What is Bufo alvarius? It is the Latin name for a toad that is found in a small pocket of the south western United States, and the Sonora desert in Mexico. It is often called the Colorado River Toad. In Spanish, Sapo means toad. Often times people will refer to Bufo alvarius by the nicknames of Sapo, Sapito, or Bufo. They spend nine months underground in deep hibernation coming out only in the rainy season to feed, reproduce, and feel the refreshing rain on their skin as they reinvigorate themselves. They have no natural predators because within their glands is a powerful protective venomous secretion that is fatally toxic to predators if ingested. This venom also contains a powerful psychedelic, transformational healing compound.
What is this venomous and medicinal substance made of? The molecular compound of Bufo alvarius is 5MEODMT which is in the tryptamine class. It also has bufotenine known as 5HODMT.
How is it used? To use the medicine of Bufo alvarius you may follow two paths. One being that you have received the medicine with spiritual calling and have been called within your purpose to be of service to this medicine and the learning lineage of the indigenous guardians of this sacred medicine which is delivered in ceremony. The second path is to carry the medicine and deliver it in a more scientific and therapeutic conventional practice that supports holistic wellness. One does not have to be of a specific lineage but must carry the medicine with sacred intention, respect and sustainability to the toads and Mother Nature.
What’s the history? Toads have been significant through much Aztec history and even held sacred space as guardians of temples. During the horrifying cultural, and societal devastation of the Spanish Conquistadors all ancient and indigenous sacred ways were forbidden and banned from existence. Sacred medicines, codices, scrips, lineages of entire families holding healing keys to humanity were irradiated for fear of their unknown matriarchal based earth healing being borderline demonic or non conforming to the Catholic Church. Only within the last thirty five years or so have travelers and psychedelic explorers been reconnecting the dots along the spiritual super highway. Octavio Rettig is a medical doctor who deeply suffered with addiction to substance and felt called with look within some ancient ways of the Seri people of the north and used his own life healing and conventional learning to replicate in others within Sonora creating a slow chatter over time of witnessing communities return from hopelessness, addiction, abuse and trauma and once again begin reseeding clean deeds of promise. Many scientists have been studying its properties and cannot deny the results witnessed over time of transformational healing and improved wellness. Traditionally the medicine is collected by approaching the docile toad and easily milking the venom from the glands. It’s spread on a piece of glass or obsidian to dry in the sun into a resin or crystal like material. It is then smoked or vaped within a pipe. It should never never used alone. It should always be used with intention and healing intentions with someone holding space and safety.
Who should use this medicine? This medicine is appropriate for those people who are experiencing an extreme misalignment within their mental or physical body that is manifesting or already harbouring disease or some sort of a chronic condition often including depression and anxiety. It is appropriate for those looking to shed years and generations of trauma, those who are hoping to cleanse and clear addiction from inflamed feelings, and those suffering from very self detrimental thoughts and behaviours that could lead to self harm, or total detachment from current conditions. It’s a great addition to spiritual growth and those who are seeking the connection within to find their calling and bring inspiration and healing within daily life. What are some medical conditions known to improve and clear after ceremony and healing intentions with bufo alvarius? There are many, but here are some I have been able to witness and work through with patients and within myself:
Brain and neural based diseases and imbalances
Cardiac & Circulatory issues
Emotional eating disorders
Stomach & Bowel disorders
Liver & Pancreatic rebalancing
Decalcification of pineal gland
Feminine reproductive and fertility health
How does it relate to other DMT medicines?
In relation to others it’s definitely more intense, but also more concentrated and shorter in length. It is said to be 4-5 times stronger than Ayahuasca. Mother Aya for example is an overnight commitment of various rounds and continuous deep diving layer upon layer. Bufo blasts through all layers with a magic wand and allows the root to rebalance and reconstitute itself without the mind or consciousness attaching too much to the process. It works so rapidly it’s working often before the body is able to allow the ego within to decide how to feel about it. This can create a break from reality or a feeling of death and rebirth when the ego let’s go and surrenders control. Regardless each experience is different and the calling to each medicine comes at its own time. Bufo can be a less intimidating commitment to opening your heart and mind to these medicines with great strength. It can allow the consciousness to open and include more room for growth and deeper journeys that can include various forms of other DMT Medicines. 5MEODMT is found in other plants in the Amazon like Yopo and other trees, roots and shoots.
How long does the journey take?
This journey from start to finish within my care is about 4 hours as we prepare, open, cleanse and lubricate the channels, chakras, and then welcome time after returning to integrate and return safely to your daily life. The actual Bufo Alvarius experience lasts anywhere 5-20 minutes, sometimes longer. But it’s rapid nature allows for many deep sessions to be able to reach optimal levels without immense time investment and bodily preparation.
What can I expect on my journey?
Bufo alvarius is a highly intuitive and powerful medicine that will travel within the body to where is the most needed space of healing. One may experience an intense psychedelic visionary and physically joyful experience leading to new steps to follow for reaching a higher state of consciousness. Another experience may be an almost energetic exorcism or emotional purge of built up energies and frequencies that have been stuck within and are out of balance. This is often followed by a sense of release or surrender which is often referred to the ego death. Some people experience a strong and immense presence and peace and awareness of everything within their body. Others experience a complete loss of consciousness where there may enter various high vibrating realms and return feeling rested, new, hopeful and with a greater sense of wisdom and understanding of unity, oneness and universal truth.
Are there any substances or medicines that affect or counteract with Bufo Alvarius?
The substances that suppress and or cause detriments to the function and ability of bufo alvarius are as follows:
Chemical street Drugs
Prescription antidepressants especially MAOI’s.
