is one of the most respected voices in modern earth-based spirituality.
She is also well-known as a global justice activist and organizer, whose
work and writings have inspired many to action. She is the author or coauthor
of twelve books, including The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient
Religion of the Great Goddess, long considered the essential text
for the Neo-Pagan movement, and the now-classic ecotopian novel The
Fifth Sacred Thing. Starhawk's newest book is The Empowerment
Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups, published November 2011,
from New Society Publishers.
Her works have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Danish, Dutch,
Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Greek, Japanese, and Burmese. Her
essays are reprinted across the world, and have been included in numerous
anthologies. Starhawk's writing is influential and has been quoted by
hundreds of other authors, turning up in magazines, trade and academic
press, and even inspirational calendars. Her books are often found in
college curriculums. The Spiral Dance has been continuously in-print
for thirty years and revised twice; in 1999 HarperSanFrancisco published
the Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Truth or Dare: Encounters with
Power, Authority, and Mystery won the Media Alliance Meritorious
Achievement Award for nonfiction in 1988. Starhawk's first novel, The
Fifth Sacred Thing, won the Lambda award for best Gay and Lesbian
Science Fiction in 1994. Many of Starhawk's best political essays—credited
with helping the global justice movement find and define itself—were
collected into her book Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising.
At the Book Expo America, Webs of Power won a 2003 Nautilus Award
from the trade association NAPRA. Her first picture book for children,
The Last Wild Witch, won a silver Nautilus from NAPRA in 2010.
Starhawk is perhaps best known as an articulate pioneer in the revival
of earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion. She is a cofounder of
Reclaiming, an activist branch of modern Pagan religion, and continues
to work closely with the Reclaiming community (www.reclaiming.org).
Her archives are maintained at the Graduate Theological Union library
in Berkeley, California.
She is a panelist for the Newsweek/Washington Post website on religion,
Faith," and also contributes to Beliefnet and ZNet, as well as
maintaining her own blog, "Dirt Worship" www.starhawksblog.org.
Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/pages/Starhawk/165408987031?v=wall.
In the late '80s she consulted on and co-wrote the popular trio of films
known as the Women's Spirituality series, directed by Donna Read
for the National Film Board of Canada: Goddess Remembered, The Burning
Times, and Full Circle. The trilogy was in the top ten of
sales and rentals for the Film Board for over a decade. Starhawk and Donna
Read formed their own film company, Belili Productions (http://belili.org),
to make documentaries on women and the earth. Their first release is Signs
Out of Time (2004), a documentary on the life of archaeologist Marija
Gimbutas, the scholar who made major discoveries about the Goddess cultures
of Old Europe. Starhawk and Donna’s second documentary, Permaculture:
The Growing Edge, came out in 2010. Starhawk has also made several
short documentaries which can be found on YouTube: "The Spiral Dance
Ritual," "Reclaiming’s Spiral Dance: Three Decades of
Magic," "Permaculture in the City," and "Permaculture
Principles at Work."
Starhawk is a veteran of progressive movements, from anti-war to anti-nukes,
and is deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power
of spirituality to political activism.
She is a founder of Earth Activist Trainings (EAT): intensive seminars
that combine permaculture design, political organizing, and earth-based
Together with Penny Livingston-Stark, Erik Ohlsen, and others, she co-teaches
EAT courses in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. With over ten years of experience
in permaculture design and teaching, she has pioneered the application
of permaculture principles to social organizations, policy and strategy.
Since its first course in May of 2001, Earth Activist Trainings has graduated
over 600 students who now shepherd projects that range from community
power-down strategies in Iowa City to water catchment programs in Bolivia,
from inner city gardens in San Francisco to women’s programs in
the West Bank of Palestine. Starhawk’s own expertise is in the communication
of ecological systems thinking through images, writing, and innovative
Starhawk has recorded several tapes and CDs; most recently "Wicca
for Beginners" (2002), "Wiccan Rituals and Blessings" (2003),
and a four-CD set "Earth Magic" (2006), all produced by Sounds
True. A songwriter on occasion, quite a few of her songs and chants turn
up in rituals across the globe; they are included in songbooks and hymnals,
covered by other artists, and recorded by the Reclaiming musical community.
She holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from U.C.L.A. In 1973, as a graduate student
in Film at U.C.L.A, Starhawk won the prestigous Samuel Goldwyn Creative
Writing Award. She received an M.A. in psychology with a concentration
in feminist therapy from Antioch University West in 1982. She has taught
in several Bay Area colleges and universities, including John F. Kennedy
University, Antioch West, the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality
at Holy Names College, and Wisdom University. She is presently adjunct
faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Starhawk travels internationally teaching magic, the tools of ritual,
and the skills of activism. She lives part-time San Francisco, in a collective
house with her partner and friends, and part-time in a little hut in the
woods in western Sonoma County, California, where she practices permaculture
in her extensive gardens, and writes.
Starhawk was born on June 17, 1951.
Starhawk's Books and Novels:
- The Spiral
Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess.
San Francisco, HarperSanFrancisco, 1979, 1989, and 1999 editions. German,
Danish, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, and Greek editions.
- Dreaming the
Dark: Magic, Sex, and Politics. Boston, Beacon, 1982, 1988, 1997
editions. French and German editions.
- Truth or Dare:
Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery. San Francisco, HarperSanFrancisco,1988.
- The Fifth
Sacred Thing (novel). New York, Bantam, 1993. German, Italian, Polish,
and Portuguese editions.
- Walking to Mercury (novel). New York, Bantam, 1997.
- The Pagan
Book of Living and Dying,
cowritten with M. Macha NightMare and the Reclaiming Collective. San
Francisco, HarperSanFrancisco, 1997. Czech edition.
- Circle Round:
Raising Children in the Goddess Tradition. Cowritten with
Anne Hill and Diane Baker. Illustrated by Sara Ceres Boore. New
York, Bantam, 1998.
- The Twelve
Wild Swans: A Journey to the Realm of Magic, Healing, and Action,
cowritten with Hilary Valentine. San Francisco, HarperSanFrancisco,
2000. Dutch, Spanish, and German editions.
- Webs of Power:
Notes from the Global Uprising. Victoria, Canada; New Society Publishers,
2002. Essays translated into Burmese, French, and Italian.
- The Earth
Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature. San Francisco,
HarperSanFrancisco, 2004. Italian edition.
- The Last Wild
Witch. Illustrated by Lindy Kehoe. Portland, Oregon: Mother Tongue
Ink. 2009. Adapted into a stage musical for children's ensemble, 2012.
- The Empowerment
Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. Victoria, Canada; New
Society Publishers, November 2011.