Oct 19, 2022
AMHERST, MASS. (PRWEB) OCTOBER 19, 2022
Even as we face severe challenges—climate change, species extinction, and the rise of misogyny, hate crimes, and theocracy here in the US and abroad—there’s also reason for hope. The global Indigenous cultural reclamation movement and the ascent of women thought leaders in the sacred psychoactive and psychedelic medicine scene—whose visibility has grown exponentially during the pandemic—are inspiring positive changes. Women of all ages and from a wide range of ancestry and cultural heritage are bringing their unique personal and professional perspectives and expertise to the sacred psychoactive and psychedelic medicine revolution and the Psychedelic Renaissance.
“Not long ago it was fairly typically to see two, maybe three female speakers out of twenty-five or thirty up on the mainstage at psychedelic conferences,” says Cosmic Sister (@CosmicSister) founder Zoe Helene, who coined the term Psychedelic Feminism. “Man after man after man took the microphone, seemingly oblivious of the lack of female representation, even though audiences were filled to the brim with phenomenal psychedelic feminists with unique knowledge and wisdom to share. Today—for the most part—we’re seeing a much healthier balance across the gender spectrum, but there’s still much work to do.”
Women have worked with sacred psychoactive and psychedelic medicines for millennia, serving as wisdom keepers, medicine cultivators, medicine makers, ritualists, ceremonial leaders, trip sitters, and integration counselors. Many ceremonies were and still are held in honor of Divine Feminine entities and archetypes.
“For as long as women have been oppressed, psychedelic feminists have sought healing, empowerment, and self-liberation, while fighting for essential rights and freedoms,” Helene says. “We are a force of nature.”
Cosmic Sister helps lift women’s voices through an interconnected series of merit-based advocacy projects including Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance (CS WPR) and Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis (CSC) and the immersive Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant (CS PSG), which is on hold because of the pandemic. The Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award (CS EVA) strengthens visibility of outstanding individuals, and the Cosmic Sister Special Talent Scholarship (CS STS) program supports women as they explore unique educational opportunities. The new Cosmic Sister Ancestor Medicine Award (CS AMA), which supports women who are exploring their genetic ancestral lines and reclaiming cultural pre-patriarchal heritage, was introduced in 2020 and will be a key focus in the New Year.
“This surge of talented female leadership in the movement is so abundant, we can’t possibly honor everyone,” says Helene. “Here are the kind, creative, courageous women that Cosmic Sister has had the privilege of supporting through our interconnected advocacy projects over the past two years.”
The following honors recognizing women who share a passion for human rights, non-human rights, and earth rights were awarded in 2021 and 2022. Most credit sacred psychoactive and psychedelic medicines for changing the course of their lives.Names are in alphabetical order, and advocacy projects are in chronological order (newest first).
COSMIC SISTER ANCESTOR AWARD RECIPIENTS
The following women received Cosmic Sister Ancestor Medicine Awards (CS AMA), a new grant that supports women who wish to explore and express cultural treasures (and traumas) from their genetic ancestral lines, with a focus on self-liberation, empowerment, and discovering and reclaiming herstory, with sacred psychoactive and psychedelic medicine allies.
Nephertiti Amen (@youaresacredhere), ritualist and curator, received a CS AMA to write, “Messenger Spirit: The Great Hare and the Trickster Rabbit.”
Celina Archambault (@plant_tigress), cannabis yoga and meditation facilitator, received a CS AMA a year after losing her mother to explore her pre-patriarchal matrilineal ancestry with sacred medicines and to write about the experience.
Julia Asadorian (@juliaroseeee), arborist and earth defender of Armenian descent, received a CS AMA to explore the ancient Tree of Life in her pre-patriarchal Armenian ancestry with sacred medicine allies and to write about the experience.
Elizabeth Bast (@enectarbast), integration coach and sacred medicine guide at SOULCENTRO (@soulcentro_retreats) iboga retreats, received a CS AMA to explore her pre-colonial Cherokee Blue Holly/Panther Clan matrilineal ancestry with sacred medicine allies and to write about the experience.
