Transcript: Psychedelic Feminism And Male Allies – Zoe Helene
Please enjoy this transcript of our interview with Zoe Helene.
Zoe Helene, psychedelic feminist and cultural activist, joins us to talk sacred plant medicines, cultural preservation, and the importance of diversity in psychedelic communities. Zoe shares how her experiences with ayahuasca have influenced her world view, especially around “plant spirit,” and the importance of preserving indigenous cultural traditions. We also discuss the far-reaching damages that have resulted from patriarchal oppression, and how the psychedelic renaissance is not immune.
In this episode we talk about:
- How experiences with ayahuasca can enhance a connection to other plant medicines
- How women aren’t the only victims of (patriarchal) dominator cultures
- The importance of encouraging more diversity in psychedelic spaces
0:00:28 Paul Austin: Multi-disciplinary artist, cultural activist, wildlife advocate and psychedelic feminist, Zoe Helene, joins us on The Third Wave Podcast today. I’m recording this late on a Friday night, right before our publication on Sunday. We have a workshop in New York City tomorrow, called: Working With Psychedelics; Tools For Growth, Creativity and Vision. 70 people will be attending, and we have three panelists. One of whom has been on this podcast before, Anthony Adams. It’s gonna be a really fun event and I’m really excited for it.
0:01:00 PA: And so now I’m just trying to make sure we get the podcast out and make things happen. We’re gonna be doing these workshops elsewhere as well, in San Francisco, LA, Boulder. I’d like to do one in Austin. So if you’re in Austin, and you might know of a spot or a place, a community, that would be great. I’d like to do one in potentially Boston, and then definitely in Europe, so I’m looking at London, Amsterdam and Berlin. Potentially one other spot as well. So, we’re prepping for that.
0:01:33 PA: And that’s really the next big push that we have going on at The Third Wave. We just incorporated as a non-profit in the State of Delaware, and we’re currently looking at how we can become a 501c3, while still having a for-profit entity tucked under that, to facilitate revenue and really build a full team ’cause we envision… There are about eight of us that work on this project right now, and we’d like to really grow that to maybe 15 to 20, so we can start having a wider impact on psychedelic literacy and education.
0:02:05 PA: We wanna do research on microdosing, and we want to start in-person communities, so Third Wave communities in New York, San Francisco, and various other places as well, that embody the ethos that we talk about, which is how can we re-brand psychedelics so that they’re not perceived as these play things of the ’60s, but they’re actually these incredible tools that we can use to facilitate growth vision leadership, creativity, self-awareness, self-understanding, maturation, development? All these things that are becoming increasingly important in a world which needs these tools.
0:02:44 PA: We need to go beyond the individual ego to see outside of that. I’ve been reading Ken Wilber lately, Ken’s fantastic, a book called, No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth. And this is something that he emphasizes, is the persona to the ego, to the organism to the transpersonal, to the unity of consciousness, and how when we can work at each of those scales. It represents tremendous awareness in all the important things.
0:03:16 PA: So that’s going on. A little update. I don’t really talk about much on the podcast related to that, but I think it’s important that I fill everyone in and take a little bit of time to just acknowledge where we’ve been going the last month, where we’ve been going the last three months with psychedelics.
0:03:32 PA: I think it’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved with this work and this mission, and I do believe that in this community that we’ve created and that we’re building, there are strong elements of true change. And that’s both in this internal community with The Third Wave, but also the wider psychedelic community with all the organizations, like MAPS and Heffter and Usona. Imperial, the Beckley Foundation. Obviously many, many psychedelic societies all over. Various podcasts and other websites as well. So, it’s something special.
0:04:13 PA: So let’s get to the podcast. Zoe Helene, it was great to talk with her. We had an excellent conversation and I’ll let you just dive right in. Enjoy the podcast. And if you enjoyed it, leave a review on iTunes, we’d really appreciate it, and we really appreciate all your support with this mission that we’re all doing together. So that being said, to the podcast.
0:04:44 Zoe Helene: I do come from the plant medicine crowd, and that includes fungi, which I like to have to say that because fungi is not a plant, and very important. But yeah, natural allies, from evolutionary allies from nature. That’s the way I like to look at psychedelics. That’s not to say that the synthetics or semi-synthetics as they like to say, that are grandfathered in because they originated from plants or fungi, that’s all cool, but it’s not my thing.
0:05:15 ZH: And I also love the indigenous aspect of it, or at least the ceremonial aspect of it, because the way I see culture and ritual is that it evolves. Every ritual that exists out there in any culture has been created by somebody sometime, or somebodies. And then they develop over time, they get passed down. And if they get too rigid it becomes old and irrelevant.
0:05:40 ZH: So I’m all for cultural exchange, cultural preservation, cultural evolution, all of those things. Not… This is not to me cultural appropriation, this is a very positive thing. But we’re sharing it and we’re evolving as a community that’s global. So with that in mind, some of these, these substances, if you will, these medicines, like the way you’re working with them, we’re all working with them in interesting ways, we’re exploring, we’re experimenting. I love that.
0:06:13 ZH: I’m definitely doing that with Cannabis. And Cannabis to me is so interesting, and Ayahuasca has helped me to see that, by the way, which I also think is really interesting. I know I’m not alone either. I know so many people in our scene are finding that one medicine will change your relationship with another, in a good way.
0:06:34 PA: And what’s that process been like for you, in terms of how has Ayahuasca changed your relationship with Cannabis?
0:06:40 ZH: Well Ayahuasca, the first time it happened, I have to go back a little bit because you know I married the medicine hunter. You’ve spoken with him, right?
0:06:48 PA: Yeah, we had a great interview, last week I think, with Chris. Oh yeah.
0:06:51 ZH: Okay, great. Yeah, I have to mention that because I do have an unusual life and an unusual mate, who is wonderful. I was not a plant person when we got married. And we eloped, by the way, so it was a little bit sudden and had to figure out who the heck we were. So, where I was like, “Who’s this guy I married?” [chuckle] So and that was, part of that was Ayahuasca too.
0:07:15 ZH: So where I sat, I always thought I was, I saw myself as an animal person, and for some reason I had switched off the plants in my mind. And I didn’t know that, so it was in part… This is a psychedelic experience that I’m talking about, but it’s the answer to your question. So I always saw myself as an animal person, spirit animals, just communicating with animals, loving to be around animals, working for wildlife and wilderness.
0:07:45 ZH: But wilderness, you see, was the habitat that supported the animals, it was their set and setting, it was the way they lived. It wasn’t its own spirit, had its own life, full of amazing things, including plants, right? I’m a vegetarian, so plants were very much a part of my world in terms of what I eat. I also am always very interested in eco-friendly fabrics and things like that, and those are almost always made from plants.
