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Women and Psychedelics: Uncovering Invisible Voices

Edited by Erika Dyck, Patrick Farrell, Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Ph.D., Clancy Cavnar, Psy.D., Ibrahim Gabriell, and Glauber Loures de Assis, Ph.D.

Foreword by Kathleen Harrison

This collection of short essays examines the place of women in the history of psychedelics. While some of the subjects are pioneers in their own right, the authors in this collection go beyond merely adding women to the past in psychedelic history, exploring some of the significant ways that women have contributed to psychedelic knowledge. 

Blending historical and anthropological approaches with a series of captivating interviews, this collection taps into women’s networks around the world throughout the 20th century. It reveals some of the sophisticated and creative ways women have influenced our understanding of psychedelics and how they will continue to protect these stories as we face our psychedelic future. Our collection intentionally moves beyond an American set of stories, teasing out networks in Latin America. This collection brings together authors from the Chacruna Institute and Chacruna Latinamérica to engage readers in conversations that move across time and place throughout the Americas. It is the first of its kind to balance non-English contributions through translation of stories exploring different cultural contexts outside the United States, where women have contributed to this enduring history.

$24.95 $18.72

Erika Dyck


Erika Dyck is a Professor and a Canada Research Chair in the History of Health & Social Justice at the University of Saskatchewan. She is the author or co-author of several books, including: Psychedelic Psychiatry (2008); A Culture’s Catalyst: Historical Encounters with Peyote and the Native American Church in Canada (2016); Psychedelic Prophets: The Letters of Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond (2018); Mujeres y Psicodélicos (2022) and co-author of The Acid Room: the psychedelic trials and tribulations of Hollywood Hospital (2022). She sits on the Board of Directors of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. She is Associate Director of the Chacruna Institute in Canada.

Patrick Farrell


Patrick Farrell is part of the Chacruna Chronicles editorial team, where he supports the series on the history of women in psychedelics. He graduated from the University of Alberta (Canada) with an MA in the History & Philosophy of Science. Currently, Patrick works as an editor based in Toronto. With fellow Chacruna member Erika Dyck, he helped co-edit Psychedelic Prophets: The Letters of Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond (2018). He has also contributed to several other publishing projects, including The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity (Viking Press, 2015), A Culture’s Catalyst: Historical Encounters with Peyote (University of Manitoba Press, 2016), and Metis Matriarchs: Agents of Transition (University of Regina Press, forthcoming). In addition to his editing work, Patrick teaches courses in the history of philosophy at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. He is a proud volunteer at Toronto’s acclaimed Hospital for Sick Children.

Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Ph.D.


Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist based in San Francisco. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, religion, and social justice. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines and serves as Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She is also Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Additionally, she is an Advisor for the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition. Dr. Labate is a co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil and editor of its site. She is the author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-eight books, three special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles (


Clancy Cavnar, Psy.D.


Clancy Cavnar has a doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. She currently works in private practice in San Francisco, and is Co-Founder and a member of the Board of Directors of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. She is also a research associate of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP). She combines an eclectic array of interests and activities as clinical psychologist, artist, and researcher. She has a master of fine arts in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, a master’s in counseling from San Francisco State University, and she completed the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is author and co-author of articles in several peer-reviewed journals and co-editor, with Beatriz Caiuby Labate, of eleven books. For more information see:

Ibrahim Gabriell


Ibrahim Gabriell is a communicologist and multidisciplinary researcher of the phenomenon of expanded states of consciousness. As a professor in the state of Chiapas (Mexico), he has taught both Communication studies at the Universidad de los Altos de Chiapas and Transpersonal Psychology at the Universidad Jose Vasconcelos. He is Communications Associate of Chacruna Latinoamérica in Mexico. He is also co-founder of Vía Synapsis, an academic society that organizes the National Congress on Psychoactive Substances at the National University of Mexico. He also served as an assistant editor for the publishing house Lunaria. Ibrahim is co-host of Mindsurf’s podcasts: MindSurf – Transformations of Consciousness and Psyche & Cosmos.

Glauber Loures de Assis, Ph.D.


Dr. Glauber Loures de Assis is Associate Director of Chacruna Latinoamérica in Brazil. He has a Ph.D in sociology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and is Research Associate at the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil. His main interests include the ayahuasca religions, new religious movements, the internationalization of the Brazilian religions, drug use in contemporary society, and psychedelic parenthood. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, and the co-editor of the book Women and Psychedelics: Uncovering Invisible Voices (Synergetic Press/Chacruna Institute, in press). Glauber is also an ayahuasca practitioner with 15 years of experience. He has built this practice in dialogue with his local Brazilian ayahuasca community and with the blessings of Indigenous elders and activists in Brazil. He is also the leader of Jornadas de Kura, a plant medicine center in Brazil that promotes a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science. He is father to 3 children and lives with his wife Jacqueline Rodrigues in Santa Luzia, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


Women & Psychedelics is an anthology of essays and interviews that illuminates the lives of women throughout the Americas who have profoundly influenced the course of psychedelic history, upending a patriarchal narrative that has marginalized and erased their stories. This collection traverses half a century of research on shamanism and ayahuasca; introduces us to forgotten figures like Susi Ramstein, the first woman to take LSD; and delves more deeply into icons like Mazatec curandera, shaman, and poet Maria Sabina.

In the first book of its kind, authors from the Chacruna Institute and Chacruna Latinamérica explore the role of women in psychedelics as a portal to understanding both birth and death, as well as the whispered networks of botanical knowledge that have supported safe abortion. They expand narratives that center the achievements of men like Gordon Wasson to include the vital presence of his wife, ethnomycologist and researcher Dr. Valentina Wasson, who had just as much of an influence in bringing the psilocybin mushroom to the attention of North Americans.They herald community builders like Hanifa Nayo Washington, co-founder of the world’s first real-time psychedelic peer support line and Camille Barton, who explores what it means to decolonize psychedelics through embodied social justice.This book stands not only as a historical retrospective of the women who have shaped our understanding of entheogens but as a celebration of the wise and resilient spirits who continue to explore the mind and heart opening properties of these medicines, envisioning psychedelic movements that guide us to a more inclusive, compassionate, and creative world.

Additional information

Weight 1.2 lbs
Dimensions 1 × 6 × 9 in

Paperback, eBook

Pages 336

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