Difference between the Temple of Diana and the Z Budapest lineage of the Dianic Tradition.
When Z Budapest revived the ancient Dianic theology in 1970 and applied it to Feminism and Wicca, she created a new pagan path call the Dianic tradition. This Dianic tradition has two core aspects to it: Women's Mysteries and the Kouretes.
Women's Mysteries is exclusive to a female-born women-only aspect, and the Kouretes is the male-born aspect. All of this is explained in the Holy Book of Women's Mysteries by Zsuzsanna Budapest.
Z Budapest fully developed the Women's Mysteries herself, creating a safe and sacred space for female-born women to celebrate themselves. No male-born individuals are ever allowed into the Women's Mysteries aspect of the Dianic tradition.
It took 50 years for Z Budapest to find a male she deemed worthy of the Kouretes ordination, which activated the men's aspect of the Dianic tradition. In August of 2014, Z ordained the first Kouretes priest in her lineage's Dianic tradition.
The division between Z Budapest and the Temple of Diana (Ruth Barrett) occurred at the time right after the first Kouretes ordination. In truth however, Ruth had already parted from the Z Budapest Dianic tradition when she established the role of the Guardian within the Temple of Diana framework in the year 2000. According to Ruth Barrett:
Kouretes often served as caretakers of children, dancers, initiators of male children into Men’s Mysteries, and guardians. As Dianic separatists we have no need for Kouretes, we have our own Priestesses of the Guardian Path who provide spiritual service by protecting our circles from possible intruders, plus we do our own dancing and child care.
The Z Budapest lineage is based on the revival of the ancient Dianic spirituality which was not separatist. Thus, the Z Budapest Dianic tradition is not separatist, but Women's Mysteries is exclusively for female-born women only. More information about the ancient Dianic theology can be found in Jane Ellen Harrison's Epilegomena To the Study of Greek Religion & Themis: A Study of the Social Origins of Greek Religion.
Both groups do not allow for any male to participate in Women’s Mysteries, given their physical/cellular differences and socialization from birth. Both exclude males and trans-individuals wishing to attend or be included in their Women's Mysteries rites, and this is why no male priest is ever allowed into Women's Mysteries nor allowed to teach Women's Mysteries.
The difference between Z Budapest and the Temple of Diana has to do with the Kouretes aspect of the original Dianic spirituality. The Temple of Diana no longer recognizes the Kouretes aspects and has replaced it with their own female Guardian aspect, making that variation on the Dianic tradition completely female-born separatists.
The other Dianic High Priestesses to support the Temple of Diana departure from the original Z Budapest lineage of the Dianic tradition are Leilani Birely (Daughters of the Goddess) who practices the Guardian aspect and Oloya Adedapoidle Tyehimba-Ford who threw her support behind Ruth's departure after the ordination of the first Kouretes. All other High Priestesses ordained by Z Budapest have remained in her lineage.
Bottomline, the only difference is the separatist Guardians vs. the Kouretes aspect. Women's Mysteries is just as sacred and exclusive to female-born women as it ever was.
Both sides have acknowledged their differences, and both have value for all female-born women. There should be no us vs. them mentality. It is only natural that groups hive off and meet the needs of their community. Thus, it is with a full heart that the members of the Sisterhood: Blessing All Communities (formerly Susan B. Anthony Coven #1) hold only loving energies for those sisters who follow this separatist path. We support and welcome Temple of Diana sisters into our Women's Mysteries circles any time.
From August 18, 2014 Z Budapest Press Release
Our additional information regarding this press release - Z Budapest blatantly lied about her ordination of her first Kouretes when confronted about it by the greater Dianic women's community (namely Ruth Barrett and Bobbie Grennier). This happened because Z did an impromptu ordination without any discussion about it with the greater Dianic women's community. Instead of sharing the truth about her Kouretes ordination, she chose to lie initially causing a great deal of confusion and hurt feelings. The following press release came after the initial lies were told by Z herself. Z lied to everyone, including Bobbie Grennier who wordsmithed the following press release for Z Budapest. The initial lie on Aug. 13th was that instead of an ordination... it was merely a blessing that she'd bestowed on Claudiney Prieto, when in fact it was indeed an ordination. Bobbie Grennier helped set the record as straight as possible and this press release was issued.
