A Brief History of Wicca

The Development of Wicca

Zsuzsanna Budapest,

In 1971 Zsuzsanna Budapest, who had no connection to any Gardnerian or Alexandrian covens, mixed Wiccan practices with feminist politics, forming Dianic Witchcraft (although now it is better known as "Dianic Wicca")

Dianic Wicca and the feminist movement (1971-1979)

In 1971, a Hungarian-American named Zsuzsanna Budapest, who had no connection to any Gardnerian or Alexandrian covens, mixed Wiccan practices with feminist politics, forming Dianic Witchcraft (although now it is better known as "Dianic Wicca"). She began this with a coven in Los Angeles, that she named the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One.

Dianic Wicca focused almost exclusively upon the Goddess, and largely, and in some covens completely, ignoring the Horned God. Most covens were women-only, and some were designed specifically for lesbians. Like Seax-Wica, which developed around the same time, the rituals of Dianic Wicca were published by its creator so that any woman could practice it, without having the need of a specific initiation into a lineage. Indeed, Budapest believed that it was every woman's right to be able to practice the religion, and she referred to it as being "women's spirituality".

Dianic Wicca was criticised by many Gardnerians at the time for having an almost monotheistic view of theology, in contrast with Wicca's traditional duotheism. One Gardnerian even declared "spare us Jahweh in drag!" in response to the focus on the one Goddess.

One Gardnerian, who went under the craft name of Starhawk, started practising Dianic Wicca, and tried to reconcile the two, writing the 1979 book The Spiral Dance on the subject. The tradition she founded became known as Reclaiming, and mixed Wicca with other forms of Neopaganism such as Feri, along with strong principles of environmental protection.

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