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
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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.
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
- 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
- Walking to Mercury. New York.
- 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.
- The Last Wild Witch (children).
Illustrated by Lindy Kehoe. Portland, Oregon: Mother Tongue
- The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for
Collaborative Groups. Victoria, Canada; New Society
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 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
and with the
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Erik's website is at www.permacultureartisans.com
Erik Ohlsen, Penny LIvingston-Stark,
and Starhawk share very silly moment with students
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.
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Charles, Erik, and Starhawk
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 the 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.
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. Her other achievements include presenting at TEDx Denver and SF and 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.
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