Elder and originator Z Budapest’s official statement to the Dianic Community
Ruth Barrett is heartbroken, because she feels I lied to her about the ordination of Claudiney Prieto. I admit I was concerned about her and her power of stirring up a wild bitching fest on the social media against me. Which is what happened. So I told her what was true, but not the entire story.
I have honored Claudiney Prieto in Brazil where he represents the rebirth of Wicca. He indeed received the sacred silk Kata, due to a priest of the Goddess, my most official blessing and his Dianic name which he chose. When I do create an ordination for women, the person to be ordained is LIFTED UP by women, off the ground and turned slowly around as I present them to the four corners of Universe while praying over them. Claudiney was NOT lifted up. Not presented to the four corners. He was NOT ordained into Women’s Mysteries.
Instead of giving him his magical tools, the necklace, the ring and the wand, he got a white scarf. The Kata. I used the red cord, symbol of the bloodline, around his throat to strengthen his voice for the Goddess, and around his hands to bless his deeds with success.
This was a different ordination, meant to be for a Kouretes of the Goddess, a legitimate male Dianic tradition, written up in the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries (see Chapter 5: The Sacred Sons). Its as orthodox as anything else, I have broken no Dianic rules. We just never found any male who deserved such a distinction. Not that I was actually looking for the first Kouretes.
These are my reasons for his recognition. Claudiney, for the past ten years, celebrated the Goddess with as many of her aspects as possible annually. I witnessed the Isis gathering. He researched the Isis worship, got words translated and some chants left in Egyptian; the story of Isis bringing Horus back to life. Men dressed in white togas, and women too wearing Isisian jewelry while kyphi incense burned and everybody sang in ancient Egyptian. I was deeply moved.
Claudiney has written and published 13 books about the Goddess and Wicca. He carries other ordinations, as he is recognized already by the Fellowship of Isis. Eleven years ago he formed his own tradition establishing the Dianic Nemorensis Tradition. He received my Kouretes ordination gratefully, but didn’t need it as he is already accomplished in his deep devotion to the Goddess.
I wanted to spread Women’s Mysteries to Brazil, the largest country in South America. Claudiney was perfect to be a brother for us there. He is true of heart, learned in skills, and is deeply loving towards women. His own mother was present at all celebrations, proud.
Ruth Barrett is my second daughter ordained. I have no problem with her staying separatist because that is not at stake. Women’s Mysteries may hopefully spring up now in Brazil after seeding it with my workshop. Claudiney will encourage it to have safe space to grow up in. I don’t know when this may happen, but I hope its in my lifetime.
Discord is unpleasant, but it usually brings growth.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Members of the Dianic tradition in the Zsuzsanna Budapest Lineage
Today Zsuzsanna Budapest announced that she was prepared to amend her previous press release from August 13, 2014 based on a shared understanding of all events, and given appropriate time to formulate descriptions of these events and to respond to the misinformation spread on social media. We support her decision to take a step back from the flurry of disinformation being spread while she did what any Elder should do, which is to listen to her community, ultimately document the truth and explain its ramifications.
On August 10, 2014 Zsuzsanna Budapest honored Claudiney Prieto of Brazil with a ritualized blessing awarding him the esteemed honor of being the first male Kouretes ordained by her within her Dianic tradition. We recognize his ordination into the the Z Budapest Dianic lineage as a Kouretes, and his right to claim it. We recognize that his ordination as a Kouretes has no place in our Women’s Mysteries, and we understand that Claudiney holds Women’s Mysteries as a sacred female-born aspect of the Dianic tradition.
The foundation of our Dianic tradition is female-centered, but as explained in the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries Chapter 5 - Sacred Sons, “Sons of the mothers in Goddess-worship became Kouretes, members of the Goddess-serving priesthood.”