0:08:16 ZH: So plants were very much part of my life, and my mother and my grandmother and many others, some of my best friends are plants women. So I’ve been drinking Ayahuasca for a while, in Peru, always. I go down there with a group and I say, “You know what, I wanna see Ayahuasca as a plant. I wanna understand this plant spirit thing.” I understand it intellectually, I want to understand it in a different way.
0:08:46 ZH: So my intention going in was immediately, “Please show me yourself as a plant,” as a plant spirit. And pretty much right away “she”, she came to me as a she definitely in this vision, showed me her… Showed up as a plant. [chuckle] And very alien plant, very alien vision. And then she was done.
0:09:09 ZH: First of all, to describe, I’m laying on the mat, I’m really focused, kind of meditating, just like the medicine is very, very strong, so I’m feeling it all around me. I feel very comfortable in this space, because I’m experienced, and I’m also very interested in exploring further and learning and experimenting with my own work and how Ayahuasca works, and all of that’s happening. And part of that… The intention was part of that. I wanted to understand this plant spirit thing with Ayahuasca.
0:09:40 ZH: So she comes to me as a plant. There was no face, she was not a goddess. I’ve seen goddesses, I think I probably saw Ayahuasca as a goddess once, that would explain some things, but she really was a plant. And she was as alien as a science fiction movie in Alien, except she was plant matter. So she was making strange noises like…
0:10:08 ZH: Like that. All over my body. And she was scanning me like a CAT Scan, back and forth with these long tendrils above me, hovering above me, all above me. Like just this giant spirit. Intense, powerful. A little bit scary, but I’d already surrendered [chuckle] kind of spirit.
0:10:28 ZH: And this went on a long time and then she sort of stopped. And I said, “No, no, no, no, no. Keep going. I wanna learn more. I want to know you. Spend all night. Let’s do this all night, I wanna get to know you. Express yourself as a plant spirit to me, please show yourself, show yourself to me, help me to understand.”
0:10:52 ZH: And she kept doing this all night, she proceeded to scan my body for all the little physical things that were ailing me, and showing me in my psyche that I wasn’t taking care of those things, I was too much into my work, I was so propelled forward by my mission that I wasn’t doing things that I knew I should, you know all the stuff we all get. It’s not… I can get that with Cannabis.
0:11:15 ZH: But yeah, the things I was really procrastinating, she would highlight on them, as it to say, “Here, I’ve highlighted this piece of you, that you need to take care of, as an adult, as a grown up.” [chuckle] You know, “When you get home these are your marching orders. They’re not esoteric. Get with it and take better care of yourself.”
0:11:36 ZH: That was the vision that I had with her. And I’ve had, she comes back to me pretty much every time with my marching orders for that. I’ve also seen many… Heard other people talk about visions that are similar. Being scanned is a, I don’t wanna say common vision, but it’s a vision that pops up. And sometimes also… Crops up, I should say. There’s also visions like people being, having surgery, you see that, you hear about that a lot. I’ve never had surgery, but I’ve definitely been scanned.
0:12:08 ZH: So I kept asking her, “Please continue to show me yourself.” She never changed in terms of her shape, she just got more, it was as if she was freed to really express herself, and it was really out there. So I got this other sensation of, “Okay, what I mean by alien, is non-human and non-recognizable to me. Other.” Other that I had not experienced.
0:12:37 ZH: And when I went home I really looked up “alien”, and sure enough, that’s really what it means. It doesn’t mean extraterrestrial. So I thought, “Okay, this is an alien experience for me, not just the Ayahuasca.” ‘Cause I’d had that experience before, I’d had the psychedelic experience specifically in Ayahuasca ceremony. So that was not alien for me, which is alien to most people but not to me.
0:13:00 ZH: But she, as a plant, the spirit of a plant, communicating with me, was alien. And I’m one of these people who… I’m the scientist daughter, so I’m very careful with belief systems. I can suspend disbelief and I can also learn to express the vision that I had in the way that it presented itself, but that does not mean that there actually is a plant spirit called “Ayahuasca” who is a she. It means that that was the experience I had in the medicine, and it was very real to me.
0:13:41 ZH: So that, from that perspective, okay, that was awesome. And I came home and was doing my integration, and one of the things that happened was, all of a sudden I was so much more attentive to and interested in our house plants. And the plants outside too, but definitely the house plants. I was like, “Oh they’re not doing so well. My mom is right.” She would come over and she’d say, “I hurt when I look at your plants.” [chuckle]
0:14:09 ZH: And I’m living with an ethnobotanist, and he’s just as bad. His idea of helping the plants is to bring them into the yoga space. I started, asked my one of my best friends who is a plants woman, and she gave me these wonderful little tips, bit by bit by bit. And she was excited for me that I was interested in the plants.
0:14:26 ZH: And I’m just thinking, “Wow, this is interesting after that whole experience with Ayahuasca. I’m interested in these other plants that have nothing to do with Ayahuasca.” There’s a fern. Actually, there are some plants from the Amazon region in our home just because there are plants from South America that wind up as potted plants in people’s houses.
0:14:44 ZH: But that is beside the point. The point is that now these plants thrive. I became a caregiver, I became a steward for these little creatures, these beings, these spirits that live in our home with us, that share our home with us, and are fascinating. And now I’m a plants person. I’m a newbie plants person, but I am watching them. I don’t wanna say they’re my pets because I don’t like that word, but they’re my companions, they’re my friends. So now I sound like a real plant person, right?
0:15:18 PA: Absolutely. And I was reading through some of your profile and biography before this, and this is something that really stood out to me, that you emphasized in the language. It’s that nurturing presence.
0:15:33 ZH: Yeah.
0:15:33 PA: And it sounds like that was awakened in some way through the Ayahuasca experience.
0:15:37 ZH: We’re getting back to the Cannabis. First of all, the big thing, ’cause Cannabis is a plant, right? The big thing that happened was, I felt as if this was a sense, like sight and smell and hearing and touch and taste. I felt like a sense had been switched on, that I always had. It was a piece of me that was there fully, that I had just simply not ever switched on. And when it switched on, I wasn’t starting from complete scratch, it just kind of filled up. And it’s wonderful. My life has been so enriched by it. I can’t even put it into words.
0:16:20 ZH: So I like to try to not immediately indulge and commune with, if you will, Cannabis when I come home from really doing something intense with Ayahuasca, because I think the integration phase is precious and more and more fascinating to me, and I think it’s probably a wise move to wait. So I would wait a little while and then I would try Cannabis. And I, by the way, am a lightweight. I really enjoy the experience of edibles, and I need very, very little. It’s kind of microdosing. If I have a little more, I’m not microdosing anymore, I’m full on journeying. [chuckle]
0:16:58 ZH: And a Cannabis is a psychedelic for me, can be. So I have to be really careful. And I can take a teeny, teeny, teeny piece of a Chris brownie, organic weed, homegrown, and I can be awake all night. Like as if I’m in Ayahuasca ceremony. Only it’s not Ayahuasca, it’s Cannabis, and they’re different.
