Isadore Akudo by Monique Cooper (@Moniquecooperphotography) for Cosmic Sister

Goodbye Kisses
Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance
with Isadore Akudo

Isadore Akudo was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised by her Nigerian immigrant mother, a survivor of the Biafra war and genocide. She is a member of the Igbo tribe.

Depression was a lifelong struggle for Isadore, who was sexually abused as a child. After over a decade of therapy and antidepressants, she was at her lowest point in 2014 and weighed close to 300 pounds. Worried that she was close to attempting suicide for the third time, she went to the Amazon to drink ayahuasca, despite never having worked with psychedelics.

Five years after first drinking ayahuasca, depression has not come back into Isadore’s life. She easily lost more than half her body weight through diet and exercise, and she credits ayahuasca with having saved her life. She became an ayahuasca facilitator, hoping to help others receive extraordinary healing from plant medicines.

After facilitating ayahuasca for years in the Amazon, Isadore began to work with iboga. Her experiences with iboga proved to be the most empowering of her life, and she felt an even deeper connection working with an African plant. She now facilitates iboga, as well as ayahuasca.

Outside of being a medicine woman, Isadore’s main passions are Black feminism, animal rights, and environmentalism. She has been a vegan for over twenty years and sees veganism as one of the main ways to reverse and halt the destruction of our planet. She has degrees in anthropology and psychology from the University of Southern California.

Isadore was awarded a Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance Grant to write the forthcoming story “Goodbye Kisses.” The grant also included a photoshoot by Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance recipient Monique Cooper.

Excerpt from “Goodbye Kisses”

I’ve worked with iboga numerous times. I’ve completed Bwiti initiation. And yet I’ve never felt anything like what happened to me that night. For a moment, I wondered if my brain was melting. It felt as if the top half of my brain had been obliterated by a blast of green light. I felt it physically. It physically felt as if two pounds of weight had been removed from my skull.

As I lay there with my mouth open in panic, wondering if I was having a brain aneurism, a voice roared through my head. The loudest, deepest, most inhuman sound I had ever heard. I understood for perhaps the first time, just how high a frequency the spirit of iboga is and why people say this plant is a masculine presence. Ayahuasca and I talk all the time. When I have visions or clairaudient episodes with spirits, it’s always a feminine energy. This was my first time truly connecting with the divine masculine. I was shocked to feel what I can only call righteous anger as that inhuman voice ripped through my brain as I lay there thinking about Gerald.


November 2019