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My Prayer for Purpose

Updated: Jun 18

My Prayer for Purpose

by Eden Woodruff Co-director, Psanctum

Although I’ve been steadily employed since age 16, much of my work has left quite a bit to be desired. For years I’ve been wracking my brain for a way to combine all of my deep passions into one meaningful career but I always came up empty. I always felt pulled in different directions and that I was betraying myself to compromise on any of my desires.

Psychedelics

Though I was a relatively late-bloomer with psychedelics (first imbibing at age 34) I’d been fascinated by their reported healing potential and ability to penetrate the deep mysteries since my teens. In my early twenties I devoured any talk or book by Terence McKenna and felt transformed by his words alone. Once I gave myself permission to experience psychedelics, the celestial wonder, and the “years of therapy” — that felt achieved in only one night — astounded me. It left me with a deep appreciation and a desire to make these medicines safely available to all who could stand to benefit from them.

The Arts

As a teen I dreamed of a career in the arts and took part in my high school’s fantastic drama and choir programs. Those experiences, and the incredible community that formed around them, was my salvation when I struggled otherwise at school and at home. By participating in those activities I experienced so much transcendent joy and beauty that at times I thought I would burst. After graduating, familial duties and work took center stage but I never stopped seeking something that resembled the close-knit creative community that had nourished my soul so deeply.

Vintage & Thrift

To stretch a dollar, my mom bought most of my clothing secondhand when I was a kid, but I was never embarrassed by what I wore. I always appreciated the one-of-a-kind items we could only find in thrift stores and the way I could express myself creatively by mixing old and new styles together. As an adult, going thrifting became a favorite pastime. There was something soothing and exciting about the experience. I surmised that thrifting satisfied the latent hunter-gatherer urge to scan environments for the brightest, most nutritious berries. Such is the case with finding treasures in our modern thrift stores! This hobby also allowed me to supplement my income for years by selling vintage items online, in markets, and by curating a booth in a vintage store.

Alignment

It was in 2016, after embarking on the psychedelic path, that all the pieces started to fall into place. I began volunteering for psychedelic educational organizations and started working with Tom Hatsis, (an author and educator on psychedelics since 2002) who would become my co-conspirer and creative partner. Our ideals, work ethics, and visions for how we wanted to contribute to the growing psychedelic Renaissance were in such alignment that I couldn’t help but feel that we were brought together by destiny.

In 2018 we formed our own psychedelic organization, Psanctum. We produced a psychedelic speaker series, built a digital psychedelic archive on our website, and threw the Gaian Mind Conference in 2019.

Also in 2018, Tom asked me if I’d like to help him produce a weekly open mic. He said that he’d helped run a fantastic open mic in New York and missed the creative community. I couldn’t believe my ears.

We made a connection with the manager of an awesome local visual art space, the Pegasus Project, in late 2018 and have been hosting the Psanctum Open Mic weekly ever since (in our back yard with masks at the height of Covid & now at Portland’s extraordinary visionary art collective, The Haven PDX).

Inspiration

The inspiration, beauty, and connection that I have experienced and the deep honor I feel in holding space for the brilliant members of the Open Mic community is beyond anything I could have dreamed. The mic has given me something wonderful to look forward to every week, no matter what else comes my way, and I am proud to say that many others report the same experience.

Vision

During one soothing excursion to my favorite thrift store in 2020, a new career vision suddenly emerged for me. When I got to the store I mused inwardly—I love coming here—there is so much possibility and opportunity for expression, and many other creative and resourceful people pass through here looking for the same. I wonder if it’d be fulfilling to manage a store like this, even with the inherent challenges. I think it will, and it would be really satisfying if the store happened to support a cause I really believed in…

Once I named it, the pieces steadily started to come together and today I find myself having secured a 5000 square foot retail/education space in SE Portland.

With The Psanctum Psychedelic Education Center and Non-profit Thrift Store I find my prayer for purpose fulfilled, and through its mission of providing education, integration, support and financial aid for psychedelic-assisted therapy we intend to answer the prayers of many others. It is my great honor to do this work. We have most of the startup costs fully-funded. As of now we need just a bit more of a push to get things up and running. If you’d like to support turning this vision into a reality I am humbly reaching out for any financial assistance. Please visit the Kickstarter here.

Much Love and Many Thanks!!!! – Eden

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