Diviners’ Sage, Ska Pastora
Salvia divinorum grows throughout the mountainous Oaxaca region of Mexico. Some researchers believe Salvia divinorum is Pipiltzintzintli, the plant the Aztecs used for healing and divination. Others believe that the use of Salvia divinorum in the New World is a recent phenomenon, dating back only a few hundred years, and even that the plant itself may be a recent hybrid. In fact, very little is known about the history of this plant.
Mazatec Healing Plant
Salvia divinorum is cultivated and used by the Mazatec Indians for their divinatory and healing practices. In the hands of Mazatec curanderos it is a powerful shamanic inebriant. It is used ceremonially to induce visions. During the ceremony the curanderos uses the visions to determine the cause of disease and illness and to learn what should be done to bring about a cure. Like other Mazatec shamanic inebriates, Salvia divinorum is also used to determine the whereabouts of lost or stolen property.
Salvia divinorum is not always solely taken by the curandero or curandera. On some occasions, the patient may consume the plant, either alone or at the same time as the curandero or curandera.
The active constituent of Salvia divinorum (Salvinorin A) is unlike other known hallucinogens and psychoactive chemicals. Salvinorin is a non-nitrogenous diterpene, related to Thujone, of Wormwood and Absinthe fame. Pure Salvinorin is active in minute quantities. When smoked, merely 200µg (one five-thousandth of a gram) is an active dose; making Salvinorin the most powerful known natural hallucinogen. Read more about using Salvia over at Erwoid.