Nicoletta Darita de la Brown (@vida.magica.love), Panamanian-American Black Latinx interdisciplinary artist and chamána (shaman), wins CS AMA to explore her pre-colonial Panamanian-American Black Latinx ancestry with sacred medicine allies and to write WATER GARDEN, an illustrated guide to water inspired wellness rituals.
Raven Marie (@ravenmarie111), iboga facilitator, integration specialist, and Bwiti initiate, received a Cosmic Sister Ancestor Medicine Award to explore her pre-colonial Cherokee and Baliku African ancestry with sacred medicines and to write about the experience.
Deirdre Nehua, Māori activist, matakite (seer), and poet, received a CS AMA for a professional photoshoot in support of “Etched in My Heart / Nga Kupu I Mokohia I Taku Ngakau,” her upcoming book of poems in both Māori and English.
Hinauri Nehua-Jackson (@hinaurinehua), Māori/Korean activist-model, received a CS AMA to help cover the expenses of traveling to New York City to walk for Rise NYFW (@risenyfw) and for a studio photoshoot with Noella Steinhauer (@noellasteinhauer) and makeup artist Amanda Steinhauer (@forever_flawless_mu).
Sidney Nehua-Jackson (@sidneyahuaiti), Māori activist-model and earth defender, received a CS AMA to help cover the expenses of traveling to New York City to walk for Rise NYFW (@risenyfw) and for a studio photoshoot with Noella Steinhauer and makeup artist Amanda Steinhauer.
Mary Porter Eagle Has Landed (@portermaryteresa), founder of Looking Glass Peyote Church of Oregon, descendant of the descendant of the Nez Perce, Yakama, and Wasco tribes, received a CS AMA for a photoshoot with Holli Margell of Native Light Photography (@nativelightphoto).
Lisa Marie Persaud (@lmariepersaud), visionary artist, star gazer, and psychedelic therapist in training, received a CS AMA to explore her pre-colonial Tamil Nadu (Southern India) and Uttar Pradesh (Northern India) ancestry with sacred medicine allies and to write about the experience.
Shannon Smadella (@shannonsmadella), psychedelic hostess, ordained metaphysical minister, humanitarian, former Miss. Canada, and host of the Dialed In Podcast, received a CS AMA to explore her pre-patriarchal Ukrainian ancestry with sacred medicine allies and to write about the experience.
COSMIC SISTER WOMEN OF THE PSYCHEDELIC RENAISSANCE RECIPIENTS
Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance (CS WPR) awards bring women’s frontline work to the forefront of public conversation, supporting a vibrant, healthy gender balance in the exciting frontier field of sacred psychoactive and psychedelic medicines.
Crystal Dawn, MD (@drcrystaldawn), a family and functional/integrative medicine woman, herbalist, breathwork facilitator, and Sacred Space Holder, will present “Emerging Science: The Neurochemical and Physiological Effects of Psilocybin and Ayahuasca.”
Francine Douglas (@francinedouglas), a student in mental health and traditional medicine who supports First Nation communities through tamanhe impacts of colonialism, assimilation, and displacement, will present “Swoxwiyam and Sqwelqwel: The Power of Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Ceremonies for All.” She is Stó:lo from Sts’ailes Nation and Tsimshian from Metlakatla Nation.
Kelly Dunn (@dragonflyearthmedicine), a cannabis cultivator, community builder, educator, and co-founder of Dragon Earth Medicine, will present “Growing Cannabis the RIGHT Way,” with her husband and partner, Josh Sarvis.
Belinda Eriacho (@belindap.eriacho), a wisdom carrier and healer of Dine’ (Navajo) and A:shiwi (Pueblo of Zuni) Native American descent, founder of Kaalogii (kaalogii.com) transformation and wholeness through Hózhó, a Dine’ wellness way, will present “The Turning of the Soil in the Time of Re-Awakening.”
