How to Redesign the World: Lessons from the Fifth Sacred Thing

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We started the Evolver Intensives, a partnership between The Prophets Conference and Reality Sandwich/Evolver, to bring some of the most brilliant and pioneering thinkers of our time to you directly over the Internet, so you can experience them as if you were together in the same room.

Using state-of-the-art video streaming technology, we will broadcast live lectures and discussions from around the world to your laptop. And you can participate in the discussion, ask questions to the course leaders, and share your thoughts with fellow students. All you need is a broadband connection and a web browser — you don't have to download or install any software. If you can watch videos on YouTube, you can participate in an Evolver Intensives course.

Please join us for our third series…


Host: Starhawk

Apply the tools of magic – the art of changing consciousness at will – to crystalize your vision of the future and the mission that brings that future into being.

4 calls, starts March 30

"The earth is a living, conscious being… We name these things as sacred: air, fire, water and earth…for nothing can live without them. To honor the sacred is to make love possible." – from The Fifth Sacred Thing

Without a clear vision of the future, how can we move forward? A vision crystallizes vague hope into concrete direction.

  • What would it look like, feel like to live in harmony with nature? To live in a world that celebrates diversity, where art, joy, love and compassion take precedence over war and weapons? How would we grow our food, produce what we need, educate the young and care for the old?
  • How can we turn this vision of the future into the mission that guides our lives today, so it can shape the world of tomorrow?
  • What forward-looking efforts now exist to inform and nurture the growth of your vision?

    In her utopian novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing, Starhawk offers a vision of a green, multicultural society based on reverence for the four sacred things, a vision that has inspired countless readers, and has changed lives. In the novel, northern California has survived ecological and social catastrophes to become a place where no one goes hungry or homeless, streams flow through former streets, gardens are everywhere, and the culture has the strength and fortitude to resist invasion without turning to violence.

    As we head into times of great chaos and potential destruction, we need a vision of a positive future. In this course, Starhawk will train us in some of the basic tools of magic, "the art of changing consciousness at will": meditation, visualization and grounding. We'll then use those tools to generate our own vision.

    For over three decades, Starhawk has been one of our most respected and influential visionaries, leading the revival of earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion. In her work as an eco and peace organizer, she has trained thousands of activists in the skills necessary for effecting real change consistent with their deepest held convictions. As a prize-winning author or co-author of 11 books, her voice has been instrumental in shaping the ecological consciousness many of us share today.

    Join Starhawk as she takes part in intimate, in-depth discussions with five fellow pioneers who are helping to move us into the future we want to see: Van Jones, Vandana Shiva, Toby Hemenway, Ernest Callenbach, and Carolyn Stayton. In her talks with these remarkable thinkers, writers and activists, she'll explore some of the most inspiring efforts to create the diverse, sustainable, exuberant society depicted in The Fifth Sacred Thing. For the course, Starhawk will also suggest discussion topics, exercises and journaling for participants to develop their own clear visions and map the path for getting there. Participants will come away from this course with renewed inspiration and practical ideas for making the transition to a truly abundant, just and resilient world.

    You will be part of this unique online event, watching the live video stream and asking your questions directly to these inspirational pioneers.

    In this course you will develop the tools you need to identify and shape your vision, so you can take an active part in the change called for by this time of global transformation.

    • Identify your core values and the vision that arises from them.
    • Clarify your own sense of mission and purpose.
    • Learn the basic skills of magic, "the art of changing consciousness at will," and put them to work to refine a personal mission aligned to your vision.
    • Develop an understanding of what must be done to restore balance and healing to our environment, and learn practical tools for deepening our connection to the natural world.
    • Learn the important attitudes and approaches that allow us to build alliances multiculturally.
    • Develop a timeline of actions to take and alliances to make to begin making our vision real.

    This course takes place on four consecutive Wednesdays, from March 30 through April 20 at 9:00 p.m. EST, and you can participate from your laptop anywhere in the world with a broadband connection. If you can watch a YouTube video, you can take part in this course.


    Vandana Shiva
    Wednesday, March 30, 9:00 p.m. EST
    For our first session, Starhawk interviews one of her personal heros. Vandana Shiva combines intellectual research with grassroots activism to tackle environmental problems. In her many roles as environmentalist, physicist, feminist and philosopher, Vandana has been a powerful voice of deep conviction, grounded in solid research. Her ability to combine intellectual study with grassroots activism in the fields of eco-feminism, bio-piracy and intellectual property rights has won her many international awards, including the Right Livelihood Award (the Alternative Nobel Prize), the Earth Day International Award, and the Global 500 Award.

