Kathleen Harrison, MA

Kathleen Harrison, MA

Keynote Address, Evolving Traditions; Who is Cannabis?

Kathleen Harrison, MA, is an independent scholar and teacher of ethnobotany. She focuses particularly on the way that various native cultures perceive nature, and how they exhibit that in story, ritual and healing. Psychedelic plant and mushroom rituals are part of that relationship to nature.

Since the 1970s, she has done recurrent fieldwork in Mesoamerica, the Amazon Basin, the West Coast subcultures, and Pacific islands, and is a published author and photographer. She is the president of Botanical Dimensions, a non-profit organization, which she founded with her former husband, Terence McKenna. Through BD, she has worked for 30 years to collect medicinal and shamanic species and the lore that helps us understand how to regard them.

Kat currently teaches ethnobotany workshops in Sonoma County, CA, and intensive field courses on the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as international presentations. She helps her students understand the nature-based worldviews of traditional cultures, how to see and identify plants, how to use plants and fungi in healing and ritual, their role in the human story, and our human role as stewards of nature. She is based in rural Northern California and Hawaii.

Keynote Address:

Evolving Traditions: Ancient Psychedelic Species Meet Modern Cultures — Plus the Changing Global Landscape for Psilocybin Mushrooms

Presentation Abstract:

Who is Cannabis? Her Persona & Role in Personal & Cultural Experience

Human cultures tend to perceive powerful species as beings, and this being—Marijuana, Cannabis, Bhang—is one who has been in close relationship with many cultures of the world for at least several thousand years. Psychoactive Cannabis is widely felt as feminine. We might ask, “What is she doing here? Friend, comforter, She-who-softens, She-who-brings-joy, or She-who-obscures?” In these terms, Kat will examine who Cannabis spirit is and what she offers our culture in these times.

Panel Discussion:

Forces Behind the Movement – Presentation of Organizations
Panelist: Kathleen Harrison, MA, MS

A representative from each organization will describe their organization, their mission and provide a status on current activities.

The Aware ProjectAshley Booth
Botanical Dimensions – Kathleen Harrison
ERIELarry Norris
GITAJohn Harrison
ICEERSBen De Loenen
MAPSBerra Yazar-Klosinski
NierikaAnja Loizaga-Velder 
Women’s Visionary CongressAnnie Oak
Moderator: Kenneth Tupper, PhD


Sweeping the Mountain of Nerves:
Finding & Keeping Balance with Traditional Techniques & Ritual

Monday, September 28th at Big Art Church, 9:30am – 2:30pm, with a 1 hour lunch break

Kat will share information, insights, stories and techniques that she has learned in decades of fieldwork with a variety of teachers—human, plant, and mushroom. Folk knowledge addresses illness, imbalance, sorrow, protection, cleansing, grounding, integration and gratitude. These approaches apply to most of the psychedelic plants/fungi. She’ll also share specific ways of working with Salvia divinorum, tobacco, sages and other aromatics. Kat cultivates an awareness of what grows wild in this region of Southern California that might be invoked, and local indigenous practices that preceded colonization of Southern California.

This workshop is 4 hours and will take place conducive to instruction and where participants will have the opportunity to engage in interactive rituals and exercises.

Cost: $125
Space is limited.

All Workshops will take place at the Visionary Convergence Venue.

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