Friday, January 14, 2011

This is not a "Dianic" tradition, it's an Italian tradition

"Society of Diana" is a euphemism from the poet Horace. It was written regarding a Sorceress. To say she was in the Society, or company, of Diana was a poetic way of saying she was a Witch.

I have to admit that I have a problem understanding those who call their practice "Dianic" and mean Women only, Goddess only, no need for a male counterpart type of worship. Please don't mistake what I'm saying here: It is important to have exactly this kind of tradition. I believe it is necessary to counterbalance the male energy in the world and the horrid acts committed in its name. Z Budapest is an inspiration. I'm glad women have a way to worship in which they feel safe, especially if having been harmed specifically by a man or by a patriarchal society. It's not for me. I need personal balance in my practice, so I leave it to them to balance the bigger picture.

My issue is using Diana as the central figure. Yes, Diana is the Goddess of young women and the hunt, but she has an equal: Dianus. Sure, she killed Actaeon for seeing her naked, but in the body of Her lore she has lovers, she has consorts. For example:

Verbius: "Virbius, was the Divine consort of Diana and long associated with the worship of Diana at Aricia. Under Greek influence, he was identified with Hippolytus, who, after he had been trampled to death by the horses of Poseidon was restored to life by Asclepius and removed by Diana to the grove at Aricia, which horses were not allowed to enter. Virbius was the oldest priest of Diana, the first "king of the grove" (Rex Nemorensis).... Frazer formerly held Virbius to be a wood and tree spirit, to whom horses, in which form tree spirits were often represented, were offered in sacrifice. His identification with Hippolytus and the manner of the latter's death would explain the exclusion of horses from his grove."
Orion: He and Diana become lovers. Apollo tricks Diana into killing him with an arrow. She's so grieved, she set him amongst the stars.  Did Apollo trick her in retaliation for Diana killing his baby-mama?

Diana killed women too, not just men? Yep.

Chione was so beautiful that both Mercury and Apollo fancied her. Each God had her on the same night, tho separately. Some legends say Mercury gave her a magical roofie and raped her. They also say Apollo tricked her with a disguise (date rape?). Chione bore twins, one child of each God. Apollo's son was Philammon and Xena fans will recognize Mercury's son, king of thieves, Autolycus.

So why did Diana kill the twice-raped Mother of her nephew? Chione boasted she was a better hunter than Diana. Some say she boasted that she was as beautiful. Well gee, either of those are perfect reasons to kill your nephew's mother.

Let's not forget the lore surrounding Kallisto (nothing to do with Xena this time). Kallisto was a nymph pledged to serve Diana. According to Ovid, she was raped by Jupiter and had his baby, Arcas. When Diana found out, some stories say she killed her, or turned her into a bear, or merely cast her out. Again, not so great for the Dianic woman helping, man eschewing idea.

"So, they're just myths, what's your point?"

The point when picking an icon for a certain belief set or virtues or ideals, use the one who fits. If you want a Female Goddess, one who is a sworn "virgin" why not Minerva? Why not the Goddess of Wisdom? Before Roman syncreticism equated her with Athena, Menrva was an Etruscan "goddess of a thousand works." A virgin Goddess of healing, magic, poetry, weaving, crafts, and of course, Wisdom. She was part of a trinity, equal to Jupiter and Juno. In Etruscan lore, equal to Tinia and Uni. She never had a male lover either. Hmm then again, there was that incident with Arachne. and Medusa....

If any Dianic Trad Witches happen to read this, and I hope some do: I've honestly tried to sort through the various web sites and Z Budapest books to find the answer, but I haven't yet: Why was Diana picked as the figure for this movement and Leland's Aradia material incorporated?

What my blogging has taught me so far: There are never any answers, just more questions.

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