Wicca is a religion which honors the Earth through worshipping the God and Goddess, as represented by the masculine and feminine aspects of the universe. There are many sects of Wicca including Gardenarian, Alexandrian, Blue Star and Dianic
The differences between them usually surround matters of practice, rather than belief. Structure of groups is another place of divergence (i.e. heirarchy). Dianic Wiccans, however, vary in that while they recognize the existence of the God, generally only actively worship the Goddess. Of course, rather naturally, the majority of Dianic Wiccans are female.
Dianic Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon in relation to traditional witchcraft, though the Goddess Diana has been revered since ancient times. ‘Zsuzsanna Budapest’ of California in the USA founded the tradition in the United States during the 1960ís and early 70ís was in fact arrested and tried for her beliefís.
Dianic Wicca is on the main a feminist religion, usually (but not always) being for women only. They honour the deities in their feminine aspects, and hardly ever invoke the God or other male aspects into their rituals or sacred spaces unless necessary, or for the major Sabbats. This practice has caused many conflicts and heated discussions amongst its members, especially in the USA. Aside from this rather general and mostly, but not always, exclusion of men, they follow the same ritual paths and beliefs as other Wiccan traditions.
Many Dianic members in the USA are politically active in the feminist movement, striving to lift the oppression of female rights, and to bring about the equality of the sexes into all walks of life. This is not a requirement of the tradition though and itís very much left to the individual to make her own stand and practice her own beliefs.
The Dianic Craft includes two distinct branches:
1. One branch, founded in Texas by Morgan McFarland and Mark Roberts, gives primacy to the Goddess in its thealogy, but honors the Horned God as Her Beloved Consort. Covens are mixed, including both womyn and men. This branch is sometimes called ‘Old Dianic’, and there are still covens of this tradition, especially in Texas. Other covens, similar in theology but not directly descended from the McFarland/ Roberts line, are sprinkled around the the USA.
2. The other branch, sometimes called Feminist Dianic Witchcraft, focus exclusively on the Goddess and consists of womyn-only covens and groups. These tend to be loosely structured and non-hierarchical, using consensus- decision- making and simple, creative, experimental ritual. They are politically feminist groups, usually very supportive, personal and emotionally intimate. There is a strong lesbian presence in the movement, though most covens are open to womyn of all orientations. The major network is Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess, which publishes “Of a Like Mind” newspaper and sponsors conferences on Dianic Craft.