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The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,334 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
America's most renowned witch and eco–feminist offers a sequel to her bestselling classic The Spiral Dance, weaving together the latest findings in environmental science with magical spells, chants, meditations and group exercises to create the ultimate primer on our relationship to the earth.

From the earliest times, respecting our interdependent relationship with nature h
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by HarperOne (first published September 28th 2004)
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Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book on Sunday, returned the copy to the library on Monday, and was at the book store Tuesday morning to buy my own copy.

I've been looking for this book for years, trying to force other books (most notably Natural Prayers and Becoming Animal ) to be what I wanted: the guidelines of a truly Earth-based spiritual practice. Why I resisted so long reading this book, which was/is clearly that book, I have no idea.

The book is filled with wonderful exercises, observations, and sugges
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
If I could truly rate this, I would perhaps give it three and a half stars. Maybe I have Starhawk fatigue from being forced to re-read Spiral Dance recently. Maybe I would have gotten a lot more out of this book if I read it at the start of my spiritual path. But this gets a bit of a 'yeah it was pretty okay' from me but I'm generally underwhelmed.

Starhawk offers some really useful tools for meditation, grounding and observation and connection to one's natural environment in The Earth Path. I di
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so I've been reading this book for a long time. Starhawk goes through the elements with all these awesome awareness practices, etc. It combines permaculture, wilderness awareness, and paganism in a super-nummy way. Just read the 'soil visualization' and you'll be in love!
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Disclaimer: I am not a pagan, I am Catholic. And I didn't read this book thoroughly, but rather skimmed it. Also, I am not familiar with the author or her previous books.

I picked this book up at the library because I am curious about earth-based spirituality.I find that I feel closest to God in nature, and wanted to read another's perspective on it. I find that a lot of the sentiments expressed in the book are not incompatible with my faith, if only expressed differently (i.e. instead of a "spel
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: env-n-spirit, thesis
I found this book educational, inspiring, compelling, and full of beautiful liturgy. The book starts with discussions of permaculture, earth-centered values, and the miracle and beauty of evolution. There are some basic practice exercises, and I found her discussion of observation and awareness (to listen to birds in the woods, to connect with a "home base" that you observe and relate to over time) to be especially insightful. She then discusses the five elements (air, fire, water, earth, and sp ...more
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the best Starhawk book I've read. It connects the dots between environmentalism and earth-based spirituality in a way that feels holistic and authentic. I guess in some ways, all spiritualities have an element of woo-woo/magic about them. What I liked about this book was that it seemed more practical and this magic than her others. Ritual was still there, but as a way of creating space for change. I feel like her own definition of what it means to be a witch has changed.
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Starhawk does such a great job of speaking in the voice of the Northern California earth-centered cosmology I came to call home when we were living and studying there. It just feels comfortable and straight forward to me. I love that her magic is so practical- we learn from observation, we use what we have at hand. Common sense witchcraft and activism.
Betsy D
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion-broadly
Starhawk is a Wiccan (Pagan) leader whose work I have been familiar with for a long time. In this book, she talks mostly about living on the land, and the way to heal a rural bit of the planet, but with quite a bit of discussion of wider issues in living in harmony with Nature. She gradually portrays this spiritual path as consisting of observing and meditating on the piece of ground you inhabit, however small, or one very nearby, and thus learning this living in harmony, so necessary to slow ou ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Starhawk's writing and earnest dedication to environmental concerns and the education of permaculture. Her books even though they come from a Pagan lenses would be appropriate for anyone who genuinely cares about the earth.

Stacy Sevier
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was all I hoped it would be. Practical exercises and meditations to connect with the Earth. Explores the elements and strengthens connections to nature. I love Starhawk's voice and will add "The Spiral Dance" to my "to read" list.
Mar 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone seeking to deepen their connection to nature
Recommended to Christine by: Kate Nash

The Earth Path is certainly a book written from a Wiccan perspective yet it is one that harbors wisdom for any and all who read it, regardless of their creed. In fact, you could remove all religion from this book and still be left with something wholly spiritual and educational.

Topics discussed within The Earth Path include organic & green living, ecology, ecopsychology, bioregionalism, climate change, activism, evolution, social change, permaculture, feminism (though not in the overt manne
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let's put my bias out front right away; I adore Starhawk's writing. There hasn't been a book of her's that I haven't enjoyed, yet. The focus on actively working with nature, with politics, with permaculture and with the Divine Feminine really works for me. The Earth Path was a fantastic read and holds up as well as the rest of Starhawk's writing.

This book weaves personal memories and journal entries with explanations about the natural world and concrete methods to connect with our world. The au
Erik Akre
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sincere Pagans and lovers of Earth
Shelves: spirituality, wicca
I will review this book from the point of view of "education." As a teacher, I was struck by it thus:

If the whole world held these teachings to be sacred... Education would look a lot different, for one thing. Children would be educated in the outdoors, and of the outdoors, and concretely in the ways of the bioregion. "School" might not be a separate place as much, and parents would be (and would be able to) pass on real wisdom and care.

The rights and care of the child would be ahead of all othe
Caitlin H
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found this book much more readable than Dreaming the Dark-- which i'd tried to read in the past & ultimately gave up on, because i didn't feel hope in it. This book feels more hopeful, like there's things we can actually do to try to help the planet. A bonus is the fact that the ~Burning Times~ weren't mentioned at all (like they are in Dreaming the Dark-- another reason i got rid of the book).

