The venom of the Bufo Alvarius toad could be the ultimate source of spiritual enlightenment. For many, the lessons induced by this medicine have been worth a lifetime of meditation and introspection. Thousands of individuals looking for the answers to some of their most intimate personal questions have sought Bufo and had their spiritual needs met. The experience is one-of-a-kind, and it can be infinitely valuable when used properly.
Far from being a magic elixir that cures all your woes, Bufo requires a lot of inner work from the individual who wishes to obtain the insights that make this medicine so hallowed in the psychedelics community. In this article, Tandava Retreats will show you the scientific reasoning behind why the medicine works, and give you some anecdotal testimony regarding what Bufo Alvarius feels like and what it’s like to participate in a ceremony.
What Is Bufo?
Derived from the Colorado River Toad (Sonoran Desert Toad). In the last decade or so, “the toad,” as it is sometimes known, entered the mainstream. However, far from being a celebrity fad, some regard Bufo as a revolutionary measure for individuals looking to analyze and set aside their egos from a distance.
We should clarify that while the Bufo Alvarius toad contains 5-MeO-DMT, it didn’t originate as a toad-derived substance. Rather, it started as an indigenous medicine that various tribes in South America liked to experiment with around 3,000 years ago. Back in the day, they obtained 5-MeO from plants – mostly as crushed seeds.
A few decades ago, various psychonauts discovered that the Bufo Alvarius toad medicine contained 5-MeO-DMT. The opaque milky-looking venom is a harsh poison to the toad’s natural predators – including birds and raccoons. But within 30 minutes, humans undergo an entirely different experience during a toad medicine ceremony. Some anthropologists speculate that indigenous Bufo Alvarius practices arose in the Southern U.S long before its widespread proliferation.
Not to be confused with DMT, 5-MeO-DMT is about 5 times stronger than its similarly-named cousin. As a result of its potency, the US and several other jurisdictions have banned the medicine outright. However, this is not the case in such locales as Mexico and Portugal.
The Scientific Side
With so many positive testimonials, it should come as little surprise that there is a growing field of scientific research surrounding 5-MeO-DMT. Recent research from John Hopkins University has identified that in a survey of 162 adults who suffered from anxiety and/or depression, 80% of participants reported an easing of their symptoms of either condition.
Furthermore, the National Institute of Health found that only a single session with 5-MeO proved to boost life satisfaction in patients suffering from PTSD as well as anxiety and depression.
As a result of all these positive reports on the medicine, it’s looking increasingly likely that the current US government will at the very least legalize 5-MeO for assisted therapy. This would be a boon, considering how much therapeutic integration work goes into a Bufo retreat. Moreover, it would be preferable to see the medicine regulated properly rather than some of the untrustworthy under-the-table schemes that pop up in the current environment.
How Does Bufo Work?
Depending on the type of Bufo you work with, you’ll have a different experience. Typically, you smoke Bufo. If you use Bufo Alvarius toad venom then you will smoke it in dried crystal form. Otherwise, it’s common to smoke synthetic Bufo, which appears a bit different from the venomous versions.
The medicine enters the bloodstream within minutes and leaves nearly as quickly as it enters. A typical ceremony can last anywhere between 10 and 45 minutes.
A Closer Look At Bufo Retreats
While some people choose to smoke Bufo as a “one and done” type of scenario, we recommend you experience the medicine with a trained facilitator at a retreat. That way, you can ensure that you have a safe container for the entire experience, both physically and mentally.
One of the critical elements of a Bufo retreat is the prep work you do beforehand. Once you contact a retreat center, they will set you up with a facilitator who will assess whether you’re at risk for complications related to 5-MeO. Common risks include pre-existing health conditions and contra-indicated medications.
Once they’ve determined that you’re a good candidate, they will begin to acquaint themselves with your beliefs and values to construct the right container for your retreat.
In the weeks leading up to your ceremony, you’ll get to know your facilitator better so that you can trust them to take good care of you while you’re vulnerable. They will often prescribe a few dietary restrictions for you to heed too. Alcohol and processed foods are usually discouraged during this time. Meditation is also a good practice to engage in to heighten your introspectiveness.
We mentioned earlier that the Bufo ceremony only lasts around 10 to 45 minutes. In reality, the experience will practically feel like an eternity. Time will lose all meaning.
Your experience will vary greatly depending on whether you participate alone or in a group. Working alone with a facilitator or two is ideal. That way, they can give you a sufficient degree of care and attention during your experience. On the other hand, a group experience can include several people, all of whom have their own needs during the ceremony. Oftentimes, one person’s experience can take away from the other.
Integration is another important component of the 5-MeO-DMT experience. After your session is over, you now must extract the lessons you were meant to learn. Having a few calls with your facilitator after the retreat is vital. It’s doubly helpful if you can work with a trained psychotherapist to enhance your reflection.
