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Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 12 Feb 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Kiama  12 Feb 2002 
After buying, and getting confused over, the Daughters of The Moon Tarot deck, I realised I know hardly anything about Dianism. For instance, how do Dianists justify the total putting down of men? Does it not take a penis aswell as a vagina to make a baby? (Sorry about the example, but it's the only thing I could come up with!) Who was a major influence on Dianism, and what do Dianists believe? How do they celebrate? Do they marry men, have babies, etc? I'm very confused about all this, and would be exceedingly grateful to anyone who can answer these questions! (I have no money to buy more books, so buying books on the subject is out of the question, and my local library is rubbish when it comes to these topics!)


slinky_jo  12 Feb 2002 
Kiama - I don't know that much on the topic either, but I don't think that Dianists HATE men! I think they are trying to equal out all the centuries of patriarchal religion and the persecution of women and all thing "non male" (animals, nature, etc), with a feminine force/voice. I think there may also be different groups of Dianists - some have only a Goddess at their deity, some have many, somehave a Goddess who presides over the God. I know that they appreciate the concepts of menstruation, pregnancy, birth, menopause (things truely and wholey feminine).

I hope this helps you, even though I am NO expert! lol! Maybe someone else here can help you out better! :P 

Greenman  12 Feb 2002 
it has been said that the pendulum must swing to it's opposite extreme before it finds the center. but both extremes are just as out of balance in my opinion.
and while i would never dis anyone else's path, the term 'Dianic Wicca' is an oxymoron, imo. i came to Wicca to find balance, so this doesn't seem like Wicca to me at all. perhaps Dianic Paganism would be a better term, if a lable is neccessary. 

Kiama  13 Feb 2002 
Greenman: Not to be picky, but why not just call it Dianism? I came to Paganism to find balance, so I think it is just as oxymoronic as Dianic Wicca! Agh, labels!

Anyway, I'm still confused as to how Dianics actually justify the exclusion of men. Why are men seen as inferior? Surely doing this to make up for all the patriarchy previously is attempting to have to wrongs making a right?

Oh, I'm confused....


divinerguy  13 Feb 2002 
I visited a Dianic Wicca website. On the FAQ, it tried to justify the "no men allowed" policy of Dianic worship.

I'm offended by the fact that an entire class of persons would be completely rejected without consideration of individual character.

That's not paganistic and its not Wiccan - its bigotry. I could buy their argument, but they completely try to extinguish masculinity in all forms.

Dianic Wiccan websites don't have a history, they have a herstory. They don't have women, they have wimmin.

Dianic Wiccans try to put a happy face on their exclusionism by asserting that they are egalitarian.

The uphill battle faced by Dianic Wicca is the sexual orientation of its membership.
As Dianic Wiccan covens have a high population of lesbians, it is perceived by many as a Lesbians Only Club. Dianics have moderated their position men by allowing heterosexual females into the fold.

Until men are allowed into Dianic Covens, they'll never shed their tarnished image. I have no objection to High Preistesses who are female only, as I believe there's a historical basis for this. However, Diana was historically worshipped by men and women.

Bottom line - spirituality is about what's in your heart, not who's sitting next to you.

For more information on Dianic Wicca, try this link:


Kiama  13 Feb 2002 
Thanks for the link, Divinerguy.

Well, the writer's spelling leaves alot to be desired.

WOMBYNZ???!!!! This sounds like Wombles to me! (Do you guys get this programme in anywhere outside Britain? If not, just think furry creatures that look like a cross between albino rats and giant teddy bears.)

I also see a huge hole in this Dianism stuff (No offense meant) Men are scientifically half female anyway! Women have XX chromosomes, men have XY. They have half female chromosomes in there. It has also been proven that before we start properly developing in the womb, every baby has female gentalia which either stays that way, or grows into male genatalia. So if men are essentially female anyway, why exclude them? (This is in no way meant to degrade men. Personally,I think men are just as important as women. I'm just stating fact)

I also had to disagree with the writer's claim that women aren't finding their true potential or power because they are held back in a patriarchal society. I am 17, and have realised nearly all my dreams, and am fast making and realising new ones. I am published many times over, am very successful, getting good grades, making a future for myself, and what's more, I'm HAPPY! I know how much potential I have, and where my talents and power lies. Yet men are just as much part of my life and happiness and self-realisation as women are! If women can't find who they really are, they shouldn't be blaming patriarchy for that.

