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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Starhawk in Amsterdam

StarhawkStarhawk is a witch, author, environmentalist, activist and so much more. She is a co-founder of Reclaiming, an activist branch of modern pagan religion. If you want to see her, watch this YouTube clip, where she is talking about permaculture.

From 14 to 16 September the Dutch Witches Reclaimingforum had invited Starhawk to give a lecture and two workshops in Amsterdam. Quetzalquatl and Freya have done an excellent job in organizing all this. They had arranged a wonderful place to host it: a huge, spiritual and very beautiful living room in the heart of Amsterdam. Sorcha and I had signed up for the workshop on Saturday: "The Earth Path: Giving Spirit Roots". In this workshop Starhawk guided us through a process of learning to use the tools of observation, awareness, and magic, "the art of changing consciousness at will" to deepen connections with the natural world, and to create the myths and rituals that can bring us into harmony with the full community, human and beyond-human. We talked, danced, sang, did a wonderful meditation... It was a very special experience.

Although I'm not a Reclaiming witch it was very nice to meet Starhawk in person. I have several of her books. The Spiral Dance is a well-known classic. I have studied The Twelve Wild Swans in a little group. I had brought my copy of The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, which has helped me a lot last year (and still does sometimes) after mum died. I told Starhawk about that and asked her to autograph it for me. She did promptly and told me today was her mother's birthday. She wrote the book after her mother died.

To experience contact with nature first hand we all walked to the Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis, a museum with a beautiful classical garden, the biggest private garden in Amsterdam. Peace and quiet in the middle of the busy, noisy city! We gathered in a circle around a magnificent tree. In the middle, under the tree, was a red cat. He looked around and seemed to approve of us being there. Then we spreaded to discover the garden. I was glad I had brought my camera: a spider in its web, drops of water on leaves, a sundial... all beautiful. I collected some little stones and a feather to add to our altar in the workshop room. On our way out I noticed a great statue of a woman figure.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Tink,

    Nice to see your report on the weekend!

    A few small details:
    F & Q are independent Reclaiming-fans, founding members of the Dutch Witches Reclaimingforum.
    We do have some connection with Reclaiming the Lowlands, but organized this event as independent Dutch Witches.

    Brightest Blessings,

    http://quetzalquatl.livejournal.com

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  2. Hi Q! Thanks for providing the right details. I adapted the post right away. Credit where credit is due!

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  3. I enjoyed reading your post. The pictures were lovely. Peaceful. Especially that tree.

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  4. Color me 3 kinds of jealous. I would love to meet Starhawk. The Spiral Dance was one of the first books I ever read regarding Wicca and Paganism and The Pagan Book of Death and Dying is just a truly beautiful work.

    I have to ask though if you have read her fiction?

    Mama Kelly

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  5. No, not yet. Would you recommend it?

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  6. Oh yes Tink I would most definately.

    Read The Fifth Sacred Thing and then its prequel Walking to Mercury.

    Id love to read what you think about them

    Mama Kelly

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  7. I've read some of her books, and I think she is amazing & iconic! Mahalo for your report...sounds like a wonderful event!

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