it, or its folded constituents, off to some sort of warehouse. He swears that had he smoked more, his folded body really would have been sent out through the window to who knows where.
The very instant that I re-attained some sort of perception that the threat of The Wall and That Other Dimension were not necessarily real, at about T+0:03-0:05, I flew up from the computer chair and ran over to the couch, where I curled up with my legs beneath me all the while hyperventilating and laughing hysterically. B was standing in front of me looking quite confused, not quite paying attention to my shocked tirade of what an incredible experience I had just had. I quickly regained a shaky concept of my regular reality, however I was still feeling decidedly outer-worldly and kept repeating aloud, 'I am still tripping. I am still not here.' B, in turn, paced back and forth across the floor, nervous and unsettled as we were discussing what we had each just been through, and suddenly he had what he would later describe as a revelation of some sort. I can’t remember what he said at the time but at one point he exclaimed something in a stunned voice and stumbled backwards (according to him it felt as though he’d been pushed backward forcefully) and hit my desk with his hands and backside. In that instant the signal went out on the television, as though the aerial had been pulled out, as the cables had not been disturbed. Try as we might, we never found the source of this disturbance, and when I switched it off and back on again a few minutes later it worked fine.
Another interesting thing was how different B’s and my relationship seemed during this comedown, which lasted for about 10-15 minutes after the peak: in real-time we had only known each other for a couple of weeks, but during the comedown it felt as though we were sharing another dimensional space that we had visited together before.
From as far as I can tell, this type of experience is not unusual with salvia: I wonder, for instance, if the perceived reality wall pushing or dragging me forward was a variant of the well-known 'folding reality' trip, and I have further speculated that it may have been visually exacerbated by the fact that I was sitting facing a corner of my room. The sensation could quite possibly have taken on a different quality had I been outside in an open space. As previously stated, I also think that the trip played on my childhood fear (whilst not recognised as a genuine fear at the time due to it being slightly too unlikely to be truly believable) of a worldwide conspiracy against me personally.
Baseline was reached within the hour, by which point a sense of physical and mental exhaustion was the only thing remaining of the trip. I was visited by flashbacks for weeks afterwards, although none were so invasive as to actually disturb normal functioning. Whilst B found the experience predominantly unsettling, I consider it one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and I hope to one day be brave and comfortable enough to try twice that dose.
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