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Watch a 2013 presentation on "Permaculture and the Sacred: at Harvard University by Starhawk in this youtube video!

Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer, and one of the foremost voices in earth-based spirituality. Her twelve books include The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and The Earth Path, and her first picture book for children, The Last Wild Witch. She has lived and worked collectively for thirty years, and her book on group dynamics, The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups, is now out from New Society. She directs and teaches Earth Activist Trainings which combine a permaculture design certificate course with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism.


Starhawk's books have been translated into many languages, while her essays are reprinted across the world, and have been included in numerous anthologies. Her writing is influential and has been quoted by many hundreds of other authors, from magazines to trade and academic press. Her books are often used in college curriculums.

Starhawk is a gifted teacher and speaker with an international audience. She 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. Her work in progressive movements spans over 30 years. She has organized, trained protesters, and been on the front lines of antinuclear actions at Diablo Canyon, Livermore Weapons Lab, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the Nevada Test Site, among others. She traveled to Nicaragua with Witness for Peace in 1984 and made two trips to El Salvador to give ongoing support for sustainability programs. She continues to be a witness for peace on the front lines of the Palestine/Israel war, working with Palestinian and Israeli peace activists. A main focus for the last several years has been the global justice movement; Starhawk has taken part in many of the major actions, including those in Seattle, Washington DC, Quebec City, Genoa, New York City, Cancun, Mexico, and Miami. She co-founded RANT: Root Activists' Network of Trainers, and teaches non-violent direct action trainings for groups throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Palestine, and South America. She is active in the revived American peace movement, and works with Code Pink. Starhawk also works on countless environmental and land use issues, and is a founder and active member of the Cazadero Hills Land Use Council in western Sonoma County.

Starhawk is perhaps best known as an articulate voice in the revival of earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion. Besides her inspiring, much-read books, 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). She consulted on and contributed to a trio of popular films, the Women's Spirituality series (directed by

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Donna Read). Starhawk and Donna Read formed their own film company, Belili Productions. Their first release was 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 (www.belili.org). 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 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 Cazadero, California, where she practices permaculture in her extensive gardens, and writes. Her website is www.starhawk.org.

In Earth Activist Training, which she and Penny Livingston-Stark developed and co-teach, many strands of her life work are braided together. This is the best opportunity for those who wish to do extended work with Starhawk.

Starhawk will teach at all the EAT courses.

Starhawk at protest

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. New York. Bantam. 1993. German, Italian, Portuguese, and Polish editions.
  • Walking to Mercury. 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, German and Spanish editions.
  • Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising. Victoria, Canada. New Society Publishers. 2002. Essays translated into Burmese, French, and Italian.
  • Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature. HarperSanFrancisco. 2004. Italian edition.
  • The Last Wild Witch (children). Illustrated by Lindy Kehoe. Portland, Oregon: Mother Tongue Ink. 2009.
  • The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. Victoria, Canada; New Society Publishers, 2011.

Charles Williams

Charles, a certified permaculture designer, comes to EAT through a love of the wild, faith that healthy communities can solve complex problems, and a belief that working with one's hands is sacred work.

Over the past two decades he has stewarded many pieces of land throughout the United States, including Diana's Grove in Missouri, Farm & Wilderness summer camp in Vermont, and Golden Rabbit Ranch in California. His approach simultaneously promotes both preservation of wild spaces and conservation of the domestic. His deep respect for and relationship with the divine in nature informs all he does, integrating spiritual practices with land management. Charles also understands the need for healthy community and knows that skilled human implementation is an essential part of any design. In these challenging times, he finds hope for the future through the interlocking, symbiotic relationship of spirit, community, and action.

Charles is a talented facilitator and conflict mediator. He has worked with many groups, from mass mobilization meetings with over 100 people to a handful of people working for progressive organizations, from Quaker-style Unity to anarchist-style consensus, from inexperienced teens to highly trained professionals. Through a rough and rugged process he has gained an eye for what helps build community and support.


