Female Spirituality is one of the richest and most dynamic traditions of modern Paganism. Women are respected in all Pagan traditions and have enriched Paganism with a powerful image of the Goddess – the long-forgotten feminine aspect of the Divine. In Paganism, women are Priestesses, strong and proud, with their own vision.
Although women work in all Pagan traditions, they also have their own traditions. These have different shapes and are often closely linked to the aspirations of the Women’s Movement.
The image of the Goddess inspired women to examine their own mysteries. For some, this includes the denial of all that is perceived as patriarchal, for others it is a spiritual calling to throw off the constraints of the social stereotype. They thus create a new idea of femininity. They explore the mythologies of the world and discover a deeper meaning behind femininity. They try to give their discoveries a place in their own lives, and share their insights with others through songs, dance, mythos and, if necessary, political action.
One of the most famous woman traditions is the Dianic movement, named after the Goddess Diana. There are different manifestations of this direction. Z. Budapest and Morgan McFarland have laid the foundations of this direction in the US. Inspired by ideas of matriarchy, many groups have no men, and they see their tradition as a sisterhood, a ‘wimmin’s’ religion. Others do work with men, but see their role as subordinate.
Many Dianic groups only worship the Goddess, and those who recognize the God often translate him as a part of the mystery of the Goddess.
Female Traditions are often eclectic and loosely structured. They tend to be particularly creative, helpful and very spontaneous. Some groups have chosen Wicca as an example, and use rituals and festivities in the same way. Others are more shamanistic, but also occur in a completely new and unique form.
Female Traditions have a very strong image of the Earth Goddess, and are very involved in protecting the Earth against the rape of modern society. They are concerned with healing the Earth and healing the image of women.
The Goddess awakens in infinite forms and a thousand disguises. You can find her where you least expect it – she appears out of nowhere and all, to illuminate the open heart.
(Starhawk, The Spiral Dance, Harper and Row, NY, 1989 edition)
© PFI Netherlands, translation by Cailin.