About Rachel Astarte
Rachel holds a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She received a diploma in Mind-Body Wellness from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, where she also received her certifications in Transformational Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnotherapy. She studied Theater and Acting at Loughborough University (UK) and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She has also received shamanic training from The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Along with a professional life in the arts as a writer and performer, Rachel has been an adjunct professor of writing at a number of East Coast colleges including Philadelphia University, Bucks County Community College, and Emerson College. She is currently a member of the online faculty at Southwestern Institute of Healing Arts.
She is an author of both fiction and non-fiction books, all of which promote individual healing and wellness. She was also a nominee for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry and was the 1996 Poet Laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Rachel has been a featured writer for elephant journal, an online magazine dedicated to the mindful life. Her column, “Let’s Get Intimate,” answers readers’ questions about human sexuality and intimacy.
Her international work has centered on the promotion of humanitarianism through the arts. She is an ordained clergy member, holding the titles of Peace Counselor and Humanist Celebrant since September 2002.
Rachel has been a Palestinian-Israeli peace activist since 2003—both as a member of Women in Black in New York City (serving on their Board in 2004), and as the founder of The Astarte Project, through which she organized art events and lectured at such venues as New York City’s New School on the topic of employing the arts as a means toward conflict resolution.
In 2007, Rachel traveled to Udaipur, India to work with the Non-government Organization (NGO) Mahan Seva Sansthan, through the Foundation for Sustainable Development’s ProCorp volunteer program. During her two-month tenure, Rachel wrote a documentary film script, “Mahan Seva Sansthan: Educating for Empowerment,” about MSS’s work in rural Rajasthan. She shot video footage in the villages, conducted interviews with villagers, and compiled film stills to be used in the documentary.
Rachel brings to her therapy practice the vision of unity through individuality. The stronger our foundation of self, the better we can contribute to the world around us.