Ariana Fotinakis (@arianafotinakis), a trauma-informed somatic coach, breathwork facilitator, and shamanic practitioner of Anishinaabe (Aamjiwnnang) First Nations and Éllinas (Greek) descent, will present “Untangling from Colonization: An Indigenous Perspective on Restoring Our Relationship to the Land.”
Selma Holden, MD, an integrative family physician who offers legal psychedelic-assisted therapy at the Riverbird Clinic (riverbirdclinic.com), will present “Building Resilience: Medicine Practices for Navigating Climate Crisis.” Holden is a member of the Cosmic Sister Expert Advisory Circle.
樂凡 / Van Lefan (@van_lefan), a multidisciplinary artist, will perform “Songs of Soul and Spirit” as a solo artist and with Australian didjeridu (Yidaki) master Shine (edum.earth) as part of the cannabis ceremony.
April Liu, PhD (@aprilliu27), an author, cultural programmer, and media producer, will present “Dreaming a New Story for Collective Healing.” She is currently producing a movie about women in psychedelics with filmmaker Ana Carrizales (@anagowild).Theda Phoenix (@theda. phoenix), an intuitive singer, sound-bathing musician, and recording artist, will create meditative trance soundscapes throughout the weekend.
Laurel Anne Sugden (@mother.of.cactus), ethnobotanist and co-founder of Huachuma Collective, will present “Huachuma/San Pedro in the Wild: Building Sustainable Futures for Sacred Plants,” sharing the stage with her husband, huachumero Josip Orlovac.
Hanifa Nayo Washington (@thehandsofhanifa), a storyteller, sacred activist, and psychedelic wellness guide, co-founder of The Fireside Project (@firesideproject) and One Village Healing (@onevillagehealing), will present “Sacred Activism and Collective Liberation: A Story Sharing and Somatic Experience.”
SPECIAL COSMIC SISTER AWARDS
The following women received special Cosmic Sister Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance (CS WPR) and Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis (CSC) awards in support of their work in the world.
Nephertiti Amen (@youaresacredhere), a ritualist and curator, received a Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis award for a studio photoshoot with Tracey Eller (@traceyeller), and to write “Sacred Sanctuary.”
The Dank Duchess (@TheDankDuchess), a Panamanian-American hashish and psilocybin media personality, received a Cosmic Sister Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance award to write “Growing Cannabis: Submitting to the Wisdom of the Plant,” for How Psychedelics Can Help Save the World, a sacred medicine anthology edited by Stephen Gray (Inner Traditions, 2022), now available for pre-order.
Minelli Eustacio-Costa (@yogawithminelli), a cannabis yoga instructor, received a Cosmic Sister Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance award to write “Mama Ganja’s Role in World Building” in the anthology How Psychedelics Can Help Save the World.Taylor Hayes (@psy.nurse), a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, received a Cosmic Sister Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance award to write “One Big Mushroom.”
COSMIC SISTER EMERGING VOICES AWARD RECIPIENTS
The Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award (CS EVA) shines a light on outstanding individuals in the field to strengthen their visibility.
The following women received CS EVA in association with Spirit Plant Medicine Conference 2022.
