Zoe Helene—Photo by Tracey Eller

Zoe Helene

“Females have been oppressed by an extreme power imbalance for millennia, and this imbalance has warped and continues to warp the way we are evolving as a species.” – Zoe Helene

Zoe Helene is an artist, environmentalist, and cultural activist best known for women's empowerment and sacred psychedelic plants and fungi such as cannabis, ayahuasca, peyote, iboga, Wachuma (San Pedro), and psilocybin mushrooms—our co-evolutionary allies—and for Psychedelic Feminism, a concept she originated and popularized in support of women in psychedelics.

Zoe's personal work with psychedelic medicines from the earth continues to deepen her determination to help protect Earth's diverse biological abundance. She believes that creating a true balance of power across the gender spectrum—globally—is the only way humans (and non-humans) will survive, and that it is our moral responsibility, as Earth’s apex predators, to protect and defend the rights of non-humans to live freely in thriving, uncompromised wilderness sanctuaries.

Zoe founded Cosmic Sister, an environmental feminist collective and creative studio for people who understand that the current, grossly imbalanced “power-over” patriarchal model will continue to lead humans down a devolutionary path that will eventually end in the destruction of life on Earth as we know it. Cosmic Sister’s psychedelic feminism educational advocacy projects promote sacred plant spirit medicines as a way to “jump-start rapid cultural evolution,” starting with female empowerment and representation.

Zoe has presented talks and workshops at The Emerald Cup, Social Club TV, Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Canada (MAPS Canada), World Psychedelic Day, Psyched, New England Women’s Herbal Conference, Women Empowered in Cannabis Leadership Summit (keynote), Psilocybin Summit, Bastyr University, Naropa University, University College London, and University of British Columbia.

Zoe's writing has been published in LA Yoga, Boston Yoga, Organic Spa Magazine, Huffington Post, Utne Reader, Coco Eco, Reset.Me, Conscious Living, EcoSalon, Nailed, Civilized, Reality Sandwich, Organic Authority, the Endangered Species Coalition and more.

Zoe contributed “Psychedelic Feminism—When My Heart Hurts,” to the upcoming Inner Traditions anthology, How Psychedelics Can Help Save the Worldt, edited by Stephen Gray. She is proud to have sponsored contributors The Dank Duchess and Minelli Eustacio-Costa, through Cosmic Sister. Zoe also appears in the ayahuasca section of Psyched: Seven Cutting-Edge Psychedelics Changing the World, by Amanda Siebert, with Greystone Books. She is proud to have connected Ms. Siebert with Mary Porter (peyote) and Raven Marie (iboga) who were also interviewed. Both books are available for preorder now.

Zoe has been featured in a wide variety of top tier media outlets, including Forbes, BBC, BUST, Magazine, ABC Australia, New Zealand Radio, VICE, LA Yoga, LA Weekly, Playboy, Outside Magazine, Fast Company, New York Magazine, Boston Magazine, Boston Globe, Vice | Broadly, Vice | Tonic, Sensi Magazine (cover story), Ganjapreneur, DAZED, DoubleBlind Magazine, Psychedelic Times, Psychedelic Review, Psymposia, The Journal for the Study of Radicalism, MIT Technology Review, Utne Reader, Wisdom Daily, AlterNet, Newsday, MassRoots, Organic Authority, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, The Valley Advocate and more.

Zoe enjoys conversations with thought-leaders in popular psychedelic and cannabis podcasts such as The Flying Sage, Professionally Psychedelics, Women Leading in Cannabis, Thinking Outside the Bud, Psychedelics Today, Psychedelic Salon, Psychedelic Spotlight, Shakti Stories, The Third Wave, In A Perfect World, Adventures Through the Mind, Pathways, Medicine Path, Utne Reader’s Abstract Notions, and Susun Weed's People Making Change.

Ancestor Medicine

Zoe is a spiritual agnostic with a passion for Ancestor Medicine and archetypal psychology as the Language of Psyche. She is of Indigenous Éllinas (Greek) Karyátes, Hebrew (Sephardi—Jews of Color—and Askenazi) and Celtic (Scottish | Wallace Clan) ancestry—proud tribal peoples in diaspora, who survived genocide, persecution, oppression. Her medicine work includes exploring ancestral trauma and loss of cultural identity through dominator religions and xenophobia-driven assimilation.

