While developing a workshop for women yesterday, I found renewed inspiration in a poem that changed my life years ago. The novel Fifth Sacred Thing found its' way to me through a friend, and I discovered the work of Starhawk. After reading this book, I remember buying copy after copy, and sharing the book with anyone who would listen. It was the first of many to wake-me-ups. It is still so relevant for me today, and I once again find myself wanting to share this offering from Starhawk .
Declaration of the Four Sacred Things ~ Starhawk
The 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 the body of the Mother, or as 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 become 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 beings, 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.
To 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.