Hadas Alterman (@HadasAlterman), founding partner at Plant Medicine Law Group (@plant_medicine_law_group), a boutique women-owned law firm focused on startups, psychedelics, the cannabis industry, women-owned business, and conscious capitalism
Aja Atwood (@trellatech), natural catastrophe risk engineer and co-founder and CEO of Trella Technologies, an agri-tech company that focuses on indoor farming and climate disaster risk engineering to create technologies that will revolutionize urban farming to protect plant medicine and food supply
Sara Barbosa (@saubarbosa), anthropologist, ethnopsychologist, holistic psychologist, and apprentice of midwifery and traditional Colombian Muysqua medicine tradition, cofounder Bachué Women Foundation (@mujeresbachue) and Huytaca Intercultural School (@escuela_huytaca)
Angela Nikita Cara, RCC (@angelanikitacara), psychotherapist offering psilocybin-assisted therapy, focusing-oriented therapy and dreamwork at Wise Body Counselling (wisebodycounselling.com) and host of the Earth Priestess podcast
Mel Cassidy (@radicalrelating), sex-positive nerd, cultural rebel, Queer, psychedelic-friendly polyamorous relationship coach and founder of Radical Relating and the Monogamy Detox (monogamydetox.com) course
Christine Jairamsingh (@christinejairamsingh), clean/green beauty professional and writer focused on non-oppressive beauty standards, social justice, herbalism, and healing
Kat Lakey (@psychedelic_assembly), multimedia artist, activist, dreamer, and founder and producer of The Psychedelic Assembly, an intimate leadership conference in NYC
G. Luca Oake, PhD, (Linkedin.com/in/heylucaoake), advocate for broad and sustainable access to psychedelics, facilitator, and coach with expertise in conscious development and entheogenic experiences to move beyond addiction, depression, complex PTSD, and transgenerational trauma
Maddalen Pasini (@yawntogether), psychedelic explorer and co-creator of YAWN, an educational platform working to de-stigmatize psilocybin and other sacred plant medicines who also works closely with psychedelic researcher Lindsay Mackay, MD (@DrLindsayMackay)
Amanda Siebert (@amanda_siebert), author and freelance multimedia journalist focusing on the intersections of culture, science, and health in cannabis and psychedelic spaces, with bylines in The New York Times, Forbes, Vice and more
Stephanie Wang (@stephaniewang5d), wellness entrepreneur, storyteller, host of the How Things Connect podcast, sacred psychoactive entrepreneur, founder and CEO of KA! Empathogenics (@ka.empathogenics)
Sarah Russo (@herbsforapocalypse), author of Herbs for the Apocalypse, a women-created plants-and-punk-rock graphic novel about plant medicine, empowerment, resistance, and art
The following women received CS EVAs in association with the Psilocybin Summit (@psilocybinsummit) 2021.
Lynsey Bourke (@psychedelicabortiondoula), international abortion doula and entheogenic practitioner
Uma Diaz (@uma_fem), Colombian maternal educator, doula, and midwife, with shamanic lineage and knowledge of Colombian Indigenous traditions
Buki Fadipe (@adventures.in.om), Psychedelic Practitioner in training, content creator, educator, and healing catalyst
Yaya Erin Rivera Merriman (@activeculturefamily), folk medicine practitioner, artist, and mother of primarily Taino and Irish descent who specializes in sacred plant medicines for reweaving wholeness
Miyabe Shields, PhD (@miyabephd), chief scientific officer for Real Isolates, LLC in Boston, investigating the chemodiversity and science of traditional medicines
COSMIC SISTER SPECIAL TALENT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
The following women received a merit-based Cosmic Sister Special Talent Scholarship (CS STS), which helps women explore educational opportunities in support of female voices in environmental and psychedelic feminism—and beyond.
Kleylli Vargas Urquia (@varukley), a Shipibo college forestry student, received an ongoing scholarship to cover tuition and related expenses at National Intercultural University of the Amazon (UNIA), where she is focusing on sustainability and the ayahuasca vine, a sacred psychedelic medicine of her people, who are Indigenous to the Peruvian Amazon.
Rusha Paenga (@rushapaenga), a Māori entrepreneur and creator of the Manafest Planner (@manafestplanner), received three consecutive scholarships to learn Te Reo Māori (Māori language) with Learn Māori Abroad (@learnmaoriabroad), founded by Amelia Butler, a Māori dancer and language revival educator. Māori are the Indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand).
The following women received scholarships to attend The River Course, which explores the art and science of ancestral spiritual healing techniques and their relevance to the expanding world of psychedelic-assisted therapies, taught by Dr. Joe Tafur (@joe_tafur) of Modern Spirit, who has been a key curandero for several Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant deep immersions in the Peruvian Amazon.
