Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award recipient Alice Fortes by Camilla Coutinho (@camillacoutinhosilva)

Psychedelic Feminism Champions Cultural Evolution in the Age of Extinction

Cosmic Sister Sponsors Female Thought Leaders and Emerging Voices Speaking Out for People, Plants, and the Planet

AMHERST, Mass.—October, 2019—This November, the environmental feminist group Cosmic Sister is sponsoring female thought leaders and emerging voices to represent the medicine at Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, November 1 – 3 on the University of British Columbia's Vancouver campus, located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Cosmic Sister’s Psychedelic Feminism champions women’s empowerment and frontline voices, emphasizing our responsibility—as Earth’s apex predator—to evolve ethically and our natural right to journey with sacred plant (and fungi) such as ayahuasca, cannabis, peyote, iboga and psilocybin mushrooms as a way to jump-start rapid cultural evolution, starting with women.

“Our species is responsible for this age of extinction. A true balance of power across the gender spectrum—globally—is the only way humans (and non-humans) will survive,” said Cosmic Sister founder Zoe Helene, who coined the term Psychedelic Feminism, which she describes as “a realistic, practical, yet hopeful approach to a much-needed shift of global consciousness.”

Cosmic Sister offers an interconnected quartet of merit-based Psychedelic Feminism educational advocacy grants—Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance, Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis and the original, immersive Plant Spirit Grant—to support women’s voices in psychedelics (and cannabis) culture. The new Emerging Voices Award, launched last month in partnership with the Sleeping Octopus Assembly on Psychedelics (SOAP) in Pittsburgh, PA, helps individuals who demonstrate potential in the field of psychedelics strengthen their visibility in the community. Cosmic Sister will also partner with other reputable events and the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference for this award.

Recipients from Canada and the United States share a passion for human and non-human rights and environmental protection and credit psychedelics for changing the course of their lives for the better. Inspired and action-oriented, they remain hopeful amidst the chaos of challenging times. “National borders and territorial boundaries have nothing to do with the natural world,” says Helene.

Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance Grants

The following women received Cosmic Sister Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance grants to speak at Spirit Plant Medicine Conference.

Yoga instructor, cannabis and hemp activist and cultivator Rachael Carlevale (@Ganjasana) will present “Integration: Building Bridges to Cannabis Spirit with Nature as Our Ally;” Indigenous activist and cannabis ambassador Antoinette Cruz (@dabzilla_antoinette) will present “Decolonization of A Nation: Spirit, Plant Medicine From An Indigenous Perspective;” hashish consultant, educator, writer and media personality The Dank Duchess (@TheDankDuchess) will present “Getting Lit: Spiritual Ascension through Collective Ecstasy;” and master herbalist, psychedelic elder, author and educator Brigitte Mars (@brigitte.mars) will present “Just Say How? Preparation for an Epic Psychedelic Experience.”

Zoe Helene, an artist, environmentalist and cultural activist, will present “Psychedelic Feminism—It’s Not All About Us (Humans).” She will not be live-streamed or recorded. “I want to share with those who are present,” she says, “as we would in a sacred space such as a temeno, tipi or maloca. The magic is in the living moment.”

Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award

The new Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award (CS EVA) acknowledges women who work tirelessly in supportive, behind-the-scenes roles, as well as talented newcomers who shine in spotlight positions. “These are women to watch,” Helene says.

In partnership with Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, the following women received a Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award, which includes a complimentary ticket to attend SPMC, on-campus accommodations (for recipients traveling from the United States) and an invitation to participate in an intimate, multi-cultural, women-only pre-conference gathering on October 31. “In many ancient spiritual traditions, this is a sacred night when the veil between the worlds is lifted and ancestors feel more present, a night to celebrate the death of the old, clearing space for rebirth,” Helene explains. “The timing feels perfectly apropos.”

Recipients include interdisciplinary artist and storyteller Tonye Aganaba (@tonyeaganaba); community organizer, cannabis yogi and facilitator Celina Archambault (@plant_tigress); social worker and community organizer Anne-Marie Armour; hemp advocate and cannabis entrepreneur Laura Beohner (@TheHealingRose); community diviner and Renaissance woman Mia Cara Cosco (@miacosco); Brazilian photographer, environmentalist and ayahuasca researcher Alice Fortes (@alicecfortes); psychiatric nurse and martial artist Taylor Hayes (@psy.nurse); plant food alchemist and chef and yoga instructor Sarinda Hoilett (@Sarinah); strategist, communicator, connector and social alchemist Andrea Langlois (@andreamlanglois); ethical personal care and natural products independent consultant Caitlin Moakley (@soilandspirit); scientist and pollinator advocate Dawn Musil (@dawn_musil); urban gardener and community artist Sabrina Pilet-Jones (@sabrinas_garden); PhD student, shamanism researcher, and plant-lover Laurel Sugden (@laurel.sugden); performing artist and adventurer Vanessa Lefan Yuen (@van_lefan) aka Lefan (樂凡).

For full biographies and photos, please visit Psychedelic Feminism Grant Recipients.

Women of Color in Psychedelics

Women of color’s voices are greatly underrepresented in the psychedelic plant community, despite their demonstrated talent for, connection to, and keen interest in these profound medicines. Cosmic Sister is proud to sponsor the panel discussion “Rising Voices: Women of Color in the Sacred Plant Community,” on the main stage. Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance grant recipient and main stage speaker The Dank Duchess will moderate the panel, which includes Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices recipients Tonye Aganaba, Sarinda Hoilett, Sabrina Pilet-Jones and Vanessa Yuen.

