Podcast 410 – “Women and Psychedelics, a Discussion”


Guest speakers: Shonagh Home & Nese Devnot

Sisters of the ExtremePROGRAM NOTES:

Today’s podcast features a perspective of the psychedelic community that sometimes gets ignored, a woman’s point of view. Shonagh Home is joined by Nese Devenot in a wide-ranging conversation about not only womens’ roles in the community, but also how they are often perceived as second-class members of our community in many ways. While I am convinced that it is only the rare male psychonaught who is always a jerk, some of us have inadvertently slipped into jerkiness from time to time. This conversation may be just what us men need to hear.

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Shonagh Home
is an author, teacher, shamanic practitioner and doting beekeeper. Her offerings focus on the cultivation of our intuition, creativity and the essential awareness of our personal shadow. Her shamanic work with the sacred mushroom informs both her teaching and her private practice.
She is author of the books,
‘Ix Chel Wisdom: 7 Teachings from the Mayan Sacred Feminine,’
Love and Spirit Medicine,’
and the upcoming, ‘Honeybee Wisdom: A Modern Melissae Speaks.’

Website: www.shonaghhome.com

Contact: shonagh.home (at) comcast (dot) net

Neşe Devenot
is a founder the Psychedemia psychedelics conference and a PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies and teaches psychedelic philosophy and the literature of chemical self-experimentation.

Website: https://upenn.academia.edu/ndevenot
Contact: ndevenot (at) sas (dot) upenn (dot) edu

Posted in Books, Consciousness, Culture, Family, Future, Medicine, Nese Devenot, Psychedelic Research, Psychedelics, Religion, Shonagh Home, Women's Wisdom.


  1. I’m going to take you up on that offer Lorenzo. I haven’t been able to find your email address though, could you please let me/us know the appropriate way to contact you?

    (ps: got a new email because I know you don’t accept gmail!)

    [lorenzo (at) matrixmasters (dot) com]

    • Hi Samson! Female psychonaut here interested in doing some podcast work if you’re still pursuing this project. Hope you get this comment!

  2. Thanks Shonagh for the book suggestion and for your friendly response. Will definitely find the book and am looking forward to hearing the recorded interview with the Cree woman. I also like Samson Henry’s suggestion and would like to try putting something together myself. Peace and good medicine to all.

  3. Would love to connect with Samson Henry to chat through, have sensed the same extension of community conversation could be worthwhile, attention nourishing, and have a couple ideas worth playing with. Also would love to hear / engage in “our feminine voice of masculinity” or “what a man can do to give voice to women’s issues”, for example being married now a long while, I could easily speak to / from the place of feminine nourishment and a man focusing from woman could help balance conversation. I think Terence did this at times, yet rarely into the depths of ‘feminine modes’ or at length on certain topics. Hey while there are still ‘too many dudes on stage’ maybe we can make more of our voice boxes speakers for the ‘beyond male voice’, I think Lorenzo you should reconsider getting on stage if you have the opportunity to do so in a way that changes what it means to be beyond dude on stage.
    Cheers and best wishes for us all!

  4. Great idea, Henry, and I myself just gave Lorenzo a recorded interview I did with a Cree woman who led the all-women’s peyote ceremony I participated in last summer. She does not want to be identified as “medicine woman” or “healer,” etc. She is very humble and she offered a humble and wise perspective that I think the Saloners will very much appreciate. You will not see her on the conference circuit or the book tours. She is a simple, sweet woman who is doing sacred work for her community and she has something essential to put into the pot. I look forward to hearing more voices of good people who have insights and perspectives that will further enhance this very profound path of discovery. Bowing in thanks.

  5. Hello Lorenzo, Shonagh, Lily, Nese, and fellow Saloners,

    Firstly, thank you Shonagh, Lily, and Nese for the enlightening conversation. I would like to hear the three of you talk again. It was great hearing you talk to a wide range of topics… I could pick a handful of topics from that talk that I would listen to a podcast worth of conversing about.

