Marina Goldman in motocar. Photo by Tracey Eller / Cosmic Sister

Marina Goldman
Plant Spirit Grant 2015
Cosmic Sister
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Nurse Practitioner, Human Rights Activist, Mother
Year born: 1960 (55 in ceremony)

Marina is a women’s health nurse practitioner specializing in addictions medicine. She travels every year to Sierra Leone in West Africa, where she co-founded the Katanya Women’s Development Association (KaWDA), an organization that has been advocating against female genital mutilation since 2008. KaWDA recently raised $50,000 to take 100 children who have been orphaned by Ebola into the school in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and is working to build a well and a bakery at the orphanage and school. Marina, who lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two adult sons, works in Western, MA as a Nurse Practitioner in a suboxone clinic for opiate addiction. She has worked in Sierra Leone with ISHI Global: International Surgical Health Initiative, SEED, NarSarah Clinic, and Foundation for West Africa and IBIS Global Education for Development. Motived by her desire to create social change and gender equality, both globally and locally, Marina is also an actor, writer, educator and film producer. She is the narration voice of Martha Sharp in the Ken Burns documentary Righteous Among Us: Two Who Defied the Nazis and received the first Righteous Among Us Award from The Joukowsky Family Foundation. Though she deals well with the difficult issues she encounters daily in her work, Marina believes that participating in ayahuasca ceremony could provide healing and spur her to the next level. “This is heavy work, and we’re only human,” she says. “Ebola has really sort of stretched and fractured the normal tribal and community and societal bond ... and people are afraid, and there’s this stigma attached to taking on these Ebola orphans.”

Marina just returned from her experience in the Amazon, where she had many powerful visions including one where a group of ancestral women healers gathered in a circle and silently communicated their extraordinary and heroic healing stories, which they were deeply humble about. She also had a recurring realization, “Always go back to Nature,” for the answers.

THE SPIRIT OF HEALING

Marina Goldman (55) is a women’s health nurse practitioner specializing in opiate addictions who advocates against female genital mutilation and for the care of children orphaned by Ebola in Sierra Leone. Marina asked the ayahuasca to provide inspiration and clarity. “I had lists of intentions,” she says, “mostly about how I continue to walk in this world as a humanitarian in a time of global crisis.”

During one of Marina’s visions, roots grew up through the maloka floor, tenderly wrapped around her legs and cradled her uterus with tendrils while wood fairies brought her cloaks of fur, feathers and stone. During another, Marina was seated in a circle of woman healers, a “sea change of feminine energy,” and felt healing DNA—passed on by ancestors—in her bones. As the ancestors sat around a fire sharing stories, Marina understood that “it’s an ego-trip to feel you can save the world. I just need to do my part.”

Marina’s message: “Be still, be quiet, always return to nature for the answers.”


Marina Goldman working in Sierra Leone

Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant 2015
Ayahuasca Retreat: Nihue Rao / DreamGlade

November 2015