For my entire life, and probably many lifetimes, I did not know how to feel. I know I did not know how to feel because I finally felt. To feel is to be. I had the most profound experience of my life when I attended back-to-back shamanic ceremonies (one Saturday, May 9th and one Sunday, May 10th, 2021) in which toad medicine (the Sonoran Desert toad, Bufo Alvarius’s secretion) was administered. One may also know toad medicine as 5-MeO-DMT, which is the active component in the medicine. The “Toad” is a very fast acting substance and the total experience can last anywhere from 10 – 40 minutes, however time seems to be distorted during the experience because you may go to a no-time place. Please know that every person’s experience is different, as each person is at a different level of consciousness. The medicine is intelligent. It will give you a) what you are open and willing to receive and b) what you need. I am sharing my experience, but each person’s experience will be deeply personal to them.
I am still integrating the experience (May 2021), which cannot be explained in words, but probably the shortest sum-up is that I FELT what it was like to BE without the Māyā. Māyā is a term used in Hindu and Buddist traditions that, most simply put, means the “illusion” or “magic” that conceals the true spiritual reality. I also see it as separation. At the place of what I call Spirit or Being, I felt the pulse and the ecstasy of the Spirit (or Universe). As I was descending back into this plane of existence, I could literally feel the Saṃsāra, the “cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence” (Wikipedia) or otherwise known as the cycle of life, death, reincarnation. My entire being FELT the agony (not the right word, but there is no other word to describe it) of that Māyā / Saṃsāra and separation and all of me said “enough!” I still don’t know what “all of me” means, but something knew the truth of the insanity, the craziness, and the ridiculousness of the seemingly endless cycle. After the second experience (Sunday), I realized I didn’t know what I didn’t know, until I knew. At the same time, there comes a humility that I don’t know anything, but I felt my being-ness.
In the past year (covid 2020 into 2021), I have been diving deep into two different areas. First, I joined a group called the Evolutionary Collective, founded by Patricia Albere (https://evolutionarycollective.com/). This is a group that practices “Mutual Awakening” with another. In the practices (all on Zoom), the space in which we meet each other is the space between (one or more people), which is a place of shared ego-less unity. The place we come from is the origination point or our unique particularity given by Source, not from the Soul journey (egoic) or our individual incarnational karmic journey. Don’t worry if you don’t “get it”. I was practicing for eight months before I finally just started to grasp it. I am sharing this because it ties in with my toad medicine experience.
Second, I joined a year-long Astrology School, taught by Veronica Dornsmith (https://www.soulmapmandalas.com/). She teaches evolutionary astrology. I joined after I had a reading from her and it resonated so strongly with me that my curiosity got the best of me. I decided to dip my toe into learning evolutionary astrology, which is all about the Soul’s incarnational journey.
The paradox about these two paths that I am walking is they are dealing with two different things, one area is focused on the Spirit and the other area focused on the Soul, but leading to the same place of Unity. I was trying to understand how they crisscrossed or related to each other. I don’t remember when I got the “ah-ha” or download of information, but in my curiosity of asking and trying to “figure it out” (yeah, right) I realized that Spirit and Soul are different but may work together.
Growing up, I was raised in a very Catholic family. Spirit and Soul seemed to be used interchangeably, so I thought it was all the same thing, just pick the word you want to use, or at least that was my perception and understanding of it. Of course, it has taken me many years of reflection to unhook from the quagmire of the “judgemental” God, the punishing God that if you did not follow his laws you are going to hell for all of eternity. Of course, if you just committed Venial sins, you could get by with going to purgatory and then you still had a second chance if people prayed for you, but if you committed a Mortal sin and did not repent, you were in hell for all of eternity. (Wow, just writing that is crazy-making).
Through my inquiry and exploration of the Evolutionary Collective and evolutionary astrology, I came to an understanding that “Spirit” is the underlying energy that permeates all things. Spirit is the life force and is the eternal spark of the Divine Source that each of us are, no matter how many layers of density it is buried under. It reminds me of that song I sang as a kid, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…” Spirit is our true being, our true essence in reality (not referring to our 3D reality, but the true spiritual reality). Only through Spirit can we really feel. Emotions and feelings are also very different things. I never realized that before this experience with the toad medicine. People may ask, “How do you feel?” and the expected response may be “happy” or “sad” or “depressed” but those are simply emotions, which is in the realm of the Soul. Feeling is the realm of Spirit.