Anyway, I learned alot from that webpage (Despite my disagrement with some of the writer's viewpoints.) It turns out that Dianics don't hate men, and they do believe in the God aspect aswell as the Goddess, its just that when in women (Wombynz :-D ) only circles, they only invoke the Goddess side. They are happy to invoke the God aspect in other circles of mixed gender...


fairyhedgehog  15 Feb 2002 
Maybe it's a "you had to be there" kind of thing.

I was born in 1954 and the society and culture I grew up in was intensely patriarchal. Girls stayed at home and made tea, boys went off and /did/ things. I was good at French at school (a B at A level, with an A for the oral) so what did they suggest for a career for me? Air hostess. Or maybe secretary.

I was /not/ going to type someone else's letters for them. (And I didn't :) )

Anyway, I felt very angry at men in general and I can understand women who are still hurt (maybe damaged even) and find it hard to accept men for who they are.

I've been lucky. I have a good husband and two wonderful sons who react very quickly to any hint of sexism towards men. So I think I am able to take a more balanced view now.

It is easy to react very strongly when you are hurt, though.

All the best,


Pollux  16 Feb 2002 
Kiama: I'll tell you something shocking.
Not only there is a half of woman in every man - what you justify with the XX/XY chromosomes and the development of antigen Y for "man-to-bes" - but sometimes, it even works the other way around.
And I have direct experience and know some "victim" of this...

In certain cases, for reasons undetected at most, the antigen Y that makes a "man" fails to work. Thus, according to your genetic sex, you ARE a man - all of your cells have the trademark of the antigen Y - but, biologically and mostly anatomically, you ARE a Woman, because the antigen didn't work, and you did't develop "masculine" genitalia, keeping the "intenal" feminine form.
People with this problem (woman, of course) can't bear children, for genetics reasons - I don't remember them clearly, don't ask me to go look them up! However it's probably the fact that they're going to unite with a man, and have two XY cromos... or rather that their "egg-cells" don't work properly, having the antigen...

I wonder if some Dianist knew she's no woman at all - genetically, of course! :D

P.S. Now I see I didn't add much to the post! :D 

Red Emma  19 Feb 2002 
Gary, I can feel your anger at men's exclusion from a whole spiritual group, Dianism, but consider FH's reply. Not just intellectually, but take your anger, pretend that you're a woman, and desperately want to be an engineer, or a reporter, or a business executive. Then you apply for such a position. This is assuming that you were able to get into an appropriate college program, which women were NOT. Anyhow, you apply for the job, and the personnel people are only interested in one thing: can you type. If so, they'll do you a HUMONGOUS favor and let you be a secretary to an engineer, and tell you to be appropriately grateful. You take the job, and guess what? When it's discovered that you're a genius at engineering, they'll let you do some of the scut work. But they'll still call you a secretary, and pay you as a secretary. And besides, you'll have to work during your lunch and after hours to keep the secretarial work done. But hey! Don't take it personally. It's just business.

Beyond that, in any co-ed club you (as a woman) belong to, men will assume they're in control. And take control. The women, they believe, are there to do the busy work -- take minutes and type them up as a rule.

I won't even mention the men in any setting -- work or social -- who are majorly intimidated by women having any voice in affairs, and go out of their way to put you down. Keep you from getting any ideas above your station. Some do it with humor. But most of these guys are cruel and vindictive.

I can easily see why women become Dianics. It's such a relief to be in an organization where you don't always have to be on your guard to protect yourself from the Soul Thieves. To just let down your hair, relax and be yourself.