It isn’t wise to mix Bufo with other plant or Entheogenic medicines without intense preparation, knowledge and guidance.
How do I prepare for this journey?
It’s important to find a practitioner, shaman, healer, or whomever you connect with to support you in receiving this medicine. It’s important to disclose past medical history and any medications you are taking. As holistic practitioners we see the body, mind and spirit as equal in its needs for balance. If you are able to share and explain intentions your practitioner will be much more able to direct energy and hold space for you. This medicine is a natural antidepressant and has some reactivity with a few antidepressants and it’s best to be off all medications to receive this medicine. Some people simply abstain from taking a high blood pressure pill as the day of their ceremony as this medicine is a natural vasodilator and will naturally increase the body’s ability to properly reset.
Your practitioner will help you. I ensure that for their first journey my patients have abstained from as many environmental and dietary stressors as possible for a minimum of three days up to two weeks and have hydrated properly abstaining from alcohol, chemical drugs, meat, processed foods and preservatives. I also help guide the patient to focus on an area of intention and dedication to prepare and make time time to make peace for what may come in the journey. Each process and intention is different. We also ask that patients abstain from other plant or Entheogenic medicines to allow the bufo alvarius to gain optimal ignition within its process.
What should one expect for integration?
The ceremony itself is quite short with all the conditioning, breathing, supporting therapies, intention setting and such consisting of most of the time. The whole experience is about 4 hours. After returning to your normal life you want to ensure the first day you have a safe, quiet and non interrupted space to sit and be still. You won’t want to intake too much food but will gain a hunger for freshness so it’s important to plan foods that you like to be ready and available for when you want to snack. Rest is key and super important. Dreams after a journey are often vivid and lucid or one may sleep very deeply so ensuring you don’t have a commitment ahead is key! In the days and weeks to follow you want to prepare a couple of times per week for attentive and present integration. Some ideas include more traditional practices like yoga, breath work, meditation, journaling, and tai chi, and sound healing. Other more creative integration might include art and creative expression, handiwork, singing, dance or expressive movement, screaming, crying or additional ceremonial purging with supportive medicines like tobacco Rapé or Kambo. One of my favorites is integrating with the temazcal or traditional Mesoamerican sweat-lodge to return to the inner dark under world of the womb of creation from which the toad spirit is most comfy. It’s a beautiful integration to cleanse, connect and welcome the healing cycles of new upgraded cellular growth and DNA upgrades.
How often, should someone sit in ceremony with this medicine, or when does one feel called to work with Bufo?
Sitting with Bufo alvarius is transformational. Many people will only experience it once. Those who are seeking healing on a deep level to clean and clear ancestral lineages and their own trauma shall discuss with their practitioner a healing goal with integration and steps along the way to reach the healing goal. Often a series of Bufo ceremonies is paired with moon cycles or seasons with 4 often bringing together all various aspects that the journey can present. On other deeper journeys some times one may experience more than one delivery of medicine back to back to push deeper into realms of necessary release and opening. Those are specialized cases needing extra attention and serious, well intentioned support. The key to this medicine is to integrate it completely and take your time to let all the aspects of the medicine reach the right vibrations of acceptance and openness.
Did you know there is a synthetic version of this medicine? Do you know the difference between the natural and synthetic?
The synthetic version of this medicine is different in the sense that it doesn’t include the medicine of bufotenin. That compound is exclusive to the toad and not reproducible. Some have various experiences with both and have their own opinions. Many take this medicine a therapy or even as a recreation when its synthetic opposed to sitting in ceremony and I believe it can lose the sacred vibe when it’s readily available and anyone can take it. For me it’s about sacred space, and creating a holy vessel that will give protection, guidance and support to the person entering this journey. It is the spiritual element and how when we listen and connect so that we are able to reset our bodies back into physical and mental alignment. Some practitioners prefer synthetic because they need less and it’s more available which also makes it more profitable. Strictly from an opinion.... I chose to work and support with the medicines of the indigenous ways derived directly from Mother Earth.
The Seri people of Sonora are only re-finding their footings in this medicine and how to properly step into the roles as guardians after being decimated from existence for almost 500 years. It’s not about the ease and convenience of just being able to buy it. It’s about being able to truly feel it call to you and to journey and make pilgrimage to connect with something holy. Its about returning to something of purity. It’s not for us to decide who did right or wrong in the terrible treatment and continual discrimination of our indigenous peoples of North America. But today when we make choices to support these families in their indigenous ancestral ways helps rebuild and inspire lineages and new evolution, it’s something that can’t be created in a lab. Mother Nature created this and our poor health choices and need to seek out the next level of unknown thrill is leading to unlocking the door to ancient healing secrets, and it’s our responsibility to help protect them. By growing the awareness of this medicine we grow the awareness of conservation of the earth so that the medicine can remain in its sacred home and gain protection. Education for environmental conservation as well helping those who collect medicine protect and buy land to provide sanctuary for these sacred guardians is key. When synthetic is used, we often forget the responsibility and preparation and will it takes within to receive a medicine from the start of one life cycle to another. When we touch hands and share earth, alchemy exists with ancestral memory. That’s where my hands and heart respond from so if you are looking for a synthetic experience this story isn’t for you.
What are the natural threats to these creatures?
These animals are so reclusive and only require simple conditions to thrive. The current threats that these creatures face is due to constant development leading to habitat destruction. They also struggle with health and sustainability when they are removed from their habitat and not returned where they belong. Their medicine is sacred because of the land from which they come. If they are collected, milked and dumped in a super mall parking lot and left to live in a nearby wasteland desert space, they may live and grow. But they will lose the symbiotic relationship of creating the balance of healing medicine from an animal in purity without stress in their oasis easily able to flow.