In a world that’s bursting at the seams with natural psychedelics, 5-MeO-DMT is king. This potent mixture of molecules packs such a profound punch on human consciousness that it’s in a class of its own. Boasting the O-demethylated metabolite bufotenin, 5-MeO-DMT is five times stronger than its already outrageously strong cousin DMT. This delightfully terrifying potency can suck the soul completely out if the body and shoot it up into the heavens within seconds.
Ironically, thanks to its relative obscurity 5-MeO-DMT was legal in America up until 2011. While humans have ingested small amounts of 5-MeO-DMT for centuries, it wasn’t synthesized until 1936. In 1959, it was further isolated from the psychoactive ingredients found in the Anadenanthera peregrine seeds. From there it was occasionally smoked in the 1970’s and enjoyed a renaissance in 2000. Now thousands of people from all over the world participate in ceremonies revolving around this peculiarly strong set of hallucinogenic molecules.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, 5-MeO-DMT is illegal in most countries and exploding in popularity. Even though this tryptamine psychedelic is found in multiple plants, its highest concentrations are in the Bufo Alvarius Toad. Hailing from the Sonoran Desert, this interesting amphibian hibernates underground nine months out of the year. When they hear the first drops of rain, the toads come to the surface to mate. Here they are snatched up by watchful collectors who milk their glands for the coveted psychedelic venom. Once the glands are squeezed, the secretion is caught on a piece of glass and dried.
Even though the extraction of the venom is harmless, the Bufo Alvarius Toad is under threat. Now that more cars are driving through the desert, these toads are getting ran over at an alarming rate. This is due to the fact that they freeze up when blinded by headlights. Fortunately, there are enough people interested in preserving these divine toads that they have a fighting chance. According to a medical article published in 1965, Bufo Alvarius toad venum contains up to 15% 5-MeO-DMT. This high ratio makes this species crucial to experiencing 5-MeO-DMT in its natural form.
Out of all the people harnessing the power of 5-MeO-DMT, none are more notorious than Dr. Octavio Rettig Hinojosa. After working with the Seri tribe in Sonora for twenty years, Octavio pioneered the healing effects of this potent hallucinogen. In the Sonora desert methamphetamine use is high, so he started using 5-MeO-DMT to free the natives from their addictions. These ceremonies are referred to as “OTAC”, which is the Seri Comcáac word for toad. Inspired by the transformations that this intense hallucinogen was able to achieve, Rettig continued exploring its possibilities.
By incorporating ancient chants and natural DMT-containing yopo snuff, Octavio created a completely unique experience. His OTAC ceremonies provide a profound burst of empowerment that has the potential to cure drug addiction. On top of writing The Toad of Dawn, 5-MeO-DMT and The Rise of Cosmic Consciousness, Octavio tours the world conducting OTAC ceremonies. He has been featured in Vice’s short documentary “El Profeta Del Sapo”, which gave him even more notoriety.
This seemed like too tantalizing of a story for El Gringo Famoso to miss, which is why we made it happen. Through careful planning, we flew out and participated in an OTAC ceremony hosted by Octavio’s circle in Mendoza, Argentina. Saying it was completely mind-blowing would be an epic understatement, since it managed to exceed our already high expectations. Fortunately, we managed to take notes after coming back to our senses. The highlights are listed in this article, so prepare to get an intimate look at the other side of reality!
Our OTAC Ceremony In Mendoza
While getting a hold of the organizers was easy, reaching the actual site of the ceremony was easier said than done. This ranch was nestled out in the middle of the desert about an hour outside Mendoza. Fortunately, the group was extremely united and we coordinated who would drive people out to the spot. After meeting up with my driver and co-participant, we collected one more passenger and headed out to the desert.
As the sandy scenery flew past, we all got to know each other. Even though the mood was giddy, we all shared an intense sense of eagerness and dread for what was to come. After crossing an abandoned bridge, we wound throughout the hills until we reached the ranch. This house overlooked a lake with turquoise waters, which created a truly breathtaking setting. Faced with this gorgeous oasis, we all hopped out of the car.
