Salvia divinorum, Diviner’s Sage, is all the rage these days in the world of vaguely-legal hallucinogenic drugs (trust me it’s a larger scene than you think), inspiring feats of family-friendly leisure, political activism and artistic expression.
If there is one thing I have learned during my years of medical training it’s when there’s a trend in the psychotropic underground it’s usually worth sniffing — or in this case smoking — out.
My packet of salvia was purchased, conveniently enough, at a convenience store. The drug resembles dry, dark-colored marijuana “shake.” It doesn’t smell too pretty and looks rather unassuming—nothing like the luscious, glazed green of prime weed. But then again, most of the grass I grew up toking looked little like the pin-up buds in High Times.
Packing a pinch into a small glass pipe I put a record on the hi-fi and prepared myself for. . . who knows what.
Tales from acquaintances who had tried the drug didn’t paint an overwhelmingly precious picture. Most clinical observations passed my way stuck close to a simple logic This shit will fuck you up. When asked to elaborate many didn’t want to go there.
Yet how bad could a drug be that only lasts for a few minutes? Would this strange plant massage my mind or tear it to smoking shreds?
There was only one way to find out.
With my colleague watching I lit the pipe, inhaled a large draft and sat back to wait. Within seconds the room came alive with a vibrant glow. I began giggling — at what exactly I’m not sure — then melted into maniacal laughter.
I lay back on the chaise longue and closed my eyes.
Behind my eyelids shapes crowded my vision; razor-edged diamonds coated in rings of color interlocked, twisting and shaking with electric energy. The experience was acid-like in its intensity and pure lysergic spin, kaleidoscopic and strange. The sound of the record loomed large over my quavering mind. A quite literal force, gravity-like in its intensity, tugged me towards the sweet sound of the music.
The pull was quite remarkable. You physically feel yourself being drawn in certain directions — towards or away from music, a window, deeper down into the abyss of your mind.
Time having vanished I was stunned when I opened my eyes again to find myself in my study with only a few minutes having ticked by on the clock. What are you doing here!?! I shouted at my friend, who was by that time slumped across a couch deep in his own trip.
The afterglow of the hit was divine: a long, slow return from wherever it was I had been. I managed, with some effort, to change the record and my friend and I danced through the apartment, swaying like vampires navigating a path through rays of sun.
How can it be that a drug like this is legal? Sadder still that it is being used mainly by teens seeking simply to get smashed.
Maybe it will take the drug’s blacklisting and subsequent thrust to the underground for it to attain the respect it deserves as a remarkable psychedelic, made even better by its brevity.
Be safe and enjoy — doctor’s orders.