Zoe Helene by Tracey Eller

Psychedelic Feminism—It’s Not All About Us (Humans)
Spirit Plant Medicine Conference
by Zoe Helene

Zoe Helene (@CosmicSister) is an artist and cultural activist best known for coining and popularizing the term Psychedelic Feminism and founding the environmental feminism group Cosmic Sister. She believes a true balance of power across the gender spectrum—globally—is the only way humans (and non-humans) will survive, and she sees Psychedelic Feminism as a realistic, practical yet hopeful approach to a much-needed shift of global consciousness.

Cosmic Sister fights against sexism, racism, ageism, and classism, which walk hand-in-hand and are prevalent in global society, including the cannabis industry, the psychedelics field, and even the sacred plant medicine healing community. Through educational advocacy projects, the group promotes women’s empowerment through intentional work with sacred plants (and fungi) such as cannabis, ayahuasca, peyote, iboga and psilocybin mushrooms as a way to jump-start rapid cultural evolution, starting with women. Cosmic Sister’s quartet of merit-based Psychedelic Feminism grants—Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance, Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis, Cosmic Sister Emerging Voices Award, and the immersive Plant Spirit Grant—support women’s work in the medicine space and their voices in psychedelics.

Zoe’s cannabis-elevated talking circles exploring women’s empowerment work in the medicine space are particularly helpful with relationship work—with ourselves, with others and with nature. These simple yet effective methods developed specifically for women work just as well for males and gender-fluid individuals.

Zoe believes psychedelic culture should lead in a more enlightened way, embodying the love, higher consciousness and evolution at the heart of the movement. She believes psychedelics can help women release the micro aggressions that collect in our psyches and result in “phantom” illnesses that defy diagnosis or potentially debilitating symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and low self-esteem—but first we need to openly acknowledge these cultural disorders do actual damage.

Zoe is a spiritual agnostic with a passion for cultural and biological diversity, global consciousness, and archetypal psychology, as the language of soul. Her direct matrilineal lineage is to a HERstorically rich indigenous Greek Arcadian village with an important Artemis temeno (“sacred space”). Artemis was the protector of women, wild animals, and wilderness—both natural wilderness and the wilderness within. Zoe’s patrilineal heritage is a mix of Hebrew and Celtic / Viking. Her ancestors were tribal people who developed deep, sophisticated pre-Christian traditions, including nature-based sacred plant medicine traditions, and survived genocide, persecution, oppression, and diaspora. Her personal medicine work includes exploring ancestral trauma and loss of cultural identity through dominator religions and xenophobia-driven assimilation.

Zoe travels the globe with her ethnobotanist husband, Chris Kilham, promoting sustainable medicinal plant trade, environmental protection, and cultural preservation. Her work has been featured in Forbes, BBC Travel, Bust Magazine, Playboy, VICE, Broadly, Tonic, LA Yoga, New York Magazine, AlterNet, ABC Australia, Radio New Zealand, and many other top-tier media venues. Zoe has written for and/or been featured in LA Yoga, Civilized, Huffington Post, Organic Spa Magazine, Utne Reader, Reset.Me, EcoSalon, Organic Authority, the Endangered Species Coalition and others.

Earlier in her career as a digital revolution pioneer, Zoe secured corporate support for art and diversity organizations such as Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, World Music, Cambridge Multicultural Arts, Very Special Arts, and many more. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Professional Theatre from Brandies University, where she was mentored by legendary costume designer Patricia Zipprodt.

Psychedelic Feminism—It’s Not All About Us (Humans)

Psychedelic Feminism promotes rapid evolution because it is our moral responsibility, as Earth’s apex predators, to protect and defend non-human beings. We must end the grossly imbalanced “power-over” patriarchal model that will continue to lead humans down a devolutionary path ending in the destruction of life on Earth as we know it.

For millennia, females have been oppressed by an extreme power imbalance that warps the way we are evolving as a species. We carry trauma from violent misogynist actions such as rape, but we also carry compounded wounds from a steady bombardment of barbaric cultural “norms” dished out through systemic sexist messaging in business, politics, education, academia, marketing and advertising, media, entertainment, and the arts and sciences.

Sexism, racism, ageism, and classism walk hand-in-hand, and they’re prevalent in the cannabis industry, in the psychedelics field, and even in the sacred plant medicine healing community. Revisiting the past with radical honesty is key to promoting positive change in the present, with hope for the future, while connecting through commonalities and celebrating “oneness,” mirroring the psychedelic medicine healing experience.

The so-called “rabid feminist” or “toxic feminism” approach is not helpful or healthy. Blaming men for everything is sexist, no matter how much of our rage is righteous. It’s important that we welcome male allies who are interested in learning and growing when it comes to their own gender programming. The power of influence, globally, is white, cis-gendered-male heavy. There’s nothing wrong with being a white, cis-gendered male, but there is something very wrong with a long-standing imbalance of power. Antiquated, hurtful traditions die hard. We can and must do better, and doing better will be better for everyone—not just humans.

Psychedelics have the power to help women, men and gender-fluid people heal, self-liberate and move forward in brilliant and revolutionary ways. We’re in relationship with each other, and with all of life on earth.

CosmicSister.com (@CosmicSister) #PsychedelicFeminism

November 2019