Best wishes and Goddess Bless,

Red Emma 

purplelady  19 Feb 2002 
Kiama, do consider FH's and Red Emma's response. And your original question and puzzlement. It isn't even Just that a woman wasn't able to get the job a man could, it is/was a whole system of patriarchal society and thought............I don't think I can really explain it here. But I think if a woman has lived through some of these things, or feels put down by it , then Dianic Wicca or whatever can seem very attractive, healing , and powerful. Patriarchy IS an attitude and outlook and hierarchy that our society is run by , whether you see it or not. There are some attitudes that change in extreme feminism , or whatever you want to call it.
For instance (And maybe this is terrible example so please don't shoot me!!)20, 25 years ago (Maybe even now!) if a woman , married with kids, is terribly unhappy, common advice would be to go to a psychiatrist. Now , things probubly are a little different today , but back when Freud was in (!) it was assumed something was always wrong with the woman, Why wasn't she happy? Why was she about to have a nervous breakdown , ..................but it was almost always her fault. There wasn't really an understanding to help her figure it out. If you Read the daughter's of the moon book , or the motherpeace book , I think some of the problums women face and have faced are dealt with differently , with more compassion and understanding from a women's point of view. That maybe the woman was totally "right" to feel awful and violated , and unhappy , or abused , or without opportunity or whatever it was (burnt out maybe ?!) totally sane to feel that way, and the feminism , Dianic Wicca or whatever says yes , she is totally sane to feel that way , it's society! It's patriarchy that is "wrong"! That can feel pretty empowering to a woman who's whole family , even friends and parents side with the "she's crazy" or she's wrong , or "we don't understand what her problum is" side.

Pollux, I think your example is halarious! 

Greenman  19 Feb 2002 
i agree with all the social issues that have been put forth in this thread. these are problems that need to be addressed in todays society.
however, they ARE social issues, and i think the line has to be drawn when these things are carried over into spirituality.
God didn't create the double standard. and Goddess didn't invent patriarchy. 

purplelady  19 Feb 2002 
Well , I guess christianity, Judiasm, Islam , have nothing to say about social issues! No , it doesn't affect or reflect in those religions at all!! 

Greenman  19 Feb 2002 
hey, there's a whole lot of things in those religions that are out of balance.
but i thought that balance was what Wiccans were aiming for.
"Aspire to the Higher". 

Kiama  20 Feb 2002 
Men are only cruel and vindictive becuse that's what women say they are. This idea is reinforced by tradition, but why don't women simply turn it around? I constantly see this done. Sure, men are stronger physically, but women can become superior individually.

I still can't see how you can heal by totally putting out of sight the thing which afflicts. Surely part of the healing process is accepting the affliction? And isn't Dianism just like patriarchy and exlusion disguised in a new name? Surely the compassion Dianics go on about should be extended to the affliction? I was always told that the bully is the real victim, and in this case, shouldn't women be helping men to see where the traditional stereotypes are wrong?

In my personal experience, everything that has rejected me: University, job, people, etc, has been because I was not good enough, not because I was female. Red Emma: I am angry that I wasn't accepted for Cambridge University. Everyone who interviewed me for that was male. There are more men than women who attend Cambridge. But I do not see justification for saying it was cuz I'm female that I was rejected. I simply didn't cut the mustard.

Instead of retreating into a woman-only caste of mind, why don't these women show just how strong they are in the face of the 'adversity?' Give as good as you get! Sure, the men may think they own women but once the woman takes control of a conversation, she has turned it all around. This is the real victory.

And anyway, we can clearly see that it isn't just men who are 'cruel and vindictive'. Women have this capability just as much.

I too can see why a woman might want to become Dianist, but what I'm really asking is: Is it the most effective way of healing?


Pollux  20 Feb 2002 
Hey Kiama! It sure is hard for me to believe you are just my age. You are my myth :)

Your point is strikingly strong!
I agree with your philosophy of "action" and "fight" rather than "seclusion" and "retreat". I'm using these words metaphorically, however: be no one offended, please :D .

However, I can even understand (well, I didn't live that myself, though...) that sometimes one gets fed up, and gets tired of fighting and being slapped in the face all the same. It's difficult to look at everything that we achieve as a victory, especially when one is victim of negative serendipity :)
How many times the rain keeps pouring, the earth keeps shaking and our body keep acking, however times we try to look on the bright side?