0:17:26 PA: And so it can reignite? Does it sort of reignite the experience? Or is that experience qualitatively different than the Ayahuasca?
0:17:36 ZH: It’s definitely different, but the difference is the plant. I think it’s a really good question. And again, people from the outside would think that we were mad. [chuckle] It’s a little bit more like meditating. Okay, if you meditate every night, or almost every night, you really focus, you get really good at it. Or every whenever, as a regular practice, you really meditate.
0:18:01 ZH: You can get back into that space quickly, if you do it often. You get so good at it, it’s no longer, “Oh, now I need to meditate now.” It’s more, you’re just like, “Okay it’s time to meditate.” You sit right, you get into this space, and you can be there very, very quickly. Really, really beautiful space. Different for me than a psychedelic space, but definitely an altered state that takes you somewhere.
0:18:29 ZH: So I can get into that on airplane or anywhere else, just relax and get there. So in the journeying with Cannabis, it’s as if I have practice with journeying, it’s just a different plant. It’s as if I’m used to it. I have some practice behind me. But the plant itself, and you could say, if you were a scientist, biologist, chemist, you might wanna describe the chemicals and how they’re working in the body.
0:18:58 ZH: But I like the poetry of the ethnobotanical answer, which is the relationship between plants and people. And planet. I love to put planet in there. I like people, plants and planet, because the planet is part of it. So for me, when I think about journeying with Cannabis, I’m journeying with a sacred plant that’s been around for thousands of years that has co-evolved with human beings as a species that I belong to, and wow, and wow, now I’m tapping into that.
0:19:37 PA: This is what Dennis McKenna also… We had him on the podcast maybe a couple of months ago, and he talks a lot about plant intelligence. Where now there’s an entire scientific community that’s sprouting up around plant intelligence. And I think Dennis recalled an experience that he had in the Amazon, where Ayahuasca said something along lines of, “You monkeys just think you’re running the show.”
0:20:00 ZH: Yes, yes, he told me that one. That’s a great one. [chuckle]
0:20:03 PA: It is a really good one, yeah.
0:20:04 ZH: No it’s exactly right. And he and I talked about this too. And he said that plant intelligence and plant spirit are one and the same. The intelligence of a plant doing what nature does, which is to spread out, procreate. In their way, they can’t really… They have all these brilliant mechanisms for getting seeds around, but with the Dennis’ monkeys and our crazy apes, whatever it is that these plants and fungi do for us, we certainly are careful and propagating them. They’re all over the place. Chris is doing a sustainability project with Ayahuasca, did he tell you about that?
0:20:38 PA: Yeah, we talked about it on the podcast, yeah.
0:20:39 ZH: He’s going down for phase two in June, he’s very excited about it. He’s going way, way out there to see a few other places, because this is what you really actually have to do to find out whether there is a sustainability issue or not. Well, to me, we talked about it and it started… This is how that started. It’s related to what we’re talking about.
0:21:01 ZH: I felt like I was getting trolled by people. Sometimes when I would get a big piece of media, the two biggest things that would come up were this idea of cultural appropriation, and this other idea, “cocktail chatter,” I call it, of the fear… Somebody putting fear into somebody about over-harvesting the vine and the leaf. And hey, it might be true, and that would be terrible.
0:21:30 ZH: So eventually I said, “Chris you know, this is what you do, and we… Nobody’s doing a real study on these plants to see, are we? Is this really hurting the plant? I think about this, Chris. And I’ve been spending a lot of time with our plants at home and outside, and we have vines and leaves, we have sort of shrubs that are sort of similar to chacruna, we have vines that are similar to Ayahuasca, they behave similarly.
0:22:01 ZH: You know, if you have shrubs, you prune them and they grow better. If you have vines and you cut them back in a certain way, they’re happy for it and they expand far, they grow further. They’re happy ’cause it’s like a haircut. They get strengthened by it. Wouldn’t that be the case with Ayahuasca? I mean surely they’re not going out there and cutting the whole bush down and dragging it home that makes no sense.
0:22:27 ZH: Certainly they’re not cutting the vine at the root, and even if they are, a lot of vines grow right back from that little stub. “So what’s really happening, Chris? We need to know.” And so, at a certain point, he said, “Yeah, you know, I wanna do that, I wanna do that.” And he started doing it. I’m very excited about that development. I feel very connected with, like I was part of making it happen. He’s doing it.
0:22:52 ZH: But now his finding is exactly what we thought. And not only that, there’s a lot of cultivation going on. And I know we shared this with you, but it’s something that is very much a part of my life too. The cultivation is part of cultural preservation, because this is… We’re talking about, people have these idealized fantastical views of native people. And the truth is it’s South America. It was taken over by colonialists a long time ago.
0:23:24 ZH: And South American culture has a lot in common with North American culture, because we have invaded it with all our crap, our consumer crap. They have all that, just in their own language, in their own look, in their own vibe. You know? And so the people in the native communities are part of that larger culture, even if they’re living in the middle of nowhere in the village, they’re still in South America.
0:23:48 ZH: So, it’s not sweet little noble natives running around in grass skirts, living on the land. These people want TVs and internet and soccer balls. You can’t put… It’s not right for us to wish that they would stay back in that primitive way that we think of when we think of anthropology. No, no, no, these are people with human rights, and they have rights to send their kid to college, if they want to, and have good medical care.
0:24:20 ZH: If the plants that they work with don’t work for something like a broken leg, maybe they wanna send their kid to the hospital for that, you know? And dental, modern dental work. The poor people suffer when they have a really bad tooth, they can’t go to the dentist. So we’re out there with these people, we know how they live, they welcome us into their villages and we live with them.
0:24:45 ZH: In really interesting situations. Sometimes it is a grass hut, you know, and sometimes it’s a bucket, and that’s what you bathe in. And they’re cooking on the fire. But often, almost always they are impoverished and disenfranchised, because people, indigenous people around the world, everybody but the uncontacted tribes who Mark Plotkin works with… Well, he doesn’t work with them, he helps to protect them and he studies them, but he doesn’t want to be around them, ’cause then they would be contacted, right?
0:25:21 ZH: But if they’re not uncontacted tribes, then they are contacted tribes, and they’re part of our world now, and they’ve been taken over in some way by capitalism/colonialism.