    Secondly, I think the idea of having every second podcast be a “female”, may exclude a lot of people who don’t fall into the male/female gender binary, or choose to identify outside of it. Now I still think this is a great idea, but I think maybe frame it as: no two back to back male talks. This isn’t perfect because the “male” categorisation isn’t perfect, but it’s not as closed as male/female.

    Thirdly, Lorenzo and Shonagh, I would like to introduce an idea that I sort of see as extension of the direction you’re going here. I think it’s great idea to have equal gender representation in the Salon. The psychedelic community mimics the society at large by over-representing men. The psychedelic community also mimics the society at large by over-representing and over-emphasising Legitimacy. Whether it’s the legitimacy of popularity/reach, or that received at the Ivory Tower, people who don’t have a quantized legitimacy often hesitate to offer their voice, and aren’t often asked (probably because they hesitate to offer!)

    What I would love to see if possible is a third type of podcast: male, not male, and podcasts featuring “regular” Saloners. Either a podcast which features a full length talk or discussion by a member(s) of the general psychedelic community, or one which features a collection of snippets of talks or discussions which revolve around a theme. I would hate to ever see the quality of the presentations diminish here on the salon, so I would put trust in Lorenzo and Shonagh, and whoever else they see fit, to curate these People of the Salon Podcasts as they saw fit.

    I think this would open up the Salon to all the brilliant people who could in 5 minutes, or 50 minutes, have something important to say or to teach to everyone, but who would never make it on a stage, or write a book, or embark on a public speaking career and hence contribute to the ever-growing dialogue. You could get Saloners interviewing people in remote locations, you could get Saloners from different parts of the world chiming in to give their take on an issue from their position, in order to get a web-like take on an issue… I think opening it up like this could have huge potential.

    Would love to hear some people’s thoughts on this.



    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Sampson, I completely agree that there are many, many members of our community who will never write a book or give a speech but who are highly intelligent and interesting. I know because I spent a lot of time listening to them when I used to go to festivals. Your idea is sound. Sooooo … why don’t you begin by recording several people whom you think have ideas worth listening to. Once you have about an hour of material let me know. I’ll give it a listen and if it captures my attention I’ll podcast it. . . . And BTW that offer goes out to any other saloners as well!]

  6. Dear Lorenzo, I was referring to the facts that your guest and yourself got hatemail, and my intent was to unarm any psychopaths/sadists attacks to kind people’s work online, by informing about the psychopatic/sadist nature that the haters online suffer from, so as to make it easier for us all to forgive them (as they have a brainmalefunction) and not take their attacks personal:) I was being vague myself, due to a self-imposed constrain on words, and for that I appologise:) Happy Days!

  7. I agree with having as much diversity as there are people everywhere … Although my expectations for this salonpod were admittedly a bit high, I found this conversation very vague and little specific, especially when it came to verbalizing/communicating what problems, solutions, accusations, causes etc. that they are referring to (approximately why are there so few women speakers and who/what is to blame), and I got the impression that these women agreed strongly of being wronged in some way, although I’m left wondering who wronged them, when and how, what attitudes/cultural traits are accused of doing them/this wrong, why was this wronging accepted (as tyranny can only exist if it’s accepted), what is really wrong, how can one avoid being similarly wronged in the future, and how to combat/shake the widespread feeling of the world owning one something, perhaps through the undiscriminatory psychedelic plants… I got the impression that the vague/unspecific (sex-focused) straw man fallacies were too actively utilized undiscriminately throughout this female trialogue:) I reckognize that I might be hormonally disadvantaged/challenged for understanding this podversation, due to my biochemical testosterone bias:) Btw, Feminism is inherently unbalanced as a concept per se, perhaps equalism is a more fair concept that more people will rally around regardless of sex, as each person is essentially unique and their personality (regardless of whether one’s sexual organ points outward or inward) is allegedly formed by 60-70% Nature (e.g. genes) and 40-30% Nurture (e.g. environment), science argues:) I was hoping for more answers to, and new insights into, why there are not more women sharing psychedelic experiences through talks, but little new (for me) was offered in this podversation, unfortunately … although there’s now at least one more psychedelic conversation between women shared online:) Remember that psychopaths, trolls and haters come in all shapes and colors and usually attack undiscriminately online, I observe: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/online-trolls-are-psychopaths-and-sadists-psychologists-claim-9134396.html 🙂 Start psychedelic podcasts everybody:) Thanks for the all the brilliant salon-lectures, Mr. Lorenzo:) Happy Days!

