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The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center
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Daniel Siebert

I packed a regular tobacco pipe with just about two good-sized dried leaves. Knowing that I should not pack it too tight, but wanting to get a whole load in there, I left enough space for what I thought would be a nice, easily-burning experience. It was filled to the brim, and I lit it and proceeded to take in huge hits exactly as one would with cannabis. Of course, with a tobacco pipe instead, but hey.

First hit, I felt a little bit. I felt something reminiscent of a marijuana buzz. It was greatly physical and quite relaxing, like alcohol without any inebriating, dummying-down, or dizzying, stammering effect. Felt as if it hadn't crept up from my body to my skull. Kinda said, Let's do more. I felt a little more the second hit--these were *huge* hits. Monstrously so, that I amazed myself that so much could be taken in and expelled from my nose and mouth with such flowing delicacy. It has been some time since I've toked on much of anything, but I seem to have taken in twice my maximum amount in my marijuana days. I thought that this was fairly mild going down, actually; easily controllable. After the second hit, I started to feel something coming on, thought quite different from the cannabis parade that walks across my limbs and leaves me feeling heavily drugged. There was absolutely none of this. I felt myself being pulled in and pushed out of the chair. Also, I felt as if something were trying to penetrate my thick head--something saying, Get the hell out and open up! This is wonderful! You don't want to miss anymore!.....Third hit, I really was able to take a lot in, and I felt my body be pleasantly lifted from the chair as I was filling myself with this smoke. I actually felt myself sinking into the chair at the same time as I felt incredibly light--as if I weighed nothing any longer. Very nice.

This third hit was magnificent. And I held it in for about 20 seconds or so, feeling it pulled deeper into my lungs, or so it felt, the whole time. I felt my senses transform in a way that was quite interesting, in that there was really nothing I could pinpoint as "different." Then I realized that I was seeing the world for the first time, in a quite real and convincing way. But it was harsh: it was a flash of sensory overload. It was as if there were a certain barrier that this salvinorin passed through, and then, there I was, immediately: in a completely different place. It pushed me through some kind of membrane, and it happened in the blink of my mind's eye. Feeling the whole garage (I know, what a setting) become brighter than anything I have ever imagined, very unfamiliar because it seemed so real. It leapt from the usual mundane view to something so frighteningly *in-my-face* that it was as if I had never known it, seen it before. Never seen ANYthing. As I exhaled this smoke, so deliberately and slowly, I realized that I could freak out--this was a complete shift in reality. This was like having new existential eyes. I mean, it was the same me, the same place, the same eyes, senses, and feeling--but there was something shockingly ineffable about it. And wasn't I supposed to feel *fucked-up* if I was on this intense a trip?

It was as if I had been born again. But it was not exactly so, because I didn't feel really "different." What was it????

Well, as if to answer my question, a whole layer of reality ricocheted out of space into my head. A sound: a voice, and a whole bunch of some-sort-of-smurf-elf-like creatures that seem to comprise DMT hyperspace. I swear to you, there were entities there, and they were playing! They were dancing and swirling, laughing and living in complete, unadulterated bliss! I could glance at them, astonished and with my eyes probably as wide as the gap between my chin, as it lay on the floor, and my upper lip. Real animals came out of nowhere and all of a sudden I was on the verge of their village! It was like this, I was watching one of those jukeboxes, except that it is an experiential jukebox, and the records are not just phonographs, and they are not recorded sounds of us humans and our music, and they are unreal, in this respect; these *are* layers of reality, and one of them just flipped out from the astral pile in my consciousness (or was it really just my consciousness??) and played to my mind in vivid detail. It was as if I was the needle, as crazy as I know this sounds, and the life of a whole fucking cosmos was being played to my Soul, as encaptured by some layer/disc of reality. That is what it seemed like.

These things, they flashed so quickly before me, they said "Come play with us! Come on and join us! Come here and rid yourself of all your worrying and your shit! *Dammit* come on!" And they were flying before my open eyes, as if to wash everything else out. They did look like smurfs, yet they weren't blue and they weren't fucking annoying. They were more like elves, gnomes, yes, and they were, well, quite paradoxical. Like enlightened children. Like a totally different representation of cosmic intelligence than you would expect. (I did not think God was in an elf! but, alas, there was a spirit of that very character in them.) And it was almost cartoonish, it was so colorful. The "derealized" cartoonish take of this quite freaked me out, as it was SO real, yet SO foreign to anything I had imagined. This was some sort of truth. This whole galaxy that was flipped over so I could see it, I could leap into. But something was keeping me back. I was scared to the core that I would never come back.