0:25:34 PA: And so I look…
0:25:34 ZH: It’s the one that’s damaged. Do you see what I’m saying?
0:25:38 PA: Right.
0:25:38 ZH: So this sustainability project with the preservation part, to wrap that up, there are people who are cultivating Ayahuasca and making a darn good living at it. And it’s not our business in the United States to, at some little trendy parties say, “Well, that’s… That’s like disrespecting the plant.” Hey, you know what, that guy’s feeding his family and he’s doing a beautiful job growing Ayahuasca for people to heal with. Who are you to judge him? With your fancy clothes and your apartment in New York. Even if it’s a little teeny apartment, it cost more than he’ll make in a year. So I really wanna get that message out because it drives me crazy sometimes.
0:26:20 PA: And I kinda wanna get into your work with Cosmic Sister, because I think this then ties right-in in terms of, is that part of what motivated you to start Cosmic Sister?
0:26:31 ZH: Yeah, well, it’s all connected. I mean, I would… Before I drank Ayahuasca, I was traveling with Chris for a year, okay? So I was doing plant medicine sustainability work in the field, all over the world. So I was getting some of that there before the Ayahuasca. But during that time, Cosmic Sister first started in a different way. Cosmic Sister initially started to combat sexism in the natural products industry, because it’s alive and well there, and it shouldn’t be.
0:27:01 ZH: Same as the psychedelic community. We’re supposed to be enlightened. [chuckle] We’re supposed to be a little further along in the evolutionary path. So why then is there so much rampant sexism? And it really is. Not everybody, but it’s definitely there. And it’s not talked about in the same way, even with the Me Too movement. I’m sure it’s talked about more now, but it’s not talked about because it’s a business, and you’re making a living, and it’s a trade, so you’re selling your products and your brand and you’re getting publicity.
0:27:31 ZH: It’s a business. An industry, if you will. So if you upset the bigwigs at the top, then you will feel it. And I don’t want to see that happen to the psychedelics community, and I’m seeing it.
0:27:45 PA: In what way are you seeing it?
0:27:47 ZH: You get these big male “Poobahs” we call them. Which I love that term, because it’s a name that he used to call the Chiefs in Vanawacha. Vanawacha, when somebody would come over that reads that, he’d say, “Oh, he’s a big Poobah.” Well, they’re in every industry. The “Anointed Ones” is the way I would call it from science and MIT. That’s like the Anointed Ones. The ones that have… They walk into a room, “Oh, look that’s so and so.”
0:28:14 ZH: We have them, too. We have them. We have a group of them and they’re mostly males. There’s nothing wrong with those guys, they’re brilliant and wonderful. I know most of them. And they’re, most of them are lovely guys and I don’t know em well enough to know if they’re sexist or not, but that’s beside the point. The point is that they are accomplished thought leaders. But they’ve been there longer than the women and there are not that many women.
0:28:38 ZH: Even today, you and I could probably name a lot of women, but most people wouldn’t be able to. So if you’re running a conference, who do you invite to get some diversity up there? Because it’s not okay not to have the diversity. That’s just not at all okay. It’s embarrassing, and we can do better. So you have to foster this. You know, males, that’s why we need males to help with this, because I, sometimes I’ll flip it around to racism to prove the point.
0:29:10 ZH: I’m not, like I said, I’m not African-American, but from what I understand there’s an entirely different experience being African-American in a racist culture, that we as “white people” cannot really truly understand. We can try to understand, we can ask questions, we can even witness it, which I’ve witnessed a lot of it in my life of being with friends who are African-American, seeing the way they’re treated differently in just normal situations. And I can imagine, but I can still never really truly comprehend.
0:29:41 ZH: It’s the same thing with being a woman. And I really wanna state, it’s the same thing as being born and raised female in a male-dominated culture, ’cause it’s a very specific group that I’m looking at, right? That’s not to say that it’s your fault. It’s no more your fault than slavery is mine. I didn’t participate in the slave trade. I didn’t participate in the genocide of the Native American people who were here long long before the, Columbus discovered America.
0:30:20 ZH: That’s horrifying to me that that happened in this country. My relatives weren’t even around during that period. They came way later, but that is again, besides the point. I didn’t do it. You didn’t do it. And yet we are still responsible for accepting that it happened, and that it’s still… The repercussions of that are still very, very much a part of the fabric of our culture. And it’s needless suffering. And it’s unevolved. It’s uncivilized.
0:30:54 ZH: So the same thing can be said about sexism. Only it’s really old, because instead of it being something that happened historically 200 years, or 300 years ago, this has been going about thousands of years all over the world. And you can maybe, maybe talk about in theoretically matriarchal culture somewhere in the ancient times that got taken over by the first warrior tribe that shows up. Maybe, just maybe, that was true. Maybe some cultures were a little better about it than others, but we’ve had patriarchy for a very, very long time.
0:31:26 ZH: So that changes the dynamic and the relationship between males and females. And I do realize that in today’s world, there’s all sorts of people in between, and that’s all very wonderful, and I’m all for that. But in general, humans split up into 50-50 male, female, okay? So when you look at it that way, then you begin to say, “Okay, how does that feel? How do I communicate that to a guy?” Because I like guys, I love guys actually.
0:31:56 ZH: And I’m not at all for a matriarch either. People say, “Oh well, the good old days of the matriarchy.” I don’t… I disagree. I think that if there was a matriarchy we would also succumb to power, and we would have perversions of power, it would just be different. We need a balance, it’s about balance. And without the balance, some of the perversions that you get is women who rise to the top by compromising, because it’s the only way. Because you’ve got males at the top that have their own little jurisdiction, so to get there, what do you have to do?
0:32:32 ZH: And there are all kinds of compromises you can make in this world, some are worse than others. So you’re seeing that, I’m seeing that in the industry, I’m not going to name names, but I’m seeing it. I’m seeing certain women at the top who are gatekeepers, and they’re power hungry, and they’re either using their sexuality or they’re very aggressive, or something to position themselves where they are.
0:33:00 ZH: But however they get there, they should be very, very welcoming to other women, because if we don’t work with each other and support each other, then what we’re doing is we’re acting out our patriarchal wounds. We’re taught to tear each other down, we’re taught to compete, we’re taught because there’s this thing called, I like to call it “perceived scarcity of power”.
0:33:25 ZH: And I say it’s perceived, because there really, truly, isn’t a scarcity of power, because we are 50% of the human species, about. We could take our power tomorrow, if we could get it together to do that. But as it stands, there is a scarcity of power. And I don’t mean power over, I mean power to influence, power to have a say, a voice in how things go.
