Join us for a weekend featuring women leaders in cannabis business, medicine, culinary arts, cultivation, policy, and social justice.
The Women's Visionary Congress presents its first workshop on savoring seasonal foods as a delicious connection to the Earth and her bounty! The adventure beings on Sunday, November 6th with a FREE FARM TOUR of City Slicker Farms at 2847 Peralta St. in West Oakland,...
Risk Reduction and Drug Safety Skills – July 16 – San Francisco & Oakland
Video of this training will be made available for free online as soon as possible. If you are interested in hosting a Risk Reduction and Drug Safety Skills workshop in your community please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Overdose of opioids and other substances has become a major public health concern throughout the world. Yet information about how to calculate dosage, prevent overdose, and test the content of widely available recreational drugs is difficult to acquire. In the spirit of universal access to all knowledge, and to prevent future deaths, the San Francisco-based nonprofit organizations, the Women’s Visionary Congress (WVC) and the San Francisco Psychedelic Society co-hosted a free workshop on July 16th at the Internet Archive to teach critical risk reduction skills.
The workshop featured Earth and Fire Erowid, founders of the Erowid archive, who demonstrated how to prevent overdose by accurately measuring liquids and powders. Using water and baking powder as demonstration tools, the Erowids showed how to properly use a microgram scale and provide instruction on techniques to improve the accuracy of measurement. The Erowids also showed how to use commercially available reagent testing kits to test for the presence of psychoactive substances and potentially deadly adulterants.
Dr. Gantt Galloway, Pharm.D., Research and Executive Director of the New Leaf Treatment Center, provided training in the use of Naloxone or Narcan which blocks the effects of opioids, especially in cases of overdose. At the start of the workshop, WVC board member Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, talked about public health risk reduction initiatives and was joined by those working in this field. At the close of the event, Internet Archive Administrative Coordinator Michelle Krasowski read remarks by librarian Andrea Mitchell, a member of the Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists (SALIS), who have developed a collection of digital resources at the Internet Archive for ongoing risk reduction education. The speaker schedule is below.
This event was presented at no cost for maximal accessibility. We are grateful to our sponsor the THC Staffing Group, a boutique staffing firm for the marijuana industry, for helping to cover the production costs for this event. Tax deductible donations are gratefully accepted.
New York Salon – Integrating Visionary Experiences – March 11-13, 2016
The Women’s Visionary Congress held its 1st annual salon in New York City entitled Integrating Visionary Experiences.
The Salon was preceded by a party on Friday, March 11th from 6-10 PM at the Rubin Museum (150 W 17th St. in New York City).
The Salon on Saturday, March 12th, 11 am – 5 pm, featured presentations by research scientist Katherine MacLean PhD, psychiatrist Julie Holland MD, and painter and social sculptor Allyson Grey. Read their bios below.
The Saturday Salon took place at The Alchemist’s Kitchen (21 East 1st St. in New York City).
The Salon was followed on on the evening of Saturday, March 12th by a visionary storytelling gathering co-hosted by WVC and Psymposia from 8 PM on at the Hell Phone Speakeasy at 247 Varet St. in Brooklyn. There is no charge for admission.
Finally, we gathered on Sunday, March 13th from 10 AM – 2 PM for a tea party and immersive art experience at the statue of Alice in Wonderland and her friends located in Central Park north of the Conservatory Water at East 74th Street
Dr. Julie Holland is a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist, with a private practice in New York City established in 1996. She is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and was Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine from 1995 to 2012. From 1996 to 2005, Dr. Holland ran the psychiatric emergency room of Bellevue Hospital on Saturday and Sunday nights. Her book, Weekends at Bellevue (Bantam, 2009) chronicles that time. A liaison to the hospital’s medical emergency room and toxicology department, she is considered an expert on street drugs and intoxication states, and lectures widely on these topics. She serves as an expert witness on forensic cases concerning PCP, MDMA, and other drugs. She is editor of the book, Ecstasy: The Complete Guide. A Comprehensive Look at the Risks and Benefits of MDMA, published in 2001 by Inner Traditions. All proceeds from this book fund clinical studies of MDMA. She also edited The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to the Risks and Benefits of Cannabis. (2010, Inner Traditions). All proceeds fund clinical cannabis research. Dr. Holland is the medical monitor for multiple therapeutic studies investigating the utility of MDMA or cannabis in ameliorating symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She is also the medical monitor for a therapist-training program for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Dr. Holland was awarded the Norman Zinberg Award for Medical Excellence by the Drug Policy Alliance in 2011. Her new book, Moody Bitches: The truth about the drugs you’re taking, the sleep you’re missing, the sex you’re not having, and what’s really making you crazy was published by Penguin Press in March, 2015 and has been translated into eleven languages. Click here to visit Dr. Holland’s website.
