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The Diviner's Sage

Salvia Divinorum … and other concoctions



I have been asked a lot about salvia divinorum because its hallucinogenic properties feature prominently in The Way Things Fall in the desert scenes at night. It is a herb belonging to the mint family and is native to the cloud forests of the Sierra Mazateca in Oaxaca, Mexico. It is often referred to as The Diviner’s Sage. The hallucinogenic effects are more extreme than LSD, but generally short-lived. Some people describe it as intense dreaming, reaching a transcendental state, capable of stimulating astral projection and ‘travel’.

In the novel, the character Karl would concoct a mixture of salvia divinorum and blue lotus flower extracts which he kept in the ever-present silver flask that he took with him when he and Rachel went star-gazing in the desert. Egypt’s blue lotus flower also has mind-altering properties that are supposed to produce a mild sense of euphoria and are said to reduce anxiety.


Like any drug, salvia divinorum can be extremely dangerous, causing anxiety, paranoia and the sensation of being in several places simultaneously. Its use is illegal in Canada. Don’t even think about it! Stay safe.

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