0:33:51 ZH: Power to get your message out, power to do good in the world, your own personal healthy power, I’m talking about. We… There is a scarcity of positions and there’s a scarcity of power. I have a fiscal sponsorship with MAPS, and I really appreciate that Rick is open to psychedelic feminism. But I also have to say that, as much as I love them, their entire board is male and their founders are male, there’s not one female. Now, how does that feel to you when I say that? As a guy.
0:34:26 PA: It feels normal in the psychedelic space, in that, with this being… And I’d love to hear your thoughts on this ’cause I’m gonna dig into… With this being such a nascent movement, from my perspective, one of the main reasons that a lot of the men or a lot of the people who are in we could say leadership position or thought leader positions…
0:34:54 ZH: Yes, yes.
0:34:54 PA: Is because the amount of risk that is required to go out on a limb to do this is quite high. And…
0:35:05 ZH: What do you mean “risk”? You mean professional legal risk?
0:35:08 PA: Professional risk, reputational risk, those would be the two primary ones. Like just making a living risk, in other words.
0:35:15 ZH: Yes.
0:35:17 PA: And it’s, again, this is just from what I understand, men seem to be more willing to take on high-risk situations than women. And what my hope is, is as this process continues to develop, like we were talking about earlier in our conversation, as the cultural tipping point reaches a perspective where the risk isn’t as prevalent or real, then the space has been created where women can step in and start to basically hold more and more leadership positions, because it won’t be as much of a risk for women personally to go out on a limb say, “I am a psychedelic user, and this is why I believe in it.” Because…
0:36:06 ZH: First of all, I’m not sure where you get the idea that women aren’t risk-takers. But…
0:36:12 PA: Not that women aren’t risk-takers, but that men generally tend to be more willing to take high risks than women. It’s not just say that it’s a black and white thing.
0:36:23 ZH: Now where do you get that idea?
0:36:24 PA: From research on evolutionary psychology, from research on when we look at the typical roles that men and women have filled in cultures across millennium, this has just tended to be my understanding in terms of why it happens.
0:36:43 ZH: Well, I would challenge that, because I’m certainly, I can’t relate to it at all, I’m such a risk-taker myself. And perhaps I take different risks, but I’m certainly a risk taker. And most of my best closest friends and I have a lot of friends, women friends, are definitely risk-takers of various sorts.
0:37:03 ZH: And also I have a strange perspective because I’m in psychedelic feminism, so I’m tapped into all the amazing women out there and there are so, so many. And they’re all out about their psychedelic experiences. I don’t like the word used, for me, but that’s the way it is. I think that it’s possible that if you’re a mother, especially a single mother, that you would potentially be really careful with that.
0:37:31 ZH: But a man also traditionally is the bread winner, so if we’re talking about traditional, which is what you were talking about… I don’t know, I can’t say I agree with that. I would tend to say this. Okay, I’ll give a couple of examples. First of all, with Chris, sometimes… He’s a tall, dark and handsome White male, okay? He’s also got the gift to gab, he’s really brilliant, he had a great education, he’s had all that privilege.
0:38:01 ZH: Now, I’ve had my privilege of my own, and I had the privilege of a wonderful father, he didn’t have that. As far as I’m concerned that’s a bigger privilege. But he still is a man and he’s traveled all over the world on his own, and so sometimes he’ll start telling some great medicine tale and he really wants to tell it, so he’ll start off on some story about some dark alley that he found himself in, blah, blah, blah.
0:38:26 ZH: And it’ll be some wonderful medicine tale, okay, but… And the first thing I’m thinking is, “I would never do that.” Why? Because I would get raped or murdered, or both. Or kidnapped. Or all three or whatever. No, I would not do that, based on experience in my life, I learned not to take certain kinds of risks.
0:38:48 ZH: I’ve also never been a physical risk taker, because I like to be able-bodied, I wanna take care of this body that I have, because it gets me around. And I’m very careful with my brain too, which is interesting that I’m now playing around with psychedelics. At first I was terrified, I was brought up on all the propaganda that that was the big risk.
0:39:12 ZH: So when you talk about risks, my father, especially, and many of the intellectuals of his time, they thought that, well, the way they thought a lot of them, was that you could risk going insane and never coming back, that was the perspective. So I had all of that propaganda in my head, and that fear. So I was brought up thinking that the biggest risk with psychedelics was what would happen to your brain, your mind.
0:39:37 ZH: And once I got past that, it was wide open for me. I realized I have nothing to fear. This is my natural state. I’m familiar with this state, as an artist, especially. This is my imagination and my… It’s just I have more access to somewhere I don’t have access in any other way in my life. And I’m a pretty liberated person. I wanna go there, I wanna see what’s there, I wanna play with this, and that’s the part of me that’s exploring rather than really working with it as a medicine, which I do that too. I’ve had a lot of personal healing. I still do get personal healing from it.
0:40:24 ZH: But it’s not all about that, it’s not all about going and working on dealing with that trauma that you had from whatever in your life. With the psychedelic feminism, I would say that it’s things that have happened to women primarily because they were born female and raised female in a male-dominated culture.
0:40:42 ZH: Those are specific wounds that we had, which by the way, you have them too, as a male, because you’re a foreign male and raised male in a patriarchal culture. That’s not necessarily all a good thing for you, either. There are plenty of patriarchal wounds that you carry as a male.
0:41:00 PA: And I’m aware of that. I have a mom who’s a feminist.
0:41:02 ZH: Yes.
0:41:02 PA: I’ve a mom who’s a feminist, yeah.
0:41:05 ZH: Ah yay. [chuckle]
0:41:06 PA: So I’ve been very in tune with this and…
0:41:08 ZH: I love feminist moms. [chuckle]
0:41:09 PA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the ultimate question that I struggle with in this conversation is what is “cultural conditioning”, in terms of, what wounds are responsible? Or what is the patriarchal, our patriarchal culture responsible for, in terms of wounds and development and the decisions that we decide to make? And what is rooted in the fact that, like we were talking about earlier, we’ve evolved as humans for over 180,000 years? So in short, what’s the difference between cultural conditioning and our evolutionary framework? And…
0:41:49 ZH: Well, we’ve evolved as a patriarchy too, you have to be honest with that. Cultural evolution is part of evolution. So it’s in the same track as the physical evolution, but physically, biologically, I do think that there probably are some things that tend to be more male than female. However, I think that we cannot know what those are, because the nature of who we are as a species is we’re very programmable.
0:42:14 ZH: So we don’t have a… We can’t experiment with that to see what really happens when there is no cultural influence telling a girl what a girl is supposed to be and a guy what a guy is supposed to be, and teaching them all those. And we can’t really truly remove ourselves to get a real idea. We can look to nature, and I really enjoy the birds around our house. I’ve studied wolves and cats, all the different cat species a lot. And each of the different… I love dolphins also.
