Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

The Dianic Wiccan tradition is one of the most misunderstood of all Pagan traditions. With this message, I hope to shed some light on this fascinating path and introduce you to the specific traditions and beliefs from Dianic Wicca.Why do Dianics get such a bad rap? There are many factors that have created a separation between Dianics and other Pagan pathways. Dianics focus solely on the Goddess, the female deity. The beliefs and practices of the groups are grounded in feminist principles and they practice in women-only circles.

These characteristics make sense when you understand that this tradition grew out of the feminist movement. Many of the early feminists were unable to reconcile their activism within the structure of traditional religion, which led to exploration into other spiritual pathways. The early 1970s marked a time where women began sharing their spiritual experiences in conscious-raising groups. This prompted a search for a spirituality that supported social change for women and sustained a woman-centered perspective.

Zsuzanna Budapest was the first to recognize the relationship between Wicca and feminism. Her 1976 book The Feminist Book of Light and Shadows formed what has now become the Dianic tradition.
One of the elements that lead Dianic Wicca to become so controversial was that in the early days a vast majority of Dianic Wiccans were also lesbians. Anyone who claimed themselves as Dianic was assumed to be a lesbian, and felt the shun from homophobic Pagans. Also, many mainstream Pagans hold onto the belief that duality is needed in this religion (male and female deities). Dianic Wiccans run counter to this. Despite a few initial setbacks, Dianic Wiccans are now embraced by the mainstream Pagan movements and vice-versa.

The core beliefs of Dianic Wicca follow the adherence to feminist principles. They believe in female divinity, most often referred to as ‘the Goddess.’ They celebrate the Celtic holy days. Their religion has an underpinning of feminist ideology, including the belief that women’s bodies are sacred, and honoring women’s experiences as authentic. They recognize that the patriarchal society does not accurately reflect a woman’s experience. There is no recognition of male Gods in ritual or elsewhere.

Contrary to what one might think, the Dianic Wiccan tradition does not focus on the Goddess Diana. Dianics believe in focusing on the great Goddess. They are global in their approach to divinity, and recognize the Goddess in all of her forms. They believe that the presence of the Goddess in all cultures unites woman all over the world.

Dianic Wicca has changed over the years and is no longer exclusively lesbian. Also, Dianic Wiccans are encouraged to participate in mixed-gender Pagan groups on certain occasions. For example, a woman might choose to honor the Full Moon with her Dianic circle but attend Summer Solstice with her family in a mixed-gender Pagan group.

While the vast majority of Dianic Wiccans practice in women-only circles, Morgan McFarland of Texas created a mixed-gender Dianic tradition. The McFarland tradition worships both female and male deities.

The oldest and largest Dianic Wiccan group is the Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess – International (RCG -I), which was founded in 1984. It was the first recognized women’s religion in the United States. There are affiliated circles and solitary members around the world.

The Dianic Wiccan tradition represents just one of the diverse and interesting Pagan paths. Hopefully, I’ve demystified this tradition in this message. If you are interested in Dianic Wicca, I encourage you to seek a local group, or contact the RCG-I to get you in touch with a local group.
Brightest Blessing,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

Posted by Rose Comments 12

12 Comments

  1. muriel says

    :smile: hello beauty rose! my name is muriel & im from quebec,canada. so who i will marry? will i be happy future? will im be poorest lady future? so callfeed back me. have a nice summer night! light,peace&magic blessed be! take care muriel

    June 22nd, 2007 | #
  2. mekhit says

    Awesome! I have a short pamphlet-style book called “Moonrise: Welcome to Dianic Wicca,” but it’s been hard finding any other publications on Dianic Wicca. I will definitely check out Zsuzanna Budapest’s book.

