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Observations placeholder

Arthur, James D - 08 The source of the plant is key



Type of Spiritual Experience


J D Arthur experienced a marked difference in the effects of the plants depending on where they came from.

Salvia appears to be yet another plant where one has to know the source of the plant and be aware of its very specific characteristics – both chemical content and strength.  Where a plant is grown has a very profound effect upon its chemistry, which is fairly obvious if you think about it.  The climate, the soil characteristics, the nutrients, all contribute to the plants specific chemical content, so even in one area, the plant from one farmer may be different to another.

This makes salvia, like all plant based drugs, something of a lottery in terms of its effects

A description of the experience

Salvia Divinorum – J D Arthur

lnteresting experiment today. Since the ‘shrinking of the self' was such a central theme the last time, I thought that perhaps, if I smoked a small amount of native leaf, this state could be accessed without the full-fledged shifting of awareness that happens with the 5X.

The Wasson clone leaf had precisely that effect when I’d first sampled it years ago. At the time, I'd smoked one pipeful and experienced the shrinking of the self to a marked degree. I  remember thinking then that, if nothing else, this leaf would be good for accessing that particular state. I might have smoked it once since then, but had thought it too weak for my normal excursions.

I loaded the bowl and smoked. The leaf seemed much harsher than either the Mazatecan or the Oaxacan leaf I’d used in the past. After exhaling I got a few of the familiar signs of the salviaic trance - fluid kaleidoscopic manifestations - some fleeting emotionaIly tinged images of people -but nothing strong enough to ‘take’ me. The experience was short lived, and I thought that perhaps the leaf was even weaker than I’d recalled. I thought that it was more evident than ever that the leaf simply lacked enough strength to be usable. There was no shrinking of the self, for which l’d been hoping.

After a few minutes had passed, I thought that perhaps, if I smoked another bowl, the salvia might have a bit of a cumulative effect, since I could still feel the afterglow and thought that I might have more access to the shrinking awareness. I loaded the pipe again with a small amount, hoping that I could gently ease my way up with this second pipe.

After exhaling the smoke, I was amazed to find myself slipping, blissfully, to the other side. This happened so gently that it seemed as though I had time to analyse the process of the shift.  From the first effects, it felt as though I was entering a deeper state than I'd anticipated.  At some juncture, it seemed that I had encountered a point of no return. I began to feel myself sliding upward, as if I had no control, and unwittingly found myself in the other realm.

There were the others there, and I was almost in an apologetic frame of mind, as if to say, "Sorry, I didn't mean to cross over, it was an accident." I had the feeling that they, for their part, didn't care. It almost seemed as though they passed the word along to others as I went deeper into the other side. I also had the feeling that I was perfectly welcome there, at one point getting the feeling (not sure if someone said this) that it was good for me to just be in their presence, as if these contacts would have a cumulative effect: all in all, a very blissful, enjoyable, if accidental, meeting.

The source of the experience

Arthur, James D

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Salvia divinorum