Category Archives: Wicca

Every Other Year I Go to Heaven

Every other year I go to heaven.

At the end of summer, first week in September after a year of preparations, I drive with some friends to La Honda into the big redwood trees. A deep happy takes me over, I turn my radio on to hard rock and roll, singing as I go on highway number one along the ocean.

The “blue beast” was smoky colored this time. She does clear up after a while, the sea fog still lazy to move, but then morphs into that azure blue. The ocean!

“Whooohoo!” I cry as if my car was a fast horse.

What a blessing it is to be alive now, and to have the privilege to produce a gathering of like minded women. The International Goddess Festival draws all kinds of women come from all over the world. This year we had especially focused on the “Girl Goddesses”, from infants to teens. They are the most vulnerable to the constant messaging of female beauty and how we should be girls/women.

One seven year old little girl was asked what would she ask the Goddess and she said, “I wish for a flat stomach.” At seven they have already made her drink the poisoned cool aid. She was flat as a board all around.

Governed by feminist values, we practice sisterhood in friendships, and rituals. We bed down into our cabins, our nest for the weekend. Birdsong replaces the sound of cars. Redwood paths absorbs the sound of our footfalls.

For a witch this is pretty close to paradise.

Stolen moments of bliss from the jaws of a relentless bitter woman-hating patriarchy.

Z in ritual 2014

I had done something very unusual, which was unplanned. I was invited to Brazil to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Goddess Movement there. I felt honored to be invited to be the keynote speaker.

I was not yet quite unpacked from my European tour in the Spring, to Germany and Austria, so I just added more cloths and my jewelry to my suitcase for Brazil.

What I had seen there in San Paolo was the ideal fertile ground to sew seeds for the Dianic tradition. There was a pagan priest already into his tenth year honoring annually the Goddess by all her names, Yemaya, Isis, Diana, etc. He has written 14 books of Wicca with the emphasis on the Holy Mother. He created the Global Goddess Day (September 7th) which was celebrated by many countries by being visible on the streets, in the parks, in halls, etc. In other words, showing openly our devotion to the female principle of the Universe. His name is Claudiney Pietro, a young man in his second destiny.

I was thinking and feeling my way into the collective mood. The women were very active around him. He treats women with respect, as well as his mother who was also present. If and when a women’s circle would emerge, he would protect them so they can find their own voice and space to grow. Not lead them, but make sure they have their own space.

Back in the days, I had to fight for every gathering; got arrested for circling in Malibu on land owned by Iran. An other time again because somebody called the police that “they had seen flickering lights on the mountaintop”. Now 45 years later, down in South America things would turn out easier.

I thought I am here, lets ordain the first Kouretes. Let Claudiney receive an honor from my hands as the Elder of the Dianic tradition. Acknowledge him as a Priest of the Goddess; a Kouretes. (Chapter 5 in the “Holy Book Of Women’s Mysteries” detailed already what this means.) I felt blessed that I found a real priest already created, already proven to be our brother.

The last day of my presence in San Paulo in the afternoon, we gathered his friends. I still had some powerful Sage from California. I still had a couple of Katas left over from Germany, these are white raw silk scarves given in honor of somebody’s elevation. I also had my traditional red yarn, used for women for their sacred girdle. I still had my Tibetan bells with the most perfect E sound.

With a variation on the traditional ordination for women, I have now created an ordination ritual for our Kouretes.

As I was purifying Claudiney with the White Sage, a fleeting thought shot through my mind. “Oh they are going to roll me over the hot coals for this one!” This was the first whiff of trouble that awaited me at home, but I let go of it. I remembered rather the good luck, to find a man at all who so deeply qualifies. I have waited 50 years for this occasion. To be able to find a brother I can trust.

Z Budapest Blessing Prieto

I wound his throat with the red yarn, the mother line, to make his voice stronger, his hands to continue to work the Goddess culture, the blessings and the rituals his group was performing. Then I blessed him to be a Kouretes.

We felt very good about it all. Took pictures. His mother wept and so did I.

We both posted our good news on Facebook, I little later then him. It took two days to get back to the States. Then, I needed at least a week to totally recuperate from the grueling travel; I am 74 years old.

Then I remembered my second ordained daughter, whom I love and shared many memories with. We go back to the seventies. A sister Aquarian. Predictably she blew her top. I felt too weak to fight with her, so I tried to soften what happened. I withheld the information about the ordination, called it a “Big Official Blessing”, which it was.

