We had the pleasure of working with Taís as a model in a recent photoshoot in Oaxaca, Mexico. Taís is a facilitator of the medicinal use of bufo alvarius known commonly as “toad,” which contains psychoactive compounds that induce a short and very intense psychedelic experience. We were curious to learn more about this practice, which has significance in both ancient and modern culture.
Iconographic and mythological representations of toads have been found in the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures, dating from 2000 BCE. Aztec sculptures and representations place great emphasis on the parotid glands of the toads, which is where the psychoactive substances are located. These depictions indicate the importance of the use of this medicine in Aztec culture.
In today’s use, some believe that “toad” has potential to treat the mental illnesses that plague the modern human. In a recent European study, after one single use, the substance 5-MeO-DMT was shown to produce sustained enhancement of satisfaction with life, and easing of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In her words …
My name is Taís, I am 40 years old and I live in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico.
My life’s work is dedicated to providing a medicine / molecule (5-MeO-DMT) that comes from the venom of a toad endemic to the Sonoran desert in Northern Mexico as well as Arizona. I spent years learning this work as an assistant to a well-known facilitator in Mexico City, and later began my solo journey in Oaxaca. I love this work because it allows me to develop aspects of myself that are important to me, and especially because it allows me to put into practice my empathy with other people.
I started practicing yoga for the first time in my life when the pandemic started. For me, yoga is first a form of meditation and then a way to stay in shape second. I love using the Ritual Rug for my practice, both for its functionality - it’s so practical and light - and also for its beauty. It hangs up in my study when I’m not using it.
I consider life to be a ceremony, and ritual is how you honor that.
You can learn more about Taís and follow her journey on Instagram: @taiskuri.