Eden Woodruff models a mint-condition ‘60s-era psychedelic flower-power mini dress by Roos/Atkins

Thrifting for Psychedelics: An Interview with Psanctum Thrift Curator Eden Woodruff
An Interview with Psanctum Thrift Curator Eden Woodruff
Cosmic Sister | Love Warrior
by Zoe Helene

“I believe access to these healing psychedelic medicines is a birthright. No one should be excluded because they lack funds.” – Eden Woodruff

Eden Woodruff (IG: @eden.m.woodruff) is co-director of the Portland, Oregon-based non-profit Psanctum (IG:@psanctum), along with her creative partner, psychedelic author and historian Tom Hatsis (IG: @psychedelichistorian), who serves as executive director, and poet and entrepreneur Morgan Paige (IG: @morganpaigepoetry), who serves as treasurer.

Psanctum publishes educational articles and videos, curates an online digital archive, and hosts events like the Psanctum Speaker Series, the Psanctum Psychedelic Conference, monthly integration circles, and the weekly Psanctum Open Mic (IG: @psanctumopenmic), which Eden and Tom co-host. Psanctum also features an onsite Psychedelic Education Center, which is archiving the last materials of the Timothy Leary collection.

Eden is also the curator/manager of her brainchild, Psanctum Thrift (IG: @psanctumthrift), a culmination of her passions for the arts, psychedelics, thrifting, vintage, environmentalism, and creative community—and the answer to her prayer for purpose fulfilled without compromise. All profits from the store go toward psychedelic education and psychedelic-assisted therapy for people with financial barriers.

Eden was fascinated by the healing potential of psychedelics and reports of their ability to penetrate the deep mysteries for years before she had her first experience in April 2016. Raised in a family that struggled with substance abuse (which led her to becoming her younger brother’s primary caretaker), Eden felt it was irresponsible to mess around with “drugs” for fear she might disrupt the stable life she fought to create for herself and her brother. After her brother came of age, Eden was introduced to a psychedelic community and decided to give psychedelics a chance.

“Once I gave myself permission to experience mushrooms,” she says, “the celestial wonder and the profound healing that took place astounded me and left me with a strong desire to help make these tools safely available to all who might benefit from them.” As a teen, Eden dreamed of a career in the arts and found joy in creative collaboration—especially the kinship and community of theater and choir. When work responsibilities and familial duties took her away from the arts, she felt a void but never stopped seeking something that resembled the close-knit creative community that had nourished her soul so deeply.

When did you first discover the joy of vintage and thrifting?

When I was a child, my mom bought most of my clothes second-hand to stretch a dollar, and I always appreciated the one-of-a-kind items we could only find in thrift stores. I've been a fan of the counterculture hippie era from a young age, and I started wearing vintage clothing from that era in sixth grade. I especially enjoyed hunting for relics from the psychedelic ‘60s because it was a time of social transformation and a turn towards a more aware and open society. I always had a passion for fashion and design, but I did not have any formal training. As an adult, thrifting became a favorite pastime. There was something both soothing and exciting about the experience. Later, I supplemented my income by selling vintage items online and in markets and by curating a booth in a vintage store.

Eden Woodruff models a mint-condition (new with original tag) ‘60s-era, super-soft cotton psychedelic flower-power mini dress by Roos/Atkins, an upscale clothing brand based in San Francisco. At the peak of its popularity, Roos/Atkins had 51 stores and could be found in the most fashionable shopping locations. Rare psychedelic vintage sells fast, so if you are interested in stewarding a treasure like this, keep a keen eye out on Psanctum Thrift (IG: @psanctumthrift) Instagram feed and act fast if you feel the call.

How do vintage, thrifting, and psychedelics connect for you?

Thrifting aligns with psychedelics in a couple of ways. Thrifting is environmentally friendly—it combats excessive waste that hurts the planet. Psychedelics (for me, psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca, especially) can ground us and connect us to the Earth and remind us to be good stewards of it. Thrift stores also allow accessibility to items that might otherwise be out of reach for people with budgetary restraints. Likewise, Psanctum’s mission—to help people with financial barriers access psychedelic-assisted therapy—serves as a macrocosm to the thrift store model. Psanctum is all about accessibility, whether through vintage and thrift store treasures, psychedelic-assisted therapy, education, or community.

How did you come up with the concept for Psanctum Thrift?

During an excursion to my favorite thrift store in 2020, I was musing about how much I loved going there because there was so much possibility and opportunity for expression and so many other creative and resourceful people passing through. I wondered if it would be fulfilling to manage a store like it, even with the inherent challenges. I decided it would be—and it would be even more satisfying if the store supported a cause I really believed in.

Once I named it, the pieces steadily started to come together, and today I have a 5,000-square-foot retail/education space in southeast Portland to work with.
Is thrift culture big in Portland? Do you see a trend in thrifting in general? (I do, and I'm happy to see it back in vogue!) If so, why do think that is?

Thrift culture is very big in Portland, which many consider to be America’s “greenest city,” and I think cutting back on waste is a big reason for that. Also, I think many people here are looking for ways to express themselves creatively on a budget. Additionally, festival culture perfectly ties the psychedelic experience with truly unique and expressive attire.

Eden Woodruff in her 5,000-square-foot retail/education dream space in southeast Portland, OR.

What inspired/led you to develop a project that supports psychedelic-assisted therapy for people with financial barriers?

In 2020, psilocybin-assisted therapy was decriminalized in Oregon, which allowed service centers to open statewide. It was a great victory for the side of good! The cost of these services, however, is unaffordable for many (maybe even most). That’s where Psanctum Thrift comes in. We turn donations and purchases into monetary aid for people who seek psychedelic-assisted therapy but have financial barriers. We believe access to these medicines is a birthright. No one should be excluded because they lack funds.

