Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine

Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine

By Maria Papaspyrou, Chiara Baldini and David Luke
Park Street Press, 2019

An exploration of the connections between feminine consciousness and altered states from ancient times to present day

Women have been shamans since time immemorial, not only because women have innate intuitive gifts, but also because the female body is wired to more easily experience altered states, such as during the process of birth. Whether female or male, the altered states produced by psychedelics and ecstatic trance expand our minds to tap into and enhance our feminine states of consciousness as well as reconnect us to the web of life.

In this book, we discover the transformative powers of feminine consciousness and altered states as revealed by contributors both female and male, including revered scholars, visionary artists, anthropologists, modern shamans, witches, psychotherapists, and policy makers. The book begins with a deep look at the archetypal dimensions of the feminine principle and how entheogens give us open access to these ancient archetypes, including goddess consciousness and the dark feminine. The contributors examine the female roots of shamanism, including the role of women in the ancient rites of Dionysus, the Eleusinian Sacrament, and Norse witchcraft. They explore psychedelic and embodied paths to ecstasy, such as trance dance, holotropic breathwork, and the similarities of giving birth and taking mind-altering drugs. Looking at the healing potential of the feminine and altered states, they discuss the power of plant medicines, including ayahuasca, and the recasting of the medicine-woman archetype for the modern world. They explore the feminine in the creative process and discuss feminist psychedelic activism, sounding the call for more female voices in the psychedelic research community.

Sharing the power of “femtheogenic” wisdom to help us move beyond a patriarchal society, this book reveals how feminine consciousness, when intermingled with psychedelic knowledge, carries and imparts the essence of inclusivity, interconnectedness, and balance our world needs to heal and consciously evolve.

REVIEWS
“Words like ‘essential knowledge’ and ‘provocative’ somehow fail to do justice to the content between these covers. These are contemporary, controversial issues in psychedelics that aren’t adequately being addressed elsewhere: abuses of power and the ethical behavior of psychedelic guides and shamans and the role of psychedelics not only in women reclaiming their power but in deconstructing the gender binary. There is mystery and potential in the feminine, the yin shadow. That darkness is an important piece of the power and glory that is woman. I applaud this project and recommend it heartfully. It is crucial information that needs to be integrated into the psychedelic community and the larger tribe of humanity. Also, the artwork is gorgeous and inspiring.”
- Julie Holland MD, editor of Ecstasy: The Complete Guide and The Pot Book

“This edited volume presents a wide-ranging history of the roots of the current psychedelic renaissance. From the ancient rites of Dionysus, scholars and practitioners explore how the Sacred Feminine opens a doorway into the Divine via both ecstatic trance and an embodied connection to nature. Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine is a valuable addition to all collections of psychedelic mysticism.”
- Rachel Harris, Ph.D., author of Listening to Ayahuasca

“This impressive volume weaves together an evolving understanding of the psychedelic feminine through essays and art. The call for all people to embrace the Divine Feminine in its many forms is loud and clear in this celebration of the feminine voice and historical perspective. We have the power to transform our culture and our world. This anthology is a wonderful aid in discovering a path toward love, healing, and balance.”
- Rick Doblin, Ph.D., founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

“This book is packed with ideas, information, and analysis on the importance of the feminine in psychedelic, ecstatic, and shamanic practice--topics I find utterly fascinating and sorely needed in this time of crisis, with our longing for transition and with our need for inspiration and magic beyond our current paradigm.”
- Gail Bradbrook, Ph.D., cofounder of Extinction Rebellion