John Andrew is a curious traveller whose primary passion is exploration, both inside and out. He freelances as a photographer and videographer as he travels, using his free time to learn, read, walk and play.
Honesty & Psychedelics: Acknowledging the Sham Shamans & Troubling Trips
Salvia Divinorum (Salvia) is not a typical entheogen. It is known to cause distress, be panicogenic and most users only report using it once. However, the traditional prescribers of Salvia, the Mazatec of Mexico have been using it for millennia, and still strongly believe in the medicinal properties of this mysterious plant. Salvinorin A, the most researched among dozens of active psychotropic compounds present in Salvia, is truly exceptional, and the most selective and potent natural small molecule currently known. Recent studies have highlighted that Salvia and Salvinorin A can offer tangible benefits for depression and addiction. Moreover, committed users report growing past the overwhelming distress and describe how Salvia provides them with a gateway to the divine. This lecture will characterise how one of the most counter-intuitive of entheogenic experience can harness the power of self-healing in the brain, as well as powerful channels for mystical growth. I will also review how the pharmaceutical establishment has been observing Salvia closely, and with little publicity has been working on a variety of strategies to capture its secrets.