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Salvia in German language - a literary contrast

by Markus Berger
Thanx to Markus for permission

Salvia Divinorum - Die Wahrsagesalbei Salvia Divinorum - the sage of prediction (devine sage) Dr. habil. Jochen Gartz
2001, Nachtschatten Verlag, Postfach 448, CH-4502 Solothurn, 74 pgs, paperback, ISBN 3-907080-28-9, price: 18 CFR; 9,70 EUR

Salvia Divinorum und andere psychoaktive Salbeiarten Salvia divinorum and other psycoactive strains of sage Bastian Borschke
2002, Werner Pieper´s MedienXperimente, Alte Schmiede, D-69488 Löhrbach, 32 pgs., brochure, ISBN 3-930442, price: 2,50 EUR

One thing severely missed by the Salvia-Community until now was a introducing publication. The interested Psychonauts had only a few specific articles in the scientific and entheogenic press, but a real book compiling the knowledge about Salvia divinorum seemed to be absent from the scene. The German chemist and mycologist Dr. Jochen Gartz (from Leipzig), known for his comprehensive studies concerning the Psilocybian mushrooms closed the gap for the german speaking crowd, when his book "Salvia divinorum - Die Wahrsagesalbei" was published by the swiss Nachtschatten Verlag in 2001.His work wasn't appreciated by the american audience though, since they already had a variety of native-tongue publications available.

One year later "Salvia divinorum und andere psychoaktive Salbeiarten" by Bastian Borschke was published, a low budget, low-information and less authentic booklet. In my opinion Dr. Gartz has written a real good beginner's guide, collecting all relevant information to get an introduction to Salvia divinorum. Nonetheless he earned negative reviews for his work, whereas Borschke -- although mainly copying known sources -- has been overpraised; maybe the former's academic title was the crucial factor. This literary contrast was addressed in the german psychedelic journal Entheogene Blaetter (issue 7 - 2002). The article should contribute to calm the professional circles which seemed to split on this item.

To start with: this paragraph does not intend to force a comparison of qualities nor present a platform for any authoritative struggles. Both publications were first of their kind published in German. And they fullfil what was awaited, as first sketches of the subject are given.
The US american review of Jochen Gartz` book by D. Aardvark (Entheogene Blaetter 1/02) seems to me of somehow exaggerated precision. Aardvark is too petty in my eyes. On the other hand I found that the comprehensive review of Bastian Borschke`s booklet (Entheogene Blaetter 3/02) was a little lengthy.
Thus our readers could be under the impression, Entheogene Blaetter sides with Borschke - against Gartz. Not to rouse, respectively to prevent this impression, it seemed important to me (after a long talk with Jochen Gartz and some "Entheogene Blaetter" readers), to give a short and approximately impartial confrontation.

"My book should fit the demand for a description of todays state of science as accurate as possible", Jochen Gartz told me in our conversation. Exactly this section is complied with Jochen Gartz´ book " Salvia Divinorum - Die Wahrsagesalbei". As usual the author puts in a word of present state of knowledge for the interested reader. This he does in a competitive as well as comprehensive way.
Two falsely implicated pictures do not disturbe too much, especially because they are elimited when the new edition is published in early 2003. Jochen Gartz compiles any available informations regarding to general data, botanics, culture, chemistry and pharmacology, as well as effects and active substances. He finishes his work with an outlook what future might have ready about other strains of sage and about other occurances of salvinorin.

Private researcher Bastian Borschke, with his "ReEducation" brochure "Salvia Divinorum und andere psychoaktive Salbeiarten", aims at a more moderate level. After a short historic and botanic overview and introduction the reader has the pleasure to enjoy three significant reports of experiences. The booklet is rounded off by descriptions of two other psychogenic salvia species, i.e. salvia splendens (scarlet sage) and salvia sclarea (purple sage, clary sage).
To my regret Borschke does not mention other possibly psychogenic salvias. Dr. Christian Raetsch´s work "Enzyklopaedie der psychoaktiven Pflanzen" would have been an advatageous source on this matter. In spite of the limited size an index would have been becoming to the booklet.

As a conclusion we can note: Both works add perfectly one to the other and together they afford an opportunity to the interested psychonaut: a sturdy introduction to devine sage, presenting one of the last free shaman entheogenes. Certainly the same fate could catch up with salvia divinorum that struck psilocybin mushrooms, ololiuqui, peyote(lophophora williamsii), as well as other psychoactive plants because of their augmented popularity. Australia began with it 1st of june. Pray for god´s plants.

Cover Gartz
Salvia Divinorum - Die Wahrsagesalbei
Salvia Divinorum - the sage of prediction (devine sage)
Dr. habil. Jochen Gartz
Cover Borschke
Salvia Divinorum und andere psychoaktive Salbeiarten
Salvia divinorum and other psycoactive strains of sage
Bastian Borschke

Final note: At this moment I am working on a German languaged Salvia divinorum User's Guide. Together with Matthias Kost (better known as SCHIZO) and two other coauthors, I'll try my best to create a useful, interesting and important scientifically book. It will be published by maiLab-Verlag Berlin/Germany in late 2003/early 2004.

Translation by Frank Fuchs & Michael Steinmetz


Aardvark, David (2002), Book Review: Salvia divinorum - Die Wahrsagesalbei;
German translation by Juliana Tatcheva, Entheogene Blaetter 1-2002: 44-46

Berger, Markus (2002), Salvia auf Deutsch. Eine literarische Gegenüberstellung,
Entheogene Blaetter 7-2002: 36-37

Borschke, Bastian (2002), Salvia Divinorum und andere psychoaktive Salbeiarten,
Löhrbach: Werner Pieper´s MedienXperimente

Gartz, Jochen (2001), Salvia Divinorum - Die Wahrsagesalbei, Solothurn:
Nachtschatten Verlag

Rohde, Hartwin (2002), Book Review: Salvia divinorum und andere psychoaktive
Salbeiarten, Entheogene Blaetter 3-2002: 46-47

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