Katherine MacLean, PhD. is an academically trained research scientist with a long-standing interest in the brain and the science of well-being. At the University of California, Davis, Katherine was supported by a NSF research fellowship to study the effects of intensive meditation training on well-being and brain function. As a postdoctoral research fellow and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she worked with Dr. Roland Griffiths and his team. Her research on psilocybin and personality change suggests that this class of medicines may play an important role in enhancing mental health and creativity throughout the lifespan. She is the director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care program in New York City and has volunteered with the MAPS Zendo Project, which provides psychedelic harm reduction services and mental health support at large music and art festivals. Her current focus is the role of psychedelics and meditation in preparing individuals for death and healing trauma related to grief.
Allyson Grey is a painter and social sculptor. With an MFA from Tufts University, Grey has long been an art educator, arts organizer and muse to artists worldwide. Since art school in 1975, Allyson has collaborated and shared a studio with the artist Alex Grey. The Grey’s co-founded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), a spiritual retreat center for artists outside of New York City. Together, Allyson and Alex have painted on stage in dozens of cities before thousands of dancing young people at festivals and arenas across five continents including Broadway theaters in New York City. As long-time advocates of “cognitive liberty,” a growing international “sacramental culture” has embraced the Grey’s as mapmakers and spokespersons for the visionary realm. ARTIST’S STATEMENT: For forty years, my painting career has been committed to an essentialized world view consisting of three root symbol systems: chaos, order and secret writing. Chaos, defined as “order plus entropy,” refers to the nature of the material world. Order represents the mandalic interconnectedness experienced during states of transcendental mystic unity. Secret Writing, free of implicit meaning, refers to the mysterious language of creative expression.
WVC Vancouver Salon – September 2015
WVC held a Salon in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday, September 25th from 6:00 – 9:00 PM at Simon Fraser University Harbourfront Campus in Room 2270, Sauder Industries Policy Room.
The evening opened with a 30-minute presentation on cultural appropriation followed by a community discussion about this and other important topics within the entheogenic discourse. One purpose of this salon was provide an opportunity for discussion before and after October gatherings about entheogens in Victoria and Vancouver. It is possible that another WVC Salon will be scheduled in Vancouver in November so that the community can collectively consider what was presented at these gatherings and can engage in critical self reflection.
The 3rd annual Shaman Women, Plant Medicine
and Psychedelics Salon
Nov. 14 & 15, 2014 – Vancouver, B.C.
Elena Andrade has just completed an MA in literature at the University of Victoria. Her research interests include performance studies, psychedelic literature and space-time perception across cultures. She will talk about somatic poetry and the language of the body. Her presentation, entitled, “The Poetics of Ayahuasca: Lessons Learned from César Calvo”, summarizes research of Peruvian poet and ayahuaskero César Calvo, whose visionary work fuses western and indigenous artistic traditions. Calvo’s astonishing account of a journey into the rain forest to find legendary shaman Ino Moxo provides the external structure for an interior, metaphorical journey with DMT. His story raises timely questions about psychoactive substances as technologies of consciousness and the body as a site of resistance to colonization. Calvo’s psychedelic aesthetics infuses the natural world with consciousness and agency, asking us to imagine the possibilities for a deeper engagement with the nonhuman world.
Connie Carter PhD
Connie Carter, Ph.D. is a graduate of the Department of Sociology at the University of Victoria and she has held a number of scholarships including the Joseph Armand Bombardier Ph.D. Fellowship (2006-2009) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. With lead author Dr. Susan Boyd, she has completed a book manuscript for the University of Toronto Press entitled, Killer Weed: Marijuana grow ops, media discourse, regulation and justice. She is the former Senior Policy Analyst at the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.
Dr. Donna Dryer
Dr. Donna Dryer is a transpersonal psychiatrist in private practice on the coast islands of British Columbia and a faculty member in psychiatry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. With her husband, Dr. Richard Yensen, she had received permission for LSD psychotherapy research protocols with addicts and people dying from cancer from the US Food and Drug Administration in 1991. They have been giving an “entheogenically informed” workshop, The Heart of the Shaman, for 28 years at Hollyhock Retreat Centre, Cortes Island. Currently, she serves on the board of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Canada to provide a thoughtful and hopeful physician’s voice in educating health professionals and the public about psychedelic medicine. Dr. Yensen and Dr. Dryer will be carrying on the excellent work of Dr. Ingrid Pacey and Dr. Andrew Feldmar in the MAPS sponsored research study of MDMA for people with treatment-resistant Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Vancouver.
