Earthlings

Welcome

Hello fellow earthlings (beings home to planet Earth), we are two down-to-earth beings who feel called to serve as ground control for fellow humans who are interested in journeying with 5-MeO-DMT. We facilitate the powerful, legal psychedelic in and near Vancouver, British Columbia with an approach that is gradual, supportive, and based on informed consent. We welcome you to explore our website and feel free to reach out to us.

About Us

Sagan Climbing

Sagan Bolliger

I grew up close to nature on a farm in Nova Scotia. My early memories are filled with rich solitude sitting by the river in the forest or under the willow tree by the pond. Since my early teens I have been drawn to existential questions of life and death and to the path of introspection. In my 20s I did a bachelor’s in psychology and philosophy and a master’s in artificial intelligence at the University of Toronto. After studying the mind objectively for a number of years, I felt called to return my focus to the inner realm of being wherein rests the soul. Having stepped into the role of facilitating the inner work of others as a profession, I feel as though I am stepping in through the door of the house of my belonging.

I share my life with my partner, Helena, and together we have created a life filled with joy, love, and balance through our work, both inner and outer, and our shared love of nature, adventure, and freedom.

"Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes."

Helena Climbing

Helena Zhu

I spent my childhood between a quaint university campus, where my grandfather was a professor, and a rural home in the mountains in Sichuan, China. I have since spent a lot of my life on beautiful university campuses and in the mountains, both as a rock climber and a skier.

In my work and studies, I enjoy understanding the world we live in and how we got here. I started my career as a journalist for four years, which enriched and expanded my understanding of diverse human experiences, perspectives, and choices. When I got to the University of British Columbia for my bachelor’s and master’s, I chose to study a variety of disciplines in social sciences and humanities to understand history, communism, religion, and wealth and poverty. I then continued that inquiry to one of the most mysterious countries in the world, North Korea. I worked on a project on North Korea for three years, which allowed direct access to understand the country and its people. I believe in curiosity and all of us having direct access to knowledge that we seek. I am grateful for psychedelics for their ability to connect each of us to our own truths and perspectives that seem both so close to our hearts, yet so expansive. I feel really fortunate to get to share a psychedelic very close to my heart with others, so that they get to experience for themselves the miracle of a human meeting a toad.

"The real work you have to do is in the privacy of your own heart."

Training
  • Toad School with Trina Nguyen and Lucy Everylove (for 5-MeO-DMT facilitation)
  • Phoenix Academy Psychedelic Therapy training with Bradley Foster, Linda Nicholls, and Liz Razanson
  • Vancouver Crisis Centre (for comfort with crisis intervention and suicide prevention)
  • Internal Family Systems The I in the Storm workshop with Dick Schwartz at Esalen Institute
  • Radiant Heart singing retreat and song circle with Julie Blue (Helena)
  • Numa Somatics Breathwork Immersion with Trevor Yelich
Our cat Kafka

Kafka

I am a gentle, soft tabby cat of a ripe age with wise whiskers. I weave in and out of facilitation, offering grounding company, playful headbutts, and distinctive purrs when they are needed the most.

"He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn’t yet lived."

The Toad

Our Services

We offer private facilitation of 5-MeO-DMT for one or two journeyers per session in and near Vancouver, B.C. Our offering consists of four sessions, including an initial consultation to discuss fit and suitability of the medicine; an in-person preparation session, where we dive deep into exploring intention and give you tools that can help you navigate the medicine space; the journey day, during which we go through our three-dose protocol with preparation and integration in between doses; and an integration session in the week following your journey. In addition to the four sessions, we also offer at-home exercises and resources to assist with your preparation and integration, and referrals to complementary practitioners to assist the integration of your experience when appropriate.

Click the "read more" links after each heading below to learn more about our process.

Consultation (1 hour) [read more +]

Preparation Session (~2-3 hours) [read more +]

Journey Day (~4-6 hours) [read more +]

Integration Session (1 hour) [read more +]

Considering working with us?

We would love to meet you, hear your story, answer your questions, and see whether we and our work might be a good fit for you. Send us an email and we'll send you our booking link and intake questionnare for you to get started on. We look forward to connecting.

Financial exchange We ask for a financial exchange for our work on a sliding scale from $800 to $1,600 per journeyer. We offer our sliding scale with the intention to make this powerful healing work available to as many people as possible with different financial situations. After your consultation, if we all feel it is right to proceed, we ask for a deposit of $300, with the remainder due after your journey. In considering how much you would like to contribute, we invite you to choose an amount that feels right given your own financial situation and the impact this work has had on your life. Whatever amount you choose on our sliding scale, we accept your contribution with gratitude for helping to support our livelihood, our ability to continue doing this work sustainably, and our ongoing training and learning.

