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2008, Living Mandala
creative services by: 360 Degrees











In Association With

Earth Activist Training


Facilitators, Teachers & Constants


Emily Sage

Course Description

Get down, get dirty and get covered in mud in the beautiful Cazadero Hills, for a magical weekend learning the ancient building skills of our ancestors. We'll work with cob'sculpted clay, sand and straw, as well as light straw clay, waddle and daub, and natural plasters to learn practical skills we can use in building low-cost, low-carbon, beautiful structures from the Earth. We'll learn truly down-to-earth skills and share ritual celebration, empowering ourselves to create shelter and spaces, within and without. And as a circle of women, we will support one another to be strong, creative, and empowered to manifest our visions and make our dreams real!

Course Details

The magic and power of how to create, both visible and invisible, is part of the life-giving powers that we, as women all carry within us. This Women's Weekend Workshop will explore different ways of building homes, sisterhoods, and our lives. In this Introduction to Natural Building workshop, we will discuss theory of Natural Building and mostly get real, hands-on experience working with several different techniques, including: cob, light-straw-clay, waddle and daub, green retrofitting and finish plasters. We will learn how we can care for the Earth and for ourselves through the structures in which we dwell Ôø‡ living with a big heart but yet a small footprint! And throughout the weekend we will integrate ritual, magic, and celebration in a sacred circle of women. From dancing in the mud, sculpting out of the Earth, and dancing in spirals, this course will have the power to change our lives and manifest our dreams!

Course Inspiration

When I began learning about Natural Building as a young woman, I felt a great strength in knowing how to create structures out of the Earth. I felt deep within my spirit an ancestral feeling that women have been building from the Earth for thousands of years, and that I was returning to my roots. In some indigenous cultures, women would care for the home only after they designed and built it! And in my life's journey, I have experienced the importance of creating sisterhood with other women, and the magic that arises out of those sacred circles. By empowering the magic within the Earth, within ourselves and within our sisterhoods, we can learn to manifest the shape of our lives! We put these ideas together Ôø‡ building from the Earth, creating sisterhood, manifesting through our strength and empowerment Ôø‡ from which this workshop was born. And it will be more than just a workshopÔø‡it will be magic!


For questions and more information regarding the course

e-mail: or

call: (707) 634-1461

Mud, Magic and Manifestation

Natural Building and Magic Workshop for Women -

May 29-31, 2009

Cazadero, N California

Tuition & Registration

Course Tuition is $250-$400 sliding scale includes incredible meals and lodging. Limited work trade available.

Lodging & Food

Tuition includes delicious meals as well as dormitory style lodging at the Padmasambhava Peace Institute.

Site Details - Black Mountain Preserve; Padmasambhava Peace Institute

Black Mountain Preserve is a beautiful 485-acre property in a delightfully quiet and pristine location overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the forested hills of western Sonoma county near Cazadero, CA - about forty-five minutes from urban Santa Rosa. Black Mountain Preserve is home to the Padmasambhava Peace Institute - an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to awaken and reconnect people to their our own wisdom and compassion, to create a peaceful place for human and environmental restoration, and to teach applied peace and compassion.

The Institute embraces a multi-disciplinary approach with short and long-term residential programs that help develop the skills of active compassion, non-violent communication, and living in harmony with ourselves, others, and the environment. The Peace Institute houses a conference hall, shrine room, a large fully-equipped commercial kitchen and dining room, spacious comfortable dormitories and private rooms. There are additional outdoor teaching and recreation areas. The Institute is home to a Buddhist lay community, and regularly organizes Buddhist events open to the public as well a hosts workshops, meetings, retreats and programs in environmental stewardship, health and cultural programs, and independent study.


Facilitators & Instructors


Starhawk is a committed global justice activist, organizer, speaker, teacher, and the author or coauthor of ten books. Starhawk is founder of Earth Activist Training, and travels internationally teaching magic, the tools of ritual, and the skills of activism for diverse groups, communities and audiences. Starhawk is perhaps best known as an articulate voice in the revival of earth-based spirituality and Goddess religion. Besides her inspiring, much-read books, she is a cofounder of Reclaiming, an activist branch of modern Pagan religion, and continues to work closely with the Reclaiming community. Her works include The Spiral Dance, long considered the essential text for the Neo-Pagan movement, and the now-classic ecotopian novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing . A personal favorite is award-winning Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising. Starhawk's latest book is The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature. Starhawk's books have been translated into many languages, while her essays are reprinted across the world, and have been included in numerous anthologies. Her writing is influential and has been quoted by many hundreds of other authors, from magazines to trade and academic press. Her books are often used in college curriculums.

Starhawk is a veteran of progressive movements, from anti-war to anti-nukes, and is deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of spirituality to political activism. Her work in progressive movements spans over 30 years. She has organized, trained protesters, and been on the front lines of antinuclear actions at Diablo Canyon, Livermore Weapons Lab, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the Nevada Test Site, among others. She traveled to Nicaragua with Witness for Peace in 1984 and made two trips to El Salvador to give ongoing support for sustainability programs. She continues to be a witness for peace on the front lines of the Palestine/Israel war, working with Palestinian and Israeli peace activists. A main focus for the last several years has been the global justice movement; Starhawk has taken part in many of the major actions, including those in Seattle, Washington DC, Quebec City, Genoa, New York City, Cancun, Mexico, and Miami. She co-founded RANT: Root Activists' Network of Trainers, and teaches non-violent direct action trainings for groups throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Palestine, and South America. She is active in the revived American peace movement, and works with Code Pink. Starhawk also works on countless environmental and land use issues, and is a founder and active member of the Cazadero Hills Land Use Council in western Sonoma County.

Starhawk consulted on and contributed to a trio of popular films, the Women's Spirituality series (directed by Donna Read).

Starhawk and Donna Read formed their own film company, Belili Productions. Their first release is "Signs Out of Time" (2004), a documentary on the life of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, the scholar whose discoveries sparked the Goddess movement. Watch Starhawk's short videos on Permaculture - Tabor Tilth: Permaculture in the City, and Permaculture Principles at Work. Starhawk and Donna are at work on her next film, an Introduction to Permaculture.

Starhawk lives part-time San Francisco, in a collective house with her partner and friends, and part-time in a little hut in the woods in Cazadero, California, where she practices permaculture in her extensive gardens, and writes.

Sage Mata

Sage is a permaculture designer, earthen builder, gardener, teacher and community organizer passioned by her love of the Earth. With nature and community as her teachers and inspiration, she spreads her laughter and light as she works to reflect the harmonious and regenerative patterns of nature into human design systems. She earned a Bachelor's degree of Ecopsychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she taught a UCSC course of Ecopsychology and Social Change and co-facilitated a UCSC cob bench building workshop in 2004. She received her Permaculture Design Cerificate in 2004 through the Earth Activist Training, and has then been involved in various permaculture projects from British Colombia to Argentina. She worked as a natural building site leader at O.U.R Ecovillage and co-manager of the bountiful gardens at Ginger Hill Farm & Retreat Center on the Big Island of HawaiÔø‡i. Sage has worked for several organizations, such as the Homeless Garden Project and the Garden Path Project of Berkeley Youth Alternatives. Sage has completed a Permaculture Teacher's Training Course at the Bullock's Homestead, WA. Currently, she is an associate of Gaia University earning her Master's in Integrative EcoSocial Design, where she is studying action-learning as a system to integrate patterns of consciousness and the development of culture.

Affiliated Organizations