0:42:46 ZH: The different species have their traits that are specific to their species, and then they also have individual personalities and experiences. They also can get anxiety and they can get trauma, and they get get a lot of what we get, they have grief. But they also have… You can watch one, you’re gonna learn some things, but when you learn, you watch more than one wolf or more than one of the same species, you begin to see, “Oh, that’s part of what that species does. How funny, how interesting.” You know what, we’re the same, right?
0:43:19 ZH: So I love to try to figure out which is which, but I don’t think we can truly know what gender is, in the sense of other than our physicality, because we don’t really know. I mean if people like to say, “Well, women, the feminine principle, femininity is receptivity and… ” No, guys can be extremely that way.
0:43:39 ZH: Now, little boys, you meet little boys, they’re so beautiful and sensitive a lot of the time, so I just can’t buy into that women or girls are more sensitive than boys thing. I think it’s forced out of guys along the way, somehow with your programming, or at least the cultural programming that most males endure.
0:43:58 ZH: Luckily, you had a feminist mother, but you still were part of the greater culture, you still got it in TV and whatever other cultural activities you’ve had outside of the home, you still got it. You can’t avoid it, right? So we get it too. And I think there’s so many of them that you… Where would you even begin to start with a list? I can start with throwing out a couple of major ones that come up recently a lot in conversation.
0:44:27 ZH: Women in our culture are often taught, it’s insidious, okay? It’s not right. Like we don’t have a class that teaches us this, but we’re taught over time that our voices, well, may be important sometimes, mostly should be important because we’re supporting a big Poobah male. Or a male, a male. So we are supportive voices. Or maybe when we’re invited to speak, we’re that kind of like the token female in the room. We’re supposed to represent our entire gender, which is absurd.
0:45:10 ZH: There are a lot of females in the world and we’re all different. [chuckle] So when you look at it that way, the suppression of our voices is very hard to pinpoint, but it is there in so many ways. Surprisingly in women, often women who are speakers, who get out there and talk, who write, they still tend to let the men take over.
0:45:34 ZH: And so when you look at something… And you know what, I wanted to go back to that story about Chris being in the middle of nowhere and taking risks, because it’s connected. We have a lot of feminist conversations, and another one that I talk to him about is, you have to foster things sometimes to create diversity and balance. And sometimes you… ‘Cause he’ll say, “But those guys are really great, and they’re more accomplished. There’s just more accomplished men in the scene.”
0:46:06 ZH: Well, yeah, I suppose that’s true. Or at least there’s more accomplished men that you know of. So then it becomes the question, “How come you know those men, and how do you know their name?” “Well, they are accomplished and brilliant.” Well, there are lots of accomplished and brilliant men you’ve never heard of too.
0:46:26 ZH: So we have this tendency to get… It’s a celebrity model, where we got people who are known and then they draw crowds that are… To our whatever, our venues, our events, and then they get more and more and more power. And sometimes they really are great minds, and sometimes they really are thought leaders that we want. But once they’re established in those places, they stay there until they die, usually. Or they’re ousted for some reason, maybe they fall from grace. But most of the time they inhabit that space.
0:46:55 ZH: So if you’ve already got an imbalance of males, and hey, let’s say it, White males for the most part. You have them there. And there’s nothing wrong with them as individuals, except that it’s not good science, or it’s not good anything, if it’s all one thing. If it’s all males, you’re not really getting the full picture. You just aren’t.
0:47:18 ZH: So you’ve got to foster the females. And other diversity would be nice. You have to foster it, you have to go out and find it. Find the emerging voices. Get somebody some speaking experience. Some of what I do is I teach publicity, like the basics. So for me, when I for instance give out a grant, often the grant will, whether it’s be for women in psychedelics or women in Cannabis, or both, it’s often in part to help promote their voice.
0:47:53 ZH: So I am not only giving them some money to maybe pay for the accommodations where they’re speaking or help pay for a flight or whatever it is they need, ’cause most of these conferences don’t pay diddly-squat. You’re expected to show up on your own dollar. And maybe you’ll get a comp ticket. But not everybody has that money. Some people are in school still.
0:48:14 ZH: There’s a PhD student I’m sponsoring for the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference. And how is she gonna get a ticket back and forth to Vancouver? She’s in the South somewhere. I think she’s… I can’t remember where she is. That’s terrible. But she’s wonderful and brilliant and amazing, and a very wonderful voice. And I can’t wait for people to go, “Who is that? How come I’ve never heard of her?” I can’t wait, ’cause I know I’m gonna hear that.
0:48:37 ZH: So I love that, finding emerging voices, including other people that we haven’t seen or heard. I frankly think that an Emerging Voices would be a great conference to have. But we still love our big Poobah males, and big Poobah females too. We love to hear those big speakers ’cause they’re great. I’m married to one. I understand. They’re great. But we need to foster the new ones.
0:49:04 ZH: Now here’s the thing. Since I started doing this psychedelic feminism thing, which hasn’t been that long, not relatively in my life, but I’ve seen some progress. That’s the good news. I think that in today’s world, because there is some progress happening, we think, people are talking about racism and sexism, things like that. People are talking about what happened to the indigenous people in the various countries including our own. People are talking about that.
0:49:33 ZH: Again, thank goodness. Because there are periods of time where they talk about it and then it gets… A backlash era happens, like the ’80s, and then they don’t talk about it for a while. I’m so happy to see it in the forefront of conversation again, finally. So this is when we really have a chance to make some change happen. It’s exciting, and I’m loving it. [chuckle]
0:49:53 ZH: So I’ve seen a little progress. Because you know what it is? I approach feminism in a really loving way. I’m not an angry, raging feminist. I have righteous anger, but a lot of it I’ve managed to learn how to… It’s like alchemy, to take that rage, that righteous rage, and turn it into something.
0:50:18 ZH: For the most part, I’ve learned how to do that. And I also do genuinely love men, in terms of good men. When I look at somebody like Trump, it’s tough for me to see, because what I’m seeing is, wow, that’s the worst of the backwards patriarchy. Good news is they will die out eventually. They’re all old.
0:50:37 PA: Right.
0:50:38 ZH: So hopefully the new crop won’t be quite so bad. [chuckle] What a shame that they’re in the seat of power. That says a lot about how slow we are to change. So yeah, back to psychedelic. And Cannabis, which is interesting. Let’s talk about Cannabis, the industry. I just answered a media inquiry for Thrive Global, which is, Arianna Huffington, her new venue, I guess. Which, it looks great, actually, I have to say. It looks like a really good thing. Thrive Global.