Nicoletta Darita de la Brown (@vida.magica.love), Panamanian-American Black Latinx interdisciplinary artist and chamána (shaman)
Chioma Nwosu (@chiomanwosu), Nigerian-born yoga and meditation facilitator and owner of the inclusive studio Radha Yoga LA (2radhayogala)
Lisa Marie Persaud (@lmariepersaud), artist, star glazer, and psychedelic psychotherapist in training
Hanifa Nayo Washington (@thehandsofhanifa), cultural activist, storyteller, psychedelic wellness guide, co-founder of One Village Healing (@onevillagehealing)
The following women were awarded scholarships to participate in a Grief Workshop Intensive hosted by April Clark (@aprilclarkyoga), a journalist, feminine rites of passage practitioner, and former managing editor of AlterNet’s Drugs section.
Alison Lieu (@alisoneatsworld), health and fitness professional, travel and food enthusiast
Queen Sheba (@learninghowtoblossom), performance artist, urban gardener, community builder
The following women were awarded scholarships to participate in San Francisco Psychedelic Society (@psychedelicsocietysf), The Microdosing Movement, a pioneer course organized by executive director Danielle Nova (@connectwithd), a previous Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance award recipient.
Julia Asadorian (@juliaroseeee), arborist, naturalist, and earth defender
Veronica Castillo (@v2_traveling_veg_canna_writer), traveling writer covering minorities in cannabis and psychedelics
Bianca Menezes (@biavixx), former lawyer, now Ayurveda practitioner in training
Julia Demillones Moore (@moonbeamsteams), pelvic steam practitioner and decolonization activist
INVEST IN WOMEN
Cosmic Sister awards and grants are made possible through individual donations, ranging from $5 to $5,000, from people who share Cosmic Sister’s vision. “Investing in women is investing in a real-world act of hope,” Helene says. “Lifting the voices of women makes the world a better place and profoundly moves the greater sacred medicine conversation forward. Study after study shows that when women thrive, they are very likely to pay it forward in meaningful ways. Witnessing this within the Cosmic Sisterhood is an honor and a privilege.”
ABOUT COSMIC SISTER
Cosmic Sister (cosmicsister.com) is an environmental feminist collective is an environmental feminist collective and creative studio founded in 2007 by Zoe Helene, originator of Psychedelic Feminism. Cosmic Sister champions women’s frontline voices, emphasizing our responsibility—as Earth’s apex predator—to rapidly evolve from a cultural and behavioral perspective. We advocate for the right to journey with sacred psychoactive and psychedelic plants and fungi as a way to jump-start rapid cultural evolution, starting with women’s healing, empowerment and self-liberation. Our interconnected advocacy initiatives bring women’s voices to the forefront in the field of psychedelics (and beyond). We have hope for the future.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Connect: @CosmicSister
The immersive Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant program is funded internally. Donations for Cosmic Sister’s sacred psychoactive and psychedelic educational advocacy projects are fully tax-deductible through Cosmic Sister’s fiscal sponsor, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). All donations go directly to educational advocacy. To donate, please visit Support Cosmic Sister.
ABOUT ZOE HELENE
Zoe Helene, M.F.A., advocates for women, wildlife and wilderness, and the right to journey with sacred psychoactive and psychedelic plants and fungi—our coevolutionary allies. She believes that a true balance of power across the gender spectrum—globally—is the only way humans (and non-humans) will survive. Zoe identifies as Indigenous in diaspora in honor of ancestors who developed sophisticated nature-based, female-led, entheogen-elevated mystery traditions dating to the Neolithic era.
ABOUT THE FEATURE PHOTO
Feature Image by Proud Panameña, Nicoletta Darita de la Brown (@vida.magica.love). Daughter of Damariz Zuelieka. Granddaughter of Cynthia Veronica.
“Plants are beautiful medicine. I practice ancestral wellness daily through ceremonies and rituals gifted from elders. I learned about healing and how to love in mi abuelita’s (my grandmother’s) kitchen.” – Nicoletta Darita de la Brown