    In 1984, Vandana founded Navdanya, an organization which helps India's small farmers to develop organic farming methods and ensure biodiversity. Following on the success of Navdanya, she started Bija Vidyapeeth in Dehradun, India, to popularize holistic living practices.

    In conversation with Starhawk, Vandana will give us the global picture, telling inspiring stories of ordinary people organizing to protect their homes, their lands and their sacred seeds.

    • What can we learn from the experiences of ordinary people who do extraordinary things?
    • What are the pressing issues that unite humanity in this moment of transition?
    • How can we be allies with other struggles around the world, and build a global movement even as we take root in place?

    Van Jones
    Wednesday, March 30, 9:30 p.m. EST
    Joining Starhawk and Vandana Shiva in conversation will be Van Jones, one of our most articulate and effective environmental activists. Van is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy, the co-founder of three successful non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All. Author of the definitive, best-selling book on green jobs, The Green-Collar Economy, Van served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009.

    In this powerhouse exchange of ideas by three of our most inspiring change agents, we will explore:

    • How does it feel to dedicate your life to a worthy mission?
    • How can you inspire others by living your vision?
    • What are the best ways to form alliances with partners in pursuit of a mission you share?

    Carolyne Stayton
    Wednesday, April 6, 9:00 p.m. EST
    The global Transition Town movement is one of the brightest lights on our road to societal change. As Executive Director of Transition US, Carolyne Stayton, brings over thirty years of experience with nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to the growth of a grassroots network that aligns community activists around a shared vision and a unified mission. Carolyn will talk about the movement to organize in our towns and neighborhoods for a graceful transition to a society that uses less fossil fuel energy but has more time for relationships, connection and real abundance.

    In her discussion with Carolyne, Starhawk will share tools and meditations for finding our inner compass, to help us know when we are on the right path.

    • How do we carry the transition inside ourselves?
    • Where do we put our energy, our skills and our passion to work most effectively?
    • How can we ground our vision for change in the community where we live?

    Toby Hemenway
    Wednesday, April 13, 9:00 p.m. EST
    Since writing The Fifth Sacred Thing, Starhawk has become a permaculture designer and teacher. Her book The Earth Path explores the many ways we can ground our spiritual life in a direct connection with the natural world. In this session, she'll share tools and meditations for strengthening our own relationship with nature in dialogue with her guest Toby Hemenway, author of the classic introduction to permaculture, Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, which for the last seven years has been the best-selling permaculture book in the world.

    Permaculture is a system of ecological design that shows us how to create systems to meet human needs while regenerating the environment around us. Toby and Starhawk will introduce us to the permaculture ethics and principles, and how they can apply to our lives, our cities, and our society.

    • How do we create a world in balance with nature?
    • What practices can we follow to strengthen our personal connection to natural cycles?
    • How can we apply the lessons of permaculture to the vision we hold for change?

    Ernest Callenbach
    Wednesday, April 20, 9:00 p.m. EST
    Where might our vision take us? If we lived in a socially just and environmentally balanced world, what art might we create? What new forms of healing might we practice? What unimagined realms of the mind might we be free to explore? Starhawk will share a guided journey to awaken our imagination and help us picture the future we want to see.

    In this session, Starhawk will interview Ernest Callenbach, author of the utopian novel Ecotopia, one of the inspirations for The Fifth Sacred Thing and an environmental classic that has sold almost a million copies.

    In their conversation, Ernest and Starhawk will discuss the changes the world has seen since their books were written, and the changes that are now just over the horizon.

    • Which positive values have come true thanks to the world of visionary activists — and which have fallen by the wayside?
    • What impact do visionary stories have upon the world?
    • What are the stories we might tell today to inspire transformation tomorrow?


    In addition to The Fifth Sacred Thing, Starhawk is the author of the essential text on modern earth-based spirituality, The Spiral Dance, as well as ten other books including her guide to earth-based spirituality, The Earth Path: Grounding Our Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature. Her latest is her first book for children: The Last Wild Witch. Her writings have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Japanese, and Burmese. Starhawk is a veteran of progressive movements, and deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of spirituality to political activism.  She travels internationally teaching magic, the tools of ritual, permaculture and the skills of activism. Her web site is

    By participating in this online course, you will receive:

    • Four 90-minute live video seminars with Starhawk and featured guests
    • 30 minutes of question-and-answer time in each seminar
    • Breakout sessions for student discussion following each seminar
    • Participation in a private online community with other students
    • Unlimited online access to videos of all seminars
    • PDF articles about course topics from Starhawk and each of the guests

    We hope you join us for this rare opportunity to develop your personal vision with the help of these inspiring figures whose own visions have contributed so much to global transformation.

    Early bird special, through March 15th 

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