Women's Visionary Congress: Psychedelic Culture and Community
50 Years and Still Evolving
Anne Tara Szostek, Annie Oak, M.S., Denis Berry, and Mariavittori Mangini, Ph.D., F.N.P
Full-Day Workshop: Monday, April 24, 2017
Psychedelic science is reaching a point of maturity undreamed of by the intrepid travelers whose unsupervised self-experimentation launched contemporary psychedelic culture 50 years ago. In 1967, Lisa Bieberman, one of the psychedelic pioneers of that time, wrote evocatively about the excesses of the era:
The word "psychedelic" is ruined; it might as well be scrapped by those who still wish to speak earnestly about their experience. Psychedelic now means gaudy illegible posters, gaudy unreadable tabloids, loud parties and anything paisley, crowded noisy discotheques, trinket shops and the slum districts that patronize them.
This is the baggage that today's researchers have been at great pains to leave behind, even to the extent of declaring that the so-called countercultural psychedelic lifestyle was, in the words of a prominent contemporary spokesperson for psychedelic research, "bunk."
Unfortunately, while the intention of this approach was to draw a cloak of respectability around today's research, it has neglected those parts of the so-called counterculture which formed stable and functional communities, and which invested decades in maintaining what might be called a sustainable psychedelic lifestyle.
This workshop will answer Ms. Bieberman's challenge to the psychonauts of her era: that they neglected the necessary focus and labor required to create a psychedelic community, which, she said "is a place for people to live and work together, put down roots, raise their children and grow old."
Our discussions will provide for Psychedelic Science 2017 participants a balanced exposure to what we will call Psychedelic Culture, and to the persons and communities which have sustained the cultural ideas and ideals of the first wave of psychedelic experience and experimentation. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the roots of contemporary psychedelic culture, harm reduction, and spirituality, and will receive valuable guidelines for integrating the psychedelic experience into personal, family, and community life.
Anne Tara Szostek is a writer and digital communications consultant with a passion for translating humanity's ancestral wisdom into modern tongues. Through her work with the Women's Visionary Congress she seeks to empower women to shift global narratives on embodiment and medicine.
Annie Oak, M.S., is the founder of the Women’s Visionary Congress (WVC). She holds an MS in science journalism and works with researchers who analyze data about human rights violations. Creator of the San Francisco-based Full Circle Tea House, she produces immersive art events and develops risk reduction strategies for visionary communities. She is a proud resident of Haight Ashbury, America's first psychedelic neighborhood.
Denis Berry is a seeker and traveler. Since 2012 she has overseen the Timothy Leary Futique Trust. Under her supervision, Dr. Leary's 500 box archival collection was purchased by the New York Public Library and is now available to scholars and the public for research. She has also negotiated a deal with HBO for a series based on Dr. Leary's life. Working with WVC, she hopes to help reintroduce the spiritual benefits of psychedelics to a younger generation.
Mariavittoria Mangini, Ph.D., F.N.P., has been a family nurse midwife for twenty five years. She has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries, and has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. Her current project is the development of a Thanatology program for the study of death and dying.