Since the inception of this tradition and in its revival by Zsuzsanna Budapest in the 1970’s, there has been a place for male priesthood. Until now, Z Budapest had not found any male worthy of a Kouretes ordination.
For clarification on the role of the Kouretes within the Dianic tradition, we point to the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries by Z Budapest, upon which all Dianics in the Z Budapest lineage have built their foundations. Here are quotes from Chapter 5:
“Kouretes were sons saved by the Goddess, becoming Her helpers to save the rest. They, as protectors and teachers of the young, constitute the Sacred Priesthood of the Mother Goddess.”
“Kouretes is a role model for matriarchal manhood.”
“Dianic tradition is one of teaching, and from early times on, we taught both sexes of the young. In our manifesto, we mean that we are not averse to teaching parts of the usual craft curriculum to men, such as medicinal herbology, because more healers means that we are all better off. Philosophy is another craft that we would definitely teach both sexes, since if there are more thinkers, there are more ideas. Dances, sports and songs are other ways to spread Goddess consciousness without divulging Women's Mysteries to men.”
On August 17, 2014, Ruth Barrett under the auspices of the Temple of Diana Board of Directors issued a press release which came after Z Budapest had privately requested that she and other members of this Tradition be present at the International Goddess Festival (Sept. 5-7) to discuss the recent events in Brazil openly as a community without malice and without prejudice. It was Z’s intent to answer any and all questions posed.
Contrary to Ruth’s statements, the actions of Z Budapest are completely aligned with the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries that is the foundation of this Dianic tradition. Claudiney Prieto, in his gratitude and enthusiasm, made the announcement on social media before Z was able to return to North America and digest what Spirit had moved her to do for this man as a direct result of all his good works. Z partially responded on social media after 48 straight hours of air travel with the hope that such an announcement would be met with joy and acceptance. Instead, it was disappointing to find that many had misunderstood her intentions and felt that she had betrayed the tradition. Hence, Z chose to take a step back in order not to exacerbate any miscommunications while she recovered from a brief illness from her travels.
It is our hope that Ruth and any other Dianics who are part of our Dianic lineage will avail themselves of the outcome of this announcement and our communal discussions without perpetuating any malice directed towards Z Budapest or Claudiney Prieto.
The Women’s Spirituality Forum, Inc. and the Susan B. Anthony Coven No.1, the current members and the original members of the coven, stand in support of Z Budapest’s ordination of Claudiney Prieto as a rightful Kouretes in this Dianic tradition. We stand firmly in support of Z Budapest as this tradition’s Elder and support her right to ordain a Kouretes, as we know it has absolutely no bearing on any male involvement in Women’s Mysteries, nor will it ever, as Women’s Mysteries are an exclusively female-born aspect of this tradition. The Susan B. Anthony Coven No.1 will continue its work with Women’s Mysteries under the standard of the Manifesto of the Susan B. Anthony Coven No.1.
Moreover, we respect Z’s right as the High Priestess of the Dianic tradition to slow down the spread of disinformation and misinformation until such time as she deemed appropriate to deliver an accurate and detailed public message.
We continue to support the tenants of the Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries and all of Z’s teachings through her 50 years of service to the Goddess and Her women.
Board of Directors of the Women’s Spirituality Forum, Inc.
Members of the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1
The Women’s Spirituality Forum, Inc. is the nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization founded by Zsuzsanna Budapest to help promote the Goddess’ sacred work and is an inspiring shift to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations. As a 501(C)3 non-profit, we provide spirituality-based education and social connectivity through the Goddess College, global conferences and festivals, and our expanding feminist-centric programs, including: The Goddess Magazine: Nature & Goddess radio series and Goddess Magazine publication; Women’s Spirituality Forum Publisher’s book series and online store; television/film programs and a vast online community and presence. We act as a key source for the media and our materials are used by colleges, schools and organizations. We conduct essential programs involving Women’s Leadership, Women’s Spirituality, and Feminism. The Dianic tradition is a feminist, Goddess and female-centered, earth-based denomination of an ancient religion which was revived by Zsuzsanna Budapest in the early 1970’s as a denomination of Wiccan religion.