Starhawk's Biography (Photos)
Starhawk (born Miriam Samos in 1951) is a writer and is one of the most respected voices in modern earth-based spirituality. She also describes herself as a witch, and is well known as a theorist of paganism, trainer in nonviolence and direct action, and activist within the peace movement, women's movement, environmental movement, and Anti-globalization movement.
She is the author of The Fifth Sacred Thing, The Spiral Dance, Dreaming the Dark, and Truth or Dare. A feminist and peace activist, she is one of the foremost voices of ecofeminism and travels widely in North America and Europe giving lectures and workshops. She lives in San Francisco, where she works with the Reclaiming collective, which offers classes, workshops, and public rituals in earth-based spirituality
Starhawk 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 eleven 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 a picture book for children, The Last Wild Witch.
Starhawk's 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 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.
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)
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 (www.belili.org). Their first release is Signs Out of Time (2004), a documentary on the life of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, the scholar 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 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. 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 (www.earthactivisttraining.org).
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.
Starhawk was born on June 17, 1951 and holds a B. A. in Fine Arts from UCLA and an M.A. in Psychology from Antioch West University.
Her web site is www.starhawk.org Her blog, Dirt Worship, is found at www.starhawksblog.org
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, Polish, and Portuguese 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.
* 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
* The Last Wild Witch. Portland, Oregon: Mother Tongue Ink. 2009.