Shipibo Maestro Estella Pangosa Sinacay at DreamGlade, Peruvian Amazon. Photo by Tracey Eller / Cosmic Sister

Cosmic Sister’s Psychedelic Feminism at Psychedelic Science 2017
Psychedelic Science 2017 | Psymposia
with Leia Friedman
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Please join four recipients of Cosmic Sister’s 2016 Plant Spirit Grant, a merit-based scholarship that helps outstanding women travel to the Peruvian Amazon to participate in authentic, traditional ayahuasca ceremonies with leading indigenous Shipibo shamans. All four women also received companion Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance grants for journalism and are developing articles about their Plant Spirit Grant experience. The women recently returned from their ayahuasca adventure and will share stories on the Psymposia Stage at MAPS’ Psychedelic Science 2017 in Oakland, California, SUNDAY April 23rd at 4:00pm.

The panelists are Washington State-based psychedelic scholar and teacher Nese Devenot, PhD, an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Puget Sound; Maine-based family physician Selma Holden, M.D., who recently finished Harvard Medical School’s Integrative Medicine post-doctoral research fellowship; and Los Angeles-based journalist Katie Bain, who covers the intersection of music, psychedelics, culture and travel (her passions) for Billboard, L.A. Weekly, Beatport News and more; and New York City-based musician and writer Faye Sakellaridis, managing editor of The Alchemists Kitchen and Reality Sandwich. They traveledwith Cosmic Sister founder Zoe Helene and her husband, Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham, to participate in ceremonies at DreamGlade, a lakeside retreat outside the Amazonian river town of Iquitos, followed by a visit to Ayahuasca Foundation’s education center. Ayahuasca, a traditional plant-based psychedelic brew, is legal in Peru and designated as a “cultural patrimony” by the Peruvian government.

Psychology professor and psychedelic-friendly therapist Leia Friedman will lead the panel discussion. Friedman has just returned from Costa Rica’s Envision festival, where she volunteered with the Zendo Project, a harm-reduction initiative that offers people help to transform difficult experiences while in a non-ordinary state of consciousness.

Cosmic Sister promotes natural psychedelics such as ayahuasca as evolutionary allies and educates about responsible psychedelic journeying from a women’s empowerment perspective. Psychedelic Feminism—a sub-genre of feminism that embraces the inspirational power of psychedelic healing, transformation and mind/body/spirit exploration into altered states of consciousness—encourages women to explore the wilderness within, where they can learn more deeply about themselves, in part to face core feminist issues in fresh and exciting ways.

Helene developed several interconnected merit-based grants to bring more women’s voices to the forefront in the field of psychedelics. Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis and Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance support female thought leaders in educating the public about the benefits and risks of natural psychedelics as well as responsible journeying with sacred plants (and fungi) such as ayahuasca, peyote and cannabis. Powerful stories about women’s frontline work in this arena promotes a healthy gender balance in this exciting frontier field.

These projects would not be possible without community support. Cosmic Sister deeply appreciates donations via our fiscal sponsorship with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Your donation to Cosmic Sister, through MAPS, is fully tax-deductible in the U.S. as allowed by law. If you like what we’re up to, please contribute. Thank you.

Join Cosmic Sister on social media for updates (@CosmicSister)


Los Angeles-based journalist Katie Bain (33), born and raised in Wisconsin, writes about electronic music, culture and travel (her passions) for Billboard, L.A. Weekly, The Rattling Wall, Beatport News and more. (@bainofyrexstnce)

Tacoma, Washington-based psychedelic scholar and teacher Nese Devenot, PhD (29) is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Puget Sound. One of her key interests is “going outside the purely therapeutic program” to allow everyone—not just people who have suffered trauma or psychological issues—to see their lives from a different perspective. (@NeseLSD)

Freeport, Maine-based family physician Selma Holden, M.D. (40), recently finished Harvard Medical School’s Integrative Medicine post-doctoral research fellowship. She believes “more in skills than pills” for helping people heal, and weaves mindfulness, yoga, herbs and other complementary techniques into her clinical repertoire. A mother, she’s particularly interested in maternal wellness. Through ayahuasca, she said, she is looking for “connection with truth, re-engagement with energy and motivation, and a clearer vision to do what’s needed for the world—doing the best I can with the privileges I’ve been given.”

New York City-based musician and writer Faye Sakellaridis (27) is managing editor of The Alchemists Kitchen and Reality Sandwich, where she enjoys the “rich spectrum of intellectual essays on consciousness through a diverse lens of art, culture, and science.” She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens College, but as a classically trained improvisational pianist, she identifies first and foremost as a musician. (@fayesakell)


Psymposia Stage

Welcome to the Psymposia Stage, a cornerstone of the Marketplace at Psychedelic Science 2017. We’ll feature storytellers, authors, artists, panels, and discussions about psychedelic science, medicine, spirituality, and culture. We'll include elders, indigenous voices, and a place to explore beyond the science. We’ll also have many slots reserved for "open mic" storytelling, so if you have a psychoactive tale you want to share with the world, come tell it here—you never know whose life you might change by sharing your story. Please join us to listen, share, and meet the others. The Psymposia Stage is located in the Marketplace in the West Hall (Oakland Convention Center), immediately adjacent to the Oakland Marriott City Center. The Marketplace is free and open to the public.


Poster Sessions

Nese Devenot's presentation, The Role of Experimental Language in Psychedelics, and Selma Holden's, The Association of Psychedelic Use and Opioid Use Severity Among Illicit Users in the United States. For more information, visit Poster Sessions. Poster Sessions are a great way to meet the experts and learn more about their latest psychedelic discoveries and passions.

April 2017