However, IMHO the answer to Dianism (a new discover for me, thanx! ;P ) dwells within the Female itself: it's compassion, understanding, sympathy.
Of course man have them too, but they are generally referred to as "Feminine" principles... This I don't like myself, so I always say "Yang" attributes, that creates no problem: each of us, whatever the sex, is a blend of Yin and Yang.
Who can disagree with this? :P 

Kiama  20 Feb 2002 
Pollux (21 Feb, 2002 03:38):
Hey Kiama! It sure is hard for me to believe you are just my age. You are my myth :)

Does this mean I have an existential value of zero? ;p ;p :* :* :) :) :-D :-D 

Red Emma  20 Feb 2002 
After reading this morning's posts, I feel really discouraged. Was it Harry Truman who said something like those who don't know history are destined to repeat it? It's impossible to equate a woman's not being accepted in a university today, with a woman's being rejected pre-80's. Contemporary women have a chance of being accepted to the good schools just because we marched and sat-in and went to court. Yes, we even burned our bras. If we hadn't our young friends on this list would have a very strong experiential understanding of what Purple Lady and I are trying to say. Please, please open up your minds and try to understand what we're saying. Otherwise, according to Harry, history will be repeated. Then when I'm reincarnated, I'm going to have to fight the good fight all over again. Yeeks! It was hellish and miserable enough the first time.

Goddess Bless,

Red Emma 

Kiama  20 Feb 2002 
If women are so free nowadays cuz of our foremothers who burned their bras, then why are some women still bi***ing about being oppressed!?

The past is the past, why live in it?


PS- Red Emma, I am by no means trying to be nasty to you, neither is my post meant to say that *you* specifically are bi***ing about it. But after reading some articles and books written by Dianists very recently, I think that okay, women were 'oppressed' in the past, but why carry it through to now? What's the point of it? 

Malachite  20 Feb 2002 
Well...if people want to have an exclusive society, why should anyone else complain?...after all, any man wanting to be a follower of Diana, can always set up a 'men-only' Dianic group, after all..;-)

btw...from a historic (or herstoric) point of view, post-repressionistic Dianism is actually revenge for revenge...the patriarchal society set up by the aryan(with no nazi connotation, btw) tribes entering europe replaced the matriarchal society that predated it...and had existed there for approx 40k years...;-)

by Loki, we humans are stupid!


purplelady  20 Feb 2002 
I agree with you , malachite. I haven't been to the Dianic site , but I do own the daughter's of the moon deck and book. If I derive enjoyment from using these cards, then who cares?! As long as it isn't hurting anyone! If someone creates an all male coven , or group , or a taorot deck with only men in the pictures , why should it bother me? As long as no one is forcing me to divine with it against my will!!! 

Kiama  21 Feb 2002 
Malachite (21 Feb, 2002 06:10):
post-repressionistic Dianism is actually revenge for revenge...

So, where did all their compasson that the say they believe in go? Do two wrongs make a right? Is revenge for revenge really gonna heal anything effectively?

BTW: I am debating these issue simply because I can, and personlly I think that if something cannot be debated and questioned, thre's something wrong with it. I use the DOM deck. I read the book. Very nice. However, I still see no justification in the philosophy. Here I am saying what I think of it, and there's nobody to question what I think of it, and back up the claims made by Dianists. 

Malachite  21 Feb 2002 
"two wrongs.."
I seem to remember saying that to you on the same subject last week...;-)

Of course you can debate it !...Debate away!'ve got my official permission!..:)

All i was saying was that, in the long run, what other people choose to believe is not up to us, whether we agree or disagree with their method and motivation...
personally, i think its wrong, arrogant, and just plain stupid, but I;m not going to interrupt their happy little game just to squash their fun. I'm going to get on with doing what I want to do!...

Malachite  21 Feb 2002 
oh...and re: compassion...
Don;t forget that its also to some degree a political movement, and since when have political movements practised what was written in their manifesto?...:-)


JustBlue  21 Feb 2002 
Since this tread have touched on the subject of Woman/man, the struggle of cutting oppressive bonds that hold us back, and equality.
I will take the opportunity to voice my opinion, that doesen´t really have anything to do with Dianism in particular.

