My Trip Report

October 28, 2015

I should preface this by saying that I’ve smoked Salvia Divinorum a number of times in the past. I’ve smoked 10x, 20x, and 60x all of the same brand. Each time was done with a sitter. The 60x was only slightly stronger than the 20x, but I don’t believe that is usually the case. The most intense experience I had had was uncontrollable laughter and a ‘crawling’ effect on everything in the dark, outside. The usual was a trance like state, with mild open-eye visuals that amounted to shaking lights in the dark, and layered depth perception.

About two weeks ago I picked up a gram of 20x salvia from a new store. I figured it might be stronger or weaker due to being from a different area, grown presumably by a different person or group, and quite likely to be fresher. About 9 or 10 days ago I smoked a moderate amount from a pipe with some friends standing nearby. I felt extremely at peace, and laughed a lot, though I could not hear my own laughter. Then, about a week ago I smoked again, about the same decent amount. I unfortunately ended up very confused and had the usual difficulty speaking, but this was only an issue because I felt that I needed to keep a friend quiet who was coming down from her own trip– do not smoke this while someone else is, if you were sitting! You don’t need the responsibility of making sure that they are okay while you are disconnecting from your usual reality.

Anyway, about a two days later (around 5 days ago) I smoked a tiny amount left over after I introduced a friend to it. It was in the woods at night at a spot I was very comfortable with, and as I looked up from the ground to the sky everything changed from a dark blue hue to sepia tone. I was filled with calm and a childlike wonder, and felt pleasantly mellow for a while afterwards.

Finally, yesterday, I had my first truly intense experience. I now know why many people do not use Salvia twice. It can be overwhelming and even frightening if you don’t go into the experience with the proper knowledge. If used correctly, though, it is extremely satisfying and potentially spiritual.

I smoked the same 20x that I had been using for some time. A friend had just smoked a small amount and meditated, and now was sitting for me. We were seated in the dirt in the same familiar spot in the woods, and it was an especially dark night. Only a few solitary spots of moonlight broke through the trees and dotted the ground in front of me. I was in an alright state of mind, but I knew that there were some small things that I had been trying to ignore. I decided to smoke anyway after meditating briefly.

I took a decently large hit of the salvia and held it for around thirty seconds. I say ‘around’ because I don’t even remember putting the pipe or lighter down. I instantly forgot I had smoked the salvia. I was in a different place entirely. I was looking at myself from behind in a supermarket aisle, and the “I” that I was looking at was made up of little black boxes being pushed around like shopping carts. I was zooming back, away from aisle, but each time I zoomed out I saw that what I had been looking at was only one of the boxes I was composed of in a larger version of the same image. Imagine, if you will, a looping animated GIF image, and that is what I saw. I tried to turn and got the sensation that I desperately wanted to leave. I felt like it was a lucid (haha) dream, and I wanted to wake up or I could be trapped in the loop for any amount of time. I didn’t think it would never end, but I felt like I was stuck in a very difficult maze and I couldn’t think clearly enough to figure out a way out. As I turned, I saw the boxes re-arrange to form the image of my face in profile.

I realized that there was someone next to me at that moment, and he said “I’m amazed at how fast it kicks in”. I suddenly realized that I was not in the dreamscape-supermarket, but I could not see my real surroundings. I don’t know if my eyes were closed, or if it was so dark that I was getting the equivalent of Closed-Eye Visuals with my eyes open. I tried to talk, but I couldn’t. As I realized that I had smoked salvia (it was a slow realization), I began to fight the trip, trying desperately to force myself down. It didn’t do much good. My environment was mercurial and shifting and uncertain, and the few points of light in the woods were the light spots in the dreamscape I kept slipping into, for fleeting moments.

Luckily, my sitter turned on his phone and the light began pulling me down. I felt the urge to turn on a light, or to crawl to the road nearby and sit under a streetlight. I felt like light would reveal my true environment and help me come down, and maybe that was true. But part of me still knew that I was tripping and that I needed to just let it come to a close. He told me that only about 8 minutes had passed. I tried to describe to him the intensity, although talking was still very hard. I hoped that looking at the light from his phone along with talking about it rationally would help me. It did.

After another 10 minutes I felt like I was mostly down, and I just wanted to get into the light to make certain of that. Standing up, I realized that I was not going to be fully sober for another few minutes. I wobbled my way to the road and reveled in the unexpected wonder and intensity of the experience. I still felt shaky and thought I saw movement in patterns for almost another 20 minutes.

Looking back on it now, I realize that part of the contributing factors to the experience might be a ‘reverse-tolerance’ I had built up over the week, something that I’m not sure is even real. Maybe it was because I had anxieties and concerns that I had been suppressing. I wouldn’t say it was a bad trip, but it scared me a bit during. I was confused and felt very trapped. Afterwards, however, I felt fine, even better than fine. I felt like if my trip was very cinematic and surreal, and gave me a great reverence for the plant.

I can’t recommend enough that any users, first time or otherwise, of any extract do so in a safe spot with a mature and responsible sitter. Salvia is a great herbal tool for meditation, spirituality, and healing, but can also be a powerful foe if you do not respect it. It is not a party drug. It isn’t “fun”. Just like any substance, there is responsible use, and there is abuse. Read plenty of reports by other people to know what to expect, and don’t think that just because you had a weak experience the first time that it can’t absolutely blow you away the second.

by Marshall