Psychedelic veteran Carolyn Garcia aka Mountain Girl joined the Merry Pranksters in 1964 and traveled on Ken Kesey’s bus “Furthur” presenting Acid Tests in California. She joined the Grateful Dead family in the Haight-Ashbury in 1966. Jerry Garcia and Carolyn have two daughters. She has been on the board of Rex Foundation, among others, for many years and served as the first Board President of the Women’s Visionary Council, which presents the annual Women’s Visionary Congress and other educational events investigating the marvelous.
In 1974 Carolyn wrote The Primo Plant, one of the earliest books published about sinsemilla marijuana growing, in which she presents the concepts and practice of organic growing as the proper method for home gardeners. Thousands bought her book, put those concepts into action and integrated organic practices into their lives. Today she lives, gardens and writes near Eugene, Oregon.
Michael Horowitz is the creator of the world’s largest library of drug literature, the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library, which he collected together with his wife Cindy Palmer. He currently is the owner of Flashback Books, a mail-order bookselling operation, specializing in rare, scarce and out-of-print books, periodicals and related printed materials on the history, literature and science of psychoactive drugs. He is co-author with Palmer of several groundbreaking books about women and drugs including Shaman Woman Mainline Lady and Sisters of the Extreme.
Eleonora Molnar is primarily interested in the ethical dimensions involved in the use of entheogens. Her research interests include the connection between health and mystical states of consciousness as well as drug policy reform, sustainable design, public health and mental health.
Annie Oak is the founder of the Women’s Visionary Congress. She is a journalist, event organizer, and creator of the Full Circle Tea House, a community art project that provides safe space for reflection, rest and rehydration. She lives in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco where she develops risk reduction and community wellness strategies. Her presentation at the Shaman Women, Plant Medicine and Psychedelics Salon will focus on ways participants in ceremonies using psychoactive plants can help increase their safety.
Lily Kay Ross MDiv
Lily is a writer, speaker, interviewer, and poet. She views language as a map for the world and as a tool for empathy and compassion. Lily completed her Masters in Divinity at Harvard in May, 2014. There, she focused on gender and power in marginalised religious groups. She has spoken at academic conferences, retreats, and on panels in California, Washington, British Columbia, and the North East.
Dr. Richard Yensen PhD
Richard has been a pioneer in transpersonal psychology since 1972 when he began his psychedelic research career at Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Baltimore. He went on to work in Mexico and receive direct transmission of the lineage from Maria Sabina, the priestess of the mushrooms who first disclosed their secret to the west. He has pioneered non-drug ways to access deeply sacred states of mind usually only available through high doses of sacred medicines. He has taught at Harvard & University of Maryland medical schools, Johns Hopkins and Union Graduate School. He is director of the Orenda Institute on Cortes Island. He and his wife (Donna Dryer, MD) have just joined the clinical team conducting research with MDMA in the treatment of post-tramatic stress disorder in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Friday night community discussion, 6:00-9:00 pm
Self Defense and Jedi Practices in the Psychedelic World Purpose: Community discussion on benefit maximization and harm reduction. The community discussion will examine different ways that power can be misused in ceremonies with entheogenic substances and suggest some practical steps participants can take to protect themselves.
Community discussion ground rules Focus on how to maximize benefits and reduce harms Each speaker has a 3 minute (max) allotment per contribution Microphone is passed from panel around the room in order of seats in half circles, people can pass if they want to No victim stories please (this is not therapy) Speakers may talk about people who are not present but should not name them.
Friday Night Schedule
6:00 Introduction to WVC
6:10 Ceremonial Opening – “Who were the witches”
6:15 Panel introduction and comments – (3 minutes each)
6:45 Ground rules for community discussion
6:50 Community Discussion
7:45 Community Discussion
8:45 Closing Panel Comments
9:00 Short Film by Simon Haiduk
Saturday, Nov. 15th 12 pm – 6 pm
12:00 Introductions to WVC – Eleonora Molnar, MA
12:10 Short Film ‘Calling the Others’ – Simon Haiduk
12:20 Gender, Drugs, History: A lesson in power and voice – Connie Carter, PhD
1:00 What happened in the 60’s? The story of how LSD became part of American culture – Carolyn Adams Garcia/Mountain Girl
1:40 MDMA for PTSD Study Update – Donna Dryer, MD & Richard Yensen, PhD
2:15 No apologies: on psychedelic identity as a storyteller – Lily Kay Ross, MDiv
2:55 Risk reduction and community wellness – Annie Oak, MSc
4:00 Antidotes for everything – Michael Horowitz
4:20 The Poetics of Ayahuasca: Lessons Learned from César Calvo – Elena Andrade, MA
5:00 Panel Discussion
5:45 Thank you and Closing Ceremony
2014 WVC New Mexico Salon
Artists & Scientists on the Visionary Frontier
The 2014 WVC salon in Santa Fe, entitled Artists and Scientists on the Visionary Frontier, was held in May at the beautiful Synergia Ranch. The event featured two days of conversations with artists and scientists who scout the frontiers of consciousness. We asked that participants bring an open mind, a ready heart and be prepared to dance.