0:51:09 ZH: So it was about… What was it titled? Women In Pot. Leaders In Pot. Something like… Women Leaders In Pot, something like… I don’t like the title. I don’t like “pot”. But okay, whatever. So I said, “Well… ” You had to be a CEO of a company, and it had be a Cannabis-related company. “Well, it’s a stretch. They… They’re not gonna choose me, ’cause this is too far out for them, and I don’t have a brick and mortar store, and I don’t have a product,” that’s Cannabis, right?
0:51:36 ZH: I’m not selling weed, I’m not selling vapes. But I am, in part, a CEO that has a Cannabis aspect to my company. And it is a company, and I am a CEO, so I thought, “You know, I’m gonna apply. Why not? I’m gonna send my answer, and my pitch.” So I did, and I really had to think about the bubble that we’re in, and what would really scare them away, and I wouldn’t even get across the line to talk to somebody.
0:52:02 ZH: And I thought, “Yeah, this is just way too far out. Where I have ended up in Cannabis is journeying with the plant. And plant liberation, and cognitive liberty, and things like that. The right to explore with these plants. And that’s where I wound up. And they’re not gonna understand that.”
0:52:21 ZH: But I did go ahead and pitch it. But I was really thinking about that. Because the way they… They were wanting, the good news is, they were wanting to promote women in Cannabis. Business women. “Because yes, we’re in late-stage capitalism. The only thing that matters, is business. Business, business, business. How much money are you making?” It is late-stage capitalism. It’s a big part of what we’re dealing with.
0:52:46 ZH: So that was their thing. And yes, they’re also, they know it’s a hot topic, so because they are, they’re new and they’re selling advertising. So all of that is also capitalism. And they were talking about Cannabis CEOS, in a company, in an industry. It wasn’t like psychedelics. Psychedelics is more, “What are you doing? [chuckle] What are you learning? What have you tried? What’s going on? What are you hearing about?”
0:53:16 ZH: We’re like pioneers more than we are an industry. So they’re an industry at this point. And to me, back to the plant spirit thing, I’m fighting for the plants. I don’t want that to be done to the plants. I don’t like that. It’s disrespectful. And I also am old and wise, and I see what happens to industry, and I don’t want the laws to be around this forgetting that it is a plant.
0:53:45 ZH: And not just a plant like a crop, but a plant spirit, and an evolutionary ally. It’s its own being, and it deserves to be treated with respect, and grown organically as well. If the big corporate America gets hold of Cannabis, it’ll turn into processed food. It’ll be a processed drug. That’s what…
0:54:10 PA: It’s already looking like that is gonna be the case, to some degree, once…
0:54:14 ZH: Well, we’re fighting that. We’re finding that, and so when I was writing this pitch, I had to also include that my focus, so I had to get really clear about what is my focus as a Cannabis professional, and it’s also about the environment and the natural products part of Cannabis. Because Cannabis is a natural product when you’re selling it as a product. We don’t sell it, you see.
0:54:37 ZH: So that was very interesting to me, to really think about that and women in Cannabis, and how… Okay, so here it is. I think what’s going on with Cosmic Sister and Cannabis is really interesting. Of course, I think it’s interesting. It’s what I’m dedicated to. I live and breathe it. I think it’s fascinating, and I’m passionate about it.
0:54:55 ZH: And I work with a lot of experts. I’m in touch with some really fine Cannabis experts and psychedelic experts that are mostly female. And if they’re not female, they know some great females. Feel free to send me some great females, by the way. [chuckle] They’re out there. And part of what’s happening for me, is I’m in touch with a lot of them, so I know they’re there.
0:55:16 ZH: I love that aspect of my work, being able to place talent, being able to say, “Oh, you need an expert quote from somebody in Cannabis?” I will send them the women first. And once they said, “Oh, great experts,” I’ll go, “Oh, I know another couple of really good guys,” and then I’ll send them the guys. But I know they already have five guys. See? So I’m doing that behind the scenes and I’m working it constantly and building.
0:55:42 ZH: And there’s a lot of giving back that happens. There’s networking happening out there. So it’s important just to think about the fostering. When you have a chance to have a panel or whatever, do your absolute best to have at the very least, half and half in terms of the basic gender. If you wanna be more diverse, have some people of color, whatever that means.
0:56:06 ZH: And have some people who are in between and exploring gender entirely. Have a real diverse group of thought leaders who are all exploring psychedelics and Cannabis and see what they’re doing. To me, I’m focused on this, because this is what I know and this is what I care about. I want to help the next generation.
0:56:29 ZH: I know that this is… Hurt me, it has hurt me living in a patriarchy, in terrible ways. It, I don’t know, clipped my wings, and nipped me in the bud in many ways. And I was a fighter. I still am a fighter, so I always got through it and beyond and grew back and succeeded, but there were still those pieces of me that were clipped.
0:56:53 ZH: And that, I see in the Ayahuasca space with women all the time. They’re working on clipped wings. That’s another big one. I’d say suppressed voices, clipped wings. I’d say those are two of the biggest ones for me that manifests over and over. And sometimes it’s the most accomplished woman that is extrovert and confident, and has a kijillion degrees. And you’d be surprised what’s inside there, in terms of patriarchal wounds.
0:57:30 ZH: And I like to say it. We’re abused by this culture. I’m not a victim, but we’re all victimized by the culture. And that’s why I like to bring it back to guys, especially when I’m speaking with a guy, but also because, when the Me Too movement really started early on, the hashtag, there were a lot of men that were like, “Well, that happened to me.”
0:57:51 ZH: And that’s really true, you know, it happens to men. The same kind of thing happens to men, especially rape. There’s a lot of rape that happens with men, boys, and it’s not talked about a lot. I think men suppress that more than women do. Repress, I should say, repress that. And I’ve had personal experience with that, with important men in my life have shared that, that they had been raped. And they didn’t… In every case they said they’d never told anybody else.
0:58:16 ZH: And it certainly affected them, ’cause I had a thing for wounded males for… Figures for a while. You know, the guys in my life. That was my original pattern. And it was pre-psychedelics. So the interesting thing is now I look back and I think about those men who were wounded by the patriarchy, and I think about Ayahuasca, and I think, “Wow, you know, they could really work on that with Ayahuasca and maybe really be free of it and become a whole male, and wouldn’t they be wonderful.”
0:58:48 PA: And what’s that…
0:58:49 ZH: They were wonderful guys.
0:58:50 PA: Right. Because I don’t think that is, you know, if we get back to Trump, it’s… When these traumas happen to us, they often stop us at that age.
0:59:01 ZH: Yes.
0:59:01 PA: And so I think that’s one of the larger issues with the “patriarchy”, is it’s run, so to say, by a bunch of boys, they’re not really men.
