Listen to the interview.
(click on the blue play button to begin playback)
Read a transcript of the interview.
Read Ruth Barrett's profile.
Ruth BarrettRuth Barrett was born in 1954 in Los Angeles to a devout Jewish family
deeply involved in the founding of the Reconstructionist movement in
Judaism. This creative religious environment launched Ruth in her own
journey to find a meaningful experience of the divine. In 11th Grade, her
classmate Mark Simos (brother of Mimi Simos, now Starhawk) told her about
the Robert Graves book, The White Goddess. At that time, Ruth was
playing folk music and performing at the Renaissance Faire. In 1970 or
1971, she met Natasha Faust (now Shekhinah Mountainwater), another woman
studying and practicing feminist goddess rituals. With a common interest
in goddess worship, she decided to study folklore at the University of
California, Santa Cruz. In 1975-1976 while at Santa Cruz, she met weekly
with a group of women studying goddess spirituality at Shekhinah's home in
the mountains. She also continued her musical performances and
She met Z Budapest in 1976 and was initiated into the Susan B. Anthony
Coven Number One on Bridget's Day in 1977. Her daughter was born on Autumn
Equinox the following year. She began the feminist newspaper Themis
(later Thesmophoria) and continued her performing and spiritual
practices. She and musician Kay Gardner met at the Michigan Women's Music
Festival, and became close friends through performing goddess music. They
maintained this friendship until Kay's death.
In 1981, when Z Budapest moved to northern California, Ruth became the
high priestess of the Susan B. Anthony Coven. Although the covens divided,
Ruth Barrett continued to celebrate Sabbatts in the Los Angeles area
uninterruptedly until she left in 2000. After the first coven divided,
Ruth presided over rituals for the Moon Birch Coven and began teaching
feminist witchcraft in the Los Angeles area. As the coven grew, it was
renamed the Moon Birch Grove.
Ruth came out as a lesbian during 1984 and 1985. She divorced her
husband, supporting herself and her daughter through teaching and
performing. She left Moon Birch Grove in 1988 to form the Circle of
Aradia. This circle began to meet in Topanga Canyon; its ceremonies had
between 100 and 200 women. Neither lesbian nor heterosexual women
dominated the circle. Ruth was honored as the recipient of the 1997
L.A.C.E. award for outstanding contributions in the area of Spirituality
from the Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles.
In 1993, the Circle of Aradia became the first consecrated circle of
the Reformed Congregation of the Goddess (RCG), a loose confederation of
women's spirituatlity organizations with multiple understandings of Dianic
Wicca. Ruth attended RCG Conferences, and became a partner to Falcon
River. They moved to Evansville, Wisconsin in 2000 and founded the Temple
of Diana, which continues the tradition of Wicca that Ruth was taught by Z
Budapest and had taught for twenty years. They founded The Spiral Door
Women's Mystery School of Magic and Ritual Arts and incorporated it to
perpetuate the Z Budapest line of Wicca. Ruth currently performs and sells
goddess music, teaches at The Spiral Door, and lives with her partner
- Ruth Barrett, Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries: Creating Personal
and Group Ritual, (1st Books Library, 2003)
- Ruth Barrett, "The Power of Ritual" in Wendy Griffin, Daughters
of the Goddess (Alta Mira., 2000).
- Ruth Barrrett, "Lesbian Rituals and Dianic Tradition," in
Ramona Faith Oswald, ed., Lesbian Rites: Symbolic Acts and the
Power of Community (Harrington Park Press, an imprint of The
Haworth Press, Inc. 2003).
- The Temple of Diana.
Includes biographical information and details about the Temple of
- Dancing Tree
Information about Ruth Barrett's music
- Wally Breese.
Information about the development of Ruth's music.