40 (Plus) Years of Activism: Starhawk Looks Back at Spiral Dance

40 (Plus) Years of Activism: Starhawk Looks Back at Spiral Dance October 8, 2019

(This blog has been written by Starhawk when asked about the importance of Spiral Dance today.)

Reclaiming as a tradition was born out of activism.  If we believe that nature is sacred, we must take action to protect and regenerate the environment around us.  If we believe that each one of us is an embodiment of the Goddess, the divine force of creativity and compassion, we must work for social justice as well.

In  1979, when the first Spiral Dance was created, Jimmy Carter was President, the war in Vietnam was finally over, and many of us who had been activists in the ‘60s could turn our attention to examining the underlying culture that leads to war and injustice.  We were feminists, concerned about how power was distributed by gender, and we saw patriarchal religions as reinforcing that inequality, as well as the whole family of related ‘isms’: racism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, environmental degradation, and more.  Creating a new spiritual tradition that honored women, diversity, and the earth, that was rooted in social and environmental justice, for us, was a political act.

Everyone is welcome at our rituals, regardless of your political persuasion, but we ask people to respect our values and behave in ways that further inclusion and respect for the wide diversity of our community.

Photo Credit: Michael Rauner


Altars to Action, Altars to Change

At the 40th Anniversary Spiral Dance, we want to honor all the movements and issues our community has been involved with over the last 40 years.  You’ll see how—it may surprise you but feel free to join in!  We will also have a special altar table that honors current struggles, where people can place petitions and literature about what they are working on.  Making this an altar acknowledges that our efforts to create a more just world are sacred actions.

Here’s a list of some of those actions—long as it is, I know there are many we’ve forgotten!

  •  Civil rights
  • Draft resistance
  • Peace
  • No War in Vietnam
  • Feminist movement
  • Take Back the Night
  • Reproductive Rights
  • End violence against women
  • Anti-racism
  • No nuclear power—Three Mile Island, Diablo Canyon, Yucca Mountain
  • No nuclear weapons—Rocky Flats, Livermore Action Group, Vandenberg Action Coalition, Nevada Test Site
  • No Cruise/Pershing missiles
  • Bohemian Grove
  • Justice for Farmworkers
  • LGBTQ Rights—ACT Up
  • Trans Rights
  • Food Not Bombs
  • No Intervention in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras—Pledge of Resistance
  • Concord Naval Base—CISPES
  • Witness for Peace
  • Justice for Immigrants
  • Indigenous rights—Big Mountain, DQ University, Standing Rock, Shell Mounds,
  • No GMOS
  • No War in Iraq 1
  • End the Sanctions (Iran)
  • Forest Defense–Redwood Summer
  • Wilderness protection
  • Environmental justice
  • Stop the Bombing (Kosovo)
  • Justice for Leonard Peltier, Free Mumia
  • Prison reform
  • Economic justice issues—Richmond refinery, close the Bayview/Hunters’ Point Power Plant, Hall of Shame Tour
  • No evictions
  • Defend the Mission
  • Support for the houseless
  • Martin de Porres volunteers
  • No WTO, IMF, World Bank—global justice
  • Food sovereignty
  • Justice for Palestine
  • No War in Iraq 2
  • Disaster response—Katrina, Haiti
  • Justice for Refugees
  • Black Lives Matter
  • End Police violence—Andy Lopez, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez and more
  • Occupy
  • Arab Spring
  • Community Gardens
  • Climate Justice
  • Permaculture and Land Regeneration
  • Fair Elections—No voter suppression
  • Working for Candidates
  • Running for Office

For all the details about this year’s 40th Anniversary Reclaiming Spiral Dance ritual:


Facebook Event

Thanks Starhawk!

About Starhawk
Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer and teacher, and a prominent voice in modern earth-based spirituality and ecofeminism. She is the author or co-author of thirteen books, including "The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess" and the ecotopian novel "The Fifth Sacred Thing", and its sequel "City of Refuge." You can read more about the author here.

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