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Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery
by Starhawk

AVAILABILITY: Active Record (Readily Available)

Publication Date: December 1989
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Binding: Trade Paper
Topics: OCCULTISM

Description: A rich, complex, and radiant examination of the nature of power. Spinning together myth, history, ritual, poetry, spells, psychology, and activism, Starhawk offers new and creative alternatives for positive change in our personal lives, our communities, and our world.

This much-needed examination of the nature of power will enable women and men first to understand the different facets of power, then to act upon that knowledge to create positive change. Starhawk distinguishes three types of power: "power-over," referring to domination and control; "power-from-within," meaning personal ability and spiritual integrity; and "power-with," pertaining to social power or influence among equals.

Drawing on one of the most ancient myths extant, the Descent of Innana, Starhawk develops a psychology of liberation, analyzing our internalized oppressor, the Self-hater; its faces are the Judge, the Conqueror, the Censor, the Master of Servants, and the Orderer. Interwoven is Starhawk's reconstruction of a pivotal time in history: how it was that the early peaceful society of ancient Sumer became strangled by warfare and how the rise of kingship led to the institution of patriarchy in ancient Mesopotamia. And Starhawk tells of her first-hand experience as an activist and organizer in the anti-nukes campaigns. Truth or Dare is rich with insights on personal healing, group process, and accessing the genuine sources of power.

Winner of the Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award.

Starhawk is the author of nine books, including her bestselling The Spiral Dance and Webs of Power, winner of the 2003 Nautilus Award for social change. She has an international reputation, and her works have been translated into many different languages. Starhawk is also a columnist for beliefnet.com and ZNet. A veteran of progressive movements who is deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of spirituality to political activism, she travels internationally, teaching magic, the tools of ritual, and the skills of activism. Starhawk lives part-time in San Francisco, in a collective house with her partner and friends, and part-time in a little hut in the woods in western Sonoma County, where she practices permaculture in her extensive gardens and writes.

Review(s): "A magical storehouse of spells, rituals, myths, aphorisms, and games designed to awaken us from an enchanted sleep of compliance to patriarchal forms of authority." - The New York Times

"Starhawk gives readers an excellent base from which to evaluate their own cultural context...Encourages personal healing as a microcosmic proces toward healing our society and planet as a whole..." - Creation

"Starhawk's brilliance shines brighter than ever. Her astoundingly clear insight into life's patterns and processes is dazzling. She glides around the earth, observing, then dives into the heart of how destructive modes continue, and soars, finally, to the heights of a better world, taking us with her. She is one of the most brilliant minds of our time." - Merlin Stone, author of 'When God Was a Woman'

"The spirituality of 'Truth or Dare' is rooted in the wisdom of common people, sustained by the courage of the oppressed, and applied with a concern for all of creation. Starhawk not only confronts patriarchal domination, but provides us with rituals and exercises that will help us reclaim our power and suggests balanced ways to apply that power in our defense. Starhawk has dared to speak truth to power. She has spoken in a woman's voice - poetic and clear." - Luisah Teish, author of 'Jambalaya'



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