0:59:13 ZH: Yes, yes.
0:59:15 PA: And I think that is…
0:59:16 ZH: Really a mess.
0:59:17 PA: One of the most pressing issues, is how do we as a culture, create that space to not only foster women voices, but to also help men grow up? Because I think through that process, there will be more space also created for women.
0:59:36 ZH: And we haven’t talked a lot about our last trip and I don’t wanna bore you with my long vision, but I had a really major vision the last night of ceremony. Every ceremony was really good this last time at Temple, but the last one was really intense and it’s the one that I really kinda came home with and really have been integrating. And it was all about patriarchy.
1:00:02 ZH: But I went in and my intention, oddly enough, was to reconnect with Aphrodite, who is love, beauty, creativity and sexuality, pretty much. And she’s, you know, a big goddess. She’s a very big goddess. And in many ways, she is the goddess, she’s love. I mean, love is everything, isn’t it? [chuckle]
1:00:26 ZH: But I just had this instinctual feeling that it was time, and I did… And then, you know, I do think about Dennis McKenna sometimes in that… An early conversation we had, because I thought about him during my vision because I asked for, to see Aphrodite and she showed herself and she was… It was a really harsh, hard, long night, right?
1:00:49 ZH: So what I thought about with Dennis is, be careful what you ask for because you’ll get it, you might get it. So I did, and she came to me, as a goddess, far away, and huge, larger than the sky in my mind. And she was wounded Aphrodite. She was not Aphrodite in her glory and power as you would see her. Certainly, she was not a sexualized Aphrodite posing on a, you know, shell rising out of the ocean.
1:01:24 ZH: That was not the Aphrodite I saw. She was beautiful in her way but she was ageless and she did not… I couldn’t see her face either, it was just more of an emanating shape, but she was definitely sensual and moving constantly. It was a beautiful vision. But she was sending me these messages. They were pretty much, “Oh, now you call me. Where have you been?” You know, it was like that. “You, you.” “Yes, yes, I’ve been very far away.”
1:02:00 ZH: So I thought, “Okay, she’s… Don’t hurt me, please don’t hurt me. I’m listening.” And I got this long series that could take, it would take hours to tell you the whole thing, so I won’t. But I had to go back into a period of my life when I was in my mid-to-late 20s, after grad school, which is where I was absolutely abused by, in sort of Weinstein style, although I never slept with him, a professor for three years. And it was constant, it was brutal, and it was extremely public.
1:02:37 ZH: Everybody knew it was going on, nobody did anything about it. The two people who stood up were just torn down in public and didn’t do anything else. And what I have to remind people about, when I tell that story, is it was legal then to do that. There were no laws to protect me. I went to the top people to tell them what was happening, but nothing could be done. So I had to relive that and I thought, “Wow, really? I have to go back to that again? Haven’t I worked on that before?” And she said, “No.” Aphrodite is saying, “You asked for wounded Aphrodite.”
1:03:14 ZH: So I ended up spending a lot of time with myself during those years, in that Ayahuasca way, in that altered state medicine way. So very, very poetic. In my mind it’s always poetic, often like little vignettes of movies going on at the same time in different sides of my vision-scape. So I would have… One of the things that happened is I went through all the different key relationships in my life during that period of time where I was surviving that man, and also the few years after surviving that man.
1:03:49 ZH: So it was really a six, a six-year period, including the men who were my lovers. There were two major men who were my lovers at that time. So when I went back, I also had to look at those two men. And I didn’t spend a lot of time with them, but they were really intensely then… At that time they were their age, at that time, it was really quite wonderful in a way to sort of see them again, but it was all very sad and it was very focused.
1:04:17 ZH: And she, Aphrodite, wanted me to see all of the things in my psyche that had to do with wounded Aphrodite from that period. And one of the things I got was that those two guys were extremely wounded by the patriarchy. Not just the patriarchy, by their actual fathers, which was really interesting.
1:04:41 ZH: Their fathers had wounded them, because their fathers had been severely wounded by the patriarchy. And possibly their fathers. I don’t know. I don’t know what their father’s father was, but their fathers were their great wound. And I’m married to a man whose father is his great wound. And that’s public knowledge so I can say it. You can watch his Ayahuasca monologue. He’ll tell you about it.
1:05:04 ZH: Yeah. The reason I brought that up, that vision, is because it was, I had been thinking a lot about the male part of this for a lot of reasons. I don’t want the males to feel excluded from this movement. Everybody can be a feminist. Everybody can be a psychedelic feminist. If they’re into psychedelics and they’re a feminist, they’re a psychedelic feminist whether you’re a guy or a girl or anything else, doesn’t matter.
1:05:27 ZH: We need the male allies. We need you guys. Theoretically, we can do it on our own, we could get 50% of the vote. But that’s not how the structure is. And anyway, please help us. [chuckle] And you’ll also be helped too, because it’s not healthy for you too. And I think that was part of what the vision was about. It was not just my own personal experience in life, it was more of a archetypal experience where I was seeing how the patriarchy did not support me at that time.
1:06:03 ZH: And when I first graduated, that was when Anita Hill was happening, which you may or may not remember, but that is why there are now laws that if your professor does something like that, you can get him fired or you could sue the university. Back then you couldn’t do that. So all of that, that’s progress.
1:06:18 ZH: So I had to think, “That’s progress. And it was a powerful woman that did that, who put her her life at risk by doing that.” It was a big, big trial for a long time, and I was glued to the screen because I was hanging on for dear life after being abused for three years trying to figure out who the hell I was on the other side, and find my confidence and creativity again after surviving that.
1:06:40 ZH: So I think about that vision and I think about where I am with psychedelic feminism, and I think it’s about inviting the guys in and saying, “Hey, this is awesome what we’re doing and please don’t feel that you can’t be part of it. I have to focus on supporting women’s voices, but you can too. It doesn’t take away from you, because we’re all integrated into our lives together. It’s not like we live on the other side of the track, we’re all in each other’s lives. We’re sharing each other’s lives.”
1:07:09 ZH: So with the women in your lives, with the women in your field, you know, do what you can to support their voices, which I know you do anyway, but I’m speaking to other guys out there, all guys. And even if you do it, do it more. And yeah, sure, if you want to donate to the cause, please do.
1:07:25 ZH: It goes through the fiscal sponsorship, which is just cosmicsister.com/support. You can go through the MAPS donation page and it’s tax deductible, which is great. A little goes a long way. Don’t feel like 20 bucks doesn’t help. It does. It may not sound as sexy to support with a donation, but this is a world that we live in and people need to pay rent, and these grants are basically to support women that little bit so that they can do something so they can get out there and be known and share their amazing work. And their voices are unique and I think you’ll love them.