Daughters of Diana Gathering is dedicated to providing a female-centered spiritual space for women. There are few women's conferences, festivals, and gatherings left that are specifically safe spaces for women and girls to celebrate and honor our power and diversity as female-bodied human beings. At our Gathering, (as well as all other Temple of Diana rituals, classes, and events,) we agree that an individual’s gender-identity is not equivalent to the sexed body, and cannot erase or replace the experiences of girlhood and the lived experience of all females to navigate, survive, and endeavor to thrive in patriarchy. This is why, as a federally recognized Temple under United States law, we are able to provide an all-female environment that so many of us need in these challenging times.
OUR DEFINITION OF WOMANHOOD and WOMEN'S MYSTERIES
by Ruth Barrett
A woman is a person who is a biological female and identifies and lives as female. Being a woman is to be free to be herself, and express herself as a full human being. This means living her life free from the internal or external limitations of binary gender stereotypes for females dictated by the dominant culture.
Women's Mysteries are at the center of Dianic practice. By "Mysteries" we mean the experiences of the female body from birth, girlhood, into womanhood, and elderhood. These Mysteries include our uterine blood mysteries (menstruation, birthing, menopause), female sexuality and spirituality, and all the ways that our female bodies inform our diverse life experiences. Part of our work as a feminist spiritual tradition is to keep conscious of, and heal from the insidious ways that misogyny affects our lives. This includes our self-perception through the views of the dominant culture, religion, and cultural inheritance. The commonality girls and women share based on our biological sex transcends other differences in race, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, and class. For us, the exploration and celebration of Women's Mysteries is an embodied experience that defies words, and can only be experienced by female individuals. Dianic tradition has centered on the embodied female mysteries for over 40 years. We affirm our ability to be whole-unto-ourselves and as free as the goddess Artemis. We affirm our right to gather as female individuals within our female-only circles to celebrate our rites.
In the current climate where transgender activists seek to eliminate protections based on biological sex, we will not participate in our own oppression and erasure by pretending that
our bodies are insignificant to what makes us female, as girls and women. As spiritual feminists in community with women from diverse backgrounds of race, ethnicity, and class, our common threads that weave us together has been our courage and mutual support to confront our personal and collective historical experiences of physical and sexual violence, and social, political, and economic oppression – all because of our sex -- and to reclaim our female bodies as sacred and as a source of divine wisdom.
We support male individuals in honoring their unique Mysteries of the male body from birth, boyhood, into manhood, and elderhood.
We encourage transgender individuals to create their own rites of passage that address their significant life cycle events from birth into elderhood.