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    Zoe Helene on Cosmic Sister, Psychedelics, and Feminism

    Photo by Tracey Eller

    Empowering the voices of women in the psychedelic renaissance

    As one of few women to pioneer the digital revolution, Zoe Helene experienced the frustrations of navigating a male-centric world. As one of few leading female voices in today’s psychedelic renaissance, she’s running up against that imbalance again—and this time, she’s determined to help right it.

    “Imbalanced systems are inherently unhealthy, and this work is about wellness,” Helene says. “Sexism is a chronic, systemic problem and has no place in the psychedelic renaissance arena. This is our last chance to evolve ethically, so we’d better get it right.”

    Since Helene—an artist, environmental activist and wildlife advocate—began participating in transformational ayahuasca ceremonies in the Amazon with her husband, ethnobotanist Chris Kilham, she’s found that la medicina moves her life forward in ways that matter. Ayahuasca has reconnected her with her deepest inner wisdom and helped her step up to the plate. “This is not recreational—it is hard but fascinating work with a big payoff,” Helene says.

    Helene is concerned because she believes that women are grossly underrepresented in media and in public presentations within the psychedelic and cannabis reform community—“a subculture that aspires to be enlightened.”

    “As talented, intelligent, ambitious women, we have dealt with this countless times before,” Helene adds. “As liberated women and as women on the path, we do not wish to step into roles or cultural behaviors that do not feel genuine, positive or healthy—such as aggression, hyper competitiveness, seducing, backstabbing or stepping on others to get to the top—just to be secure a position where we are sought out by the media so that we can be heard and share our work. That’s counter-productive to the work of the medicine.”

    Listen to and download a conversation between Zoe Helene and Utne editor Christian Williams in the Abstract Notions podcast: