June 20, 2016

HEADS NEWS #13: Postcard from California, New Heads Talks, Women's Visionary Congress, more.

California is Real, Heads: A shorter update than usual this week, because I'm in California & things are rapidly getting pretty Californian. I met a baby named Owsley yesterday. He was pretty chill & aglow, which is likewise how I'm feeling after three days at the Women's Visionary Congress in Petaluma, an incredible multi-disciplinary conference where I was reading from Heads & absorbing some far-reaching presentations. A fuller report with further glowing can be found below.

This week, I'll be doing three Heads Talks, starting tonight at the California Historical Society in San Francisco with a whole bushel of guests. A late-breaking addition to the schedule is a trip to Santa Cruz for a free Heads Talk at the Museum of Art and History on Thursday, June 23rd featuring birthday boy Marc Franklin (showing his Psychedelic Pioneers photos), Grateful Dead archivist Nicholas Meriwether and more. And super-exciting news about the June 27th Heads Talk at the Brower Center in Berkeley: We will be joined by Sarah Matzar, the remarkable Guatemalan quilt maker and acid cook I profiled in Heads! I'll be interviewing Sarah onstage, and she'll likewise have some of her mindbending quilts available for sale. If you know anybody in the area, please do spread the word.

As always, kindly stay tuned to @HeadsNews & Facebook for more frequent updates. All info (& signed copies of Heads) can be found at HeadsTalks.comStay in touch, Jesse.
20 June – California Historical Society, San Francisco, CA with Mark McCloud (LSD blotter collector), Ramon Sender, Nicholas Meriwether (Grateful Dead archivist), Dennis McNally (RSVP)
23 June – Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA with Marc Franklin (presenting Psychedelic Pioneers photographs) & Nicholas Meriwether (Grateful Dead archivist) (info)
24 June – reading: Don Quixote, Felton, CA with the China Cats (info)
27 June – Brower Center, Berkeley, CA with Marc Franklin (presenting Psychedelic Pioneers photographs) & Sarah Matzar, presented with ERIE (tickets)
1. Report from the Women's Visionary Congress. It was a complete honor to present from Heads at the 10th annual Women's Visionary Congress in Petaluma this past weekend, a vibrant extended community and multi-disciplinary soiree that drew from the psychedelic/entheogenic/cannabis worlds and related networks. I learned a lot from Ana Elda Maqueda (on the state of salvia research), Jane Straight (who provided magnificent ethnobotanical gardening wisdom), Sophia Buggs (of Lady Buggs Farms, on modern witchdom and sustaining local semi-underground "peace economies"), an open conversation on psychedelic self defense for women, Orange Sunshine producer Connie Littlefield's powerful film-in-progress titled Huxley's Exit, Marc Franklin's photo presentation on the Santa Cruz pioneers in the Wo/men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, and many more. I absorbed a lot of new vocabulary from the various Californian sub-dialects, drank tea by starlight, got invited to Burning Man a few times (thinking about it!), bought (maybe?) my first tie-dye shirt ever, and mostly hung out as an observer in a really cool and respectful place for conversation. California!

2. Headline News.
o The soon-to-launch Journal of Psychedelic Studies has a web presence, and have set up an email list.
o The 2016 Global Drug Survey is out. Key psychedelic takeaways: The dark-net is still on the rise and psychedelics, cannabis, and MDMA are the most common substances purchased. 
o Michaelangelo Matos provides a fuller account of the LSD-drenched 1994 Furthur rave, detailed in his book, The Underground is Massive, an excellent info source for Heads
o A look at Discordianism, a prankster/psychedelic anti-religion that I sadly didn't get to make space for in Heads.
o Andy Letcher, author of the essential psychedelic mushroom book, Shroom, reflects back on his work a decade following its publication
o The Zendo Project's psychedelic risk reduction manual.
o In the UK: Two major health organizations (Royal Society for Public Health and Faculty of Public Health), as well as the London Times, have called for drug decriminalization.  
o In Texas: The "synthetic LSD" scourge continues, though a toxicologist has come up with a way to test for the presence of the NBOMe series. (Warning: autoplay video.)
o A critical look at consumer-grade drug testing kits, by David Nutt, former UK drug advisor, though many would argue that even some safety is better than none at all. 

3. Events

6/23 - BALTIMORE: Psychedelic Integration: Weaving the Lessons Into Your Daily Life (more info)

6/23-6/26 - BUCHAREST: Sumiruna Conference on expanded consciousness (more info)

6/23 - SANTA CRUZ: Heads Talk (more info)

6/24 - SAN FRANCISCO: Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences with William Richards, California Institute of Integral Studies (more info)

6/24 - BROOKLYN: Psychedelics & Death, a Brief Introduction with Dr. Neal Goldsmith, Morbid Anatomy Museum (more info)

6/24 - LONDON: Psychedelic Supper: Neuroqueering & Mental Health (more info)

6/27 - LOS ANGELES: A Good Trip: A Psychedelic Comedy Show (more info)

6/28 - BERKELEY - Heads Talk (more info)

7/16 - LONDON: Decolonizing Psychedelics: Summer Picnic (more info)

7/31 - LONDON: Psychedelics & Non-Duality (more info)

8/9-11 - CAMPINAS: Sacred Plants conference (more info)

8/11 - SAN FRANCISCO: An Evening with Paul Stamets: Mushrooms & the Mycology of Consciousness (more info)

9/10-2/26/17 - LONDON: You Say You Want Revolution, Records & Rebels, 1966-1970, Victoria & Albert Museum (more info)

9/30-10/2 - PRAGUE, CZ: Beyond Psychedelics conference (more info)

10/14-10/15 - VICTORIA, BC: Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum (more info)

10/17-10/22 - RIO BRANCO, BRAZIL: AYA2016 (more info)

11/11 - LEEDS, UK: Historical Insights on the Psychedelic Renaissance, Society for the Study of Addiction (more info)

From two years before surviving Grateful Dead members staged their own Furthur tour, the Wisconsin rave of the same name. They continued for a few years after & never received a cease & desist.