Nihue Rao ceremonial moloka—Photo by Tracey Eller

PLANT SPIRIT GRANT
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We are very excited about our 2017 Plant Spirit Grant finalists. Thank you very much for your tax-deductible DONATION. Interest is high, and we need your support now more than ever, please. Every dollar helps!

The Cosmic Sister® Plant Spirit Grant is a merit-based program that supports outstanding women from all walks of life and in different times of life to experience the healing and consciousness-expanding journey of ayahuasca ceremony in the Peruvian Amazon. Ayahuasca, a traditional psychedelic brew, is not only legal in Peru—it is designated as a “Cultural Patrimony” by the Peruvian government.

The Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant program was recently featured in Bust, Vice | Broadly, Psymposia, The Wisdom Daily, AlterNet, Boston Yoga, Boston Magazine, Utne Reader, MassRoots and Psychedelic Parenting.

Cosmic Sister's Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance initiative is an important companion project of the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. The program focuses on helping women educate the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and cannabis and the responsible use of sacred plants in transformational, consciousness-expanding mind/body/spirit work with sacred plants, such as ayahuasca.

Please follow us on Social Media for updates. In addition to the Plant Spirit Grants, we will also be announcing recipients of Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance and Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis educational initiative grants. This year these grants will support journalism, photojournalism, and on-location interpretation in the Peruvian Amazon. We are very excited about these projects. Please note, Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance and Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis are given throughout the year. Plant Spirit Grants are awarded once a year. 2017 Finalists have been selected and we have reached our max for this year.

Note: Photos shown in order of grants awarded.


Zoe Helene with and Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant recipient Susan Sheldon in a sustainable medicinal plant nursery at Temple of the Way of Light, an ayahuasca retreat in the Peruvian Amazon.

Rachael Carlevale, a yoga instructor and sex educator, was 25 years old when she was awarded the first Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. In this photo she bonds with a Shipibo visionary artist in Iquitos, a river city in the Peruvian Amazon and a gateway city for many of the most reputable ayahuasca retreats. After connecting with the ayahuasca plant spirit medicine, Rachael found that “everything ultimately comes down to self-love and purpose”.

Amy Love, an ecopreneur, was 33 years old when she was awarded the second Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. In this photo she stands in front of a hummingbird totem mural at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual after enjoying a pre-ceremonial “floral bath”. Amy discovered that “in the healing of our own individual wounds, through the web of our interconnectedness, we allow for others to heal theirs as well.”

Robyn Griggs Lawrence, a yoga instructor, writer and editor, was 49 years old when she was awarded the third Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. In this photo, Shipibo shaman Estella performs a mapacho “soplar,” a cleansing and protective smoking ceremony, in the malocca at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual (Estella is now the lead shaman at DreamGlade).

Susan Sheldon, a landscape architect, plantswoman, and dancer who practices Authentic Movement, was 63 years old when she was awarded the fourth Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. In this photo she holds up a baby mapacho, a sacred plant used in soplars, a cleansing and protective ceremony, in a sustainable nursery at Temple of the Way of Light, an ayahuasca retreat in the Peruvian Amazon. Susan felt that the medicine “re-opened the doors of perception” and transformed her ideas about beauty and landscape ecology.

Laura Miller, a soulful writer, yogi, lover of magic and myth, marine conservation advocate and adventurer, was 41 when she received the fifth Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. Laura took to ayahuasca like a river dolphin to water, and on her first night of ceremony discovered that “something magnificent is expressing itself” through all living beings. In this photo, Laura, a certified scuba diver, considers a mermaid painting by visionary artist and teacher Mauro Reategui Perez in the Nihue Rao Art Maloka. Laura's personal story, Me and Mama Ayahuasca, was published in Utne Reader and was sponsored by a Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance journalism grant.

Tracey Eller, a lifestyle and documentary photographer, foodie and lover of exotic travel, was 50 years old when she was awarded the sixth Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. A visual storyteller who describes her camera as “a gateway to understanding myself and the world,” Tracey was “in her element” while on photojournalism assignment with Utne Reader while on her ayahuasca adventure, a project sponsored by the Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance educational initiative. In My Element, a photo essay showcasing some of her many wonderful images, was published in Utne Reader and was sponsored by a Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance journalism grant.

