SALVIA DIVINORUM

Salvia sauge at sal.com
Sat Jul 13 10:48:38 EST 1996


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(SALVIA DIVINORUM)

Message-ID: <202322Z09041995 at anon.penet.fi>
Newsgroups: alt.drugs,alt.drugs.chemistry,alt.psychoactives
From: an235382 at anon.penet.fi
Date: Sun,  9 Apr 1995 20:13:56 UTC
Subject: The Leaves of the Virgin


                       The Leaves of the Virgin
     
                             by Temicxoch
     
     
     
                            CAVEAT LECTOR
     
                Let not the printed word enslave you.
                          Think for yourself
              before you act on the thoughts of others.
     
     
                [The author hereby finds the doctrines
                       of intellectual property
                       to be so patently absurd
                         that laughter peals
                   from every orifice of his body.
     
                       Please, copy rightfully.
                        All Fool's Day, 1995.]
     
     
     
     In the autumn of 1962, in the rural hills of Oaxaca, Mexico,
     Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of the entheogenic effects of
     lysergic acid diethylamide, and R. Gordon Wasson, 
     of ethnomycology, travelled by mule in search of one of the
     flowery dreams of this subtropical landscape.  The object of
     their expedition was a specimen of the Mint Family
     (Lamiaceae/Labiatae) used by Mazatec curanderas to summon
     healing visions.  From the plants collected by Hofmann and
     Wasson,  Linnaean taxonomists deemed this species
     theretofore unidentified and christened this plant-teacher
     /Salvia divinorum/, the Sage of the Diviners.  To the
     Mazatec, it was known as Ska Maria Pastora, the Leaves of
     the Virgin Shepherdess.
     
     Thirty-two years later, during October of 1994, five clones
     of the plants gathered by these two great explorers came
     into my possession.  By providing these specimens with high
     humidity, indirect light, and adequate nitrogen fertilizers,
     I soon had a robust collection of these plants to provide me
     with an ample supply of leaves with which to explore its
     teachings.
     
     As an entheogenic connoisseur, I had long been intrigued by
     what I had read concerning Ska Maria Pastora.  From my first
     knowledge of the plant (gained when I was fifteen years old
     from a little book by Richard Evans Schultes), I found
     myself desiring its teachings.  For a decade and a half
     thereafter, I casually sought more information about the
     species.  The works of Leander J. Valdes III have been
     invaluable in my education.  Valdes has done a remarkable
     job of pursuing the chemical, pharmacological, and cultural
     facets of this plant-teacher.  Without the guidance provided
     in his writings, I would probably have never encountered
     this remarkable entheogen.
     
     About the same time I acquired my specimens of the plant,
     Daniel J. Siebert published some remarkable findings in the
     Journal of Ethnopharmacology concerning the psychoactivity
     of Ska Maria Pastora's entheogenic molecule, salvinorin A. 
     When smoked, this compound is active in doses of 200 to 500
     micrograms, making it the most potent naturally occurring
     phantasticant known, comparable to lysergic acid
     diethylamide in strength.
     
     If vaporized and inhaled, full effects are felt in thirty
     seconds without a transition period into the experience. 
     The most intense effects last five to ten minutes and then
     gradually lessen over the next twenty to thirty minutes. 
     The experience can include a sense of metamorphosing into
     inanimate objects, seeing two dimensional geometric
     patterns, remembrance of things past, loss of physical and
     mental identity, sensations of extraordinary motion,
     uncontrollable laughter, and simultaneous existence in
     different times and places. 



 With dosages above one
     milligram, out of the body experiences occurred frequently. 
     Siebert's subjects who were experienced users of entheogens
     all agreed that the forces of Ska Maria Pastora were
     fundamentally without parallel.
     
     I began my explorations of this plant's powers before I had
     become acquainted with Siebert's research.  I first
     experienced this entheogen by administering it in one of the
     traditional Mazatec ways: I chewed on a quid of I5
     leaves.  Lying in the darkness, I felt light-headed, cool in
     my extremities, and giddy, all lasting less than an hour. 
     The leaves were profoundly bitter, and some attendant nausea
     colored the encounter.
     
     My next few meetings with the plant-teacher were through
     smoking some of the dried leaves.  Smoking intensified the
     experience, and a strange other-worldliness hovered about my
     thoughts for close to twenty minutes.  Time seemed
     disjointed, its passage perceptibly notable even in its most
     infinitesimal increments.

(like in Haschich)

  All in all, my curiosity had been
     more than piqued; indeed, it had been goaded.
     
     After reading some Usenet posts alluding to the chloroform
     extract of Ska Maria Pastora (and still before I was
     familiar with the research of Siebert), I decided to
     experiment with preparing a snuff from the plant.  Taking
     thirty-three leaves, I chopped them finely and soaked them
     in 100 ml of acetone for four hours.  Decanting off 80 ml of
     a brilliant emerald liquid, I evaporated the solvent mixture
     a tablespoon at a time on a Pyrex plate over a steam bath. 
     I then scraped the residue from the plate using a razor
     blade and was left with two substantial lines to take as a
     snuff.  Retiring to my chambers, I used a straw to inhale a
     line into each nostril and deep into my nasal mucosa.
     