No, I didn’t create a Kouretes who can teach Women’s Mysteries. Of Course NOT! He is a man, he has to continue what he has been doing, just protect the women’s group if and when it would emerge. Just make sure they have safe space to gather.

Of course there were many questions I could not answer. She called me a liar. And then she announced to the world on Facebook that she is no longer following in my footsteps, because I broke the big Dianic rule… No men!

Half a century went by and we kept our tradition of NO MEN ALLOWED.

Faithfully, I have taken a lot of flack for it. I was called man-hater, and anti-transsexual. You name it, the men didn’t trust me. Often they sabotaged our productions when we had to hire them in out of town venues.

But under all these attacks, we had each other. We knew if we gave up Women’s Mysteries, women once again would have nothing. No Goddess; women become spiritual orphans, the killing of our souls.

But now I felt times had changed. Maybe with Claudiney we will find more brothers under his leadership. We do need our male children. Its not natural that the mothers and their children are at war with each other.

In spite of the sad realities, a woman dies every second of childbirth on the planet. We have no wealth, own very little, and the whore politicians have been all bought up by big corporations who essentially destroyed our fragile democracy.

But this will change. The men will get tired of warring. The women are already tired of dying.

It still hurts that I was so misunderstood, and that this act of vision costs me some of my friends. But I think I was moved from within. It was what the Crone in me decided.

It doesn’t mean that now all my ordained daughters can ordain men to be Kouretes. No Way!

Its often a temptation to elevate the one you love, but its NOT a Dianic custom. Nobody should try to ordain men just because I found a worthy one. This is a big deal, but its not for all. I think Claudiney will know if and when he may elevate an other man. It should be him who decides.

So please don’t say things that I heard that this is a Dianic civil war.

It is conflict, the Goddess of Discord has descended on us. But out of this conflict growth will follow. Growth of more Dianic groups, Men’s Mysteries can finally emerge, and all those who like to spin accusations know I am still a visionary. I have walked the walk a long time. I paid my dues. Wrote all the books and popularized Women’s Mysteries for five decades. And my inner divine guide was right to take the opportunity and open up the door to Kouretes to return. We have very high standards, some will qualify.

The many unanswered questions now have time to work it out. We don’t need to know ahead of time everything. Time has a way to spin things out according to what the Fates dictate. Don’t push the river of Time. Just wait and recognize the important moments as they come along.

Be present and don’t forget to love.

Z Budapest

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Elder and originator Z Budapest’s official statement to the Dianic Community

Women's Spirituality Forum

Elder and originator Z Budapest’s official statement to the Dianic Community

Dear sisters!

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.

Blessed Be,
Zsuzsanna Budapest

dividers4August 18, 2014

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 has 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 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 hours of 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 baring 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 a 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.

Press Contact: Marie Bargas
Mobile Phone: 818.209.1125
Email: marie.bargaspr@gmail.com

DIVIDERS3

Venice Beach News

Z Budapest in the News in Venice Beach

Making headlines again in Southern California and recounting herstorical moments from the last 50 years. Thank you Venice Beach, your place in my heart is forever sacred.

Venice Beach Head
Venice Beach Head: Feminist Witch Who fights Back!

See the article online: http://www.freevenice.org/Beachhead-21st/Beachhead-Aug2014.pdf

Z Budapest website: http://zbudapest.com

Press Release: Zsuzsanna Budapest Blesses Claudiney Prieto

Women's Spirituality Forum

Press Contact:
Marie Bargas
Mobile Phone:
818.209.1125
Email: marie.bargaspr@gmail.com

For Immediate Release:

Celebrated Author, Psychic, Witch and Founder of the Dianic Tradition Zsuzsanna Budapest Awards Brazilian High Priest, Claudiney Prieto with Blessing

     Santa Cruz, CA, August 11, 2014.  In a decisive move that nullifies the recent accusations of misandry towards her and her Dianic Tradition, Zsuzsanna Budapest has awarded a man, Brazil’s own Claudiney Prieto with a blessing for the work he does within his own Nemorensis Dianic Tradition, while the Dianic Tradition in Budapest’s lineage remains for female-born women and girls.

