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ERIE presents: 2nd Annual Women's Entheogenic Symposium


ERIE (Entheogenic Research, Integration and Education) welcomes you to our second annual Women's Entheogenic Symposium. This gathering explores themes such as the role of women in entheogenic communities, ceremony, ritual, indigenous wisdom, health aspects of working with entheogens, research and more.

Below you will find the titles and descriptions of the presentations for this event. We will end the evening with a panel with all speakers which will foster further dialogue. 

We hope you will join us!


The Divine Within: Entheogens as Tools for Cultivating Feminine Wisdom by Genesee Herzberg, PsyD

Entheogens appear to have a unique capacity to connect one to deep levels of knowing - a type of intelligence that is of a more feminine, intuitive, and nonlinear nature.  In this talk, we will explore these ways of knowing and their presence in entheogenic experiences. I will discuss the importance of cultivating feminine wisdom on both individual and cultural levels, and suggest methods for the development of these qualities through daily practices and in the context of medicine work. I will share relevant results from my dissertation research, and offer insight into how one might access feminine wisdom in therapeutic entheogen settings through a special emphasis on preparation for the experience, the therapeutic alliance, focused somatic and emotional work, and integration. 

Genesee Herzberg received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from CIIS in 2012. She has a longtime interest in the healing potential of entheogens, leading to her dissertation research on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. She is currently a psychotherapist with a private practice in Berkeley. She specializes in working with trauma and integrating peak experiences. She takes a holistic approach to her work, with an underlying belief that the mind, emotions, body, and spirit are interconnected. She is a Buddhist practitioner and incorporates meditation and mindfulness into her life and work.

Weaving the Sacred Into Our Lives: Contributions from Ayahuasca and ancestral wisdom in inspiring empathic communities and restoring ecological balance by Nicole Roitberg

Our materialistic and objective relation to the planet has made our world a place of matter without life. Mystery, enchantment and spirit have abandoned us, and the systemic crises we are facing as a global community suggest they are not limited to the political, economic and environmental spheres, but a crisis whose root stems from our deep need to connect to, and participate in a larger field of universal consciousness.

Indigenous peoples, as well as other traditional cultures have understood for millennia their inter-dependence with all life systems, the importance of living connected to the land and maintaining an open and revered dialogue with the entire network of creatures – not only animal, vegetable and mineral, but to the spirit world as well. To them, the material world is but one dimension of reality, and they move elegantly through the various dimensions that sustain life. For many native groups, states of expanded consciousness induced by entheogens are common occurrences, responsible for weaving a sacred relationship between them and the cosmos, which influences directly their ethics as caretakers of our planet.

Pursuing and rescuing these ancient practices can be a way of contributing to the health and sustainability of our communities and prepare generations to live harmoniously in our complex world. They invite us to reflect on questions such as: How can ancient traditions inform a new model of integral health and sustainability and what does this model look like? What is the role of sacred experiences in nourishing an ethics that includes empathy at its core? How can the ritual use of sacred plants influence our day-to-day behavior, actions, and inspire profound personal and collective change?

Inspired by these great artists of life, we will learn of the different stories of traditional peoples and the ways in which they weave the sacred into their lives, in the hopes of bringing spirit, bliss, enchantment and meaning back into ours.

Nicole Roitberg is the Co-founder and coordinator of FLOU INSTITUTE, a cultural anthropologist by Bryn Mawr College, PA, sustainability consultant, environmental and transdisciplinary educator at (University of Peace). She has been organizing and assisting Yawabane and other indigenous healers in their traditional healing circles for the past 6 years, helping bridge Western and Shamanic traditions with the goal of enabling people to become participants in healing themselves and their communities.

Sweet Medicine by Patricia James

We will explore the topography (or characteristics, or components’) of Ceremony and transitions of change from an Indigenous and Cross-cultural perspective. Discussion will focus on practical ways to integrate the mystical into our waking state.

Patricia James is a traditionally trained and initiated Pipe Carrier of the Cheyenne lineage. She has studied Sacred Practices of Indigenous Cultures throughout the world for nearly 25 years. Patricia is a Spiritual Mentor, Teacher, Mediator, Life Coach and Minister. She mentors in Native American, Cross-Cultural practices, Miatri Breathwork, and is certified Hypnotherapist in the East Bay.

Mother of Dragons: Some Thoughts About Providing Psychedelic Care Services at Festivals and Events by Annie Oak

A group of about fifty people from several countries around the world have spent the past four years creating The Manual of Psychedelic Support. Due to be released online later this year, the manual provides useful information about the history, ethics and practical considerations of providing care for those who have challenging experiences with psychoactive substances. People of all genders can summon their maternal instincts to help ease encounters with dragons in entheogenic realms. Presented by one of the project's editors, this talk offers some highlights from the Manual and suggestions for those who provide these important services.

Annie Oak is a writer and the founder of the Women's Visionary Congress. Together with a group of compassionate and thoughtful people, she created the Full Circle Tea House to provide a space for rest, rehydration and integration at visionary gatherings.

This event is hosted by ERIE members and MC'd by Dr. Natalie Metz

Join or login to comment.

  • terri p.

    I have been away from the forum for several months, but would like to rejoin and learn about the directions people are taking these days.

    September 1, 2014

  • Adrian A.

    The ladies showed the value of relatedness among the entheogenic community and described a valuable and nurturing container. There was a good crowd for a Sunday evening. Thanks to Natalie and Larry for putting this excellent event together! Thanks to the wonderful presenters besides Natalie, who did a fine job - even if they were tired! Haha!

    March 3, 2014

  • Natalie M.

    We are very excited to host you this weekend. This is a free event, and we invite you bring friends! Come for the whole event or any portion! We look forward to seeing you!

    February 27, 2014

  • larry

    aloha everyone! in case it is confusing this event is open to everyone... all genders... Thanks!
    We look forward to seeing you!

    February 23, 2014

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