  8. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. Phil, I just ordered that book and I look forward to reading it. Joseph, there is a wonderful book that I mentioned by Barbara Tedlock, PhD, called, ‘The Women in the Shaman’s Body.’ She discusses a number of shamanic women from various cultures and notes differences in the way they practice. For instance, in one culture shamans of both sexes use weapons in their healing sessions. The men will often leave the room to battle the illness outside with their weapon. The women shamans have a different approach where they place the weapon on the “patient” and “coax” the illness to come out of the body and into the weapon. I thought that was very interesting. She also writes that there are various cultures where the male shamans essentially pushed out the medicine women, thereby eliminating the competition. That said, there are no doubt, plenty of women who have abused their power in that area as well. I love Tedlock’s book because she offers a rich tapestry of information on the subject of the medicine woman.

    Also, in response to your comment about psychedelics “breaking down cultural gender biases” – I had a “spirit” come into me during a particularly powerful experience on the mushrooms and she spoke to how wounded the masculine has been in this culture. I was opened to her profound love and respect for the men in this world in a way that I can never quite put in words. Suffice to say, that that experience gave me a much deeper regard and reverence for the complexity and beauty of the male soul. These medicines are truly a gift. Thank you again and I look forward to more conversations.

  9. I enjoyed this dialog and sharing of thoughts on a topic that is clearly worthy of consideration. The participants were respectful of each other, thought provoking, and offering important insights. Several of the issues beg further consideration. One of the questions that came up which seems to me particularly worthy of deeper investigation is the question of the lack of ethnographic and field research into female shamans and the lack of research recorded and reported by women.

    This presents several issues worth further exploration: Of the research that does exist, are there consistent differences between the use of psychotropic medicines by male shamans and their use by female shamans? Are there differences in training and preparation or other noteworthy gender differences? I particularly wonder if the role of shamanic warfare is less a part of women shamans’ practices? There could be material for a book or large paper here, and I would love to hear a salon broadcast which explores this question.

    It feels to me that all communities that aspire to liberate and empower the best that is in all of us are grappling with gender issues. One consideration I would like to add is that Psychedelics have also to be given credit for breaking down cultural gender biases and have also awakened in their users a greater respect for the balance of male and female in creation and warned about the abuse of this balance.

    I recently went to Okinawa and visited some sacred spaces of the native spiritual practices. These practices were under the care of female priests with no male leaders (priest/priestess for lack of a better word). They continue today. This too seems a rich area for exploration, particularly by respectful women researchers.

  10. Great choice of topic. I am a middle aged man who once thought this sort of thing was interesting but tangential, but now I think it goes to the very heart of the psychedelic experience, especially in our current culture.

    One book related to female shamanic experience that might be of interest- “Wayward Shamans, the Prehistory of an Idea” by Silvia Tomaskova. Also videos of her are available online through a simple search of her name.


  11. Thank you Lorenzo.

    Podcast 410 – “Women and Psychedelics, a Discussion” is brilliant, refreshing, very inspiring and different! As someone in the discussion mentioned, people are HUNGRY for womens’ wisdom. I know I’m also hungry and want a break from constantly listening to men, with some exceptions 🙂

    I was once a participant in a large mixed group who had taken a substantial dose of LSD. During the course of the session I noticed a group of about 20 women sitting in a circle, talking and sharing among each other. The energy surrounding these women was palpable, a huge force, ‘uncontaminated’ by the presence of men.

    My suggestion and invitation to Shonagh, Lily Kay and Nese is: please do more of what you did in this podcast.


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