AMHERST, Massachusetts (PRWEB) September 23, 2015 -- Today Cosmic Sister announced the formal launch of two new advocacy programs, the Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance and Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis, which support women as they honestly educate the public about the benefits and risks of psychedelics and cannabis as well as responsible use of sacred plants in consciousness-expanding traditions. Through a fiscal sponsorship with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), businesses, organizations and individuals can now support these educational initiatives with fully tax-deductible donations.
“Psychedelic Feminism is now tax-deductible,” said Cosmic Sister founder Zoe Helene.
The Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance and Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis programs are designed to bring more women to the forefront of public conversation, promoting a healthy gender balance in breakthrough mind/body/spirit wellness work.
“This is much needed,” said Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of MAPS. “From anthropology and neuroscience to psychotherapy and harm reduction, women are doing much of the front-line work in the fast-growing psychedelic field. We are pleased to support Cosmic Sister through our fiscal sponsorship program and look forward to a more balanced public conversation around the benefits and risks of psychedelics and cannabis.”
“The psychedelic community aspires to be progressive and evolved,” Helene said. “Supporting women’s voices on the benefits of psychedelics and cannabis shows that MAPS cares about gender equity.”
The new programs support members of Cosmic Sister and recipients of Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grants in telling the world about their experiences. The grants are merit-based scholarships that allow women to experience authentic, traditional “sacred plant” ceremonies in countries where they’re legal and valued as a cultural treasure. They support women as they prepare for sacred plant ceremonies; experience the ceremonies at a safe, respected plant spirit retreat; and then integrate the experience into their lives when they return home.
“There’s tremendous interest, all over the world,” Helene said. “Women of all ages and from all walks of life are inquiring about sacred plants, psychedelics and cannabis, and about how to apply for a Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant. I reached out to MAPS to help meet the demand because our mission values align.”
Funds for the ceremonial portion of the Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant project will not filter through the MAPS fiscal sponsorship system. The grant recipients’ ceremonial experiences will continue to be funded through a combination of donations and a percentage of earnings from sales of products and services in the natural products and sustainability sectors.
“In the Peruvian Amazon, ayahuasca is legal—even considered a cultural treasure—so we journey to Peru for this work,” said Helene. “But there are potential legal hurdles involved with obtaining tax write-offs for sending women to the Amazon to experience ayahuasca—which is illegal in the United States—so we shifted our focus from funding the grant to funding the educational component, which is something both MAPS and Cosmic Sister feel strongly about.
“That said, I don’t believe that sacred plants experienced in a safe ceremonial setting should remain illegal in the United States,” Helene added, “But that’s the law—and the reality of where the plant liberation movement is at this time in history—and I’m a law-abiding citizen.”
Funding will help Cosmic Sister place, produce and publish high-quality educational materials about women’s transformative experiences through responsible use of psychedelics and about professional women (and occasionally men) who are making a difference in the fields. In addition to helping grant recipients tell their stories, the program also brings the voices of powerful female scientists, artists, wellness professionals, ecopreneurs, environmentalists, philosophers, anthropologists and more to a wider audience.
“Males and females share many human experiences, but women have a unique perspective,” said Helene. “Not only because we’re women but also because we’re women living in a male-dominated culture. Women are different—we’re deep, and we’re awesome—and the public deserves to know about how we experience psychedelics and cannabis as powerful allies for personal growth and fulfillment.”
Helene added: “There are brilliant women working in this field—accomplished, dedicated professionals doing important and exciting frontier work that could help people live happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. This is very exciting.”
Cosmic Sister programs focus on women but do not exclude men. “We love men too,” Helene said. “We’re all in this together, but women play a vital role in Psychedelic Renaissance and have rich, unique and fascinating voices to share. We are grossly underrepresented in the media, and Cosmic Sister is helping to balance the gender equation before it gets out of hand.”
About Cosmic Sister
Cosmic Sister® is a collective venue that connects kindred-spirit trailblazers in mutually supportive ways, working collectively toward shared goals while enhancing the personal journey of each individual. Cosmic Sister promotes consciousness, abundance and creativity, and members pledge to hold each other’s best interests at heart as allies and affiliates. We want to see a healthy, life-affirming balance of power between genders, worldwide. More images from the field available upon request. For more information, visit cosmicsister.com, or contact Zoe Helene, Founder, Cosmic Sister, [email protected], Mobile: 617-501-6165. Join us on facebook.com/cosmicsister and twitter.com/cosmicsister (@cosmicsister). For donations, please visit cosmicsister.com/support
About the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
For more information, visit maps.org
Zoe Helene, Cosmic Sister, +1 617-501-6165, [email protected]