     As the attacks on feminism continue to grow especially on social media through blogs, Facebook and more, Budapest remains a decidedly a staunch supporter of the “old guard” who championed women’s rights in the 70’s, a feminist Witch, and the doting mother of two sons and a beloved grandson. But as feminists and feminists bloggers maintain all across the country, feminism is not about hating men, but against patriarchy and the “old boys club” that oppresses and seeks to control women’s personal freedoms.

As Z Budapest wrote on her Facebook profile last week:

     “Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna … All these names mean the same thing … Holy Mother. As women relate to many aspects of the Great Mother, we can expand into all these Goddesses and practice, and include Women’s Mysteries within it.

     I was greatly impressed by Claudiney Prieto in Brazil, who has successfully nurtured an Isis revival. I have blessed him to be a Priest of Isis, which he already is. I saw what he has done and I think he serves the Goddess with his personal leadership. Everybody loves the man. He is dynamite in circle. Such a man with ten years of experience richly deserves the blessing. Both sexes are part of the rituals and sacred plays and always have been. This fits us well. I connect with this because I am also a play write. The original Isis plays have all been translated. It will be great fun creating a religious experience within the medium of theater for this community.

     I thought for the 21st century we should expand into the veneration of Isis, retaining our special women’s space of course. Claudiney respects women’s space even as High Priest. He wouldn’t even think of entering the Women’s Mysteries.

     Although Budapest has embraced Claudiney Prieto for his veneration of the Goddess Isis; she has not abandoned the tenets of her Dianic Tradition that she and so many of her community hold dear. For Budapest and the Dianic tradition, this means that males will continue to be excluded from her rituals of Women’s Mysteries designed for female-born women; this includes the uterine Blood Mysteries.  

Prieto continues to respect the Blood Mysteries. 

    “Even believing that it is time to put an end to this separatism, to let people decide by themselves if they want to gather in groups of women-born only or in mixed ones, granting them the right to call themselves Dianic because Goddess is the center of their worship; I defended Z before Pagans who have several reservations about her because I really understand and respect her restrictions about this issue. This blessing could be the beginning to building dialog, a bridge between the genders.

     Response from the Pagan community as a whole has been supportive towards Budapest’s blessing of Prieto and both variations of Dianism.

     His response, “Our origins are in our own Dianic Tradition, we call ourselves by the name Nemorensis Dianic Tradition. We are Dianics, but we don’t descend from Z’s lineage, we never claimed to and we will never claim it.

      I understand what Z did was just a blessing to me and I have no intention to claim her Dianic lineage or to be part or put men in women-only circles that are sacred to woman-born only.

Background:

     Budapest went to Brazil as an honored guest speaker for Prieto’s Conference of Wicca and Goddess Spirituality held in San Paulo, Brazil in August 2014. This year the Goddess being venerated was Isis. Budapest was so moved by this veneration by Prieto and his community, that she bestowed an impromptu blessing on him. As Prieto put it, “A historical, unique and very emotive moment.

     Although there was some initial confusion about the blessing, it was clarified that he was awarded by her as an honoring of his work with the Goddess. His response, “Thank you Zsuzsanna Budapest for all your efforts to maintain the Goddess Religion alive and thank you for choosing me to be the first male to receive this blessing by you. This is an honor to me. I honor you. Blessed Be!

      Budapest honored Prieto and bound him as a priest to the Goddess within the constructs of Prieto’s own Nemorensis Dianic Tradition and not her own Dianic Tradition, which is women-born only. It was a beautiful gift from one Dianic Tradition to another, and cherished by both as they each continue to serve their own diverse spiritual communities.

      Z Budapest is the foremother of the Dianic Tradition (www.zbudapest.com) having been the first to rebirth it from antiquity. Women began to describe Z’s lineage as Feminist Dianic, Feminist Wicca or Dianic Wicca in an effort to honor and maintain sacred space for Women’s Mysteries.

      Claudiney Prieto is the founder of the Dianic Nemorensis Tradition. (www.nemorensis.com.br/english/)  He is a best known as a pagan writer in Brazil and Latin America with 13 books published to his name.

Z Budapest Blog (zbudapest.wordpress.com)
Susan B. Anthony Coven #1 (susanbanthonycoven.com)
Dianic Wicca (dianic-wicca.com)

Z Budapest Blessing Prieto
Z Budapest Blessing Claudiney Prieto