The 2014 New Mexico Salon opened with a presentation by Dr. Michael Bogenschutz, an addiction specialist from the Heffter Research Institute. Dr. Bogenschutz offered an update on the groundbreaking investigations taking place at the University of New Mexico where researchers are looking at the use of psilocybin in the treatment of alcoholism. This talk was followed by a reading from author Joanna Harcourt Smith, creator of the Future Primitive Podcasting Website. Harcourt Smith read from her book, “Tripping the Bardo with Timothy Leary: My Psychedelic Love Story” which documents pivotal events told from the perspective of a woman who found herself caught up in the radical politics of the 1960’s.
On the second day of the 2014 Salon, activist and artist Jean Nichols founder of the Art for the Heart Studio, showed upcycled clothes from the UpCycled Fashion initiative. The project, which is based in the Santa Fe area, creates jobs, saves clothes from landfill, mentors youths and provide affordable one-of–a-kind “clothes with a conscience.” The display of wearable art was followed by a presentation and discussion by Requa Tolbert RN, an artist and MDMA researcher. Tolbert showed images from her Stormrider Calling Cards, which received a WVC artists grant. The final event of the day was screening of “Dying to Know: Ram Dass and Timothy Leary” by local filmmaker Gay Dillingham which chronicles the long friendship between these two scientific pioneers. This was followed by a lively discussion of the film with Dillingham and community members.
After two days of thought provoking art and scientific discussions, the Salon concluded with a dance party led by DJ Erin English who spun global gems and heavenly beats long into the spring evening.
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Resources for learning about social justice issues in the cannabis industry and taking action in your community.
Videos from the Women & Cannabis Salon are now available online. We heard presentations by women who have pioneered cannabis research, cultivation, activism, and business.
As this year may present many challenges for our communities and our nation, we have decided to refocus our efforts to make our voices heard by holding a series of events in 2017 that reflect requests from you, our members. While we will not be hosting a Women’s Congress this year, we will be hosting a series of events in Northern California which will be opportunities for you to speak out on issues you care about, connect with community and receive support for your projects, and evolve the world of ideas that we have set in motion since our first gatherings over a decade ago.
Our journey through 2016 has come to a close and it's been a memorable year. We are grateful to all of our WVC members and supporters for their contributions and support over the past twelve months. Our community donated their time, their expertise, and their...
The Women's Visionary Congress is based in the San Francisco Bay area and our members our among the community of artists who make our culture so vibrant. We mourn the loss of those who died in the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, California on December 2nd and...
When the Women’s Visionary Congress was founded 10 years ago things were very different for people who use psychedelics for healing and consciousness exploration. The War on Drugs was in full force, and so relatively few people felt comfortable speaking publicly about...
Today, I hiked to the labyrinth at Hillside Park in El Cerrito. I’m starting to feel what it will be like to once again retreat to a profoundly inspiring and safe space – the Women’s Visionary Congress at IONS in Petaluma. It was during my first time there 4 years ago that I learned how to walk a labyrinth as meditation.
The 10th annual Women’s Visionary Congress (WVC) will gather in Petaluma, California next month to present the work of visionary women healers, scholars, activists and artists who study consciousness and plant medicines. WVC supports the transfer of knowledge among...
The Women's Visionary Congress held its first gathering in New York City this month which featured three remarkable women from our east coast community. Katherine MacLean PhD, Allyson Grey, and Julie Holland MD each presented their work at an afternoon salon held...
The Women’s Visionary Congress acknowledges with great sadness the passing of Kai Wingo, urban mushroom farmer, activist, and ambassador of the mushroom medicine. Kai started her Buckeye Mushroom Farm and her Kultured Mushrom community project in the Buckeye neighborhood of Cleveland in the fall of 2013 and sold her mushrooms at farmers markets around the city. She hosted workshops in mushroom cultivation and was an enthusiastic advocate for the power of mushrooms to help us create a healthier, more sustainable culture. We first met Kai when she received a scholarship to attend the 2015 Women’s Visionary Congress in Petaluma. We were impressed by her clear, deep wisdom of mushroom medicine of all kinds, her devotion to working with entheogens (no small thing in Ohio) and her gift for connecting people and communities.