The Fifth Sacred Thing
Provocative and magical, political and spiritual ... An extraordinary book stands in the great tradition of political and philosophical novels. -Margot Adler, Author of Drawing Down The Moon.
Starhawk's epic tale, set in 2048, California. In a time of ecological collapse, when the hideously authoritarian and corporate-driven Stewards have taken control of most of the land and set up an apartheid state, one region has declared itself independent: the Bay Area and points north. Choosing life over guns, they have created a simple but rich ecotopia, where no one wants, nothing is wasted, culture and cooperation are uppermost, and the Four Sacred Things are valued unconditionally.
But the Stewards are on the march northward, bent on conquest and appropriation of the precious waters. It’s the love story of Bird the musician and warrior and Madrone the healer, and of Maya, Bird’s grandmother, ninety-eight year old story teller, whose vision provides a way for them to defend their city from invasion without becoming what they are fighting against.
"Totally captivating.... Starhawk has created a magic land to which we can return at will for the kind of exotic romance and adventure we all crave. Her celebration of the richness of cultural diversity heralds the possibility of a mutually enhancing multicultural community. Here, too, is a vision of the paradigm shift that is essential for our very survival as a species on this planet." -- Elinor Gadon, author of The Once and Future Goddess
An epic tale of freedom and slavery, love and war, and the potential
futures of humankind tells of a twenty-first century California clan
caught between two clashing worlds, one based on tolerance, the other on
Declaration of the Four Sacred Things
earth is a living, conscious being. In company with cultures of many
different times and places, we name these things as sacred: air, fire,
water, and earth.
Whether we see them as the breath,
energy, blood, and body of the Mother, or as the blessed gifts of a
Creator, or as symbols of the interconnected systems that sustain life,
we know that nothing can live without them.
To call these things sacred is to say that they have a value beyond
their usefulness for human ends, that they themselves became the
standards by which our acts, our economics, our laws, and our purposes
must be judged. no one has the right to appropriate them or profit from
them at the expense of others. Any government that fails to protect them
forfeits its legitimacy.
All people, all living things,
are part of the earth life, and so are sacred. No one of us stands
higher or lower than any other. Only justice can assure balance: only
ecological balance can sustain freedom. Only in freedom can that fifth
sacred thing we call spirit flourish in its full diversity.
honor the sacred is to create conditions in which nourishment,
sustenance, habitat, knowledge, freedom, and beauty can thrive. To honor
the sacred is to make love possible.
To this we dedicate our curiosity, our will, our courage, our silences, and our voices. To this we dedicate our lives.