Milestone Year

All speaking grants were covered by donations. Cosmic Sister depends on community support, mostly from individuals. Last month, Women’s Sacred Medicine Alliance, a new group of Canadian psychedelic feminists, hosted the Psychedelic Symposium & Cosmic Sister Fundraiser in Vancouver, BC, featuring local medicine women and a silent auction that included several cruelty-free feather smudge fans by local artist Mari Hashimoto of Trillium Healing Path.

Several sizable donations were made by men. Cosmic Sister’s psychedelic feminism educational advocacy projects are supported in part by influential males in the field, including mycologist and medical researcher Paul Stamets; executive director of Divination Foundation Paulo Obrien, ethnobotanist and medicine hunter Chris Kilham; Spirit Plant Medicine Conference co-organizer Stephen Gray; founder and executive director of Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Rick Doblin, Cosmic Sister’s educational advocacy fiscal sponsor; and executive director of MAPS Canada Mark Haden.

“We love and appreciate our male allies,” Helene says, “These men understand that we’re in relationship with each other on the same vulnerable planet and that action is character.”

“We are riding the wave of a revolution in consciousness, a quantum leap in intelligence,” says mycologist and medical researcher Paul Stamets, “If we can harness and use these substances responsibly, we won't fail to create the paradigm shift so critical for our collective survival. Women's voices are fundamental to the conversation.”

Kilham, Helene’s husband and partner and founder of Medicine Hunter, a primary Cosmic Sister sponsor, agrees. “These women are not the voices of tomorrow,” he says, “They are the voices of today.”

“As the temple of wisdom is being re-opened,” says Gray, “this emergence is essential for the rebalancing of the feminine and masculine principles and the healing of the Earth and all her inhabitants.”

“We all need to be on the psychedelic healing bus for this movement to be in balance,” says Haden. “No one gets left behind in our collective quest to heal and to offer healing to individuals, couples, communities and our planet as a whole. Equal representation and cooperation at all levels of the psychedelic renaissance is a must.”

These educational grants would not be possible without community support. Cosmic Sister deeply appreciates tax-deductible donations by way of its fiscal sponsorship with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). All contributions made through this form will be allocated to Cosmic Sister’s educational advocacy initiatives, minus modest administrative processing fees.

Further Information

About The Lead Image

In the Nova Esperança (“New Hope”) village in the Gregório River Indigenous Territory of the Brazilian Amazon, an indigenous Yawanawá woman applies protective jenipapo butterfly markings, using juice from the jenipapo fruit, on Alice Fortes in preparation for medicine work with uni, the Yawanawá name for ayahuasca, in the deep rainforest.

Alice Fortes, a recipient of Cosmic Sister’s Emerging Voices Award, is an environmentalist, photographer, ayahuasca researcher and graduate student studying under the mentorship of anthropologist Wade Davis at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She was nominated by her classmate Laurel Sugden, also a Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award recipient.

Photo by Camilla Coutinho (@camillacoutinhosilva).

About Cosmic Sister

Cosmic Sister (@CosmicSister) is an environmental feminist collective that connects kindred-spirit trailblazing women who understand that true balance of power across the gender spectrum—globally—as the only way humans (and non-humans) will survive. Cosmic Sister’s psychedelic feminism educational advocacy initiatives promote safe, legal, intentional journeying with sacred plants and fungi as a way for women to explore the wilderness within, where they can discover fresh, liberating perspectives on core women’s rights issues. Contact: Connect: @CosmicSister

Cosmic Sister’s immersive Plant Spirit Grant program is funded internally. Cosmic Sister’s Emerging Voices Educational Award program is funded in part by participating partners such as the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference.

Donations for Cosmic Sister’s educational advocacy initiatives are fully tax-deductible through Cosmic Sister’s fiscal sponsor, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). All donations go directly to educational advocacy and are greatly appreciated. To donate, please visit Support Cosmic Sister.

About Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. For more information, please contact Brad Burge, director of communications and marketing, Connect: @MAPSnews

About Spirit Plant Medicine Conference

The intention of Spirit Plant Medicine Conference is to offer accurate, respectful, and most of all beneficial information and inspiration on the use of and larger context around sacred healing plants. Now in its 9th year, the mission of the SPMC is to help guide this work forward by bringing a world-class international group of leading visionary voices to Vancouver.

About Medicine Hunter

Founded by medicine hunter, author, and educator Chris Kilham, the three-fold purpose of Medicine Hunter is to promote natural, plant-based medicines, to protect the natural environment, and to support indigenous cultures. Connect: @MedicineHunter

List of Women of The Psychedelic Renaissance Grant Recipients

The Dank Duchess

Rachael Carlevale

Antoinette Cruz

Brigitte Mars

Zoe Helene

List of Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award Recipients

Tonye Aganaba

Celina Archambault

Anne-Marie Armour

Laura Beohner

Mia Cara Cosco

Alice Fortes

Taylor Hayes

Sarinda Hoilett

Caitlin Moakley

Andrea Langlois

Dawn Musil

Sabrina Pilet-Jones

Laurel Sugden

Vanessa Lefan Yuen

November 2019