Starhawk Collection

Span Dates: 1966-2008
Bulk Dates: 1975-2008
Volume: 18 linear feet


The collection documents the activities and writings of Starhawk. Materials include files, papers, manuscripts, published and unpublished print material, photographs, art work, notebooks, periodicals, computer discs, 2 audiocassettes, 1 CD.

Hist/Bio Note

Starhawk (1951- )is a seminal writer on women's spirituality that embraces lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender women. Born June 17, 1951, Miriam Simos moved to Southern California in 1960 a few years after her father's death. 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 was influnced by her work at the Westside Women's Center in Los Angeles, and in the Venice Poetry Workshop. Winning the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for her novel A Weight of Gold, she used the prize of $3,000 to travel the United States. Simos began to consider writing on "questions of women and spirituality and religion and witchcraft and the goddess". (Interview with Starhawk, Dean Elias, Pg. 42) Starhawk moved back to San Francisco in 1975 where 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. She wrote and published The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess 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. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, in community with people interested in linking earth based spirituality and politics she explored direct action, implementing the consensus process and non-violent personal interaction. 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.

Finding Aid

An online finding aid is available.


This collection is located at Graduate Theological Union Library 2400 Ridge Road Berkeley, California, 94709 Phone: (510) 649-2523/2501


Women's spirituality | San Francisco | California