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SALVIA Divinorum
history, topography, and therapy

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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***

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Salvia Divinorum, Photo by David J. Stang,
Salvia Divinorum, Photo by David J. Stang, CC

Salvia Divinorum

(aka Diviner’s sage, Ska Pastora, Herb of the Shepherdess) is a strange and infamous leaf that made its mainstream debut on the, at that time still budding, world of YouTube.

The mainstream’s first encounters with Salvia was an excited explosion of people filming themselves smoking potent extracts of it, still legal in most countries, and essentially freaking out. Of course, it didn’t take long for “The legal high that tears your child’s mind apart” and other hyperbolic catch lines like this to be propagated through the media. This helped launch a scare campaign that not only led to the reactive scheduling of the substance in many places, and prevented proper education, but even further encouraged its irresponsible use across youth cultures.

Home-movie recreational endeavors blending with the prohibitionist propaganda laid the perspective-foundations of salvia for most people, but for many, many others, the ignorant iterations of nearly-cartoonish horror stories and immature use was an assault on the true potentials of this plant as a psychedelic agent, a healer, and a teacher.

Beneath the ignorant pictures painted by the mainstream is a complex, Salvia has a beautiful tapestry of historical mystery, cultural richness, pharmacological enigmas, and reality-bending splendor.

Ska Pastora, the shepherdess, Diviner’s sage. Salvia Divinorum is a highly regarded teacher and healer plant amongst the indigenous cultures who carry its traditions and history. It is also a pharmacological wonder to neurosciences as the strange, obscene, and wonderous psychedelic worlds it takes us to follows a completely different pathway than every other psychedelic molecule we know of. Furthermore, according to today’s guest, it holds the possibility of being a highly effective therapeutic agent for resolving issues ranging from something as severe as acute suicidality to something as pedestrian as indecision.

Christopher solomon salvia attmind podcastChristopher Solomon has been cultivating a relationship with Salvia Divinorum for over a decade. After an unexpectedly profound and healing Salvia experience, Christopher discovered the multi-faceted and misunderstood character of this Master Plant.

Incorporating lessons learned directly from Salvia and as a student of somatic psychotherapy, Christopher is pioneering techniques to use Salvia as a therapeutic tool for guided self-healing, meditation, and introspection. Christopher lectures about the proper, intentional, and therapeutic use of Salvia, offering a blend of scientific, esoteric, and therapeutic perspectives. He also cultivates a medicinal Salvia garden for use in his therapeutic practice with clients.

Christopher was a recent participant in the Johns Hopkins University study about the effects of salvinorin A on human brain activity and connectivity using fMRI methods. He has lectured with a variety of organizations in the Bay Area, including ERIE (Entheogenic Research, Integration, and Education). He received his Holistic Health Coaching certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and currently studies somatic psychotherapy at the Hakomi Institute in Berkeley, California.

Salvia, apparently, is an underexplored wonder plant that has not only been misused and misappropriated but highly misunderstood. Thankfully, we have the knowledgeable and experienced contributions of Christopher Solomon to help us cast out those misunderstandings and enter us into the beautiful world Salvia Divinorum has to offer.

(Featured image courtesy of SalviaDroid)

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Episode Breakdown

  • a complete primer for Salvia Divinorum
  • the mysterious origins of salvia
  • the neuropharmacology of salvia
  • kappa opioid receptors activation
  • in-depth descriptions on the varieties of administrations and dosing of salvia
  • microdosing salvia
  • salvia therapy
  • using low doses for bodywork/physical healing
  • salvia for decision making
  • the therapist’s role in salvia therapy
  • listening beyond words, somatic, limbic resonance, and mindfulness as a salvia therapist.
  • “the same way you are experiencing salvia, salvia is experiencing you.
  • the levels of salvia intensity and their potential benefits
  • comparing 5-MeO-DMT to peak salvia experiences
  • salvia helps with integration
  • comparing salvia to other psychedelic therapies
  • salvia’s impact on trauma (somatic and psychological)
  • The Saliva Pipe™
  • the phenomenology of different levels of salvia intensity
  • how to enter full salvia space in a comfortable way
  • the archetypes of the salvia experience from a therapeutic, navigational, and integration perspective
    • the zipper
    • the wheel
    • becoming inanimate objects
  • what salvia teach us about what’s “real” and what “real” means.
  • is salvia bringing us access to a “real” dimension, or is it just a metaphor?
  • how we help people recover from frightening Saliva experiences, and traumatic psychedelic experiences in general

Relevant Links


This is where you can learn more about Christopher Solomon’s salvia therapy practice and theory. If you want to contact him directly, here is his email and his facebook.


This is where you can learn more or buy the water piChristopherher specifically designed for Salvia exploration and therapy.

CHRISTOPHER SOLOMON Salvia Divinorum (video lecture from the  Spirit Plant Medicine Conference 2019)
Salvia Divinorum – Themes & Archetypes (video essay spoken about during the interview, not Christopher)



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Featured image courtesy of SalviaDroid

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