How Bufo Alvarius Medicine Feels – Advice From Practitioners And Retreat Goers
We’ve drawn from the experiences of a few of our retreat goers and practitioners to educate you about the 5-MeO process. Of course, these individuals will remain anonymous due to the private nature of their experience. The thread that links their experiences together is oneness – 5-MeO seems to make people feel as though they are connected with everything in the entire world.
Bufo Is Bigger Than Yourself
“For lack of a better description, 5-MeO felt like dying and coming back to life. I already helped deliver both of my children. During my 5-MeO ceremony, it seemed as though I was delivering myself. This experience provided the kind of clarity I didn’t even think existed. Emotionally, it just felt like everything was falling into place.”
My First Impressions
“It felt like an instant response. I inhaled the smoke from the 5-MeO-DMT, and immediately afterward, it was like I parachuted into a different realm. An expanse of patterns seems to unfold around me, yet I was still there with my guide.
With the whole world spinning around me, I’m practically about to faint. I was feeling pretty nauseous too. My brain is still in control. My last thoughts before my soul left my body were that I had to stay in control. I guess this is the ego death everyone talks about. Finally, my spirit emerges from my body and I can only lie immobilized and watch. This is surrender. I’m at a higher energy level now and I accept it completely.”
What It’s Like To Leave Your Body
“I look down at my trembling self as the smell of incense burns in the background. All the while, there is a constant high-vibration sound that seems to pass through me. I am the sound. I am everything. All sorts of colors and shapes are flashing around me, and yet I am part of those things too. Soon, everything fades to white.
From the brief white, new figures emerge. I see gods that look like the figures that typically populate indigenous artwork. These gods are constantly merging and evolving, it’s difficult for me to pin a single one down. Meanwhile, I’m the target of an important message from some gigantic force, possibly from God. Everything feels extra-dimensional, I try to retain every single feeling I can. Though I have no words or images to describe it, only feelings.”
Returning To My Body
“The visions and feelings I’m experiencing seem to last forever. But soon, I notice them fading away. I try to savor every millisecond of the experience as it dwindles. It’s no use, suddenly, I’m overcome with the sound of singing and the burning of incense from the material world. The room I started my experience is back in front of me. I feel love, peace, and oneness.
My entire body is tingling. I feel whole, complete even. I realize that the universe is far bigger than I thought. There are entire spiritual dimensions yet to be documented or discovered, and for the moment, I just inhabit a tiny slice of planet Earth in Mexico. I’m immediately grateful to have had this experience and grateful to everyone and everything that made it happen. I also feel grateful for the simple gift of existence.”
A Lasting Feeling
“Immediately after the end of my experience, my perspective felt like what was once a hastily made sketch turned into a high-definition photograph. It seemed like epiphanies were coming from every direction.
This is the type of information I needed to do my inner work. Years of psychotherapy couldn’t even begin to compare to the quick yet impactful lessons that came upon me in the hours, days, and weeks that followed my ceremony. I can’t think of any more effective way for someone to heal from their past. It might not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me.”
3 Ways That Bufo Alvarius Medicine Can Help You
After hearing about the experiences that some of our retreat goers had with 5-MeO-DMT, we’re going to refine the main messages for you.
The expected results of Bufo are clear for many: this experience shifts mental paradigms forever.
The lessons that individuals cultivate from 5-MeO are typically fundamental to their entire mode of being. As Bufo has the power to transform one’s mental patterning, the link between 5-MeO and spiritual enlightenment is clear for everyone to see.
We don’t exactly like to promote the notion of finding shortcuts, but 5-MeO will most likely shorten your path to self-actualization. Since responsible retreat centers usually align 5-MeO to an individual’s values and goals, then the road to self-actualization becomes obvious under this new framework.
This could look different for everyone. For example, some individuals find that their desired path is to work with a shaman during their Bufo experience. Others would prefer to work with a professionally-trained psychologist.
The diversity of frameworks in approaching the 5-MeO ceremony day is almost unlimited. You could take just about any mix of Eastern and Western philosophies and myths and apply them to the Bufo experience. The hero’s journey, a cross-cultural framework which distills several Eastern and Western myths, is a common framework for individuals to take. In general, we recommend that you adopt a relevant framework when working with Bufo rather than going into the experience blindsided.
Improvements In Mental Health
You already know the types of effects that 5-MeO can have on depression. However, that’s not the limit of scientifically studied benefits of working with 5-MeO-DMT.
First of all, we should debunk the prevailing misconception that Bufo is unsafe. As far as that’s concerned, a 2007 study of the safety of various psychedelics already determined that 5-MeO is relatively harmless compared to other psychedelics and produces no adverse long-term health effects
Additionally, veterans’ groups have become interested in psychedelic-assisted therapy in part due to the increasingly verifiable efficacy of 5-MeO in reducing PTSD symptoms. Although the sample size of the 2020 study was small, it indicated that individuals who took 3-5 doses of 5-MeO over 3 days saw a drastic reduction in PTSD symptoms including suicidal ideation and cognitive impairment.