As an accomplished tinker Charles brings a wide range of practical and somewhat obscure hand skills. He has installed complex systems such as solar electric arrays, gray water filters, and veggie oil diesel conversions. He has implemented simple systems such as emergency water filtration, humanure composting toilets, and rotational grazing plans. He is talented in wilderness tracking, solo canoeing, gathering and tending wild edibles, starting fire by hand, and mapping. He loves to work with his hands, whether he is tanning hides or repairing a generator, and this love is reflected when he teaches EAT's hands-on segments.

Charles believes that no problems are unsolvable as long as we work together to develop and implement our plan effectively and honor the holy in our work.


Charles, Erik, Starhawk
Charles, Erik Ohlsen, and Starhawk

Pandora Thomas

Meet Pandora Thomas in this introductory youtube video!

Pandora Thomas is a passionate global citizen who works as a sustainability and environmental education consultant, permaculture teacher and curriculum developer. She is a certified green building professional, credentialed multiple subjects' teacher and studied at Columbia University's School for International and Public Affairs, Teachers College, and Tufts University.

Her writing includes a children's book, various curricula and a greenbuilding manual for youth. She lectures on intersection of diversity, social justice, women's leadership, and sustainability.

Pandora co-founded Earthseed Consulting LLC, a holistic consulting firm whose work expands the opportunities for sustainable living for diverse communities. Her clients include Toyota and UC Berkeley.

She has worked with groups as diverse as Iraqi and Indonesian youth to men serving in San Quentin creating inspiring and hands on programs around permaculture, sustainability, and outdoor and environmental education.

  EAT assistant-teacher Pandora Thomas

Pandora most recently co-founded the Black Permaculture Network, which is serving a community of diverse permaculturalists around access and support.

She has studied four languages and lived and worked in over twelve countries and her other achievements include presenting at Tedx Denver and SF, and being awarded fellowships to Columbia University, Green For All and the Applied Research Center. In her spare time she enjoys spending as much time as possible in the outdoors and with family and friends.


Erik Ohlsen

Guest teacher Erik Ohlsen is a licensed contractor and founder/owner of Permaculture Artisans, an ecological farm and landscape company. Erik is renowned as a certified permaculture designer and a certified permaculture teacher. He has been practicing permaculture and ecological design since 1998 when he co-founded his first non-profit called Planting Earth Activation, PEA. PEA designed and installed community gardens in northern California for public and private use from 1998-2001.

In the field of ecological land development and management Erik has extensive experience with design and implementation of projects that range from small urban lots to 100+ broad acres. His understanding of ecology and his many years of observation, listening, and experience with landscape patterns and design teams make Erik a leader in the field. Erik's design and field experience comprise of a huge variety of skills, including: farm design and implementation, water harvesting/storm water management, erosion control, extensive earthwork operations, heavy machine operation, irrigation systems, ponds, food forests/orchard systems, native plant systems, wildlife habitat enhancement, integrated pest management, microclimate moderation, roof water catchment systems, sustainable forestry, soil building, vermiculture, hardscape design and implementation, client relations, project management, and much more.

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  Erik Ohlsen

Erik has an innate ability to integrate a variety of disciplines into a holistic framework through facilitation of diverse groups of individuals and professionals. This skill is why many organizations and professionals in fields related to permaculture want to work closely with Permaculture Artisans to achieve excellence in their projects while benefiting entire ecological systems and communities.

Erik has been teaching permaculture design and its implementation since 2001 and is known in northern California as a premier teacher of permaculture's art and science. His engaging and energetic teaching style has captivated hundreds of permaculture students from all over the world.

Erik has taught courses in permaculture and related subjects throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. He currently teaches with Earth Activist Training, the Regenerative Design Institute and with the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.

Erik's website is at www.permacultureartisans.com

teachers laughing
Erik Ohlsen, Penny LIvingston-Stark, and Starhawk share very silly moment with students


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