A small crowd of people were gathered around a circle in the sand that was marked with logs. Curious to see what was going on, we walked over. When we reached the circle, Octavio was playfully shouting at a nearly incapacitated volunteer. When the participant refused to get up and do pushups, Octavio had a woman do pushups while he called him a “pinche cabrón que esta mamando mucho con brazitos de pollo”. When the man temporarily lost consciousness, Octavio lightly tased him in the ass to wake him up.
While this was a shocking introduction, it was only the beginning of Octavio’s antics. From burlando viejitos to giving fitness advice, gems were dropped all day to his nearly unconscious followers. One by one, everyone entered the circle and gave a brief rundown of their life to Octavio. Once he knew why they were taking the mixture, he prepared their dose with glee. This comprised of taking a dash of the scaly toad venom and putting it into a glass pipe normally used for smoking methamphetamine.
From there the participant was told to breath deeply a few times while Octavio heated up the pipe with a small torch. Once the pipe was overflowing with smoke, the participant was told to inhale deeply multiple times. Once the smoke had filled their lungs, Octavio emphatically told them to hold it in as long as possible. As soon as the billowing cloud of smoke was exhaled, the participant’s consciousness was propelled into another dimension.
As Octavio finished the smoke in the pipe and started chanting wildly, each participant went into the unknown. Oddly enough, everyone reacted differently to being completely dissociated from their body. While some people took the medicine serenely, others got completely naked and screamed. It was amazing to see such a diverse group of people from all over Argentina let out their inner demons. As some people screamed in anger, others experienced levels of pleasure that appeared to be orgasmic.
Once the medicine had ran its course, Octavio coaxed people back into their bodies by blowing yopo into their nose. This potent mixture of tobacco and DMT rich Anadenanthrina peregrine was the grand finale of the inter-dimensional trip. As the participant tried to cough up the snuff, Octavio would drench their faces with ice cold water. This was done with unmatched glee as Rettig hurled out a playful combination of constructive criticism and life advice.
This hop scotch of the souls was done one by one, so by the time it was my turn I was mildly terrified. I had just seen things that bordered on exorcisms come from normal looking people. Being a complete savage, I had no idea how I would react. When Octavio called me up, I was filled with mixed emotions. Wondering if I was going to be tased, I walked up and answered Octavios questions as he sat back in a chair under an umbrella.
“Has tomado plantas medicinales?” He asked me.
“Claro, San Pedro y Ayahausca.” I replied.
“Que bien! Cuantas veces has tomado ayahuasca?” He asked me with a sly smile.
“No se, me imagino mas que diez veces.” I said.
“Has probado hongitos?” He asked.
“Claro! Varias veces!” I replied enthusiastically.
“Has usado MDMA, LSD or DMT antes?” He asked.
“Si, los tres varias veces!” I replied.
“Has probado el sapito?” He asked me.
“No, por eso he venido aqui!” I replied enthusiastically.
“Te vas a divertirse!” Octavio happily announced as he giggled slightly and lit a joint.
“Okey, has usado cocaina o otros chemicos?” He asked.
“Antes si, pero ahora estoy con pura hierba.” I replied.
“Chévere hermano!” Octavio said emphatically as he shook my hand.
Picking up a glass pipe, he filled it with the toad medicine. Peering into the container, I was saw that the venom looked slightly yellow and flaky like the scales of a reptile. Noticing my curiosity, Octavio smiled and continued preparing my dose. Once the bowl was loaded, Octavio instructed me to face the sun with my arms open. After I was in the position, he told me to start breathing heavily through my nose and out my mouth. Once I had a rhythm going, he put the pipe to my lips while lighting it with the torch.
“Breathe slowly, respira!” He said as my lungs slowly started to fill with smoke.
“Inhale more, inhale deeper!” Octavio egged me on.
This process filled my lungs to the brink with 5-MeO-DMT smoke. As soon as I closed my eyes, my entire reality dissolved. Gorgeous Aztec symbols and geoglyphs consumed my vision until everything went black. Where my mind went, I know not. All I know is nothing existed, not even time. When I came to, I felt like I fell from the sky and was slammed onto the ground. Unable to take in this sudden rebirth, I aimlessly started moving sand around with my hands.
Seeing that I had come to, a middle-aged Argentinean woman walked over and gave me a paper towel. I tried to thank her, but I was so discombobulated that I couldn’t speak. While this gift seemed simple, it was a life saver. This innocent piece of paper allowed me to blow copious amounts of yopo snuff from my nose.
