Shipibo Shaman Estella—Photo by Tracey Eller for Cosmic Sister

COSMIC SISTER PLANT SPIRIT GRANT
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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.

If you are interested in the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant, please fill out the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant Contact Form, but please take a moment to read our FAQ page first.

Please follow us on Social Media for updates.

PLANT SPIRIT GRANT RECIPIENTS

These following recipients are listed in the order of grants awarded. For simpler views, please see LIST VIEW or ICON VIEW.


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.


Julia Asadorian (21) is an integrative health sciences major at the University of Vermont and a talented vocalist. She intends to address eating issues that began when she stopped singing. Julia says she wants to “fully and wholesomely accept and love myself in this vessel that I am currently in.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Kris Badertscher (48) is a multi-media project coordinator makes videos she describes as “therapy combined with outreach storytelling,” emotionally connecting people through telling and listening to stories. She is interested in telling the stories of women working in Massachusetts’s newly legal cannabis industry. She hopes her journeying will “guide me back to the smart, resourceful, happy human I know I am in order to use my talents to better effect.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance / Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis

Sarah Baldwin (33) is immersed in the world of medicinal plants, writing and teaching about the physical and spiritual benefits of herbal medicine. She considers plants her spiritual guides, teachers, and healers and seeks to share their loving wisdom with others. In the medicine space, she intends to ask for guidance that will allow her to more effectively help the world while nourishing herself. “I’ve always been hard-working, and I believe in my writing and teaching skills, so I feel as though the problem must stem from a deep energetic pattern such as a lack of confidence or a belief that I don’t deserve abundance,” she says. Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Dawn D. Davis (41), a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, was raised by her maternal grandparents in the Bannock Creek District of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Idaho and is working to build a thriving wild peyote population as well as a society that respects water. In the medicine space, she intends to ask the ayahuasca about her role with peyote and “what the meeting of these two sacred plant medicines on my life path have to say to me, as an Indigenous researcher—and woman.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Leia Friedman (29), an adjunct psychology professor, writer, spiritual emergence coach, and co-founder of Boston Entheogenic Network (BEN), is integrating non-ordinary states of consciousness with ecopsychology and ethnobotany and has found profound personal healing through her work with visionary plants, mind-body practices, and radical self-expression. In the medicine space, Leia intends intends to ask the ayahuasca to help her make sense of the visions she had during a recent iboga experience. “I have my scuba gear on, believe me,” she says. “I know what a dive it’s gonna be!” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Marie Frohlich (66), a certified holistic health coach and herbalist, teaches self-care and stress reduction and helps people connect with plants through herbal retreats and workshops. In the medicine space, she intends to clear her own personal stress, including ancestral stress inherited from the women in her family. “I am very open to self-discovery and understanding how being seen and not heard as a child has affected my self-confidence and finding my voice,” she says. Specifically, she hopes to clear “maladaptation to stress” and “ancestral stress many of the women in my family bequeathed me via their genes, which goes deep.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Sandra “Sandy” Griffin (60) is an artist, illustrator, and author who creates art “inspired by the joy and beauty and terror inherent in nature.” In the medicine space, she intends to find out how she can best use her creative gifts and what wisdom she can impart to her grandchildren (and other children in this world) during increasingly challenging times. “I feel like there is a stream of knowledge much greater and deeper than my limited brain – and that the wise and ancient One who is the Source of that stream knows the answers I seek far better than I know the questions I need to ask!” she says. Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Crystal Hamby (45), an herbalist and educator, is deeply passionate about expanding her relationship with her plant allies and is currently writing an herbal medicine-making book. In the medicine space, she hopes to recognize patterns related to her fibromyalgia and wounds related to an abusive childhood, sexual assault, and the loss of her sister to a violent crime. “I have been feeling called to ayahuasca to help me shed the pain and release the trauma so I can move forward in my life physically and emotionally pain-free,” Crystal says. Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Caitlin Moakley (28) is the lead buyer and manager of the Body Care department at a legendary natural products store in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She believes her life’s mission is to eliminate toxic chemicals from personal care products. In the medicine space, Caitlin hopes to “break down the personal walls that stop me from getting to the next level in my career.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance / Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis

Dawn Musil (25) is entering graduate school in Ethnobotany at the University of Kent in fall 2018. In the medicine space, she intends to deepen her bond with nature and address wounds from growing up in an oppressive cult group, including a close friend’s suicide. She says nature “is what we all have in common as humans in this world, regardless of religion, belief, or background.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Chioma Nwosu (39), a Nigerian-born, Detroit-raised massage therapist, yoga instructor, preventative health enthusiast and certified pharmacy technician based in Los Angeles, is cultivating routes to mindfulness with connection to breath, self-mastery, proper body alignment and connection to the Divine. In the medicine space, she intends to seek more holistic ways to help people with anxiety and depression “connect with their fractured selves and head toward wholeness” and hopes to heal from her mother’s death when she was 21. “Without my mother’s unconditional love and support, I feel lost and uncertain of my direction,” she says. “Because of this, I’m not living up to my potential.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance / Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis (@chiomanwosu)

Sabrina Pilet-Jones (30) is a community artist and certified doula who specializes in helping women with postpartum depression and birth trauma. She’s passionate about urban gardening, herbs, natural healing, and helping her community. In the medicine space, she intends to work on transmuting some of the pain and obstacles she’s faced into healing. “I can’t save the world, I know, BUT if I can help some people in my community, I have done something.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance / Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis

Hayley Prescott (24) has a Bachelor of Science in Herbal Sciences from Bastyr University and believes her life’s work is to be a healer, bridging the medicine gap between indigenous people and the Western world. In the medicine space, she intends to address depression and self-mutilation stemming from childhood trauma and a sexual assault. “I’m tired of over-analyzing and criticizing,” Hayley says. “I want to learn how to let go and trust my intuition.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance

Elisabeth Sheldon (30) is working as a carpenter for a garden and landscape company in Brooklyn while she explores her career options. In the medicine space, she intends to “reconnect to the source, the divine feminine, and to my most authentic self” and address her fear of the future. “The suffering of others and the destruction of the Earth weighs heavily on my spirit and fills me with fear for the future. I want to confront that fear and transform it into strength and inspiration.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance / Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis

Estefani Vidal (37) the group interpreter for the 2018 Cosmic Sister expedition to the Peruvian Amazon, is experiencing spiritual awakening and hopes to reconnect with her ancestors in the medicine space. She also looks forward to working with indigenous guides who “learn from source, which is nature.” Estefani believes that that nature is the great teacher, and seeks to “empower others to turn to nature for healing and restoration.” Grants: Plant Spirit Grant / Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance / Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis (@v.i.d.a.l.e)

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 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.