I have to echo Red Emmas opinion of the importance of history, it is essential to know where we have been, if we are to know where we are going.
If we are to change structures that are opressive, we should know what has already been done, and learn from our collective history.
I do not really see this as living in the past.
And I personally wouln´t really limit myself to the 1960´s and onward either, but look further back in history and do not limit the geography to tightly.

Take care all. 

catlin  21 Feb 2002 
Ok, I have to add my 2 cent:

I am thinking that it is still a long way for women to go until they will be able to enjoy the same privilegs as men already have but I am no fan of exclusive communities be they Dianic, Rosecrucian or whatever.

Some of you know that I work as a foreign language secretary and I work in a department which has already had 7 different secretaries in 3 years!!! This high fluctuation is due to an old fashioned concept of what being a secretary is: typing, making coffee and other inferior stuff! I am working there for 13 months now and I could manage to get another picture of a secretary in the heads of the men and women (believe me, they were not different from the male coworkers in their opinion!!!) in this department. It was (and is) still a hard, stony way to go!

Some ultra-feminist women can surely be found among Dianics but I think they will nothing achive by a "Let's-cut-them-off-the-test...",etc. attitude. They will not be taken serious.

Each woman who has male kids has a possibility to improve the situation for women by educationg her sons in a way they lear to respect women and to see them as equals!! 

Malachite  21 Feb 2002 
catlin:....round of applause!


slinky_jo  21 Feb 2002 
Ok, my turn!

As a young woman, I never felt the injustices of previous women. I'm supposed to be living in the New Age, but at times, it doesn't feel like it. It's like the burning times (of bras, that is!) never happened - women are still incredibily underpaid, and there is no recognition of the importance of the "house manager" (unless you watch Oprah)! How can I say these things? Well, last year I trained at a Veterinary Nurse. I spent $5,000, learning the different drugs and how to administer them, medical procedures, surgical instrument names and uses - basically everything a VET knows. And what will my average pay be in this mainly women-dominated field? MINIMUM WAGE.

We have had a major nurses strike here in New Zealand, where the Hospital Boards would rather CLOSE DOWN hospitals (they did) than give the nurses a pay rise, and better working conditions (most hospitals are understaffed, and nurses get no breaks - maybe 10 mins for lunch).

Teachers strike AT LEAST once a year (another mainly-women career), to get pay rises.

Is this "the men's" fault? No. Is it the women's fault for not standing up for themselves? No. It is called a patriarchal society, and "that's the way things are".

And YES, it makes me mad, but I do not BLAME anyone.

Another example (more personal) - this could just be my neighbourhood, but everytime I walk up to the shops to buy bread, milk, whatever, some young male either toots his horn at me, or yells disgusting things at me, or makes obscene guestures.

Like CATLIN said, I think that we have to teach our young men to RESPECT women. Maybe that's all that needs to be done.

And let's also say that not all men WANT to be the bread winner! My partner said that if I was earning a better wage, he'd LOVE to be a house hubby! I thought that was so cool! :p

Maybe men are feeling a little lost with women (almost) being on the same level as them - most men are taught that they are the "men of the house" and "dont be a baby, stop crying".

Another thought - in prehistoric times, men were the "hunters", and women the "gatherers" - gathering nuts, veges, plants, berries etc to eat. But we in society have come to realise that maybe we don't need "hunters" anymore. But will the "hunters" want to become "gatherers"? What's wrong with being a "gatherer"? It's just as noble and courageous as being a "hunter".

I hope you can understand my post, because I'm just typing it as thoughts come to mind! ???

Oh, and PS - why do so many people have a problem with the word "Feminist"?!?!! 

slinky_jo  21 Feb 2002 
My word, that was a long post! But just to add, please read the book "Bones and Murder" by Margaret Atwood (short stories). It has a hilarious story on what would happen if all men became house hubbies! 

The Dianism thread was originally posted on 12 Feb 2002 in the Spirituality board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Spirituality, or read more archived threads.

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