    On a slightly unrelated note, did you know that Firefox’s spell checker apparently doesn’t recognize the word “Wicca”? I just found that out while typing this message! (Needless to say, it doesn’t recognize “Dianic” either…grrr…)

    July 22nd, 2007 | #
  3. mekhit says

    Hey, I’m back already! :P I just did a Google search for The Feminist Book of Light and Shadows, and it turns out it’s pretty hard to get ahold of — the cheapest copies were $50. However, Budapest apparently wrote a newer version of the book called “The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries: Feminist Witchcraft, Goddess Rituals, Spellcasting and Other Womanly Arts,” which you can get for $5 used. My local library even has it, so readers here may want to look for the newer one if they can’t find the Book of Light and Shadows.

    Thanks again for the great article!

    July 22nd, 2007 | #
  4. linda says

    I WOULD LIKE TO READ THE OLD VERSION WHICH IS CALLED “THE FEMINIST BOOK OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS”. WHO WROTE THIS VERSION? IF YOU COULD LET ME KNOW HOW I CAN AQUIRE THIS BOOK I WOULD BE THANKFUL. THANKYOU:smile:

    May 1st, 2008 | #
  5. Syd says

    Ay.

    I’m doing a research paper on why witchcraft is misunderstood. So if you guys could help me out with some sources or research or anything at all, hit me up on Myspace.

    Much love for the game.

    <3-Syd

    myspace.com/taylorisgnar

    January 9th, 2009 | #
  6. sabrina says

    hi my name is sabrina and i have been lost and confused about religion for many years i went to a web site about Dianic and i took a quiz it states that this would be the best route for me i need help to get start and get my life in order will anyone please help me please email me anything that will get me to my feet at: sabrinaraneadoubrava@yahoo.com please help me i am so lost and confused :oops:

    July 3rd, 2009 | #
  7. Medea says

    Thank you for posting this. However, I still believe that some things are not exactly correct.

    As a member of the Susan B.Anthony Coven No 1 myself and long time Dianic Witch of the Z.Budapest lineage, I can tell you that although Dianic Witchcraft did include many lesbians at one time, primarily because they were many of the feminists, the Dianic Tradition WAS NOT nor has it ever been exclusively for lesbians.

    Further, Dianic Tradition of Feminist Witchcraft is NOT a denomination OF Wicca, it never has been. It is completely and entirely it’s own tradition inspired by the magick of Z.Budapest. The description of the “Wicca” is misleading to most simply because so many people can’t agree on the word Wicca..is it a word that means Witchcraft or is it a religion? Z uses the word to describe Witchcraft NOT Gerald Gardner’s Wiccan religion. The Dianic Tradition of Feminist Witchcraft is NOT built upon a religion made by a man! (Gerald Gardner/Wicca)

    We believe that Goddess is all that is and She is whole unto Herself, therefore everything, even “the God”, and all that is male in nature is another variation of Her sourced from and created in Her womb just as both male and female are created and sustained and eventually birthed from the womb of women. For this reason, we do not accept “duality” for ALL is Goddess and it is Holy.

    Men are encouraged to express and seek their own mysteries through sacred ritual and journey to the Goddess as Her Sacred Sons.

    July 11th, 2009 | #
  8. Medea says

    And one more thing, the McFarland tradition of “Dianic Wicca” IS a tradition based in that of Gardner’s Wicca. It is NOT in any way related to the Z.Budapest tradition of The Dianic Tradition of Feminist Witchcraft

    July 11th, 2009 | #
  9. Bridget Lester says

    First, Rose – great information and insight.

    Second, to correct Medea – McFarland Dianic is not based on Gardner’s Wiccan tradition. It is based on Morgan’s own personal path of worship. Morgan never was a Gardinarian witch through training or initiation. What we McFarlands “do” is entirely different from what Gardinarians “do.” We do not worship a male deity although we do honor the male principle in context of consort of the goddess. For us,the Goddess alone is Immortal and divine.

    Blessings,
    Bridget

    August 24th, 2009 | #
  10. amy ann says

    What will happen to you if you decide to leave the Wiccan religion? Will you be shunned?

    December 9th, 2009 | #
  11. Dianic Wicca…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    August 10th, 2010 | #
  12. Knight says

    so yea i know im a guy but this interest me alot. (side note, Im one of the more tolerant Catholics) i want to know more about this

    November 10th, 2010 | #

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