Our Facilitation Spaces

We offer private facilitation in two beautiful spaces. Our city space in Chinatown in the heart of Vancouver offers convenience and the comfort of being close to home (for most journeyers). Our island house, a short ferry ride from the city, offers an oasis of nature and tranquility. With beach, forest, and a cedar sauna, the setting gives space for quiet reflection and reconnection with ourselves. Come either as a day trip from Vancouver or spend the night after your journey for $200 or $300, depending on the room.

Our Chinatown, Vancouver space

The island house

Upcoming Retreats

Please check back soon for upcoming retreats.

“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles.”

Testimonials

“As an experienced guide myself, my bar is high for facilitated experiences. Helena and Sagan surpassed my expectations, holding space in a smooth, loving, and knowledgeable way.”

“Helena and Sagan are two beautiful souls, I'm so grateful to had the chance to meet them and have them facilitate my 5-MeO-DMT experience. They've been extremely knowledgeable, open and welcoming during all phases and the whole process felt so smooth and natural. I feel they greatly enhanced my journey and significantly helped with grounding and integration, forever thankful.”

“Helena and Sagan are empathetic, kind, compassionate, and knowledgeable. They are non-judgemental listeners, and held a free flowing space with peace and love. I was supported and safe during all aspects of the journey and would highly recommend a ceremony with them.”

“I had an amazing journey with Helena and Sagan. They made me feel absolutely comfortable during the session and prepared my mind for the breathtaking journey. The feedback and counselling they also provided were top-notch and greatly helped my integration.”

“Sagan and Helena are skilled therapists, even without the 5-MEO. They are always learning and improving their process. I was really happy how they helped me prepare for the session and guide me through it. Their gentle, supportive natures helped me relax, surrender and share my most personal feelings. There were some challenging parts of my experience and their support and experience helped get me through. I released some bad feelings that I didn't know I was holding inside and I had quite a positive change in my life. This experience changed how I view the world and life and is the most powerful therapy I know of. The experience was too big to fit in my human brain but bits and pieces of it stick with me. I will go to Helena and Sagan without hesitation when I'm ready for another guided journey.”

“I feel really honoured to have been able to journey with you both! You are both such lovely open people and that really helped make the experience just what I needed. I didn't feel rushed or anything which really helped give me space to process, the meal at the end was so nice and I felt that everything was really planned out in a thoughtful way. Also the option of 'going back' to one of the doses was helpful to know so the journey really felt complete.”

Standing Toad

About the Medicine

5-MeO-DMT is a powerful, legal cousin of what is commonly known as DMT (more precisely N,N-DMT), both of which can be found in the Amazonian brew ayahuasca. As its nickname “the toad” suggests, 5-MeO-DMT is extracted from the venom of the Incilius (formerly Bufo) alverius toad, also known as the Sonoran Desert toad and Colorado River toad. They spend most of their lives hibernating in underground burrows, only coming out to feed and mate at night in the summer rainy season. We use synthetic, or what we call vegan 5-MeO-DMT, for the purity of the substance and to not harvest venom from the toads, which leaves them without defence. We have found no conclusive historical evidence for the indigenous use of these toads for their psychoactive properties prior to the 20th century, though 5-MeO-DMT is also found in low concentrations in a variety of plants, which indigenous peoples of South America have used for thousands of years.

5-MeO-DMT is likely produced endogenously in humans, as it has been detected in blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid. Humans have reported 5-MeO-DMT-like experiences in darkness retreats and in near death experiences. In our work with 5-MeO-DMT both as facilitators and journeyers, we have encountered profound themes of life, such as love and death. When a human surrenders to life, they also surrender to death, and what takes up the space that the journeyer surrenders is immense light and unconditional love. Not everybody has this experience on 5-MeO-DMT, but we trust that everybody gets the experience that serves them and their intention for the journey.

"When you move beyond consciousness, you caress the beloved. When you move into the unknown, beyond everything, the beloved caresses you."

The healing work can also manifest in the body, with sensations of the medicine pushing through blockages within the body. Journeyers can feel more flow and lightness in their bodies, including expansiveness and freshness in their breathing. When in a safe enough space, it can also facilitate healing from trauma, namely re-opening a traumatic experience, but giving space for what is needed for wholeness, be it understanding it, recontextualizing it, or rewriting it. The medicine also has the potential to facilitate spiritual awakenings, whatever spirituality could mean for an individual.

