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 repression., , Declaration of the Four Sacred Things, , 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 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., , 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., , Praise for The Fifth Sacred Thing, , “This is wisdom wrapped in drama.”—Tom Hayden, California state senator, , “Starhawk makes the jump to fiction quite smoothly with this memorable first novel.”—Locus, , “Totally captivating . . . 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, , “This strong debut fits well against feminist futuristic, utopic, and dystopic works by the likes of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ursula LeGuin, and Margaret Atwood.”—Library Journal
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