As 2015 draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on some of the remarkable people in the visionary community that I had the pleasure of meeting this year. It’s becoming increasingly common for women who attend our WVC events to create their own gatherings – and then invite us to meet the healers, artists and activists that they admire. I received an invitation to participate in one such event this fall that took place in Cleveland, Ohio. Organized by Kai Wingo, the Women and Entheogens conference brought together an inspiring group of entheogenic researchers and teachers from around the U.S. It was an opportunity to meet Kai’s community from Cleveland and Detroit and visit her urban mushroom farm, Kultured Mushrooms, where she grows shiitake, lion’s mane and other fungal delicacies. Kai has also been outspoken about the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin mushrooms for both personal and cultural healing.
In addition to being a teacher and pioneering urban farmer, Kai has a gift for connecting people. Kai first contacted WVC requesting a scholarship to our 2015 Women’s Congress. Thanks to WVC donors and supporters, we were able to grant her one. When Kai invited me to speak at her gathering in September, I booked a flight to Cleveland and met people from Cleveland, Detroit and other cities. Many of the participants were teaching and practicing plant and spiritual traditions from African, Native American and contemporary urban cultures.