Goddess Archetypes and Being a Dianic Witch

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Jung's work has been influential in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy and religious studies. He coined the term Archetypes.


At WitchSchool we define archetypes as the first original model upon which all other similar persons, objects or concepts are derived, copied, patterned or emulated. The word is derived from two Greek words, “arche” which means the first principle and “tupos” that translates as impression.


These archetypes are found throughout our literature and mythology. Shakespeare used them in his plays. An example of this is Falstaff, who exhibits all the main features of the comic/fool stereotype.


WHAT IS A DIANIC WITCH?

Activist, Author, and Creator at the intersection of Feminism and Paganism. At WitchSchool, we call Neo-Paganism.


“We believe that feminist Witches are women who search within themselves for the female principle of the universe and who relate as daughters to the Creatrix.” Zsuzsanna (Z.) Budapest forever changed the landscape of feminism and paganism through her pivotal works and tireless contributions. Modern American Paganism and Feminist Spirituality would not be where it is today without her influence. Her philosophy firmly placed women’s liberation in terms of women’s spirituality, and gave the much needed structure that allowed second wave feminists to explore their power and spirituality outside the confines of the mainstream patriarchal religions.


Z. was born in Budapest, Hungry in 1940. Her mother was a practicing Witch and spiritual medium, whom Z. would later recall and reconnect with through solo worship of the Goddess. In 1956, when the Hungarian Revolution took hold, Z. left as a refugee. Eventually, in 1959, she immigrated to the United States and studied at the University of Chicago. She married and had a family, though later divorced upon the realization that she was a lesbian.


In 1970, Z. became involved with the Women’s Liberation Movement. Working at the first Women’s Center in the United States, Z. diligently worked towards women’s rights. She established an Anti-rape squad and the Take Back the Night movement in Southern California. After working in the field, she noticed that the feminist movement lacked a spiritual dimension, and felt that the latter would help solidify and recenter the former. She saw that feminist liberation was held back by the mainstream religions, which she felt offered no place for women to freely express and discover their spirituality. In hoping to change the dialogue, Z. began the women’s spirituality movement, and provided women a place to discover the Goddess and feminine power on their own terms outside the constraints of patriarchal religions.


Zsuzsanna founded and lead as High Priestess the first documented women’s-only coven, called Susan B. Anthony Coven #1. This became the prototype for Dianic Wicca, a women’s only tradition named after the chaste Roman Goddess Diana, notorious for her feminist ideology and adamant denial of male suitors. The Susan B. Anthony Coven would go on to influence hundreds of other women-only covens that were popping up and spreading around the country. Her manifesto, originally published as :The Feminist Book of Lights and Shadows” in 1975, (later called “The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries), provided the first hands-on approach for women to discover their own spirituality, heritage, and connection to the Goddess. This work became the framework for the Dianic tradition, and is responsible for repositioning feminist ideology and liberation in terms of women’s spirituality and discovery.


In 1975, while in her own store in Venice, California, Z. was arrested by an undercover police officer for “fortune telling.” It was a sting operation, as the officer had their tarot read by Z before arresting her. At the time, fortune telling was a violation of municipal law in Venice. Z. and her defense team argued that she was the “first witch prosecuted since Salem”. The trial garnered media attention and hoards of pagan protestors. Z. was found guilty of the violation, however, she set out on a years-long campaign to overturn the conviction and establish Wicca (and particularly Dianic Wicca) as a protected religion. She spent 9 years appealing the verdict, arguing that reading tarot was “an example of women spiritually consoling women within the context of their religion.” Eventually, she was acquitted, with the California Supreme Court overturning the guilty verdict as unconstitutional and a violation of the Freedom of Religion Act. Following this, the fortune-telling laws in California were removed from the books.


The Dianic tradition that Z. had established would go on to exist largely outside of the rest of the neoPagan movement. In part, this was due to its radical focus on the female principle at the exclusion of the divine masculine and male gods, a duality which many pagans and Wiccans adamantly believe. Dianics were largely ostracized within the early Pagan community. Over time, Dianics began to attend mainstream Pagan events, with tensions escalating. This culminated in one of the first women’s only circles practiced at a Pagan event, during which husbands were tearing their wives away from the circle and preventing the Dianics from practicing. In order to protect themselves, Z. allegedly made an alliance with the gay-male neoPagan tradition of the radical Faeries. The Faeries formed a physical barrier of protection around the Dianics, which allowed them to continue their ritual in peace without further injury or disturbance. Z. would later refer to these men as the “guardians”. This unlikely alliance between two traditions with opposing beliefs that focus on the radical exclusion of the other gendered-divinity shows that the persecution of one can lead to the persecution of all. Only through coming together can we build a stronger community. Dianics are now largely respected within mainstream Paganism.


We all too often forget the pioneers who got us to where we are today. Z. is one such woman, who fought through the legal channels to get us the freedom we now take for granted. From helping establish Wicca and Dianic Wicca as a bona fide religion, to repealing fortune-telling laws that preventing Witches from reading Tarot, to firmly placing women’s liberation in terms of women’s spirituality, Zsuzsanna helped get us to where we are today. She has continued to lead rituals, teach, lecture, and write. As an influencer, she has many who follow in her ideological path, focusing on the worship of the Goddess and the spiritual liberation of women.


Woman with gold paint decorated on her face, shoulders and collarbone
Goddess Archetypes and Being a Dianic Witch

WHERE DID THIS TRADITION STEM FROM?

Well, at WitchSchool we feel that it was affirmed by UCLA archaeologist Marija Gimbutas who died in 1994. She validated what we already knew from generations of knowing and ancestral stories. Maija led what many women had already known. Nature and Earth and Worshiping of the mystery of the feminine was interconnected. This archeologists work turned historical scholars on its head in the '70s and 80s with research that depicted peace-loving, co-operation-based Goddess-worshipping societies in ancient Europe, which were overrun in the Neolithic era by Indo-Europeans, who imposed patriarchal order. Gimbutas' vision of an earth-friendly, feminine-centered spirituality has sparked religious awakening; an estimated 400,000 Americans now declare themselves neopagans, and many more with feminist or environmentalist leanings are helping revive Goddess worship. Also of note is Starhawk, an American writer, teacher and activist. She is known as a theorist of feminist Neopaganism and ecofeminism. She is a columnist for Beliefnet.com and for On Faith, the Newsweek/Washington Post online forum on religion. Her book The Spiral Dance was one of the main inspirations behind the Goddess movement.


A quiz to take about Archetypes:

https://goddessarchetype.com