Subj: Re:Magick Date: 5/24/97 5:14:12 AM From: TessMeara Tiani G2 wrote: << I'm not so concerned about its lack of magickal tradition as its apparent lack of spiritual cohesion.>> This lack of magickal tradition is a myth. It generally assumes many things which are erroneous: (1) That the so-called Western Magickal tradition is an unquestionably legitimate and ancient magickal tradition (false); (2)That most Pagans are trained in this tradition (false); (3) That the magickal traditions handed down to women by their mothers, grandmothers, or Dianic teachers is invalid because it is not Western Magickal tradition (false); (4) That Dianics are more likely than the average Pagan to have no magickal training (false--but a myth widely disseminated in male-dominated "mainstream" Paganism). One of the early proponents of Dianic witchcraft in the U.S. inherited her craft from her mother and did inherit an old European magickal tradition. She taught this to women who founded some of the earliest Dianic covens. Other early Dianic covens were founded by women who had learned magick from family or tribal traditions who, when "coming out" as feminists, made the decision to start their own covens. Most of these also taught a legitimate magickal system to their covens. The influx of Dianics who had little or no magickal training coincided with the influx of pagans with little or no magickal training -- in the '80s when paganism of all sorts began to experience a huge influx of newbies, far more than we were equipped to absorb or to train. Suddenly all open groups, festivals, events were awash in untrained newcomers. While there has been an attempt to say this is unique to Dianics, I can tell you as someone who attends both Dianic and non-Dianic groups, and who has been a leader in both types of groups during that time period, it is a generic pagan problem, not a Dianic one. Rather than try to pin the rap on Dianics, it would be more useful if all of us pagan leaders attempted to share information about absorbing rapid new growth while maintaining group identity, about doing open events with large numbers of newbies, about how best to train and individually serve larger numbers of sincere new seekers.
> It's funny, I have the feeling that we do... maybe because when "feminist spirituality" was springing up like crabgrass 20 (eek!) years ago, there was such commonality in the separate pieces as they arose. Hm, let's see... The Triune Goddess and the phases of the moon are things I would expect us to have in common, along with the observance of the solar year... Before hanging out on these boards with their fierce nitpicking, I would have said we would probably all basically have subscribed to the "She of Ten Thousand Names" view, with each goddess being a facet, an expression, of the Ur Goddess... I would also think, let's see... an absence of fear of death, an understanding that life is not a one-shot thing, a strong feeling for the interconnectedness of all life... And I think perhaps an experience of immanence, a belief that the goddess(es) dwell in and among us, a trust in one's spiritual intuition as a source of both understanding and expression, a belief that every woman has it within her to be a voice of the goddess. So, have any of these missed the mark? As to a common myths-and-rituals tradition, if we share all the above, I would probably feel comfortable in any myth or ritual that came out of them. I would also expect Dianic ritual to be in a constant dance of changing, since the goddess is constantly speaking, so I wouldn't really expect a sort of Book of Common Prayer. This is an interesting question.
Subj: Re:Summer Solstice Date: 6/12/97 6:45:26 AM From: Womyn42 Blessed be, all.... I'm really very surprised at the reaction I've gotten to my possible plans for a solstice ritual. One of the most POWERFUL rituals I've ever taken part in was one done 4 or 5 years ago by Circle of Aradia, and it's focus was on women's rage over the atrocities taking place in Bosnia....the rapes and pregnancies forced upon Croatian and Muslim women by Bosnian Serb soldiers. The energy we raised and the force with which we sent it was the most incredible thing I've ever seen. Women in Afghanistan are being stoned to death, and beaten and tortured in the name of Allah, refused education, and held prisoners in their own homes.....a phenomenon we see repeatedly and increasingly in middle eastern countries. It's not like we don't do ritual around the situations we find here in our own united states. For spring equinox we journeyed inward to find and heal (or begin healing) the hidden hurts of our own inner child, and then bring her out to celebrate childhood as it should be....but before that, we raised energy for all the children who have had childhood robbed from them, including Girl X in Chicago, the Martinez boy in California, JonBenet in Boulder, Jakeob McNight in Denver, and all the countless others who have been raped, tortured, murdered, incested, abused, or abandoned....drumming and dancing and placing their names (and the names of those known to us personally) in the growing vortex of energy we were raising.....and then releasing it and them to find and help convict their murderers, rapists and abusers. Within 5 days, the rapist of Girl X in Chicago was found and confessed to his crime. We're still working on the rest. I don't know.....I've always thought that ritual was a place to accomplish many different types of change.....personal, social, political, spiritual.....but our circle doesn't just do ritual. We also get personally involved in local and national political action (writing letters, lobbying, and phone-calling), and we volunteer for victim assistance programs at the local hospital (for women brought in as victims of rape or physical abuse), and collect food and contribute to local food drives several times a year. And in answer to a comment by RSchroff some time back, we DO do ritual around discrimination issues -- whether it's male/female, persons of color (including our sons), religious, sexual orientation, whatever. In the past several years, I have developed many close friendships with women of color....and I feel their pain and rage when they or their families are pulled over and stopped by police solely because they are driving a nice car in a "white" neighborhood. And yes, we DO do ritual over those kinds of issues. I admit our focus is mainly on women, but we also have sons within the extended limits of our circle, and their issues are often included. I am at work, so can't continue this post right now...but would be interested in hearing what others think....
My thoughts on performing a ritual in cyberspace
A list of famous Pagans
Fire, my Pagan activist group
"Dianism In a Nuit-Shell" (external link)
updated sept. 11, 1999