by Craig

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The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center
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Daniel Siebert

I want to preface my little story with a little about myself. I am a 37-year-old custom tattoo artist, born and raised in south Louisiana. I have been working in New York City for almost 15 years, with frequent working trips abroad. I have quite a bit of experience with compounds that are definitely in the same ball park as this one. I have had just a handful of absolutely life-changing experiences. The one pertaining to salvia is right at the top. To me, truly astounding.
        I smoked the “enhanced extra strength.” As the energy crept up my spine, it did so in a manner so aggressive that I was rendered completely immobile. I felt like the whole world was crowding in around me. As I looked around I saw that the crowding was being caused by twisting, undulating stalks of vegetative matter. They were shooting straight up out of the floor and going through the ceiling. They were blowing my hair around. I heard sounds that sounded like thunder. I was still sitting on a couch though. I kind of understood that much. I did not however understand that I had done anything to produce what I was experiencing.
        Then I saw myself. I was looking down on my body. I was sitting on the couch with my head tilted back, my mouth agape, and my eyes staring at the ceiling. This is when I knew that I was no longer in my body. As soon as I saw this, the “shooting out of a cannon” feeling returned full force. It was really big. The waving , upward-growing, bamboo-like stalks were shooting up again, and this time I could see small eyeball-like budding things in the mix, they appeared to be growing on the vines. I also felt my “body” being sucked up and away through all of this. As I passed upward, one of these eye-like things seemed to pull me toward it, and BANG! I was immediately in a small, dirt-floored room. I am not joking. I was in it! I can tell you how it was arranged, the smell, etc. It was amazing. It was very poor, but well kept. I could tell that it was kind of a mix between a log cabin and an old tar paper shack of a shantytown. It was just dawn outside the window, and there was activity in the next room, which I perceived to be the kitchen. In the slightly darker room that I was standing in there was an old-time rope-supported mattress bed, with two little boys on them. One was getting up and rolling up a length of cover, and the other was sleeping. There was a dirt floor with wood chips. There was a yell from the other room, “Winfred Arnold! Get up now and take your bed roll to your father, and lets go! Today is the day!” Then I noticed that there was nothing in this house, it was like a big motel room. The little boy was getting up, when this young woman came in from the other room threatening to light up his behind if he didn’t get a move on. She looked vaguely familiar to me, and there was a little girl in her arms. She wore a nice dress with a floral pattern on it. Then the front door was swung open. I heard a man’s voice and smelled petrol. As this guy was discussing something with the woman, my feet felt leaden and I could not move. I thought I was rubbing my eyes in this room. When I opened them, I was told that I had been stretched out on the couch talking gibberish.
        So this is the interesting part. I was incredibly close to my Grandpa. He passed away 3 years ago. He was awesome. He was counter culture before there was one, a really cool fellow. Anyway, he was born in Oklahoma and was raised by a drifting, hard-laboring, hard-drinking father. Like a character from The Grapes Of Wrath. I was closer to him than I was to my own parents, and we shared lots of secrets. He told me that he smoked pot with the black kids down south when he was young, and I thought that was hilarious as a teen. He was a true bohemian. I miss him immensely. He told me that as a kid he hated moving around all the time, and would say his prayers at night, and ask God if he could give his dad some land, so they wouldn’t have to roam.
        There are reasons that this is truly astonishing to me. Firstly, there are not many photographs of my great-grandmother as a very young lady, but a few. I knew her, and she passed away a few years ago at the age of 90. My Grandpa’s name is Winfred Arnold (the name that was called during my salvia experience). He had a little brother (the second child in the bed), and a little sister 4 years his junior (the little girl). He told me when I was a teen that he hated being moved all over the place when he was young (so that is probably why he was staying in bed).
        The last time I made it down to Louisiana, I asked my grandmother for all the photo albums she had. After a while, I came across a particular photo. There great-grandmother Ruby was, laughing and holding a big wooden soup spoon in the front yard of a building (different than the structure I had seen in my vision). She was wearing the exact same dress I had seen, and those same little kids were running around. I had never seen a photo of her at that young an age before, not to mention that the dress was exactly the same! These things are the ultimate corroboration that I had seen into time that has passed.