From a post on the RealMagick forum
For anyone interested in the practice of magick with mind-altering herbs, here is an account of an entheogenic/psychedelic experiment I undertook on July 30th 2002. This is NOT a practice I recommend to everyone (especially without prior training or guidance), and not everyone will be interested in reading about it. If you find this subject matter offensive, uncomfortable, or have otherwise strong feelings toward such practice, then I recommend you avoid reading this post.
Salvia Divinorum is a member of the sage family and comes from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. The leaves contain a potent hallucinogen that, when smoked/prepared properly, can produce intense, though brief, psychedelic experiences. If you're interested in learning more about this currently legal substance - legal in every country except Australia - then I suggest you check out the Salvia vault at this website: http://www.erowid.org/index.shtml If you happen to be a salvia user, then please make sure you do your part to keep this valuable resource LEGAL and available.
I began the Experiment informally around 8:30pm with a sampling (to test potency) of the day's extract preparation.
Explanation of extraction procedure for those who are curious what I'm talking about here: It involves a time consuming process intended to create a stronger than normal quantity of Salvia by extracting the active ingredient from one bunch of leaves using denatured alcohol as a carrier for the active ingredient salvinorin-a, and then impregnating that extracted amount onto a much smaller quantity of leaves that are then crushed and smoked. In this case, the extraction procedure was done to save a quantity of leaves that had lost much of their potency from improper storage. The end result was a small amount of material that was slightly stronger than straight leaf - probably around 2x or 3x.
While sitting in front of the TV I noticed slight stony effects without the fuzzy-headedness of THC. (This is normal.) Was rather stressed and down during the day but had immediate mood shift following the smoking of a couple small fragments of leaf (each roughly around 4mm square in size). After determining that the extraction procedure was a success, I turned off the TV, waited to make sure I'd have the room all to myself for the next couple hours, and then prepared it for a full working.
Began full experiment after 9pm. Darkened room entirely and lit a candle for slight illumination. (Dark rooms are best for this type of work, but a small candle prevents tripping over things in the dark.) Did preliminary banishing with LBRP, sat down on a couch, and concentrated on Salvia plants that were across the room from me - hoping to invoke the collective spiritual force/consciousness of that plant specie itself. Smoked a small quantity of fragments (not a full bowl/cone) and noticed the usual body effects i.e. waves/pulses that flowed through me. The effects weren't as strong as last time due to my using a lesser quantity since I still wasn't certain of this batch's potency. I saw nothing unusual visually, so I closed my eyes so as to enjoy the beginnings of the visual flood that I knew would ensue.
After closing my eyes, I saw vivid imagery (mostly subconscious) that morphed from one idea/pattern to the next. There were checkerboards with white and blue, then green and white squares, vines/leaf patterns the colour of the extract I had prepared earlier during the day, and a humanoid figure that rose up out of the other patterns/images that looked like a cross between me and something from a Dali painting as doors sprung out of it while it rose/grew in front of me. I remarked at the time of this imagery that the salvia caused one to have a feeling of acceptance of the scene as though it were real in much the same way that one often accepts the events of a dream as 'real' while not retaining any memory of normal physical waking life. It's as though the plant causes you to be temporarily transported (mentally) into a new perceptual bubble or paradigm of reality interpretation - you watch and feel as your body and the world around and within you fragment and morph into outlandish shapes colours and sizes, but you accept it as 'normal' or 'real' for the duration of the experience.
Once the initial image flood that occurs when first ingesting the substance was over, I moved into the next phase. I topped off my dose of the salvia with another hit on the pipe to make sure that all matter had been incinerated, and then began to breathe as in meditation while silencing my mind somewhat. I've found that salvia will cause the subconscious rambling mechanism of your mind to come to the surface and be recognized in a more obvious manner than it would be in normal waking consciousness, so without any prior training one could easily mistake subconscious 'noise' for external phenomena (this is true in most cases of psychic work, but especially true when working with a power plant or drug of any kind). Once I was satisfied that I was as relaxed as I was going to be, I re-enforced the visualizations of pentagrams at quarters and hexagrams on floor and ceiling of my working space and then performed the Q-Cross internally while seated. When concentrating on my Kether, I wasn't happy with the quality of the visual I was getting. At first I dismissed this as mental interference from the plant substance. As I contemplated the reason for the lessened success I temporarily went into a vision of standing in the middle of a junk yard or dump at night while looking up at a bright glowing ember-like egg in the sky that wasn't as bright as it could be. As I examined the glowing egg (which I interpreted as a representation of a visualized Kether), I detected a crane apparatus suspending it up in the sky like an idle Christmas decoration. I interpreted this to indicate that visualizations of the sort done in much modern ceremonial work are fake or false in the sense that they only represent an ideal to be invoked (as symbolised/synthesised by the human mind), rather than the ideal itself, which is usually formless and unable to be described or represented in any manner. The real power isn't above my head or external to me, it's within me, and internal visualizations (while useful tools for success) aren't the be-all end-all to an operation since the ideals to be invoked are actually formless and not able to be contained within or completely grasped by the human mind in their entirety. I knew all of this already, but sometimes it's good to be reminded.