How have psychedelics helped you personally?

Before psychedelics, I thought I was a lost cause. I experienced quite a bit of neglect and abuse in my early life due to family substance abuse issues. I struggled in school, and those struggles followed me after I graduated. I let myself believe that I didn't have the ability to do anything I could ever be proud of. I shut myself off socially because I was so ashamed of my lack of achievements and because I was so afraid of being hurt or hurting others.

In 2015, I took a leap of faith and attended a psychedelic society meeting, and my world really started to open. I met a bunch of psychedelic explorers and had my first psychedelic trip with mushrooms in April 2016, at the age of 34. In just one evening with psilocybin, I became aware of how overwhelming the obstacles I had encountered in life were and, simultaneously, gained compassion for myself and realized my past didn't have to dictate my future. Since that first psychedelic experience, I have achieved more than I ever thought possible, and I’ve made connections with a beautiful community that has accepted me and supported me in my growth. I believe I wouldn't be able to do anything I am doing today without the insights from those mushrooms.

How do you think psychedelics can help humanity in general?

I think psychedelics can help us let go of narratives that no longer serve us and renew our purpose. Psychedelics can help us see ourselves in a new light and forgive ourselves. And in understanding and forgiving ourselves, we can better understand and forgive others.

Eden Woodruff with her creative partner, psychedelic author and historian Tom Hatsis.

Tell me about your creative partner, Tom Hatsis. How did you meet?

Tom and I met through a mutual friend not long before we both started volunteering for the Portland Psychedelic Society. After a short time, we realized that our ideals, work ethic, and vision for how we wanted to contribute to the growing Psychedelic Renaissance were very much in alignment—so much so that we couldn’t help but feel we were brought together by destiny. We co-founded Psanctum in 2018, and our mission has been expanding ever since.

You’re a great team.

Thank you. We have some complementary traits; Tom tends to be more outgoing, and I tend to prefer to work more behind the scenes. Working with Tom, however, has helped me get more comfortable being in the spotlight.

I’m so happy to hear that!

Tell me about your annual wild amanita gathering.

Each year, Tom and I take a trip to the Oregon Coast (late October or early November) for amanita mushroom picking and a witchy photoshoot. This year, we are drying the mushrooms in a dehydrator to be later pulverized to make amanita tinctures.

In addition to the mushroom’s famous perception-altering effects, Amanita muscaria can be used as a treatment for sore throats, arthritis, and as an analgesic. It can also help relieve sciatica, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. These are the accepted medical uses; however, occultists and shamans have known for centuries that the amanita muscaria is a great aid for dream divination.

We are so fortunate that these mystical beings are so abundant in regions of the Northwest this time of year. To see them in the wild is truly an enchanting thing to behold—no matter how many times I've seen them, their beauty will always transfix me. To thank the land for this bounty, we bring along garbage bags and pick up any trash we find.

Eden Woodruff with freshly harvested Amanita muscaria.

Do you have any personal favorite sacred psychedelic medicines?

I appreciate different psychedelics for different reasons. Mushrooms have given me a more expansive view and have helped me learn to take things less personally. Ayahuasca has given me a clearer close-up view that helps me see my shadows and positive traits in ways I never had the ability to do before. LSD is always a weird and wonderful time that helps me laugh at life's absurdities and take things more lightly.

Tell me about Psanctum Open Mic. That sounds like a blast.

Tom had helped run a fantastic open mic in New York and missed the creative community. In 2018, he asked me to co-host a weekly Psanctum Open Mic, which is now five years running and makes us so happy! It’s a welcoming space to be witnessed and to witness others—wherever they’re at. Everyone is given seven minutes on stage to share whatever is in their heart, whether by song, poem, dance, or just speaking into the mic. Psanctum's treasurer Morgan Paige says Psanctum Open Mic is a medicine circle disguised as an open mic, and I think that perfectly sums up our thoughts on the topic.

The mic is held at an extraordinary visionary art gallery in southeast Portland called The Haven PDX (IG: @thehavenpdx). We’re thrilled to be hosting the event in a space that commands such reverence for the power of the psychedelic experience. We hold the open mic in addition to our monthly psychedelic integration circle, which is focused solely on psychedelics, along with microdosing classes, and host speakers who present on a wide range of topics. We see a strong community and education as forms of harm reduction and integration.

I love the name Psanctum. What's the story behind it?

We wanted our organization to feel like a sanctuary for the higher levels of consciousness, creativity, and community that the psychedelic experience can inspire. We are non-dogmatic, but we have deep appreciation for the ability of psychedelics to elicit mystical and healing experiences. We hold these non-ordinary states as sacred and wanted a name that reflected our appreciation for them as such. The “Ps” combination in “Psanctum” is our nod to “psychedelics.”

Psanctum Thrift
4033 SE Milwaukie Ave. Unit 1
Portland, OR 97202


“I believe access to these healing psychedelic medicines is a birthright. No one should be excluded because they lack funds.” – Eden Woodruff

“Once I gave myself permission to experience mushrooms, the celestial wonder and the profound healing that took place astounded me and left me with a strong desire to help make these tools safely available to all who might benefit from them.” – Eden Woodruff

“Psychedelics can help us see ourselves in a new light and forgive ourselves. And in understanding and forgiving ourselves, we can better understand and forgive others.” – Eden Woodruff

“To see Amanita muscaria in the wild is truly an enchanting thing to behold—no matter how many times I've seen them, their beauty will always transfix me.” – Eden Woodruff

Opinions expressed by interviewees are their own.

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December 2023