I still don’t know if I have a complete picture of the Soul (and probably not Spirit either), but what came to me is that the Soul is a multi-dimensional technology. It is a tool to have and record experiences and information. When you are born, have experiences, and then die, all the information about that lifetime is stored and carries over with you into the “plane” or dimension where your Soul goes when you leave the body. Upon leaving the physical body, your Soul goes through the 4th dimension, which is where you “judge” yourself on how you did in that lifetime. That judgement (consciousness level) determines what dimensional plane you reside on in your afterlife and if you will reincarnate. Much of the Earth journey is mapped out in evolutionary astrology, which is another tool of the Soul, which is used to evolve in consciousness.
There are still so many questions in this exploration. Is the Soul information stored in the multidimensional heart or the multidimensional DNA or both? Is the Soul the tool of Consciousness or Spirit, or both? Did the Soul technology get “hijacked” to create Māyā or separation? Is the Soul the tool used by Spirit to experience “Heaven on Earth” and the Soul must be pure if the Spirit is to be known and felt completely in the body on Earth?
In my experience with the toad medicine, it was clear that there were two essences (not the right word): the Spirit and the Soul. The Soul seemed to be rolling around in the muck of Māyā and separation. It felt as if my Spirit (?) or Consciousness (?) made a decision to see and feel the agony caused by the separation (or Māyā). I had huge somatic releases (screaming, moving, shaking, toning), which I felt was releasing some “crap” from my Soul, which was stored in the body.
I am still integrating all of this and I am sure I don’t have this all quite “right”, but all I know is that for this lifetime and I think many others, I have held an underlying heavy grief and sadness, especially in my heart. This toad experience allowed my heart to release some of that. It felt like the crap was not all mine, but that I was a cosmic vacuum cleaner for some other Souls’ burdens and I held on to them for lifetimes. Because it was so painful, I shut down my feeling. I felt plenty of emotions (sadness, grief, anger, rage, etc.), but as noted before, emotions are not feeling. The message was clear that whatever contract I had made to carry the burdens, it was over and it was time to release it all and set my Soul free to experience and feel my own Being (Spirit). When we are perceiving ourselves as separate, we also disconnected from feeling. I am looking forward to seeing how this experience further plays out in my everyday life.
UPDATE 7/13/21 – It has been over two months now, since my second “toad” experience. (See below for my very first one in 2017). Even though the deep sense of feeling has somewhat (but not totally) faded from the everyday life, the memory is still there and the results are lasting. It is almost as if I can put myself “back there” with a concerted effort to remember. It is a choice.
In preparing for my experiences in May 2021, my intention was purity. I requested that the “toad” clear out all of what is no longer serving me in order to be a pure vessel for the Divine to flow through. It was a pretty vague, but “big” ask. Seeing how this is playing out in my life, it seems that what needed clearing out was judgement and over-responsibility. Judgement of myself (foremost) or others and taking responsibility for others where I did not need to. Releasing both of those things require trust, letting go of control and acceptance of what is. In a recent integration session with a practitioner, I realized I still sometimes feel the separation in the form of “being attacked” or “attacking” (judgement) which leads to defensiveness either in me or the other person I am dealing with. Most of the time the situation is not even a confrontation with another person, it is just an internal awareness and feeling of unease.
I do trust the Divine will give me plenty of opportunities in my daily life to make choices that continue to release judgment and defensiveness. Hopefully I pay attention so the awareness can be felt and moved internally so I don’t need to engage outwardly with the external catalyst. I have already had many opportunities to release over-responsibility and judgement and that feels like it is really moving! Some changes I have noticed in my feelings and reactions are the following:
- I am more tolerant of others. Even when I see they are making ridiculous choices that make their life more challenging, I love them anyway and (most of the time) I don’t need to take responsibility for them or try to convince them to make a different choice. It is their choice, their responsibility and their path. Maybe their choice is exactly the catalyst they need to help them wake up. The Divine works in mysterious ways and who am I to interfere? I still may feel a calling to gently mention a different choice to them (with their permission first), then I let go and they get to choose. This seems to work best with people that I don’t have a deep relationship with. I am still working on how to best respond, when even though I love them (friends/family), their choices are not in resonance with the love and unity I wish to share out into the world. To sum up, I am less judgmental but more clear in what I don’t want to take part in (sort of explained in #2).