I poked the ceiling hexagram and attempted to make contact with something higher and external at one point and found the ceiling to feel like a bit of wobbly plastic - like a plastic sheet that was hard to poke through. There was more unreal subconscious imagery to fight off before I could break through to something 'real' and external. When making use of salvia d. there is always a strong temptation to succumb to the subconscious visual ramblings/tangents as they flow through your awareness. I vibrated 'Shekinah' a few times (because of my personal practice of a modified version of the LBRP) and noticed a bright whitish-blue light appear above the hole I made in the ceiling. I invited it down within me, figuring that if it was merely an aspect of my higher self then it would only help me to direct the vision toward some useful/practical end.
I opened my eyes for a moment and paid attention to some whispery voices within and below me that by now had come into my awareness. There was a sense that short conversations were going on in semi-autonomous parts of my subconscious. Sometimes there were comments on the experience as I had it, other times I couldn't discern the exact content of the inaudible voices. I decided that rather than dwelling on these, I should get back into the vision, so I attempted to re-establish contact with the collective consciousness of salvia divinorum as I wished to learn what insight that plant had to offer humanity. After some short concentration on astral linking, I could hear/feel another whispery voice from off in the distance to my upper left. By then, I could feel internal voices (there was never an audible sound, only feelings/impulses that were interpreted as 'voices') that originated from below and within me (around the gut region - those were internal/subconscious), from off to my upper left (felt like an external plant spirit - the consciousness had a different feel/vibration from my own and from other humans), and one from directly above me (the spiritual component of myself - H.G.A. etc.).
At some point I began a conversation with the Salvia plant consciousness itself and asked it to show me how the medicine men of Mexico made use of it for divination and healing. I learned that one simple method was to use the plant's effects just as one would a deck of Tarot or rune stones i.e. to allow it to act as a go-between and reflect those things that you already 'know' in your subconscious. I was told after seeing/hypothesizing this that "That is only one method. There are others." When I thought/asked what those other methods were, I had the feeling that now was not the time to learn about them in great depth since the dose of salvia I was on was insufficient to sustain any greater vision than what I was attaining. It was implied that a person who had cultivated a deep relationship with the plant spirit and learned the finer nuances of its effects could receive accurate external information (compared to the internal crud that the average person would receive otherwise).
I concentrated on my crown chakra for a time and noticed that it had turned into a lotus with many petals. It was remarkable how vivid and Eastern the symbolism looked. However, some of the petals along the bottom of the lotus were draped over my whole body and felt like a barrier - possibly a self-defence mechanism set up by my spiritual components, as I had been tired and stressed during the day and really shouldn't have been trying to go as far as I was without adequate rest. I could see that deeper relaxation would be greatly beneficial when using salvia, but that my body was too tense from the day to do that (I perceived the tension as shells/plates of energy around me and within my muscles).
While I could feel that the voices were receding due to the effects wearing off, I continued to experiment slightly with chakras and the various alterations in one's energy field that this plant seems to induce. The 3rd eye chakra always seems to be turned on immediately after partaking of this herb, and I nearly always have a sense of my Higher Self aspects/HGA being brought closer into my conscious awareness (closer/increased/obvious compared to what I experience in everyday awareness). I experimented with how salvia affected astral vision, and didn't see any increases anywhere other than in the slight physical mellowness and increased intensity/fluidity of closed eye visualizations. This is not a bad thing.
While winding down, I did some last minute experimentation/work with a few personal things. Then I eventually stood up, ate something, and went to sleep. I anticipated vivid dreams since I could feel that some effects would be lingering for a while longer yet, but I didn't have time to wait for them to completely pass.
The dreams of the night were unusual to say the least. One of the most interesting was of me attending some parliament meeting and lobbying for the re-legalization of Salvia Divinorum in Australia. After calling the politicians a bunch of childish dickheads (because of their informal manner of speaking out of turn and swearing while in session, compared to the way American government sessions that I'm used to seeing are run), I got a standing ovation for actually making everyone shut up and listen for a change heheh. Other dreams involved images of neon blue water flowing all over the place, and me intuiting something (of small importance) psychically that my wife confirmed to me upon waking.