3/16/01: I went out to a secluded area(outdoors) at around 3AM. I lay down on the wet ground(oh well), and got ready. I had 1g of 5x extract, and though I couldn't tell exactly how much to use, I figured 1/10th-1/5th of the total thing would be about right. I was using a small metal pipe, nothing fancy, and an annoying lighter that you had to sort of cock every time before use(after pushing down the button and letting go, a locking mechanism would go on that you'd then need to push off before using it again. I guess this was for safety- in this situation it was just annoying). So I filled the pipe with what I thought was about the right amount, rolled onto my side, took a last deep breath, exhaled(actually this took a few tries, because I kept blowing out the flame when exhaling), put the flame on the salvia and took a deep breath.

First sensation: oww, hot. People talking about smoking salvia seem to say there are two problems, the heat and the taste. I didn't notice the taste at all, but the heat was pretty bad. But I remembered to just hold it in, and after a few seconds the smoke cooled in my lungs cooled enough that it was OK. I noticed some smoke coming out of my nose as I was trying to hold it in, so I pinched my nose with between my thumb and index finger, and waited. I soon realized that something weird was happening, and that I couldn't hold the smoke in much longer. I lay down on my back, and exhaled just as things started to really weird out.

It's hard to describe what happened next. Analyzing later when the effects were nearly gone(I was actually analyzing the entire time, except for the very peak, where I really couldn't realize that there was something to analyze), my first conclusion was that the S-A-L-V-I-A scale is not very useful, because I was experiencing parts of almost all levels, but was also not experiencing a lot. So what did I experience? Well I have trouble with how I got from one stage to the next, but basically I remember closing my eyes and definitely seeing things - I can't really describe what, but I'll try. It was sort of like what you'd see running through a narrow hall, or playing a video game where you are moving very fast through a narrow space, except that it was very repetitive. It was like I was seeing the same nonsensical thing happen over and over. To be clear: I have no idea what I was seeing or what it was supposed to mean, but I can at least say there was a left-right symmetry(i.e. the left and right side of the hallucination looked the same). Each side looked somewhat circular. I said before it was like running through a hall. I guess this isn't totally accurate. More like the left and right sides of the hallucination kept closing onto each other, and then the same thing would repeat(you know the idea-diagrams where two circles are overlapping in the middle? that's what this sort of became before repeating). But I said before that it was sort of like running in a hallway for two reasons: first it wasn't like I was observing these circles coming together - the circles were taking up my entire field of vision(which may have seemed a bit wider than normal). And second, I had a definite feeling of motion. I can't now remember in what direction, but it was a constant direction.

Now all this wasn't too strange. I mean, it sounds sort of strange, and it was, but it wasn't that really freaky kind of strange. What accompanied it was. Along with the visual hallucination, I had odd thoughts racing through my head. In retrospect, it all seemed like an incredibly powerful, convincing dream. At the time I experienced it, the thoughts seemed to make perfect sense in terms of the visual hallucination, really they seemed caused by it(as if seeing the circles coming together made me realize something). What was it? Essentially, I lost most and at times all awareness of who I was. I thought different things at different times, but the one with by far the most freak-factor was a fairly significant portion of the time where I thought that I was a being from some alternate plane of existence, who was either brought into existence or at least awakened only because of the drug(the fact that I or someone had taken salvia was about the only thing I never totally forgot), and that there was sort of a contest, the conclusion of which would be(I sensed) that one person would get control of the body(I didn't even think of it as my body), and everyone else would just go away(die? retreat into my subconscious or another reality? I don't know). But as I said before, the weirdest part is that I didn't think I was me, I thought I was one of the beings(maybe it was only me and one other, maybe more) trying to take control of the body. In other words, I thought some person(I didn't know my name, where I was, or have any memories) had taken salvia, and now we would see who would get control of this person's body. This was all completely convincing. There were times when I felt like I was some being just coming into existence at this very moment, that I had never experienced reality, and that I soon would for the very first time. All memories of my life, or even what life was, were completely gone. I also lost all concept of time during this experience.

All of my hallucinations seemed to be related to this idea of other beings in my mind/body trying to control it, but at some point I remembered where I was(or actually I still didn't know I was me, and remembered where the person was), and then immediately searched my mind for a memory of some person or event to tie myself to the real world. I sort of all at once remembered who I was, where I was, and how I got here, and I was me again. I can't remember too much more at the end here, until I forced myself to get up. But let me go back, to make some things absolutely clear: there were times when I forgot my entire life, and wondered who and where I was, and actually sort of scoffed at the idea that this sort of existence would ever end(since I had no memory of any other type of existence). There were times when I really thought that once the trip ended, I would cease to exist. There were times when I thought it was some other person who had taken the drug, and I really had no idea who that person was.

In short: this was incredibly fucked up.

