Enjoy this 2013 presentation: “Permaculture and the Sacred: A Conversation with Starhawk” from Harvard Divinity School.

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 experiences inform her book on group dynamics, The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. Her latest book, City of Refuge, is a sequel to The Fifth Sacred Thing. The second-highest funded fiction project ever on Kickstarter, it became available to the public in early 2016.

Starhawk directs and teaches Earth Activist Training which combines permaculture design certificate courses 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 training 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 co-founder 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 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 http://starhawk.org/.

In Earth Activist Training, which she and Penny Livingston-Stark developed and which she now teaches with Charles Williams, Pandora Thomas and others, 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.

Click here to view  Starhawk’s Books and Novels under the Writing link.

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 tinkerer 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.

Pandora Thomas                Pandora smiling

Pandora Thomas is a passionate global citizen who works as a teacher, writer, designer and speaker.

She studied at Columbia and Tufts University and with several permaculture and greenbuilding design programs.
Her writing includes a children’s book, various curricula and a manual entitled “Shades of Green” for individuals wanting to teach green building to youth.

She has keynoted and lectured on topics ranging from diversity, social justice, youth and women’s leadership, social entrepreneurship and sustainability.

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

Pandora co-founded Earthseed Consulting LLC, a holistic consulting firm whose work expands the opportunities for sustainable living for diverse communities.

Her most recent projects include co-founding the Black Permaculture Network, working with Toyota to design and currently serving as a coalition member of the Toyota Green Initiative, which supports African Americans in understanding the benefits of adopting sustainable lifestyles and co-designing, teaching with and directing Pathways to Resilience: a permaculture and social entrepreneur training program that worked with men and women returning home after incarceration.

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 internships and fellowships to Columbia University, Green For All, the Bronx Zoo and the Applied Research Center.
When she is not working you can find her spending time with her beloved mother and cats or in the redwoods.

Watch an interview with Pandora here. Here is another video featuring Pandora speaking about her approach to Permaculture.

Eat Coordinator: Demetra Markis

Demetra took on the administration and coordination of EAT in fall 2016. She is an herbalist, acupuncturist, musician, and gardener who is drawn to work with EAT as a way of connecting with people. She moved to western Sonoma county in spring of 2015 with her daughter, Lily, to live closer to the land and to live in community on Starhawk’s Golden Rabbit Ranch.

Demetra founded Yerba Buena Community Acupuncture in San Francisco in 2010, which has provided over 60,000 affordable acupuncture treatments, and served as the Executive Director for the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture from 2012-13. She is committed to accessible healthcare and provides by-donation in-home acupuncture services through her non-profit Coastal Hills Acupuncture Project, as well as providing services at Sebastopol Community Acupuncture. She has developed continuing education programs for acupuncturists with a focus on patient care, clinical skills, and clinic management, and serves on the board of Promotores Desclazos in Juarez, Mexico, which trains laypeople in community acupuncture techniques while providing training in cooperative leadership and personal empowerment.

Demetra tends the gardens and perennial food forests at Golden Rabbit Ranch, is deepening her mechanical skills as the interim ranch manager, and is developing an onsite program of growing, harvesting, and processing Traditional Chinese and western medicinal herbs. She is honored to be stepping up to co-lead the Sacred Earth Apprenticeship program EAT began offering in 2017. As EAT’s coordinator, she is happy to contacted at any time at info@earthactivisttraining.org and is here to help. Demetra believes plants enjoy being sung to and finds her greatest connection with spirit at the intersection of music, service and the living green world.

Alfred Decker (EAT Europe)

Alfred Decker is an award-winning permaculture designer and one of Europe’s leading permaculture educators. Since his first PDC in 1998 in California, Alfred has been involved with social movements and projects throughout Europe and the Americas. He is the founder of the 12 Principles Permaculture Design consultancy, Permacultura Barcelona and the Forest Gardens project at Can Masdeu; is a co-founder of the Spanish Permaculture Academy (Academia de Permacultura Íbera); and was a member of the European Permaculture Teachers Partnership and the Permaculture Council of Europe.  Alfred holds a post graduate diploma in sustainable architecture and renewable energy (Centre for Alternative Technology).
After taking a permaculture teachers training with Rosemary Morrow in 2011, he undertook a two year mentorship and later co-taught six courses with her, ultimately earning a Diploma in Permaculture Education & Community Development in 2013 through the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute (Australia). Committed to furthering the teachers’ training platform “Permaculture Teaching Matters” (PTM) that Rosemary developed in over three decades of teaching experience around the world, Alfred co-edited her forthcoming PTM manual and organised a successful crowdfunding campaign to develop the platform.
Alfred currently lives in with his partner Daniella Querol on a smallholding in the Montnegre i el Corredor Natural Park north of Barcelona, Spain, where they are creating a permaculture demonstration site and educational project called Can Comú. In the coastal mountains of Montnegre, Alfred is the co-director of the community biochar project Montbio, which won a 2017 Lush Spring Prize for Social and Environmental Regeneration.