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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, 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 essayscredited with helping the global justice movement find and define itselfwere 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, "On 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 Donnas 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," "Reclaimings 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 (www.earthactivisttraining.org). 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 womens programs in the West Bank of Palestine. Starhawks own expertise is in the communication of ecological systems thinking through images, writing, and innovative teaching techniques.

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.

Bibliography: 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. German edition.

  • 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.
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