Synthetic 5-MeO-DMT: A Humane Alternative To Bufo
While smoking toad venom has proved extremely beneficial for some, the Bufo toad is quickly going extinct. As a result, conservation advocates have urged psychonauts to stop seeking out Bufo Alvarius venom and instead explore more sustainable alternatives.
In our opinion, synthetic 5-MeO-DMT provides the best possible opportunity for habitat-conscious individuals to experience 5-MeO-DMT. The synthetic compound is no less effective than any natural alternative, and it’s extremely easy to administer in doses.
Two Japanese scientists, Toshio Hoshino and Kenya Shimodaira, successfully synthesized 5-MeO-DMT in 1936. This was a major discovery in the field of psychedelics and prompted the proliferation of Bufo around the world. Hopefully, this will replace Bufo Alvarius toad venom in the long run.
What Tandava Retreats Has To Offer
If you’re interested in pursuing a Bufo retreat experience, then this article is only the beginning of your education.
Many retreat centers exist solely to turn a profit. Stuffing as many participants into a single time slot so that the center can minimize expenditures and maximize the number of psychonauts from which to extract money.
As a result, these centers often neglect safety standards in their work. To us at Tandava, this is by far the most important aspect of our offerings. We have plenty of safeguards in place as we employ first-aid certified staff and have a doctor on call near our retreat center.
Every retreat leader and facilitator that works with us is thoroughly vetted. Their professional experience and experience with psychedelic plant medicines are all under consideration. Each person we bring on board has something unique to contribute to our team.
Research a retreat center and see how they present themselves. You’ll need to go with your gut feeling: do these individuals inspire confidence? Are the website and any video content put together professionally? Do they show you some footage of their retreat center and the ceremonies they conduct? How about testimonials from past participants? These are all bits of social proof you should try to discover.
A Supportive Environment
Above all, you want to work with a retreat center that is willing to put in the work to meet your needs. Don’t tolerate any hostility or arrogance in their communications. You need a safe space to air out your concerns if you’re going to obtain the desired results from your inner work. You will share very intimate details about yourself with the retreat center, so you must establish a level of trust in the first introductory call.
A Full-service Retreat Center
Unlike some Bufo retreats, Tandava Retreats focus on your well-being. Much better than trying to get you in and out of the retreat center as fast as possible. You should not sign up for a retreat that lasts only a few hours. Proper aftercare requires relaxation and integration work. The period following your Bufo ceremony can be rather fragile and vulnerable. You must remain in good hands.
Tandava’s retreat center is situated in the heart of Mexico, nestled in the mountains near Tepoztlan. At our facilities, we offer a diverse array of activities ranging from saunas and hot tubs to hiking and quiet outdoor nooks for deep meditation.
The accommodation is also of a higher quality than most centers. Our expert chef prepares guests 3 meals a day from vegetarian ingredients. Moreover, we endow each room with a high level of comfort and coziness -perfect for sound nights of sleep and deep reflection.
Aside from developing trust, your introductory calls are a valuable tool to help you set the stage for your Bufo experience. The introductory calls will work out your medical history and assess your mental health to evaluate if you have any contraindications with 5-MeO-DMT. You can’t skip this step, because Bufo is not the right medicine for everyone. We’ll recommend your next best option if we determine that 5-MeO is not right for you.
The pre-retreat Zoom calls we have with you are invaluable to help establish a theme (or what we call a “container”) for your experience. We realize that everyone comes to us for different reasons, and as such, you require a container that fits with your struggles and values. While some are in it to find a way to ease their mental health, like PTSD, others are more focused on a shamanic experience. Your experience belongs to you.
Integration And Aftercare
The corollary to proper pre-screening and preparation work is integration work that follows up on all the goals you established before the Bufo ceremony. You signed up for a retreat to learn some valuable lessons. But as we learned earlier, the lessons appear to hit you all at once.
Therefore, we run 4 Zoom calls with you after the fact to ensure that you can piece together everything that the 5-MeO-DMT medicine taught you. It will take time for everything to snap into place, but we want to make sure that you’re at least headed in the right direction and working diligently toward fulfilling your objectives.
Reach Out To Us For More Answers
You can research the experiences of others as much as you like. However, the only way for you to learn for sure whether Bufo is right for you is to contact an experienced retreat guide that can properly evaluate your needs and help you analyze your reasons for choosing to embark on this transformative journey.
The answer begins with yourself, though. So take our advice in this article into careful consideration. If you have any questions about 5-MeO-DMT and the retreats we offer, connect with us to learn more.