- I am less tolerant of bullshit, meaning if it is impacting me personally, I just don’t take it anymore and will speak out, even if it is hard for me. I am still working on this one because the people pleaser in me is quite strong, but it is getting easier and easier to speak my truth and stand up for what I believe is right without worrying about what other people think. If I am not able to affect change, I will just remove myself from the situation (without attachment to needing to making things change). A good example is with our current divided social climate. If things come up and directly impact my life, I will deal with it, but I have stopped watching the news, debating with others about my perspective, etc. If I need to take action on something, I trust life will make it clear to me and I will feel called to take action and will do so at that time. Otherwise, I am happy to stay out of the muck since I don’t resonate with it at all. I prefer to live in vibrations of joy, peace and unity, despite what is going on in the external world. The song “Imagine” (by John Lennon) really resonates…
“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.”
- I feel more love for all people, regardless of who they are. I see them all as “children of God” so to speak, or a “spark of the Divine Creator.” No hierarchy. Of course this comes and goes depending on how “separate” I feel, but when I feel whole and connected, I see everyone as beautiful and loved, as one interesting part of the whole.
My First Toad Medicine Experience in Mexico in 2017
This is what I had written at that time about my very first experience in 2017. I realize how the experience in 2021 really was a continuation of the experience in 2017, yet deeper. I was still holding a lot of “other people’s stuff” and that purification continued. I know now the “belief” or contract to hold other people’s “stuff” is meant to be over because I have released the “identity” I had related to it. There is still stuff there, but there is a whole new awareness around it.
WRITING FROM MARCH 2017 (now in 2021 I may see some things differently, but this is to share how I felt after my first toad medicine experience):
For many years, I had been suffering from a deep unhappiness. My life was great…with a kind husband, great kids, successful work, but something was missing. In 2007, I started having digestive issues and it progressively got worse until I was finally diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2012. By this time, I had been in and out of appointments with the allopathic doctors and they told me, “there is no known cause or cure for colitis, so would you like to go on medication?” I did not want to go on medication. I also did not believe that there was “no cause or cure” for colitis. It just did not seem logical and it did not feel right. The desire to heal myself started as a physical healing journey and then soon became a spiritual journey. My hunger for knowledge and information was insatiable. I took courses, read books, signed up for tele-summits and I was learning a lot. Each teacher and class helped me discover something new, but the unhappiness was still there.
The year 2016 was a big year for me. I actually had times of feeling happy every once in a while. They were usually short-lived, but I started to feel that spark. This happened after many energy healing sessions, energy medicine sessions and much, much work on my part to recognize my unconsciousness. Now, I was able to see my patterns and unconsciousness, but I was not able to always control it or “respond” vs. “react” but the process had begun. I was still deeply unhappy and often lived life without any feeling because it felt so bad. It was better to just push it down then feel anything. It was like I was living life as a zombie, not feeling good, not feeling bad (or so I thought), just living with no feeling. That is not why we came to this Earth.
Through a winding series of events, in March of 2017 I ended up signing up for a spiritual healing retreat in Tulum, Mexico. I scheduled my life, kids, work, etc. so I could take 2.5 weeks off and just have some “me” time, which I had not had in 12 years. At the intake session at the retreat, I was asked what I wanted to get out of the retreat. All I wanted was to feel joy and happiness, to know who I was.
After the retreat I still had another 9 days in Tulum, Mexico (“me” time) to integrate all that happened on the retreat. During the retreat, I met Eric, who was a tour guide at the Tulum Mayan Ruins, but he was also a shaman who shared the toad medicine with people. I did not know much about the medicine at the time, but I was intrigued. It took me the whole week after the retreat to decide to partake in the toad medicine, which I did the last day I was in Mexico. I traveled with two other people (Martin and Kat) to where Eric lived.
