An important message from the Amazon Priestess Tribe to the Pagan Community regarding Gender, Ritual Inclusiveness, and the Dianic Tradition
For immediate release
March 8, 2012
Bay Area, California
I. Statement of Tribal Evolution
II. Clarity around the use of the terms "Dianic" and "Pan-Dianic"
III. The Amazons are changing our name
I. Statement of Tribal Evolution:
With gratitude for a wonderful learning experience and warm memories of sisterhood over the past 5 years, Yeshe Rabbit and the Amazon Priestess Tribe announce that as of today, March 8, International Women's Day 2012, we are retiring from the Z Budapest lineage of Dianic Wicca in favor of forming an independent lineage that reflects our particular approaches and views regarding Goddess-centered practice.
We offer our reverent thanks for the wit, writings, and wisdom Z Budapest has offered us and the world, while acknowledging that we nonetheless find ourselves at thealogical and ethical crossroads with some core practices of her lineage.
Namely, we cannot support a policy of universal exclusion based upon gender at our Goddess-centered rites, nor can we condone disregard or insensitivity in communications regarding the topic of gender inclusion and Goddess-centered practice. We feel it inappropriate to remain members of a lineage where our views and practices diverge significantly from those of the primary lineage holder.
We support thoughtfulness and personal responsibility in each individual's selection of the best possible path for spiritual growth and evolution. No one can actually change another's mind, nor should anyone be forced to accept changes they cannot abide. Thus, we joyfully bow in gratitude as we depart this lineage of Dianic Wicca, and embrace our own change as the next natural step in our evolution as High Priestesses of the Goddess. We thank the pagan community for witnessing us in this transformation.
The Mysteries of the womb and menstrual life cycle are still the prevalent points of focus within our private group of 15 cis-gender, cissexual priestesses.* We have been working on these Mysteries for 5 years together. They are very powerful, very relevant to our individual and collective experiences, rooted in our own sovereign bodies. Thus, they are our preferred means for aligning with the Goddess within our sisterhood. We will continue to share this work with cis-gender women in personal and collective rites of passage, ceremonies for pregnant women and mothers, and the honoring of crones. Our blood is sacred, our blood is power, our blood is life.
We have also decided to create more readily-accessible public rituals that are inclusive of transgender women. We feel that, although none of us is qualified to speak to the personal experience of being transgender, by creating spaces that normalize inclusion, we are taking a step toward evolving this dialogue out of the mind, off the internet, and into actual bodies of actual women who are likely to find they have more in common than not in terms of the overall experience of being women in this world. Cis-women and trans-women share a common foe in patriarchy, and we feel it will be of significant benefit for all women to reach across various lines of division to bond, share, and strengthen our mission of its complete eradication. We grieve for the pain of our transgender sisters who have been harmed in response to their own declarations of sovereignty. We honor your strength and self-determination. Your blood is sacred, your blood is power, your blood is life.
Finally, we have decided that, at appropriate times, we will also offer rituals that are Goddess-centered and open to all. Patriarchy wounds and damages men as well as women. Denial of the Sacred Feminine is a shared concern for all life on Earth. We are seeking to create a paradigm of honoring life on this planet, where all bodies are treated gently and with respect. We believe that in order to achieve this reality, we need all members of society to participate in the vision of a world healed toward the feminine in all Her variation.
People tend to fear what they do not understand. Much of the hate directed at women, both cis-and trans-, is the result of ignorance and a subsequent impulse of fear-based domination, propagated not only by men but by other women as well. By opening our circles to our Goddess-loving brothers and sisters of all backgrounds, we seek to create opportunities for all who wish it to connect with the Divine Feminine as a means for generating increased gratitude and respect for life. We believe that connection with the Divine Feminine within each breast is crucial to ending patriarchy, honoring the body of the Earth, and all bodies, as beautiful and divine, and destabilizing the paradigm of "us/them." Do we really need a cataclysmic catalyzing event to show us that we are all cells of the same Earth body, each with our own role to play? We hope not. We believe that by embracing change on the individual and collective scale, we can create the world we want to live in and leave our children. We invite others who share this vision to connect with us in common purpose. Blood is sacred, blood is power, blood is life.
II. Clarity around the terms "Dianic" and "Pan-Dianic"
There are two well-known lineages of the Dianic Tradition in the US, those of Z Budapest and Morgan McFarland. There are countless sects and groups all over the world who are dedicated to the Goddess, but who are not members of either of these lineages, or who might not claim the term "Dianic" at all. Each Goddess lineage is unique in its approach to worship and membership, but most share a core thealogy of the Goddess as primary, complete unto Herself, and sovereign.
The Z Budapest Dianic lineage, also held prominently by Ruth Barrett and the Temple of Diana, currently offers membership to cis-gender, cissexual women only.
The Morgan McFarland lineage and many other Dianic and/or Goddess-centered lineages we have encountered in our travels and study have more inclusive standards for membership.
This difference in approach has led to some confusion and conflict between Dianic groups over the years, and it makes it difficult for the casual observer to know what exactly is meant by the term "Dianic." As of our most current research, Z Budapest, Ruth Barrett, and those in that lineage identify with the term "Dianic Wicca." Morgan McFarland and those in that lineage refer to themselves as "Old Dianic." These designations are helpful, but not universally known or clear.
To create what we hope to be greater clarity in terminology, we have decided, along with our sister Lady Rosmarinus Stehlik, and Devin Hunter's Living Temple of Diana (not to be confused with Ruth Barrett's Temple of Diana mentioned above) to henceforth refer to ourselves as Pan-Dianic, meaning that we specifically provide Goddess-centered rites and honor the Goddess as whole, sovereign, and complete unto Herself, and that we are open to sharing our vision and spiritual practices with people of all genders.