Marina Goldman was 55 years old when she was awarded the seventh Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. Marina is a women’s health nurse practitioner specializing in addictions medicine. She also travels every year to Sierra Leone in West Africa, where she advocates against female genital mutilation as well as for the care of children orphaned by Ebola in the region. Though Marina deals well with the difficult issues she encounters daily in her work, she felt that ayahuasca could provide healing and spur her to the next level. “This is heavy work, and we’re only human,” she says. Marina just returned from her experience in the Amazon, where she had powerful visions and the recurring realization, “always go back to Nature for the answers.” Here she stands against an old growth tree at DreamGlade ayahuasca retreat in the Peruvian Amazon. Photo by Tracey Eller

Julia Moore, a Sustainable Food & Farming senior at the University of Massachusetts, was the 8th recipient of the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant and was 24 at the time. Julia worked during the summer growing ornamental flowers at a local organic farm to save money for her final semester and especially enjoyed the flower bath at the retreat. One of Julia's interests was in reclaiming her roots as a “Sister of the Earth.” She just returned from her beautiful and poetic healing journey in the Amazon and is taking some private space to process and integrate. Photo by Tracey Eller

Mary Averill, a Social Worker and Travel Photographer, was 56 when she was awarded a Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. Mary's life’s journey has been informed by her passion to comprehend the complexity of human nature. From the corners of the world to the streets of the inner city, she has explored the many faces of people, either through the lens of her camera or through the compassion of her heart. In addition to art making, Mary is a social worker who is “passionate about making the lives of others better.” Mary just returned from her ayahuasca experience in the Amazon and is planning to share her story. We are not surprised that she felt a strong connection with the medicine. Mary is taking some time to integrate but is planning to share her story. Photo by Tracey Eller

Asheville, North Carolina-based Sandra García (50), a Colombian-American Spanish translator, interpreter and visual artist, plans to interview native Shipibo women in the Amazon about gender equity, shamanism and their experiences as women in modern tribal culture. García’s life’s work is about “sharing the vision of oneness and the connection between all beings.” Garcia, who recently became a U.S. citizen, was also awarded a Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance grant to interpret for an article Helene is developing about how ayahuasca’s growing popularity affects female shamans and women of the indigenous Shipibo tribe and the connection between la medicina and their exotic kinetic textile art. Garcia will also support other writers on assignment.

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. “Writing and music are two are elemental parts of me, and communicating through them is what I do,” she said. Sakellaridis was also awarded a Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance grant to explore and write about her personal healing work around creative and emotional blockages to transform “healing into art.” (@fayesakell)


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. “The intersection of music and psychedelics has become the sweet spot in my professional coverage because it’s one of the places where all these things meet,” she said. “While in Peru, my intention is to use the space to explore new artistic and creative realms and work with whatever other scenarios present themselves.” Bain was also awarded a Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance journalism grant to develop an immersive travel article about her experience. (@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. Through ayahuasca, she intends to explore themes related to “Chemical Poetics,” a book she’s writing about the relationship between language and psychedelic experiences. Devenot was also awarded a Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance grant to explore and write about her research focus from a personal perspective. She hopes her work “contributes to broadening our cultural appreciation for non-ordinary states of consciousness to cultivate a more empathic and compassionate world.” (@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.” Holden was also awarded a Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance grant to write about her ayahuasca experiences for peers and colleagues in the integrated medical field and beyond.

GRANT RECIPIENTS 2017

2016 Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant recipients have recently returned home after their experience in the Amazon and will be writing about their adventures. Our finalists for 2017 Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grants are as wonderful as they always are, but we're still open to qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds, so please reach out. Additionally, several women have also been awarded supportive Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance Grants and Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis Grants to create quality materials that educate the public about the benefits of responsible use of psychedelics and cannabis. These educational grants continue throughout the year so if you are a writer or photographer or a creative professional, please reach out. Interest is high, and applicants are astounding. Please SUPPORT psychedelic feminism with your donations. Every dollar helps! And please FOLLOW us on Social Media for updates

ADVOCACY PROJECTS

Cosmic Sister has several plant spirit related advocacy projects in place, including:

Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant
The Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant merit-based financial grant for women to experience authentic, traditional sacred plant spirit ceremonies in safe, legal set and settings.

Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance
The Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance education initiative is an important companion project of the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. The program focuses on helping women educate the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and the responsible use of sacred plants in transformational, consciousness-expanding mind/body/spirit work with sacred plants, such as ayahuasca, cannabis, peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms.

Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis
The Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis educational initiative supports women (and occasionally men and transgenders) as they develop, place and publish high-quality educational materials about the benefits and risks of responsible cannabis use.

LEARN MORE

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant, specifically. Visit our About Cosmic Sister for more information about Cosmic Sister.

REACH OUT

If you are interested in the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant, please fill out the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant Contact Form.

KEEP IN TOUCH

The best way to keep in touch with Cosmic Sister and the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant is through Social Media. Also, the more people know about the program, the more funding will become available—so please spread the word.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Donations for Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis and the Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance education initiatives are tax-deductible in the U.S. through our fiscal sponsor, The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Thank you for your SUPPORT.