Starhawk sometimes get’s described as stuff like “the godmother of modern wicca”. Her book The Spiral Dance was supposed to be one of THE books on wicca.
Frankly, I read it and, although alright, it wasn’t anything riveting or anything I didn’t know already. It’s so not in my top list of books I didn’t even take it with me when I moved house.
When I bought The Spiral Dance, I also bought The Earth Path at the same time. Not being keen on The Spiral Dance, being the famousest one, I didn’t read The Earth Path for years. Then I did. Oh boy.
She talks about ecology, how everything on the earth is linked. She explains to us how vital all the elements are and how inextricably interconnected they all are in a really interesting way. She tells us about her really cool sounding house in a redwood forest, and how her and her neighbours try to live as eco-friendly as possible, using solar and hydro-electric power and using a spring for all their water. I’ve learnt some really cool things such as:
- redwoods only live in places which gather enough water for their leaves to condense into fog so they can drink the fog through their leaves (!) because they are just too darn tall to get water all the way from their roots to their tops
- Birds have a general set amount of different songs so you know what’s happening through what they are saying, but crows and ravens don’t count as they are called Corvids, which is a different subspicies from our regular sparrowy-robiny-starling bird
- You can make seed bombs and thunk them in places that need some more green! And you can get arrested for doing so!
She talks about the five elements, and I have read five-elements books and essays before and man are they dull and up themselves! Par made-up example:
Fire – the light from which all life is born, the great enlivener, Goddess Incarnate. Her deepest nature is Transformation, burning away the dead wood of your heart to allow the brave new seeds to push through. She is a wild elemental, the ultimate destroyer, ravaging hillsides and forests leaving no life. yet as ever, life comes from no life, just as our souls dissolve into the Summerlands to be Reborn, from ultimate destruction grows Renewal, Peace and Prosperity.
Now go and buy lots of candles, look at them and do the following rituals, bitches
Lame much? Everything Starhawk tries to get you to do can only be done outside. And it’s something that seeps into your conciousness, even if you don’t commit to doing all the books exercises 100%. For example, popping back and forth around corners in town to feel how different the wind is. Or noticing the difference between bird calls and working out where they are coming from.
Being as earth-based stuff is the crux of Wicca and Faerywitchpriestery (which is today’s name for whatever I get up to) it’s so great and IMPORTANT to read a book that is literally all about how the earth works, and gets you all fired up to learn about different tree species, the impact of GM crops and installing water-savers in your shower. I’m sure we all know that it’s all about nature really, but it’s easy to forget how great she is when you are curled up on your laptop by the radiator after a hard day’s work at the office/gym/lab/underground lair. As witchy folks, who are crazy about anything witchy at all, and so much less enthused by anything else not in that subject frame, it’s great to have a book that bridges between natural science and witchy stuff as it will get us enthused about the knowledge we need a little encouragement to get enthused by.
So all in all, this is now the book I will recommend to people interested in witchcraft and wicca, cos it’s all about the earth, man, all about the earth.