Permaculture and the Sacred
Pioneer and Visionary, Starhawk, was at the Turtle Island Bioregional Gathering in Mexico that I attended in 1996; she was teaching spontaneous ritual at the time. In fact, so much spontaneity happened during that exciting meeting of the North and South Americas, that the adjustment to what was really happening when the cultures found each other in the same place took three days to organically organize itself into a comprehensive whole. The result was more diverse and rich than had we gone according to the original plan. The indigenous participants, Rainbow Tribe, gypsies, activists, professors, healers, seekers, old and young, joined in a celebration of our shared experience as the week unfolded.The energy was very high, and we ended that gathering with a Spiral Dance. (Read the story at this link: http://www.planetdrum.org/tibg_mex.html)
Prior to meeting Starhawk in Mexico and getting a deeper grounding in Bioregionalism, my husband and I co-sponsored the first permaculture design certification course and bioregional gathering in Nova Scotia with Phil Ferraro from PEI. (Read more about that event here: http://eap.mcgill.ca/MagRack/SF/Fall%2095%20H.htm)
Following these events, we co-founded a community based on both Bioregional thought and Permaculture Principles, informed by Shamanic wisdom and practice while studying our ecosystems and dancing with patterns of nature’s creation. That project was EarthSea Shamanic Ecovillage.
During the next decades Starhawk influenced a broad spectrum of those who were on a spiritual path, making it clear that a convergence with permaculture, indigenous beliefs and earth based spirituality is necessary in order to redirect our efforts from materialism to reciprocity with the earth.
Starhawk, as an internationally known activist, earth based spiritual practitioner, scholar and author who now speaks for permaculture, has a long reach. She and I met in Mexico but also have crossed paths energetically, at Tara Hill in Ireland and most recently at Blockhouse School Project (2013-15) in Nova Scotia, while she was visiting the nearby permaculture-based Pollination Farm project. In both cases of these energetic crossings, we did not physically meet, although we walked through the same spaces. I found it relevant to the bigger picture that our reasons for going to Tara and to Blockhouse were aligned with a larger vision that directs many of us to engage in permaculture and the sacred, whether we only practice in our own backyard or take it to the world.
In her video: Permaculture and the Sacred, a presentation delivered at Harvard Divinity School in 2013, Starhawk envisions for us places in the world once considered wasted, made whole and sacred again through the transformative nature of applied permaculture principles. It is over an hour long, challenging, and worth every minute!