For at least 7000 years, Zoe’s matrilineal Indigenous Éllinas (Greek) ancestors developed rich, nature-based spiritual traditions that included women-led sacred medicine ceremonies and a universal language that is profoundly relevant to the psychedelic experience today. The temple of Artemis Karyatis, goddess of the moon and the wilderness of the the psyche, shape-shifter, protector of wild flora and fauna, lays in her homeland on Mount Parnassus. An ancient path leads down the mountain to the sacred Corycian Cave, home of the Muses, where prophetic ceremonies for Gaia were held as far back as the Neolithic age, then on to Apollo’s oracle at Delphi.

Medicine Hunter

Zoe has traveled with her husband, ethnobotanist Chris Kilham, founder of Medicine Hunter, on plant medicine expeditions promoting environmental protection, Indigenous rights, and sustainable medicinal plant trade. She has joined him in South Africa, Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, Hawaii, Jamaica, Vanuatu, Aotearoa (New Zealand), the San Blas Islands of Panama, and the Amazon and Peruvian Andes—many times.

Zoe and Chris share sacred plant spirit medicine ayahuasca ceremonies with Indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon. The Amazonian Shipibo tribe, with whom Zoe participates in ayahuasca ceremonies, bestowed upon her the name Kata (Little Bear) for her fierce, nurturing nature.

As "Co-Pilot," Zoe supports Medicine Hunter by working with media professionals and has worked with NBC Nightly News, CNN Health, Business Insider, The Dr. Oz Show, Outside Magazine and many others. She appeared with Chris on NBC Nightly News and in The New York Times. Chris's books, The Lotus and The Bud, The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook, and The Five Tibetans (Second Edition) are dedicated to Zoe.

Early Career

Zoe began her career in the performing arts. She is a classically trained artist with a higher degree from Brandeis University and performing and design credits from professional independent theaters and improv comedy venues. Mentorships with legendary costume designer Patricia Zipprodt, archetypal theologist Dr, Richard A. Underwood, and master animator John Ewing, whose credits include Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians, helped shape Zoe creatively.

In the pre-dot com era Zoe (1994 to 1996) was the artistic director in a pioneering creative agency that produced one of the first comprehensive online communities and the first online presences for more than 5,000 artists and 500 art organizations, including The Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, Musician Magazine, Dance Magazine, Cambridge Multicultural Arts, World Music, Very Special Arts, and many more. She played a key role in developing the world's first fully functioning portal process for virtual global creative production, directing a cosmopolitan team of engineers and animators, “drawing inspiration from the arts as well as from artificial intelligence,” Fast Company reported at the time.

As chief creative officer (1996 to 2002) she developed award-winning projects for blue-chip clients such as American Express, Allstate, the U.S. Senate, IBM, Nike, Calvin Klein, Sprint, Hershey's, Proctor & Gamble, Ralston-Purina and Unilever. During this time, she worked on the industry’s first holistic, scalable enterprise software solution for handling high-powered digital dialogue campaigns. Her work was featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company, LA Times, The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, and the MIT Technology Review.

During this period, Zoe presented keynotes and workshops to top-tier corporate executives and worked passionately from within the high corporate world to secure support for organizations such as Guggenheim Museum, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, World Music, Defenders of Wildlife, Very Special Arts and Read Across America. “Zoe Helene’s success with corporate work, she says, gives her leverage to work also on such causes for which she feels so much passion,” Newsday reported.

Following her heart, Zoe transitioned from working with mainstream Americana brands to supporting purposed-driven brands that cared about humanitarian and environmental causes. As an independent creative (2002 - 2007) she provided integrated communications and digital content development for companies in the natural products sector and conventional companies seeking to embrace sustainable business practices. She met her husband, Chris Kilham, at a Natural Products Expo East tradeshow, eloped with him two years later and landed in Unceded Nonotuck and Pocumtuck land in Western, Massachusetts.

Education

Zoe Helene is an award-winning creative professional with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting with a minor in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Fine Arts in Professional Theatre from Brandeis University.