Embracing European shamanic traditions and the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Annie Oak is the founder of the Women’s Visionary Congress (WVC), a nonprofit organization that supports the right to self-knowledge, cognitive liberty and new modes of healing that link us to female wisdom keepers and users of plant medicines. Since 2007, the WVC has hosted events in the US and Canada that present the work of women researchers, healers, activists and artists who examine heightened states of consciousness.
Annie is also the creator of the Full Circle Tea House, a mobile tea service that offers a place for rest, hydration and integration at events large and small. She is the co-editor of the Manual of Psychedelic Support, a guide to setting up and running compassionate care services for people who have challenging drug experiences at music festivals and other gatherings. Trained as a science journalist, Annie works with a group of researchers who analyze large-scale human rights violations in conflict zones around the world.
Embracing European Shamanic Traditions in Modern Community Rituals
The widespread destruction of shamanic plant knowledge in Europe presents challenges for those who wish to carry on these traditions in contemporary life. What can we learn from researchers whose work illuminates the sacred role of psychoactive plans in European cultures? How can this knowledge inform the creation of new rites of passage and community rituals? This talk will examine insights from two powerful works of scholarship; The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries, by Carl Ruck, R. Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann and Blaise Daniel Staples; and Sacred Mushrooms of the Goddess: Secrets of Eleusis, by Carl Ruck.
Both books argue that the Eleusinian Mysteries, which were practiced for two millennia in Greece, were group rituals that included the ingestion of ergot fungi. Participants in these gatherings learned to live in harmony with the natural cycles of life and death and the forces of transformation and renewal. Swiss chemist, Albert Hofmann, who first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) from ergot alkaloids in 1938, believed that, “Only a new Eleusis could help mankind to survive the threatening catastrophe in Nature and human society and bring a new period of happiness.” Have we begun to reimagine a new Eleusis, and if so, what would these ceremonies look like?
Forces Behind the Movement – Presentation of Organizations
Panelist: Annie Oak, MS
A representative from each organization will describe their organization, their mission and provide a status on current activities.
The Aware Project – Ashley Booth
Botanical Dimensions – Kathleen Harrison
ERIE – Larry Norris
GITA – John Harrison
ICEERS – Ben De Loenen
MAPS – Berra Yazar-Klosinski
Nierika – Anja Loizaga-Velder
Women’s Visionary Congress – Annie Oak
Moderator: Kenneth Tupper, PhD