Despite being back in my body, I was far from sober. Everything felt foreign and it seemed like I was still getting used to my body. The ground warped and pulsed while I was flooded with a few last Aztec symbols. At that moment, I was hit with a sudden realization. The medicine told me that I had two choices; be weak minded or be strong and face destiny. I had never given up before, so the choice was made for me. At that moment, I decided to give up any lingering doubts or fears and be the strongest version of myself.
After accepting this responsibility, I was flooded with thoughts of my family. I was overcome with love for them and realized that they had helped save my life. At that moment, I vowed to be a better husband and father. It was an incredible epiphany, since I simultaneously felt bad about my past and incredibly optimistic about the future.
At that moment, I decided to pursue being a better family man instead of my other lustful fantasies. I realized that being a dad was the most beautiful blessing that had happened in my life. This realization was made after I had crawled out of the circle. By now other people were writhing around while screaming, so all I wanted was a break from the madness. When Octavio saw me in-between administering doses, he asked how I was. I gave him a thumbs up and said it was super fuerte.
“No hay mas fuerte que eso!” He agreed happily as he went back to playfully teasing and harassing the participants.
After watching dozens of people try the sapito, I got the urge to try it again. This was possibly going to be my only chance to access this hypnotic substance, so I vowed to make it count. Not knowing what to expect, I asked one of the people to film me while I left my body. After handing over my cellphone, I walked into the circle to face destiny once again.
The second time I smoked el sapito, I was walked through the same breathing ritual. This time I could barely contain all the smoke, but I held it in for as long as possible. As Octavio circled behind me, my vision was filled with dots that dissolved into nothing. This was followed by the familiar black space where nothing existed. When I came to, I was on the floor and reeling back into reality.
While the effects wore off a lot quicker the second time, they were equally enchanting. I was still intoxicated for at least ten minutes after waking up, which filled me with bursts of pleasure and introspection. As my mind slowly acclimated to its new restrictions, I laid back and enjoyed the journey. At that moment I was so euphoric that I just wanted to stretch out on my back and stare up at the sky. Other exorcisms were happening in the circle, so I got out while I could.
After sitting on a log for twenty minutes, I was finally back from the dead. By this time it was getting dark, so we decided to head back to Mendoza. While part of me wanted to smoke a third time, my driver wasn’t about to wait. This forced me to leave, but it was undoubtedly for the best.
While I felt like I was completely back in my body, there were a few unwanted symptoms when I tried to sleep. For the first few nights, every time I slipped into deep sleep I was filled with an overwhelming sense of terror. A sensation similar to the sapito made me feel like I was being sucked out of my body. Fortunately, the feeling only lasted a few seconds and eventually faded away after a few days.
While it was a terrifying reminder of how fragile our sense of reality is, it was still rewarding. After trying el sapito, I had a newfound appreciation for sobriety. There’s something about completely disconnecting from yourself and the world as we know it that makes normal life extremely precious. Even though I wouldn’t recommend 5-MeO-DMT for everyone, it’s an amazing display of the untamed fury of nature. The shift in consciousness that this medicine and other hallucinogens bring will undoubtedly change humanity. It’s not for the light of heart, so only participate if you want to lose faith in your grip on reality.
Out of the entire experience, meeting and seeing Octavio in action was the highlight. From making old people do pushups to unapologetically drenching people with water, Octavio acted like a devious prophet from hell. He constantly made everyone laugh with his antics, and he showed no mercy to those who were weak. Using stern but firm applications of yopo and yelling about doing exercise, he pelted everyone with surprisingly accurate life advice.
Despite being brash, Octavio was instantly loved by everyone in the group. It’s no surprise that he has a cult like following, since he’s entertaining enough to star in multiple Netflix shows. In many ways, Octavio is the embodiment of the unfiltered spirit of the Bufo Alvarious toad. While this concoction will undoubtedly scare the shit out of you, it will also bless you with a way to change your life. OTAC ceremonies highlight the fact that our knowledge is as limited as our time on this earth. There’s no excuse to waste this blessing, so andale cabrón, toma la pinche medicina sin mamadas!