McFarland Dianic

The McFarland Dianic tradition (previously known as Old Dianic) was founded by Morgan McFarland and Mark Roberts in the early 1970s. It is distinguished from the feminist traditions of Dianic Wicca begun by Zsuzsanna Budapest, Starhawk, and others.

The ideas that distinguish the McFarland Tradition as a “Dianic” tradition from other wiccan paths concern the focus upon the "Immortal Goddess in Her threefold aspects of Maiden, Mother and Crone".

"In the McFarland Dianic Tradition the Goddess was never born, and She never dies. She always was, is, and always will be. She is the fertile Void at the Center from which the universe is born."

Another important concept is "Immanence". The Goddess is immanent in her creation. She is not separate from her creation, she is her creation, she gave birth to herself. She is in everything, everywhere. "She is the Goddess of a Thousand Names".[1]

The McFarland Dianic Tradition recognizes goddesses of different cultures and pantheons as different aspects of "The Immortal Goddess". In this sense they are more monotheistic than many other pagan or wiccan groups.

"Her Son and Consort is the Mortal principle that is born, dies and is reborn in an ever-repeating cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The God also is of the Goddess. You could say that He is Her male aspect."

Contents

Female and Male Principles

"When we speak of “female principle” or energy and “male principle” or energy, it has nothing to do with one’s physical gender. We are referring to a type of energy. All people, men and women, have both “male” and “female” energy within. If we did not, we would be so unbalanced we would not be able to function on a day to day basis. Call it Yin and Yang, if you like. It is only because the woman’s body is the living symbol of the Goddess who gives birth, that the woman takes the role of High Priestess and represents the Goddess in a ritual circle. The patriarchal obsession with who is on top, who decides for the others, has no place in our tradition. In our McFarland Dianic Path, males are welcomed members, yet there is a need to release the common “take charge” attitude that is often expected of men in our culture. In ritual matters, the High Priestess, as a representative of the Goddess, rules supreme. The High Priest, as the representative of Her Son and Consort, functions to assist, protect, and serve the coven. Outside the ritual circle, all coveners are equal and most group decisions are made on a consensual basis. "Consensual" means that all decisions that affect one person or more in ritual matters must be agreed upon by all. This means any one person has the same responsibility as any other. There is sometimes a sense of frustration if one cannot directly influence the decisions of others by force of will. Women will sometimes sense this as well. In action our persuasive powers come into play, and we must reveal our true selves if we will be honest. How can the allowance of personal innovation and consensual decision making be described or taught if we do not release our instinctual desire to control others, based upon the belief that we are powerless? We must give up something in order to give space for something new, opening our hands to let drop whatever binds us and accepting the unlimited energy within us." All High Priestesses are autonomous."

The Background

The McFarland Dianic Tradition is inspired mainly by Celtic, especially Welsh, mythology, although they are eclectic enough to recognize the Goddess as manifested in all cultures worldwide. They celebrate thirteen moons throughout the year. Each moon has its own special ritual and “mystery” which can be revealed only to those who are initiates to our tradition. Each moon is associated with a tree from the celtic ogham tree alphabet as described in Robert Graves' classic book The White Goddess.

The McFarland Dianic Tradition also celebrates the solstices and equinoxes and the Celtic Cross-quarter holidays, Samhain, Yule, Imbolc and Beltaine. Before initiation a seeker must study with a High Priestess for a year and a day. The study group is called a “Grove”, based on the sacred groves that were places of worship for the ancient people of northern Europe. After initiation the seeker is considered a priest or priestess. When a priestess is ready for more advanced training, she undergoes “Passage” for a year and a day participating in rituals which celebrate the solar mysteries. After completing “Passage” she is then considered a High Priestess and is authorized to teach and initiate others and start her own circle or coven. Forming a new coven is called “hiving”. After Hiving, each High Priestess is considered autonomous. Some men in the tradition have the honor of being named "High Priests." Although the provision for this is not widely agreed upon, we consider a priest a "High Priest" when he has participated in the hiving ritual.

An Elder in The McFarland Dianic Tradition is considered such by the consensus of our community. There is no ritual to specify the position. There is a Council of Elders that can be reached for questions and ethical discussion.

Basic Laws

The McFarland Dianic Tradition believes in the wiccan "rede":

An (if) you harm none, do what you will. Some break this into two laws: Harm none and Do what you will.

The The McFarland Dianic Tradition observes the Threefold Law ("threefold is manifestation in body, mind and spirit"): "Everything that you do will return to you threefold." .

The The McFarland Dianic Tradition is a vibrant, living tradition that encourages creativity and at the same time provides a structure and a sound foundation for personal growth. Based on profound truth that can only be communicated through symbol and poetry, we find new dimensions of meaning every year as the cycle is repeated.

References


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