What would it look like if we based our culture on respect for the elements that sustain life, if earth, air, fire and water were sacred? Imagine a culture where human creativity and diversity were cherished. Popular culture abounds with post-apocalyptic disaster stories, but offers us few images of a positive future here on earth. Yet if we can't even imagine a just, balanced and flourishing future, how can we create it?
Climate change calls us to make an enormous transition very rapidly-changing our economy, our energy systems, our food growing systems, our patterns of work, socializing and play-and doing it now, not sometime in the vague future. One of the most powerful responses to this challenge has been the movement toward relocalization: taking root again in community.
Starhawk 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 ten 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 Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature.
Her works have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, 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 twenty-seven 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. Utne magazine named her one of their "100 Utne Visionaries" in January of 1995. Many of Starhawk's best political essays 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.
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. She consulted on and contributed to 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. Starhawk and Donna Read recently formed their own film company, Belili Productions. 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 are at work on their next film, an introduction to permaculture.
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. Together with Penny Livingston-Stark and Erik Ohlsen, she coteaches EAT, Earth Activist Trainings, intensive seminars that combine permaculture design, political organizing, and earth-based spirituality.
Starhawk has also 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.
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.