Chacruna Institute is a registered California 501(c)(3) non-profit. We are a volunteer-led organization run by a team of experts and enthusiasts who give their time freely to bring education and cultural understanding about psychedelic plant medicines to a wider audience. We promote a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science and envisage a world where plant medicines and other psychedelics are preserved, protected, and valued as part of our cultural identity and integrated into our social, legal and health care systems. Help us to achieve our mission! Please consider becoming a monthly donor so that your impact spans the entire year. Support of any frequency or amount helps the cause.
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Jasmine Virdi interviews Nidia Olvera Hernández, a Mexican ethnohistorian, specializing in the history of psychoactive substances and drug poilices. In this article, Nida shares about some of her earlier research into the history of marijuana in Mexico, detailing cannabis’ arrival with Span-ish colonizers who intended to use the plant for industrial purposes, and how the conception of the plant shifted over time, eventually coming to be referred to as “marijuana” as opposed to “hemp.”
Amazonian communities in Colombia were hit hard and fast by the advent of Covid-19 to their territories. These communities were forced to adapt the ways in which they use plant medicines, particularly Yagé, and dive deep into their ancestral knowledge to uncover ways to protect themselves from the worst effects of the pandemic. What resulted was a show of resilience, pride, and unification on the part of Indigenous groups to confront this crisis.
There is an emerging multi-billon dollar market for psychedelic therapies as the research becomes more mainstream. As for-profit companies begin to commodify psilocybin, researchers and activists demand these companies pay reparations for the stolen knowledge from the Mazatec people and engage in a reciprocal relationship with Indigenous peoples.
The Yanesha of Peru, along with other Amazonian groups, engage with cultural tourism in response to a global market that relentlessly reduces their choices. Greater Indigenous autonomy yields not only higher biodiversity, but also allows for community-led solutions to social, ecological, and economic problems. Supporting Indigenous autonomy involves stepping into a story of relationship, seeing the world as a society of beings instead of a collection of detached objects, and learning to listen when the forest speaks.
Anya Ermakova, Ph.D compiled a list of the 20 best books about peyote and mescaline. These non-fiction books about Lophophora williamsii are written by scholars of history, anthropology, religion, biology, and ecology and conservation.
When someone is diagnosed with a severe, life-threatening illness, the affected individual may begin to ask several existential questions. The author, Lucas Maia, PhD, summarizes his findings from his doctoral thesis which studied the ritual use of ayahuasca and its therapeutic potential for those facing and fearing death.
The labeling of the psychedelic experience as ‘mystical’ may do little to improve public opinion about psychedelics, especially among those with traditional, conservative values. While it is no surprise that psychedelics can induce deep spiritual experiences, there is no scientific evidence that psychedelics can change one’s political or religious beliefs.
Jasmine Virdi interviews Martha Hartney, an attorney fighting for the legal use of aya-huasca as a religious sacrament within the United States. In this article, Martha Hart-ney shares about the legal status of ayahuasca, how this intersects with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and how we can collectively work towards securing the right to drink ayahuasca in bona fide religious settings.
Not-for-profit organizations, like MAPS and Usona Institute, are just a few years away from completing FDA trials to medicalize psychedelic therapy. As psychedelic research gets closer to medicalization, for-profit companies, like COMPASS institute and ATAI Life Sciences, have filed patents about psilocybin, MDMA, and DMT. The author describes how for-profit’s patent claims and capitalism are impacting the psychedelic renaissance -- a movement with origins of psychedelic research in the 1960s, the summer of love, and healing for all.
This article introduces the Hablemos del Hikuri peyote conservation project that began in 2017 to research and put into action peyote conservation within Wixarika communities. Its co-founders, Lisbeth Bonilla and Pedro Nájera present the interdisciplinary and intercultural approach this project has toward finding a solution to peyote’s endangered status.
The Supreme Court’s December 2020 ruling in Tanzin v. Tanvir has several lessons for psychedelic religions, as well as the promise that they have a path to compensation for discrimination at the hand of federal officials. Psychedelics law expert Gary Smith explains the ruling and its potential opportunity for expanded recognition of psychedelic religious liberty.
There is incredible potential for the psychedelic renaissance to rehabilitate and revitalize the concept of love in psychotherapy and in our culture more broadly. Studying the emergence of love in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies, from medicine-induced experiences of love, to the importance of the felt sense of love between therapist and client, is a means of bridging the divide between the discourse of therapy and the experience of this powerful healing energy.