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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wicca for Kids - Starhawk and the Feminist Side of Wicca

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I wanted to cover this amazing woman but was unsure of how to proceed. So I turned to another fantastic woman that I know, Bex. She runs a great blog as well, check it out at Bex's Hexes.

Starhawk is a world renowned Wiccan author and activist. She is the author or coauthor of eleven books, including The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess. Starhawk's newest book is a picture book for children, The Last Wild Witch. Starhawk is often considered the pioneer of the reemergence of earth-based and feminist spirituality. While those titles and words sound important, what exactly do they mean? An activist is someone who is involved in organizations and their community, with the intention of making positive change. An activist is usually involved in a specific cause or organization they are not necessarily an activist for everything. For example an environmental activist is someone who is actively involved in improving and saving our natural environment.  Starhawk is considered an environmental activist, and she is very involved in the Pagan community as well. She believes it is very important for Pagans and Wiccans to use their spiritual beliefs to be politically involved in their communities. She is a community organizer and supports efforts to end war and causes like global justice.

In addition to her political activism Starhawk is famous for promoting the idea of feminist spirituality. Feminism is the belief that women are equal to men in all areas of life. This does not mean that feminists believe men and women are exactly the same, just that they are equal in value. Feminism is usually seen as a political movement where men and women are fighting for the legal rights of women to be equal to men’s. Feminism can also be applied to religion though. Before the reemergence of Pagan religions, America and other westernized countries’ religious beliefs and culture were predominantly Judeo-Christian based (still are). The religious beliefs and practices within the Judeo-Christian religions directly affect how women are treated in society. The religious teachings of Judeo-Christian religions are focused around a male-only system. They teach that there is only a male god, male angels, male prophets, male spiritual teachers, and that men are in charge of women. These beliefs have lead to the oppression of women for thousands of years.  People like Starhawk are helping to bring awareness to the oppression that religious beliefs like this have on women. Starhawk promotes Pagan religions that are not only earth-based, but also centered around the “Sacred Feminine.” The Scared Feminine is the idea that there are feminine deities and spiritual energies just like there are male ones. People who embrace the Sacred Feminine usually worship a Goddess (or multiple Goddesses). They see femininity within the spiritual world and religion. They also allow women to become spiritual leaders or priestesses within the religion.  Starhawk has been a powerful leader within the Sacred Feminine movement and she continues to promote the rights of women both politically and spiritually.

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