Biography / Administrative History
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Starhawk collection
Bulk Dates: 1975-2008
Collection number: GTU 2002-4-01
18 linear feet (23 record boxes)
The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
Abstract: Starhawk is a pioneer in and advocate of the revival of earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion; a peace and justice
activist; and a veteran and continued organizer in progressive movements, committed to bringing the techniques and creative
power of spirituality to political activism.
Physical location: 5/H/1 - 5/H/5
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research with the following restrictions. One file folder from Series 1: Projects, Box 2. Restricted
from public use. To be opened 2032. Located in Restricted Box 3, 2/A/4.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union
as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.
Starhawk collection, GTU 2002-4-01. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.
Donated in increments by Starhawk from 2002 to 2008.
Biography / Administrative History
Born June 17, 1951, Miriam Simos lived in Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota before her mother moved the family to Southern California
in 1960 a few years after her father's death. During high school, she traveled around California and Europe. A trip to Israel
in 1966 was especially important to her growing consciousness of herself and the world. She attended the University of California
at Los Angeles studying writing and film, graduating with a B.A. in Fine Arts, 1972. While continuing graduate work at UCLA,
Simos worked at the Westside Women's Center in Los Angeles and participated in the Venice Poetry Workshop. These were influential
experiences for her.
A writer since high school, in 1973, she won the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for her novel A Weight of Gold. This carried
a prize of $3,000. With this, she dropped out of graduate school and traveled the United States for a year ending up in New
York. Here she hoped to get her book published, but it never was. Though she had always written fiction, it was suggested
that there was more chance to be published in non-fiction. Simos began to think about working on "questions of women and
spirituality and religion and witchcraft and the goddess". (Interview with Starhawk, Dean Elias, Pg. 42)
Starhawk moved back to the west coast ending up in San Francisco in 1975. She "began teaching and practicing more seriously
and forming a coven and researching and writing". (Elias, Pg. 42) The Covenant of the Goddess was formed around this time.
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, her first book, was published in 1979. Two on-going
events were begun around this time, The Spiral Dance (earlier known as the Witches Beltane Ball), an annual fall event in
San Francisco, and Witch Camp, held yearly in the summer in various parts of the United States and occasionally in Europe.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Starhawk found herself in community with people interested in linking earth based spirituality
and politics. She was drawn to work in direct action understanding the consensus process as true to her sense of the need
for non-violence in personal interaction and the world. She participated in anti-nuclear protests against the Diablo Canyon
Nuclear Power station in California and later through the Livermore Action Group. These experiences began her continuing
involvement in activist training and facilitation.
Starhawk helped to found the Reclaiming Collective: A Center for Feminist Spirituality and Counseling in 1980. She taught,
gave workshops and lectures, and continued to write, publishing Dreaming the Dark: Magic Sex, and Politics in 1982. Also
in 1982, she received an M.A. in Psychology (Feminist Theory) from Antioch University West, San Francisco. She has taught,
among other places, at Antioch University and at Holy Names College, Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality.
Starhawk has authored ten books, among them Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery, 1988; novels The
Fifth Sacred Thing, 1993, and Walking to Mercury, 1997; The Twelve Wild Swans: A Journey to the Realm of magic, Healing,
and Action, co-written with Hilary Valentine, 2000; and The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature, 2004.
She is a pioneer in and advocate of the revival of earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion; a peace and justice activist;
and a veteran and continued organizer in progressive movements, committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of
spirituality to political activism. Starhawk travels internationally giving seminars, workshops, lecturing, and training
in magic, the tools of ritual, earth-based spirituality, environmental issues including permaculture design, and political
organizing and the skills of activism.
Bibliographic information taken from Starhawk Resumes (1978-83, 1997) and website biography (2006) found in Box 13, file folders
56-57; and Interview with Starhawk (1990) by Dean Elias found in Box 6, file folders 14-20.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection documents the activities and writings of Starhawk and includes files, papers, manuscripts, published and unpublished
print material, photographs, art work, notebooks, periodicals, computer discs, 2 audiocassettes, 1 CD.
The collection was received from Starhawk in increments, 2002 - 2008. The collection had little internal order. Collection
order was imposed by the processor. It is divided into seven Series: 1) Projects, Presentations, Workshops, Events; one
Sub-series: Working Note Books; 2) Articles and Periodicals; one Sub-series: Reclaiming Newsletter and Reclaiming Quarterly;
3) Correspondence; 4) Starhawk Manuscripts; 5) Subject Files; four Sub-series: A. General, B. Collected Monographs, C. Poetry,
and D. Political Activism; 6) Computer Discs and Audio Tapes; and 7) Oversize.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Rituals - Goddess Religion
Feminism - Religious Aspects
Political Activists - United States
Peace Movements - Iraq War, 2003-
Antinuclear Movement - United States
Civil Disobedience - United States
Women Environmentalists - United States
Ecology - Religious Aspects - Goddess Religion
Environmental Protection - Moral and Ethical Aspects
Globalization - Moral and Ethical Aspects
Livermore Action Group
Reclaiming Collective (San Francisco, Calif.)
World Trade Organization
Transferred to the Graduate Theological Union Library Rare Books:
A Personal Tao, (Kochmer, C.: Olympia, WA, 2005).
Temples - Malta: Seven Women - Seven Temples, Exibition, (Mifsud, M.: Guttenberg Press, 1999). Art exhibition catalog. Includes letter from artist, Marie Mifsud. Book inscribed
to Starhawk from Mifsud.
A Ladle-shaped Woman, illustrations by Nina Gaby Christina, (San Francisco, Calif.: Cassandra Publications, 1975).