Dripstone is the research blog for queer visual artist, researcher, writer and curator Venus Jasper.

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Permaculture and the Sacred: A Conversation with Starhawk

Activist, author and priestess Starhawk shares on how Permaculture is not just about Gardening or Agriculture - but a path beyond Sexism, Racism and Classicism. Social Justice and Spiritual Revivals. From Big White Skygods and a 'Sacred' far-away from the planet towards a Earth-Oriented Sacredness. Diversity in unision. From profit to prosperity. From oppression to exuberance. From ego to soil? #SocialPermaculture #Dirt #Pagan


In the video below, Starhark starts by briefly introducing Permaculure Principle #11: Use Edges and Value the Marginal, before taking us to look at Social Justice and how Paganism and Earth/Goddess Spiritualities and the Sacred are braided in with this development. 'Edges are places where two different systems meet. They are places of great dynamism, places of great tension and often also places of great diverse aspects that co-create a third system that is often richer than either of the two. [...] When you bring together systems of thought like spirituality, ecology, politics you can create a rich edge - one that can be richer than any of these systems can be on their own.' Intersectionality much? I think so too. The talk ends with a share on how beauty is not only to be funelled into Art or Museums, but also in the devine creation of food-forests, water-landscapes and communities as an alternative to Global Capitalism and $-Slavery. Divest Movement. Inter-faith Gardening. Beauty in Depth. Check all three vids if you can. Enjoy!

...as to counter the 'consumption' of information rather than the absorption, integration and understanding of information I suggest making a drawing while watching/hearing this great talk. Please stay tuned for the brilliant Q&A at the end: "Can right-wing Christians do Permaculture? How do the Agri-ecological components of Permaculture relate to the Social Dimensions?' Start thinking with the hands involved in soil and see I say.


Starhawk is a witch, a permaculture educator and visionary author who I connected with via their utopian/dystopian series around 'The 5th Sacred Thing' - a novel written in the 90's, looking at the WestCoast in year 2048. Although not the strongest novel in the sense of literatary quality, the story and it's population is monumentally inspiring and disarming: expect polyamorous partnerships, cross-species collaborations, eco-democratic politics and gruesome descriptions of the times to come - which are seamlessly blending in with actual developments politically, ecologically and socially in the USA Today.

Starhawk is also an excellent clarifyer on what #Matriarchy, #Goddessworship and #thealogy is about. From 2001: 'Goddess religion is not based on belief, in history, in archaeology, in any (one) Great Goddess past or present. ... [it is a] spirituality is based on experience, on a direct relationship with the cycles of birth, growth, death and regeneration in nature and in human lives. The terms "polytheistic" and "monotheistic" come out of a framework that makes no sense to us. It's like asking "Is water one or many?" The only possible answer is "Huh? Hey, it's wonderful, miraculous, life giving, vital stuff that we need to honor and respect and conserve and not pollute, that's the point." [...]. At a time when every major ecosystem on the planet is under assault, calling nature sacred is a radical act because it threatens the overriding value of profit(s) [...] And at a time when women still live with the daily threat of violence and the realities of inequality and abuse, it is an equally radical act to envision deity as female and assert the sacred nature of female (and male) sexuality and bodies.'

'The heart of my connection to the Goddess has less to do with what I believe happened five thousand years ago or five hundred years ago, and much more to do with what I notice when I step outside my door: that oak leaves fall to the ground, decay and make fertile soil.'

Starhawk: Religion from Nature, Not Archeology (2001)

Check starhawk.org for more.

Much love,
Your Peace Journalist


Permaculture means (and should always mean) honoring the supreme indigenous (local) knowledge(s), cultures and ancient practices that lay at the origin of it. Traditions, which by nature are balanced and holistic in terms of care-taking for our world. It is only because of Colonialism/Capitalism that locally-belonging traditions have been jeapordized severely if not destroyed alltogether... and through the adaptation, re-interpretation and revival of the practices of our ancestors we can re-vamp both our ecologies as well as our human conscience on the earth. For today especially, there's huge need to look both back and forwards to a time-before-time in which we lived/will be living 'as' nature rather than 'in' it or 'on top' of it.

Today, Permaculture is a world wide movement which has more on-the-ground Projects than the United Nations. It's huge, not centrally organized, not centrally controlled but alive via the intricate and grounded heart-full interactions and collaborations between its many (human and non-human) parttakers and environments. It is greatly benefitting ecosystems and thus also social systems and it looks forwards to having your specific needs met and included within it's process.

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