Starhawk Visiting for Training and Talk, Wednesday

October 24, 2011 admin Arts & ActionsComments Off

We are honored to host Starhawk, a renowned global justice activist and trainer. She is coming to Santa Cruz to train us in nonviolence and de-escalation (both within our group and within the larger context of the movement).

We will meet with her on Wednesday afternoon, October 26th starting at 1pm. She will lead a training based on her experience in circles and collectives to show us how to foster connection, clear communication and positive power in ourselves and our group, as well as touch on how to create the community WE, the people, want.

After the training, and before the GA (at approximately 5pm) Starhawk will give a talk entitled:

“The Magic of Co-creation: Building Power in Groups”
We could have changed the world ten times over-if we didn’t have to do it together with other people: those irritating, self-righteous, controlling, fluff-brained, clueless idiots who are our friends and allies. We can do better. Learn to create nurturing group structures, deal with difficult people, and embrace constructive conflict. Starhawk draws from her new book, The Empowerment Manual, to show how to nurture resilient groups to be joyful and effective agents of change.

“Because I believe the earth is a living being, because we are all part of that life, because every human being embodies the Goddess, because I have a fierce, passionate love for redwoods and ravens, because clear running water is sacred, I’m an activist. And because the two hundred richest people in the world own as much wealth as the poorest forty percent, because every ecosystem, traditional culture, old growth forest and life support system on the planet is under assault, and because the institutions perpetuating this unjust system are global, I’m kept very busy!”
– Starhawk

Starhawk’s Bio: (see also:
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 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, forthcoming in 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 ( 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, “On Faith,” and also contributes to Beliefnet and ZNet, as well as maintaining her own blog, “Dirt Worship” Her Facebook page can be found at

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 (, 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 spirituality ( 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 500 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 teaching techniques.

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.

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.