We see the vast ways in which people of all backgrounds and genders can find healing in the playfulness of the Great Maiden, the arms of the Great Mother, the wisdom of the Great Crone, and in the sovereignty of the Great Queen. By defining ourselves as Pan-Dianic, we hold the truth that the Goddess is embodied, exalted, and empowered in thousands of cultures, in a wide array of diverse bodies, and in countless different spiritual traditions, toward the highest possible good for all worlds.
We honor everyone walking their own paths of knowing and serving the Goddess, including all beings of all genders.
We respect the sovereignty and autonomy of all individuals/groups to ritually honor the Goddess as whole and sovereign unto Herself according to their unique needs and preferences.
We support, for those who wish it, ritually gathering around specific experiences with appropriately- and respectfully-invited attendees rather than biological determinism as a matter of universal exclusion. For example, we believe it is every 11-year-old Maiden's right to determine who will be present at her First Moon ceremony. We equally support gatherings that are open to all self-identified women for exploration of the varieties of women's experiences. We equally support groups of gay men gathering to honor their own Goddess natures. We support the right of trans-women to create rituals specific to their experiences, and to share these with other trans-women and cis-women as they see fit. We support the idea of cis-gender, cissexual, heterosexual men gathering to explore the Goddess as daughter, friend, universal love, mother, queen, self. And so forth, into infinite beautiful variety.
We hold for clarity, compassion, and linguistic sensitivity in delineating intentional sacred space, and mindfulness toward how we communicate around the topics of privilege, healing, and spirituality. Our discourse shapes the universe. Words are breath, power, actualization. We hold our use of language as a significant magical responsibility.
We hold a commitment to elevation of all women's rights at the center of our vision. We believe that elevation of cis-women's and trans-women's rights to a position of honored equality will open humanity as a whole toward a more balanced and healthy approach to life, the planet, and consciousness.
We invite others who share our commitment to personal sovereignty and inclusive Goddess community to also adopt this terminology, if it feels correct to you. There are no initiations required to call yourself Pan-Dianic. If what you read here resonates with you, you will just know it to be your truth. Beyond that, your choice to study with any teacher, or join or initiate into any particular group is a private matter, up to you.
We thank all who join us in self-identifying as Pan-Dianic, for taking up the mantle of Goddess-centered practice, personal/group sovereignty, and self-determination alongside us.
III. The Amazons are changing our name
The word Amazon is beloved by many within the Z Budapest Dianic lineage as a powerful symbol of their spirituality and the fight for women's rights. As part of our respectful departure from this lineage, we relinquish the name "Amazon." As a Tribe, while we still hold powerful protection, equality, justice, and care for all women at the core of our mission, we also feel that using this name creates confusion about our place in the dialogue, linking us with those whose approach to Goddess worship is predicated upon gender exclusivity. We have seen many Dianics identifying with the term Amazon who do not speak for our Tribe. We feel that in order to move forward with greatest possible clarity, and as a signifier of our new Covenant as an independent, Pan-Dianic lineage, a name change is in order that reflects our collective identity and commitments.
We hereby bid the name Amazon farewell, with gratitude for all it has meant to us and taught us.
We are happy to announce that we will henceforth be known as the
Bloodroot Honey Priestess Tribe
We feel our new name encapsulates the blood rites that are sacred to our group's practices, the holy knowing that where there is blood in all beings, there is life, our gratitude for the sweetness of life, and the profound Ancestral reverence that characterizes our particular approach to honoring the Goddess and women. The name means much more to us as well, individually and collectively, but these are the most important reasons to enumerate here.
We thank our pagan sisters and brothers, as well as anyone else in the world who might be reading this declaration, for your witness to our growth and evolution, our efforts toward linguistic clarity and appropriate appellation, and our grateful love for the Goddess.
Each of us is a woman, a person, with thoughts, feelings, and our own stories of who we are and what we represent. You can learn more about us by clicking below, where some of us have shared our thoughts on this journey from a personal point of view.
High Priestess of Alchemy, Lineage Holder, dedicated to Oshun
Stella Iris RedRaven
High Priestess of Conscious Joy, dedicated to the Morrighan
Duat Ka Neit Kismet
High Priestess Who Walks Between the Worlds, dedicated to Kismet-Bast
Doyenne Rowan Nightshade
High Priestess of Esoterica, dedicated to Eris
La Strega Manea Trinacria
High Priestess of Wild Magic, dedicated to Diana
High Priestess of Colors, dedicated to Aphrodite
Raven of the Redwoods
High Priestess of Audacious Integrity, dedicated to Brighde
Lady Maia Mermaid
High Priestess of the Sacred Hearth, dedicated to Aphrodite
High Priestess of the Primal Heart, dedicated to the Morrighan
Mistress Zafira Stardust,
High Priestess of the Sacred Fire, dedicated to Hekate
Madame Hummingbird Rainbow
High Priestess of Sacred Dance, dedicated to Hekate
Q'desha Yansumi Diwata
High Priestess of Music, dedicated to Lilith
High Priestess of the Threads of Secrets, dedicated to Hera
Wishbringer Molly Blue Dawn
High Priestess of Serendipity, dedicated to Sheila-na-Gig
High Priestess of Stars and Storms, dedicated to Isis-Heqt
So mote it be.
Sealed with blood
Sealed with honey
Sealed with truth
* Please note: Cis-gender and cissexual are the more neutral terms for the greatly-debated phrase "women-born-women." While we do not feel that the terms "cis-" and "trans-" represent the poetic best that the language of the Goddess is capable of in describing the
masterpiece of each body, we are respectfully committed to using these terms until widely agreed-upon poetic and magical terminology evolves within the Pan-Dianic community.