Featuring 70 speakers – including Indigenous leaders from the Americas, neuroscientists, religious thought leaders, award-winning authors, activists, poets, and many others – illuminating vital connection points between psychedelics, religion, and spirituality.

April 6, 2022 – From April 21–24, Chacruna hosts the Religion and Psychedelics Forum, a four-day conference featuring some of the most exciting and diverse voices on aspects of this essential topic, from the neuroscience of visionary experiences to Indigenous traditions, interfaith dialogue, and ancient religious history. On April 21st, there will be an in-person Opening Event at the Brava Cabaret, in the Mission, in San Francisco, CA. The panels on April 22-24 will be entirely online. Conference passes ($129+ele) are on sale now.

The psychedelic renaissance is at a pivotal moment. As the medico-pharmacological paradigm continues to gain ground and grab headlines, and commodification of psychedelics advances, recentering psychedelics’ spiritual-religious roots is more vital than ever. The significance of religion has been noticeably neglected amid the fanfare surrounding the new psychedelic era. The Religion and Psychedelics Forum will help rectify this oversight by illuminating the historical, social, and ethical dimensions of psychedelic spirituality.

Through online panels and discussions with the world’s foremost leading thinkers, visionaries, and scholars on the topic, we will explore the role psychedelics have played in the history of religion, as well as religion’s role in the psychedelic renaissance, and we’ll look at how emerging fields, such as psychedelic chaplaincy, position the spiritual psychedelic experience. 

Award-winning journalist and author Erik Davis, also a presenter and part of Chacruna’s Advisory Board, notes that “psychological healing is not the whole picture. Psychedelics trigger experiences and stimulate questions that take us beyond the familiar maps of modernity. From the problem of ‘mystical experiences’ to the emergence of psychedelic chaplains, from existential challenges to the central importance of Indigenous cosmovisions, psychedelics are now forcing us to confront the elephant in the room: the dimension of the sacred and our relation to it. Chacruna’s Religion and Psychedelics Forum will be one of the broadest gatherings of scholars, religious experts, and practitioners to explore these questions.” 

Other presenters include Chacruna Executive Director Dr. Bia Labate, Indigenous leader Chief Niwana Huni Kui, psychiatry and neuroscience professor Dr. Rachel Yehuda, Rabbi Zac Kamenetz, poet and activist Anne Waldman, educator and mycologist Darren Springer, lawyer and Immortality Key author Brian C. Muraresku, comedian and writer Adam Strauss, cannabis and psychedelic journalist Madison Margolin, professor and psychedelic writer Dr. Nicholas Powers, physician-writer Dr. Mellody Hayes, molecular and cell biologist Dr. David Presti, MAPS Global Impact Officer Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, Associate Director of Chacruna in Canada Dr. Erika Dyck, Attorney and Founder of Calyx Law Graham Pechenik, Clinical Research Fellow at Yale University and Chief Clinical Officer at Cybin, Alexander Belser and more. 

As with all Chacruna Institute programming, a focus on representation and justice will be central to our discussions. The conference highlights thought leaders from historically marginalized communities and recognizes those communities’ singular contributions to the topic. Programming includes conversations on the use of sacred plants in Indigenous Brazilian communities and Brazilian spiritual traditions, the connection between psychedelics and the world of the ancestors, and how psychedelics can support healing justice.

Psychedelics in Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and new Earth religions will be topics of other panels that bridge Antiquity and our contemporary moment. An Abrahamic interfaith dialogue, featuring leaders and practitioners from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions, will explore how psychedelic experiences can be understood within the context of these belief systems.

While conference sessions will be fully online, attendees are invited to an in-person opening event at the Brava Theater Cabaret (2781 24th St.) in San Francisco, with Bia Labate, Clancy Cavnar, Mellody Hayes, Marlena Robbins, Erik Davis, Joe Tafur, Sean McAllister, Michael Ziegler, Adam Strauss ($35). Psychologists may also sign up to receive continuing education credits through the APA-approved Spiritual Competency Resource Center. 

See the full schedule and reserve your spot here.

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About Chacruna Institute                                

The Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization co-founded by Brazilian anthropologist Dr. Bia Labate and American psychologist Dr. Clancy Cavnar, based in Northern California and with strong ties to Brazil and Mexico. We promote reciprocity in the psychedelic community, and support the protection of sacred plants and cultural traditions. We advance psychedelic justice through curating critical conversations and uplifting the voices of women, queer people, Indigenous peoples, people of color, and the Global South in the field of psychedelic science.

Contact Information
Francisco Rivarola
Chacruna Institute
[email protected]
415-390-6157

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