Unlike many other psychedelics, the 5-MeO-DMT experience is relatively brief, lasting under 30 minutes. For many people, the short duration of the experience provides a sense of comfort in knowing that whatever happens, they will be back in the physical world soon enough. This in turn can lead to a greater feeling of trust in the medicine, which allows the journeyer to delve deeper into the experience.

Have a look at our 5-MeO-DMT resources page for some of our favorite books, articles, films, podcasts, and scientific studies about the medicine.

Our Approach

We provide a grounding and loving presence to hold space for the journeyer’s inward exploration. We work with the journeyer to provide a supportive, safe, and comfortable space for them, so that they can sink in deeper and explore further. We are sensitive to and attuned to the needs of the journeyer throughout the experience. We use a variety of tools to enhance and flow the experience, including but not limited to sound (recorded music, singing bowls, drumming, singing), affirmations, breathing, therapeutic touch, grounding exercises, movement, poetry, and homemade herbal tea. We draw from person-centred and Internal Family Systems approaches to psychotherapy in some of our preparation and integration.

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."

The short duration of the 5-MeO-DMT experience, lasting under 30 minutes, allows us space for three doses per journeyer within one session. We start with a very light dose, known as the handshake, to allow the journeyer a gentle introduction to the medicine space. For most people, this dose is mainly experienced in the body and is non-psychoactive. If the journeyer is comfortable with the experience and wishes to proceed, we then offer several increasing dosages, each of which have a characteristic quality. This multiple dosing approach allows the journeyer to develop comfort with the 5 (short for 5-MeO-DMT) and gradually deepen the experience within the session. We also see the multiple dosing approach as a method to maintain active informed consent, since at any point if the journeyer feels that their experience is complete, we can close the session.

Moon

Community

Our integration circle space

We create a safe and inspiring space for our journeyers, friends, psychedelic enthusiasts, and ourselves to come together to share our own experiences with 5-MeO-DMT and other psychedelics. We have found the power and magic of resonating with another human being on our psychedelic and lived experiences and the fun of discussing our respective understandings of our experiences. In our circle, we believe in respect and confidentiality. Everybody can make their own decision on whether to share, how much to share, and whether to be witnessed or receive reflections and feedback from the group. We ask that everybody take their own experiences and stories with them, but leave others’ experiences and stories for others to share themselves. We generally open our home for another hour after the circle for optional informal exchanges over tea and snacks. Our circles meet in Vancouver’s Chinatown on or near full moons and function on participant-generated circle agreements and donations.

Next circle: Wednesday, December 7th @ 6:30pm

Community and accountability are important values for us in this work. We create a space to come together with fellow psychedelic facilitators to discuss what has been working for each of us, what we are exploring, ethics, self-care, and any cases that we would like to touch base on. We organize these circles once a month on or near the new moon, a time for reflection. We start with a formal circle for the first two hours, followed by an hour of informal social. The circle functions on participant-generated agreements and donations.

Next circle: TBD

On a magical island some salt water away from Vancouver in spring 2022, we organized a Toad School, a foundational training for 5-MeO-DMT facilitation. We gathered four other 5 facilitators with diverse background and training and together created a holistic experience for learning, exploration, and growth. We included a ceremony roleplay, a facilitation practice with a mini dose, yoga, ocean plunge, healthy home-cooked meals, and training on integration, ethics, and trauma-informed care between crashing waves in the ocean and whistling needles of the forest. Together with 10 participants, we created a new community of toadies.

Read a trip report by one of the participants.

Eagle flying

Our Mission and Values

Mission

To create space for the human capability and capacity to heal, transform, and grow.

Values

Integrity We approach our life and work from a place of integrity, which to us means being true to ourselves and our values.
Autonomy and respect We respect ourselves and our own autonomy in deciding for ourselves what is right for us and respect the same in others and trust that everyone has the discernment to decide what is best for them.
Love We strive to approach everyone and everything from a place of love.
Balance and sustainability We strive for balance in our lives and sustainability in our work.
Confidentiality and privacy We believe where everybody is at, their history, and their growth are their own business. We take our journeyers’ trust seriously and keep their identities and stories in confidence.


Sun

Contact Us

Hello fellow earthlings, we would love to hear from you. We can be reached at [email protected]. If you want to support our work, we accept contributions by e-transfer to the same email address or by crypto (please contact us for our crypto addresses).


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Vancouver, BC, Canada