This was so real, for a moment I wholly forgot that I was "tripping." I hate that term, it is hackneyed and insufficient. This was a "journey" and a consciousness dance, but nothing short of mind-blowing and quite real in spirit. There was no sense of inebriation, and when I stopped to grab a hold of my normal scope of reality--as it was always palpable, if need be--I could be normalized. And then I noticed that there was a difference. I slipped out of this flash, it was like. I was slipping out and this voice, half androgynous, half feminine, said "Come back..." in a whisper that was both warm and insistent--over my left shoulder and floating everywhere. I tried to see her, turning my head like a fool, or dog trying to chase his tail; she is Elsewhere, yet always aside me. (I've had the sense of a third party before, stone-cold sober, and felt it a spiritual overseer, or guardian.) Seemed like some sort of angel who wanted to get things done and wanted to Truly, finally communicate to me. I said to it, "I have to go let people know that I am going to be leaving for a while. They'll come back and I'll be gone! My mom will come out and I will not have warned her that I was going to a whole different universe and she will be freaked that I look as if in a coma!" I was seeing so many different things come to me at once, and I felt my body overload. I was at the point that I thought I could do anything I wanted, simply effortlessly, but the sheer overly-puissant Power of this was too much for me. I could barely walk to the door to the house to yell, "Mom! Dad!" quite rushed and insistently, myself. "Just so you know, I am tripping hard!" They were my sitters for this. Quite nice. (Needless to say, they are quite interested in the potential of psychedelics, as they have shown great promise to help their son out of a series of psychological and spiritual setbacks that have left me largely paralyzed and in need of "healing", in whatever forms work...)

"Really!?!?" my Mom returned. I said, Yes, that I needed to go sit down and be comfortable, this was coming on much more quickly than I thought.

I sat back in the chair, and I still heard the mutterings of the creatures I had neared--whose activities I really only saw from a distance and into whose world I was not able to take a leap. I still saw kind of ghostly, transparent and existentially-fleeting hallucinations of their activity, and the angel in white whose presence seems to have never left my side, including my life before this capriole. She was the Center *and* the circling orb around me, at the same time: I was ego, and she was there to take me; and she was the Host Whom I should worship. And I actually spoke to something, out loud, yet as the words came out of my mouth I wasn't sure if it was to Her....And I still can validate that I corresponded with something; I said that I would come back, and that I wanted them to make it easy for me to sink on through to the other side. Could they please not make this a disaster and me a catatonic schizophrenic....I told him that I like holding on to "these eyes, this ego." And that I appreciate the beauty and endless wonder that they hold. I kind-of said, Be patient with me, too. I had the power to conjure them, or have them *cooperate* with me.

I had not yet realized the significance of open-eyes versus closed-eyes. At this point, my eyes had yet to be closed. I was experiencing enough dimensional shifting without going inward.

Letting my Mom know that I thought I was about to be going someplace very alien, I proceeded to take yet another large hit. No effect. I was already departed from the otherworldly reality. Very interesting--it was as if I had had one chance with this smoking session, and it was decided that I was not equipped or ready to go through with it. This hit was astronomical, too. Yet, no dancing with the friendly-from-afar and highly

imaginative creatures. Damn, I had barely seen but a slice of the world of the Veiled Lady's, and her seeming governship of divine elf-like gnome-like playthings. I was certain, and still am, that I saw but a snapshot of a whole powerful, energetic, quite-real dimension to our lives. I went inside to close my eyes and see what remained of this dimension.

Lay down, closed my eyes, and asked some questions to myself, like, What do I make of this, Am I nuts, Isn't this only supposed to happen on DMT, How do I feel free and secure enough to let go??? Visions and predominantly warm emotions danced spectacularly around and about me. I was seeing a good chunk of the things I've imagined, from dragons to demons to mermaids to god to wildlife to every dream I've ever had, and all with enough beauty and overwhelmment to occupy my whole Soul as I lay down and went with what was left. (This was only about 12 or so minutes after my first toke.) There was a stream of mild and seemingly still sexual imagery, and emotion was running from all sorts of hope, and amazement, and excitation, to calmness, contentment, and also some dejection that the experience seemed to have been "cut off" and I was not really "going with it."

I could open my eyes and return to 85% of reality around me as I knew it. Then I could shut up, shut out the things around me, and enter a dream. This was very peculiar and genius for me! I realized that I DO have a fear of letting go, of being free, if you will, and of truly succumbing to the *whole* effects of this. And then many implications hit me about my life, and what real problems I face, and that same old "stuff." I was amazed that there seemed to be Answers, if I could only take that huge "leap of faith." I realize now that this leap of faith is truly a dying and rebirthing experience. It truly is. Anyhow, I digress....The salvia divinorum showed me that there is something waiting beyond the realms of our normal human imagination, and that it "takes you places..."

This was a feeble attempt to capture something that I still cannot believe flew into my head, and smacked me across the face. The effulgent image that I am left with, that I spoke of as my own mother watched me "watch" the abstract goings-on in my mind, is of me being sucked from this world, which I really feel I have yet to truly enter. Am dissociated from myself....and this stuff picked me up out of this and left me dangling, saying *over* and not just *to* me, "You are nowhere! I can put you in two places at once and you can live both, more really than you are here now, when sober!"

And it dangled me, this Force, this Shepherdess, and presented me this world--multiplied by 100--at the same time as it presented me Its own special and unique, transdimensional world. It said, "You can do much better than this! You have no idea!"

And so I was shown that perhaps what we have been enculterated to seeing is not necessarily "real" after all. Especially if we can go places and come back with this endlessly enriched by the journey. What a vacation! That is what this is like--a ticket that I have to be reassured deep within, is two-way. I still am at the gate and window, waving to energies and entities which are flying by.