Of course, because i'm sure Starhawk is no scientist, & because this was published over 10 ye
Adam Smith
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think that Starhawk's sense of spirituality is both extremely moving and incredibly inspiring. She has always been and remains the most influential author in my eyes. She is real and practical, but also ethereal in nature. Her connection to the Goddess is real and intense and makes those that hear or read her teachings inspired to ignite their own fire for the infinite.
In this book she offers real ways to connect to the Earth that is both healing to the planet and invigorating to the soul. As
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wicca-pagan
This is not the regular book of spells to attract your soul mate or to hex an x. It's simply about good old fashioned connecting with nature and strengthening your bonds to the earth and to community. Some interesting tidbits of information sprinkled throughout the book that won't be found in other wiccan/pagan books. Starhawk is passionate in her writing about the protection and care of the earth and about creating healing communities. This book is truly down to earth and has no ego, no extrava ...more
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I consider myself a Pagan, not a Wiccan, and at times think Starhawk is a bit spacey. But she's making a lot of sense here as she talks about how we are not honoring the Earth. We're polluting the air and water, as we knew for years, but do little about it. Genetically modified foods are taking over and soon we will have real food shortages, because regular plants can't compete. Plus all these chemicals are in our bodies.

But does the US look for alternate energies? No. Try to stop overdevelopme
It is written by a witch for other witches, but even if you are not a witch it is chock full of great information and resources for working with the rhythms of Nature. If you are not into the 'spiritual' aspects of the book, it is easy to skip those parts and get into the things you can physically do to improve your relationship with the land you depend on. The hands on experience of Starhawk helps give you a better picture of what doing these things is like and how you can do it too. All the ph ...more
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: pagans
Recommended to Stacy by: turbo
I didn't finish reading this. I really have liked many of starhawk's books, but i'm not so into the paganism. What i especially liked about this book was how it addresses the idea that the world would be better off without humans, which really is marginalizing to the native peoples of the earth's past and present. Gary Nabhan's book "Cultures of Habitat" also addresses this with more stats and such. They argue that we can live in on the earth without destroying living beings everyday, but we hav ...more
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirit, favorites
Starhawk's spiritual philosophy so eloquently explained in this book is right in tune with my own. Throughout the book, ideas of us being a part of nature and nature being divine are expressed through words, stories, poetry, chants, visualizations and meditations. There is quite a bit of 'beginner' style explanation, but most of the exercises presented are quite unique. All ways to help better align yourself with nature and the universe in which we live. A definite keeper and constant reference.
Nov 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I never considered how the witch-hunts in the 1600's killed off a whole culture of earth-based spirituality, and earth-based medicine and plant knowledge, to replace it with patriarchal 'expert'-based medicine and religion. Very interesting book, though I skimmed through some parts, Starhawk is an amazing woman with a lot of valuable things to say. Her association with paganism (pre-christian religion) and earth-based spirituality, and the word 'witch' should not scare people away from reading h ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book. I didn't know much about Starhawk before reading this book, but I have to say, I love her. It was a surprise to find that she is all about permaculture which is something that I am just starting to learn about. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because it seemed like she is writing to a reader who is not already in love with nature and she was trying to convince the reader to love and bless the natural world around them. So, in that way, I was not the ideal reader. She is writing ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: environmentalists, pagans or pagan-friendly folks.
I really enjoyed this book, and got a lot out of it. Starhawk does have a tendency to assume her reader self-identifies as a witch or Wiccan. Not every witch/Wiccan is necessarily going to hold the same views as Starhawk, and not everyone who agrees with her would necessarily call themselves a witch. I found the book useful enough that after seeing it a few times, I was able to tune out the phrases "as witches, we blah blah blah". Now that I've read through it once, I intend to use it as a kind ...more
T.Kay Browning
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book seemed to be thrown together, jumping around from topic to topic a little bit, but there were a lot of great insights here. I think she worked hard to write, as seems to be a regular practice, a book for both magic users as well as generally more earth conscious people. My feelings on magic are still pretty hazy, but I learned a lot of good things and had some good inspirations from this book.
Dec 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
What I have to keep remembering it to connect, connect, connect. By listening, paying attention to the wind, the land, the animals and plants, noticing patterns. This is where we live, right on earth, and each place has its own spirit, that it would be wise to pay attention too.
It is full of exercises and meditations.
Cheyenne Vaughn-goodwin

I am so glad I found this book. There are many many beginners books out there and I am grateful to have found this more advanced book. It is full of tons of usable information and has inspired me both as a witch and as a lover of the earth. I will look for more books by this author.
Christina Leftwich
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I flipped through a lot of this book, especially the more specific Wicca spirituality stuff ( not my thing) . However, if you are looking for meditations based in nature that can help you connect more fully to her, than this has plenty of ideas and rituals that may allow one to do this in a mindful and meaningful way.
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
How often I've lamented that too many Pagans and Earth Spiritualists don't seem to care or know much about actual Earth ecology, about nature, Herself. So, of course, my favorite ES author would offer this remedy, an excellent Pagan primer on nature ecology, spirituality and science. Bless her!
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Started out really great with the first couple chapters. After that, I had trouble getting into it anymore and skimread to the end. I am not sure I was connecting with the material the way i expected i might.
Lauren Fulner
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love everything Starhawk has written, but this volume, based around the elements, is my favorite, along with her novel The Fifth Sacred Thing. Amazing practices for connectedness, awareness, and intention.
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Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer and teacher, and a prominent voice in modern Goddess religion and earth-based spirituality. She is the author or coauthor of thirteen books, including the classics The Spiral Dance and The Fifth Sacred Thing. Her latest is the newly published fiction novel City of Refuge, the long-awaited sequel to The Fifth Sacred Thing.

Starhawk directs Earth
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“Energy moves in cycles, circles, spirals, vortexes, whirls, pulsations, waves, and rhythms—rarely if ever in simple straight lines.” 13 likes
“Because everything is interdependent, there are no simple, single causes and effects. Every action creates not just an equal and opposite reaction, but a web of reverberating consequences.” 6 likes
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