     Immediately, I suffered an extreme burning sensation in my
     nose and throat, and my eyes watered profusely.  Within a
     minute, the discomfort had totally passed.  For another
     minute, I rested quietly in my well-lit room.  Then, I grew
     light-headed and broke into a clammy sweat.  I felt both
     warm and cool.  The colors about me intensified in their
     depth and brilliance.  I was enveloped by the peculiar
     perception of micropsia, wherein I felt to be physically
     smaller than I actually am.  The sensation of conflicting
     body temperatures became so extreme that I disrobed in one
     instant and wrapped myself in a quilt the next.  Four
     minutes had passed.
     
     And then, quite simply yet quite extraordinarily, my doors
     of perception were wrenched from their hinges.
     
     I sat on the floor of my bedroom.  I stood in my bathroom
     and looked at my distorted face in the mirror.  I felt
     extremely cool in my limbs and climbed under the blankets on
     my bed.  I found the light to my disliking and turned it
     off.  Mundane occurrences all, except for the fact that I
     carried them out simultaneously.  I perceived my existence
     as phase space.  The envelope of the present was extended to
     where I glimpsed that what are normally seen as sequential
     actions occurred all at once in the here and now.  Time was
     not a cycle or a wave or a line.  Time, all of it, was a
     point, a singularity.(Intéressant)
     
     I had a sense of sleep-walking.  The experience was somewhat
     similar to the hypnagogic state, that space between
     wakefulness and sleep when the surreal swarms the mind.(this reminds exactly high 
doses of cannabis!)

  An
     uncertainty of the reality of my situation pervaded my
     thoughts.  I was uncertain if my recent actions had occurred
     or not, and I felt as if I might be compulsively repeating
     them. (Again,SIMILAR to haschich) The effect was not unlike my sole experience 
with the
     Panther Amanita.  With Ska Maria Pastora, as with that
     mushroom, I could not tell if what I was doing had happened,
     was happening, or was going to happen.  My mental milieu
     mirrored the state of anterograde amnesia (a dissociative
     phenomena wherein there is a loss of memory of events as
     they are experienced, with the individual forgetting
     continuously from moment to moment what she has just been
     thinking, feeling, and doing).
     
     Lying on my bed in the darkness, I closed my eyes and lost
     all sense of my physical self.  I roared through a void.  I
     was surrounded by a space of myriad expanse, yet there was
     nothing there.  I was exploding in all directions at once,
     expanding, twisting outward, yet there was nothing through
     which to be moving.  I flew, I floated, I flourished.  The
     dark matter which filled me and which I encompassed sang
     with energy.  Just as the abyss about me had a form, so its
     silence was an ecstatic polyphony.  My senses rang with
     delight.
     
     And while all of the preceding transpired, the long arm on
     my clock had swept but a third of its way around the wheel
     of an hour.
     
     Over the next sixty minutes, I gradually returned to the
     homeostasis of waking consciousness.  In addition to still
     feeling light-headed and retaining peculiar temperature
     sensations in my extremities, my pulse rate was a strong,
     steady 60 beats a minute, leading me to believe that
     salvinorin A is a potentiator of vasodilation, perhaps of
     the sympatholytic variety.  Siebert's study found on the
     basis of one particular type of receptor site screening that
     salvinorin A is not a significant inhibitor of
     neurotransmitter binding sites.  This conclusion is not
     particularly surprising considering the infinitesimal weight
     of a dose necessary to initiate the substance's powers. 
     Coupled with this entheogen's short duration of action and
     its powerful effects on emotion, memory, and time, my
     informed intuition leads me to believe that the drug
     initiates some sort of cascade reaction in the hippocampal
     and amygdalar regions of the brain (particularly in snuff
     form, where a neural pathway exists between the olfactory
     bulb and the limbic system).  From here, the cascade could
     very well proceed along fiber tracts running through the
     cerebral cortex of the frontal lobe.
     
     Indeed, based on salvinorin A's molecular similarities to
     forskolin (a vasodilator originally extracted from a coleus
     plant, also in the Mint Family, and which acts on the
     release of adenylate cyclase) and on my experience's
     similarity to my encounter with the Panther Amanita, I would
     say that Ska Maria Pastora could easily tap into those
     channels of the mind where adenylate cyclase acts to
     potentiate the release of acetylcholine.  Of course, this is
     all wild conjecture.  However, no matter what the
     neurophysiology involved, all thought is flesh.
     
     I look forward to preparing a smokeable extract of this
     plant-teacher.  This entheogen has opened new vistas for me
     that I had not yet encountered in my fifteen years of
     psychonautic voyaging.  I have found this to be a plant with
     which not to trifle.  I do not foresee this as becoming a
     "recreational drug," or, to use Jonathan Ott's much
     preferable term, a ludibund drug.  Its effects are too
     drastic for it to lend itself to casual social situations. 
     However, I do look for it to become a tool for the
     entheogenic exploration of consciousness among those who
     feel that such endeavours are worthwhile.  Until the
     political repression of psychognizance through entheogen use
     is overcome, we must continue to practice our alchemies and
     seek out new plant-teachers.  And by spreading word of what
     we have learned, we will hopefully raise the consciousness
     of those who stand against us.
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