Eric has built this amazing home and sacred outdoor space to conduct the ceremony. It was just three of us (Martin, Kat and I). I went first. Eric was loving, supportive and helpful. He ignites the medicine and then it is inhaled. It instantly goes through the brain barrier and you are instantly in the medicine. First, I felt I was the void, the pulsing energy of the universe. The nothingness, the everything-ness. Then I went all the way back to the beginning of time when man separated from God, when separation consciousness started and I came back through that time tunnel. I don’t know if I had agreed to it or it just happened that way, but I had carried the burdens and the heaviness of humanity’s pain for each lifetime. Each lifetime, it got heavier and denser and more painful. I was not only carrying my pain but the pain of humanity. I was told that I don’t need to do it anymore. It is over. It is done. I don’t need to feel any more pain or carry anyone else’s pain. I should enjoy my life, enjoy being incarnate and have fun. Don’t take things so seriously and just be me. I felt the spirits working on my body (Eric was working on my body, but I felt it to be spirits) to release from my cells the pain and the genealogical beliefs that I was carrying. As I started to come out of the trance, the first thing I said (per Martin) was, “Oh, what a relief”. It felt like total relief. My heart/chest area (heart chakra) really was hurting and tight so I was tapping, rubbing, shaking it to try to get that tightness cleared out. Also, the right side of my head really hurt. Eric said something cleared out of my brain. I don’t know if now the right brain is more activated or what really happened with my head. I worked on my body for a while, however, I did not feel complete. I did not feel that the pain had been cleared out of my body yet. I still felt it there. That was the end of my experience for that day. After I came out of it, I felt good and normal. Nothing like a hangover or feeling bad. Just normal, but knowing the desire to release the pain was not complete.
The effects of the toad continued. That night at about 2am, I felt myself in the void again. It was so familiar and I wanted to put a name on it, but it has no name. It has no label. I woke up early at 5am and since it was my last morning, I wanted to go and watch the sunrise. I was lying down on a beach lounge chair looking up at the stars, when my body started to do things on its own (I was not consciously doing it). I did the lion’s breath (like in yoga when you open your mouth and go aaahhhhh). Then I started with a forceful breath out from my belly. Lastly, I started convulsing and chanting like a medicine man/woman. What was interesting, is the day before (after Kat took the toad medicine), Kat was doing all those clearing things too. She did not convulse and chant, but she did the lion’s breath and the forceful belly breath. It is the body’s way of clearing what is no longer needed. I sat there and convulsed on the beach chair, chanting, for quite some time. At least it seemed like a long time to me. Finally it stopped. The incompletion of the clearing from the day before was now feeling more complete. I was so grateful, I just sat there and cried in gratitude to all.
That day waiting at the bus station, I could feel myself processing the people’s pain there, but I was not holding it in my body. I was processing it and transmuting it through my body, but not holding on to any of it. When I got on the bus, I had laughing attack. Everything is just so funny and we take ourselves way too seriously. This is all a big cosmic joke and we are being observed like a movie (by ourselves!).
So, coming home to Seattle was just fine. I am integrating well. I still have a lot of questions and some doubts and not always sure what to do, but I don’t have any fear. It is truly an amazing feeling. I am joyful, peaceful and content. I know there are big changes coming but it is all good.
Follow-up Written 4/16/17: Easter Sunday (about a month after the first toad medicine experience)
Today is Easter Sunday. I realized that the toad medicine is a GIFT. It is one of the most generous gifts we can be given, especially if we really surrender to the gift, to the knowledge and knowing of ourselves that comes with it, to the release of pain from our cellular body that it offers. At some level, even though we are unconscious of it here on Earth, we have agreed to do our part in transmuting the miscreated energies and in the end, we will succeed.
We each MUST transmute our own and humanity’s pain (which is all one in a collective sense) in order to clean-up the earth and make it a “Heaven on Earth”, a place of collective joy, cooperation, love and peace. If we choose to avoid the clean-up process, we carry our pain into the next dimension (the afterlife, whatever you want to call it….the place our souls go after we leave our earthly bodies).
We don’t feel the pain in the afterlife because it is a place of unconditional love, but it remains in our energy field (our multidimensional DNA) with the need to be cleared. To me, that is the cycle of karma, which I have never truly understood. We also carry genealogical pain (so not necessarily our personal creation) but we carry it and have the ability to clear it. This is a new way of thinking for me. Before, I believed that we had total choice whether to incarnate or not, which at some level we do in the afterlife, but we have guides that will encourage us to come back (sooner than later) to continue the clean-up process. For many eons, instead of the clean-up process, we were creating more density to clean-up. The exciting news is that now humanity IS doing the clean-up.
There is more light being created than density and the balance is shifting. It has been decided as a collective, that we will clean up the earth and it is happening, but it is not always going to feel good. In fact, sometimes it feels downright awful. What you see happening in the world right now does not feel good, but it is necessary to the clean-up process, so just focus on your part and the rest will fall into place. The crux of the message is if you surrender, even to what does not feel good, you are allowing Life to teach you, cleanse you and you come out the other side feeling more whole than you did before…and this is a necessary process. I feel that the toad medicine is a gift to us to help us speed up this “clean-up” process, but it does that only through our own surrender and acceptance and choice.