After I got up, I realized my pants were all wet from sitting on the ground, and I got this paranoid feeling that someone was watching me. I eventually realized no one was, so I went back down, filled up the pipe with maybe a little more than I'd used the first time, and smoked again. This time the smoke felt even hotter - almost unbearably hot. I held it in though, and then brushed out some of the top substance that was burned and took another hit. I honestly can remember almost nothing of what happened next. All I remember is a few times where I gripped at the ground to keep myself convinced that I was still here. I don't remember what I saw or what I thought. I see three possible explanations for this:
1) My memories of this trip were very similar to the first one, and blended in my mind so I remember what happened in both as being parts of the first trip.
2) Very little happened, because I was already pretty much gone and maybe didn't hold in the smoke long enough.
3) I have forgotten essentially everything that happened, as can apparently happen with a level 6 trip(even though I don't think the levels are very accurate)

I find possibility 2 to be unlikely, because I remember holding it in for quite a long time, and only stopping when I realized something very odd was happening. Between 1 and 3 - I don't know. It could have been either or parts of both. In any case, in the future I am going to use only as much salvia as I did the first time, and once I come back the first time not try to use it again.

After getting up for a second time(and here I recall a very odd feeling that compelled me to get up - lending some credibility to the third explanation: that I was perhaps frightened by the strength of the experience and felt a need to get out of it), I walked across a parking lot(I was smoking on a hill behind a plaza) and walked about a mile home, and went to sleep about two hours later. Some odd things that happened during this time:
• when walking across the parking lot, I thought there was only one car there, but when I turned around after crossing the lot, I saw many cars that should have been in the path where I was walking - I'm not sure whether I was wrong the first time or the second
not too far into my walk home I for no reason I can remember began running - not in any frightened way, just running. I don't know why, and I can't remember exactly why I stopped
• when walking home, many times I felt like closing my eyes, and when I did I almost felt like going to sleep or leaving my body on autopilot or something. I probably would've walked in front of a car if I had done this
• I had trouble at times understanding that my mind and body were both me. I almost felt like a mind inside a body that was taking orders from someone else. I sort of feel that this shows different parts of my mind: one that knew enough to walk me home, and the other that is the conscious part(i.e. me), that really didn't know what the fuck was going on
• when I got back to my dorm, I had an odd experience that's hard to explain. let me explain the layout of this section of the floor: when I get out of the stairwell, there's the guy's bathroom on the right. I walk straight for maybe 20 feet, take a right and then I go five feet and take a left into my room. there's a mirror on the left wall in those last five feet. I did this, and after walking into my room, I grabbed some clothes, went back out and walked into the bathroom to change. there was another guy in there. he asked what I was up to, I said I'd just taken a little walk. he asked if I knew where another guy was. I said no. I was done changing, and I walked back to my room(same path as before). when I did this, I realized that the first time it almost seemed like the time after taking the right, and before walking into my room, was gone. now this is a tiny block of time, but it left me with the sensation that the first time I did this I was basically left the instant before I was going to turn, and came back the instant I got in my room. it was a small thing, but it freaked me out
• I think that either my inhibitions were lowered, or my intelligence was. some examples of things I did: walking through the parking lot while barely conscious of what was happening - luckily no one was there(I think); trying to set a wet pack of matches on fire right near the plaza parking lot; being sort of conspicuous about putting away my lighter, pipe, and remaining salvia in my desk when my roommate was still awake(I had been trying to keep this sort of a secret)
• I laid down for a little while trying to go to sleep, and had this weird dream/hallucination(I was pretty much still awake) that I was able to communicate telepathically with other people on the floor. this was a while after I had smoked, and it wasn't all that convincing, but the fact that it was convincing at all, and that it happened while I was awake, made it sort of weird

Anyway, I'll wrap this up. Salvia is a very powerful drug. The size of the hits I was taking were not very large, and I am not at all experienced with smoking, and I actually only have 70% lung capacity because of asthma. So I was really not taking in very much salvia. My estimate is that the first hit was about .1-.15 grams, and the second was .15-.2 grams. I don't think I would ever want to use more than this - I think even the second was too much. I cannot overstate how freaky the experience was. There were times when I felt like a being with no past, no future, and no name. I tried to just let go and see what would happen, so I don't really remember being scared of this, but I can very easily see how someone could become extremely frightened. I also don't think I'll ever again smoke in a spot so far away from home, and with such a dangerous way back. My motor control a little while after use was not too bad, but my judgement was awful, and I don't think it would've taken much for me to walk in front of a car.

But don't let all these things I've said make you think I didn't like it. People say salvia isn't a recreational drug, and I suppose it's not. But I did enjoy my experience, and I will certainly use salvia again, taking into consideration what I've learned from the first time. The feeling I got using was sort of like a very strong case of the feeling I might get hearing a really weird paradox, or trying to understand something for a while and suddenly getting it. Like Neo in The Matrix: "Whoa"

Last thing: many times when other people tell about their trip experiences, they talk about "plant teachers" or a "vine" or "what shesalvia taught me". I buy none of this. All of what I experienced was the product of my own mind. I never sensed the present of some female plant goddess, or anything of the like. Afterwards thinking back, the sense of other beings was more like other parts of myself, of my own mind. I admit that the hallucinations salvia causes are very powerful, but I think at most what I was put in contact with were deeper parts of myself - not other beings. I will see if this changes in any further experiences.