Founded by Zsuzsanna Budapest in the 1970s, it is notable for its worship of a single Goddess and focus on non-egalitarian matriarchal feminism. It is named after the Roman goddess Diana, although the Goddess is recognised by Her many names. It combines elements of British Traditional Wicca, Italian-folk magic, feminist values, folk magic, and healing practises Budapest learnt from her mother. It is most often practised in female-only covens.
Dianic Wiccans form covens, celebrate the eight Wiccan holidays, and gather on Esbats. They often follow the Rede and they generally use the same tools, rituals and vocabulary as other Wiccans. The main difference is the lineage, which is composed of women, and Goddess only worship.
Dianic rituals celebrate the mythic cycle of the Goddess in the earth's seasonal cycles of birth, death and regeneration, as it corresponds to women's own life cycle transitions.
The Dianic Tradition - Core Beliefs:
- The Dianic tradition is a holistic religious system based on a Goddess-centred cosmology and the primacy of She Who is All and Whole unto Herself.
- The Dianic tradition is a Women's Mysteries ritual tradition that celebrates women's life cycle events.
- The Dianic tradition is celebrated in exclusively women-only circles. (women-born-women only)
- Dianics honour women's voices, thoughts, and ideas.
- Power is sourced through our wombs (or "womb space, " if a woman has had a hysterectomy).
- Emphasis on the body of woman as manifestation of the Goddess.
- Inspired by the nature and aspects of the Roman goddess Diana (and her predecessor, the Greek goddess Artemis) as a protector of women and wild nature, we are committed to finding positive life-affirming solutions for personal and global problems.
- Dianic ritual and magical practises honour women's creativity, intuition, and ability to improvise (creative inspiration in the moment).
- Spiritual practises are inspired by the awareness that the Goddess has been known throughout time, by many names, and in numerous cultures worldwide.
- Dianics recognise that women's magick is a sacred trust. Therefore, Dianics do not teach our Women's Mysteries and magick to males.
- Sexuality is sacred. When lovers meet in mutual love, trust, and equality, these expressions of love and pleasure are a gift of the Goddess.
- Sacred play as a form of spiritual practise.
- The Dianic tradition is a teaching tradition.
- Adherence to the Wiccan Rede.
- The mythic cycle of the Goddess is celebrated in the earth's seasonal cycles of birth, death, and regeneration, and as it corresponds to women's own life cycle transitions. (The Wheel of the Year celebrations of the Solstices, Equinoxes, and cross quarter holidays are based on the ever-changing cyclic and eternal nature of the Goddess)
For some of my posts this year I wanted to spend more time looking at specific paths. For my first D post I have started to look at Dianic Wicca and I have to say I have found it very interesting. As a woman, and a feminist, I can definitely see the benefit in a woman-only coven (I happen to be in one), I understand the need to explore 'women's mysteries' and to explore being a woman in a space that feels safe and open to the idea. I really love the idea that women are exploring spirituality in a way that helps them learn to see their body as sacred and honours them as women.
Having said that, Dianic Wicca is not a path I would personally choose to follow for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the idea of only accepting women who were born women makes me very uncomfortable. I can understand the reasoning behind it, especially when you take into account that the believe that a woman's power comes from the womb space, but understanding and agree are two very different things. I can not even begin to imagine the difficulties facing trans women on a daily basis to be accepted, to in any way support an organisation that denies them this acceptance would be unthinkable for me. I am aware that there has been many, many posts about this in the last few years. These are written from a social justice perspective and explain the issues much more eloquently than I could. So I am just going to say it makes me uncomfortable and leave it there.
The second reason the Dianic path doesn't apply to me is that I feel it lacks balance. In the coven I am in the membership is all female but we worship both the Goddess and the God. We recognise polarity in all its forms and accept that, whilst neither is better, masculine and feminine energies are both different and necessary.