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thinbuddha
28-12-2010, 06:22
Lets talk about Salvia divinorum. Salvia divinorum is the scientific name for a plant native to Mexico. The plant is closely related to sage, basil and other garden variety salvias. It is used by Mazatec shamen to induce visions and divine the future (thus the name "divinorum"). The scientific name literally means "diviners' sage".... "Sage" being not just the name of a certain family of plants, but also a word to describe a person who can see into the future, I find the scientific name to be intriguing, to say the least.

LEGAL NOTES
It is considered by some to be a psychedelic along the lines of LSD, mescaline, datura, mushrooms etc. but the active ingredient is chemically unique. Because of this, it is not covered by current US drug laws, though I believe that there are states where it has been made illegal. Several countries including Australia have also made it illegal. Researching the legal status in your own location is recommended before trying to locate or use Salvia divinorum! Because AT does not allow discussions of illegal drugs, I would suggest that people who live in locations where it is currently illegal may be breaking forum policy to join in this discussion, but I also suggest that because it is legal in my location that I can discuss without breaking forum policy. Moderators.... do as you will, but I believe that I'm acting within the rules of the forum.

THE EXPERIENCE
I have used sd several times, with mixed results. It is something that doesn't always work. It takes a bit of dedication, and because of this it hasn't ever caught on as a "party drug" the way that other hallucinogens have. Taking the substance only works using certain methods that I won't go into here (one could easily find long articles on the subject elsewhere on the internet, and I could hardly do justice to the subject here). Suffice it to say that it is not something that will work if you just eat it or just smoke it. Your mental state is something that is very important, and I have often compared it to approaching a cat: if you are too direct in your approach to sd, sd will shy away, and you won't feel a thing... but if you sort of let sd approach you, she will sit in your lap and purr. The analogy is a little clumsy, but if you have used this herb, you know what I'm talking about. Most people seem to feel nothing in their first few experiences with sd, but one shouldn't be fooled into thinking that there is nothing there. I have had experiences with some of the more famous psychedelics, and a sd journey cannot be said to be weaker than anything else in my experience (it is stronger than most). It is a strange thing for something to be as strong as sd is, but sometimes not induce any feeling at all! My theory is that it helps you unlock a part of your mind that is normally under lock and key, but if you aren't in the right mindset, the door remains closed.

In my experience both taking the substance myself and speaking with others who have, it seems to have a few recurring themes in the visions that it induces. Common themes include regression to childhood environments, the feeling of being a child again, experiencing one's environment and body as fractals in motion, severe disorientation (loss of individual identity for brief periods of time), out of body experiences, and interactions with spirits. I have personally experienced all of these.

As far as using the herb for divination, I'm intrigued, but haven't personally had any experiences to support this use, but because this is the primary use among the Mazatec tribe (who have a long history with sd) I think that it is perhaps that I haven't approached the use in the right way for this particular purpose. If anyone has any tips to share for using sd as a divination tool, or any experiences that support this use, I would love to hear about it. From my experience, I can highly recommend it as a tool for spiritual journeys. For those who would seek this path, I would only suggest that while smoking the herb is the most convenient method for use, oral consumption is much more rewarding. I find that smoking creates a very abrupt and all too brief experience that I liken to having your head dunked in water for a short time, while oral consumption is more like wading into the spiritual waters very slowly and spending time swimming in them (thus understanding the visions rather than just witnessing them).

Happy journeys!

-tb

Milfoil
10-01-2011, 21:04
I did have a plant years ago but it died before I had a chance to grow it large enough to harvest anything off. Sorry I can't be more help there but what you say about the right way or frame of mind makes perfect sense.

It is the same with Ayahuasca and most western spiritual seekers are expecting a psychadelic 'trip' to 'woo-woo' land but often end up with throwing up, sleeping for 10 hours and feeling like crap the next day.

Dreams are similar, our frame of mind and subsconscious rattlings are supremely important in what type of dream we have.

The Mazatec consider Salvia to be a holy sacrament, hence all of its names in some way reference spiritual divination and the Virgin Mary. When a curandero sets out to gather the leaves of this sacred plant they will take extra precaution not to accidentally step on any of the surrounding plants, they will kneel down and offer a prayer to the plant before and after they harvest its leaves. After the leaves have been used, the curandero will go out of their way to discard the plant remains in a secure place, where it will not be trampled on by other people or be disturbed by foraging animals.

For centuries the Mazateca Indians have used Ska Maria Pastora in their ceremonies to diagnose illnesses, aid in healing, see into the future, find lost objects and to identify robbers. If a precious object was lost in the forest, the Mazatec Indians would call on a curandero to perform a sacred ritual. The curandero waits until dusk, places the person who lost the object in a very dark, quite place and offers a prayer to the plant. A potion is then made from the leaves and administered to the person; while the person is experiencing the effects of the potion the curandero carefully listens to everything the person has to say. The following morning the curandero uses that information to help them find their lost object.

From this site (http://www.entheology.org/edoto/anmviewer.asp?a=83)

So it isn't the Curandero or Curandera who is consuming the herb - that is interesting in itself.

thinbuddha
14-01-2011, 06:41
Thanks for the link!