Tag Archives: goddess festival

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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Girl Goddess Contest

Girl Goddess Contest

The women of Susan B. Anthony Coven #1 are excited to sponsor a new contest that illuminates the unique power of Women’s Mysteries and honors the sacred bond between maiden and mother. Every time mothers and daughters dance and sing under the stars and honor the Goddess in each other, we see the woman-bond strengthened and female relationships celebrated!

HOW IT WORKS
Send your photo and short essay of up to 500 words describing how celebrating Women’s Mysteries has strengthened your relationship with the daughter/grand-daughter/special young girl in your life to: goddess_speaks@yahoo.com. Qualified entries will be posted as tagged photos to the official Goddess Festival Facebook page. You, your friends, and family can vote for the Top 3 finalists by sharing and clicking “Like” until midnight July 15, 2014. Z Budapest will then select the 1st place winners, who will be our special guests at the 2014 International Goddess Festival!

PRIZES
• 1st Place: Mother/Daughter attend the Goddess Festival FREE!
• 2nd and 3rd Place Runners up: $250 off Mother/Daughter Registration
• All entrants: $50 off Mother/Daughter registration

RULES
Prize discounts are taken off the standard Mother/Daughter all-inclusive cabin package ($500 Mother + $250 Daughter – must be under age 18). Prizes do not include travel expenses and all entrants must qualify for participation in the Goddess Festival. Prizes are not transferrable and may not be applied to previously purchased tickets (although previously purchased tickets may be transferred to other qualified participants). By submitting your photo and essay for consideration, you agree that you are the author and have necessary rights to grant the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1, Women’s Spirituality Forum, and Goddess Festival permission to use, reproduce, display, and transmit all submitted content and images so that your thoughtful insights may inspire other women. For full terms and conditions, visit: http://goddess-festival.com/terms-conditions/. To learn more about the Goddess Festival, visit http://goddess-festival.com.

Girl Goddess Contest! You are a mama? You got a girl in your care? Bring it on at the camp! We’ve got a zipline. We’ve got a swimming pool. We’ve got ancient trees. We got a magical program, etc. Bring her dress up stuff and strut it.

Goddess Festival

goddess festival 2014

Health, Wealth & Wisdom: Empowering Women, Cultivating Sisterhood

GODDESS FESTIVAL

Sept. 5-7, 2014

Join us for a blissful weekend filled with magic, sisterhood, and deep connection to the rhythms of the Earth! Once again, we gather together in the coastal redwoods of California among the enchanted energies of Mother Nature to honor the Goddess, ourselves, and one another.

For three days we live together in this sacred setting, partaking of powerful workshops, rituals, singing, drumming, dancing, and the dynamic vitality of female-focused intentional community.

Guided by world renowned Priestesses and leaders, you can learn to identify and use herbs, hone your skills in the ancient Amazon art of archery, contribute your voice as we pass the rattle, develop ritual skills, empower yourself through the sacred archetypes of women, and much, much more.

Each day we offer a variety of workshops and opportunities for learning.  Choose to attend as few or as many as you like, or simply relax—swim in the pool, hike through the woods, listen to the music, enter into deep discussion, shop with our hand-selected vendors, or just sit quietly and meditate in this sacred space.

Evenings are reserved for us to come together in the Gaia Bowl, our sacred ritual space of “Fire & Light.” It is here that we call to the Goddess and weave our magic; honor and invoke our Foremothers; hold Initiation and Ordination rituals; and drum, dance, and sing our prayers—for ourselves and the Earth!

All of nature is just a step outside your cabin door. All meals are prepared for us—there is no work duty, no food to cook, no dishes to do. Your only responsibility is to come with an open heart and open mind, find connection through Sisterhood, and share your energies in this movement for social change.

Come and meet us Between the Worlds, outside of mundane space and time, to find rejuvenation and renewed purpose!

Voice of the Goddess Contest

Voice of the Goddess Contest

goddess festivalTo celebrate the first harvest and the abundance our Great Mother Goddess provides, the women of Susan B. Anthony Coven #1 are excited to sponsor a new contest that illuminates and honors the unique power of Women’s Mysteries!

How it works

Send your photo and short essay of up to 500 words describing how celebrating Women’s Mysteries has changed your life to: goddess_speaks@yahoo.com. Qualified entries will be posted as tagged photos to the SBA facebook page. You, your friends, and family can vote for your favorites until midnight August 12, then Z Budapest will select the 1st place winner herself on August 15 from the top 3 vote winners.

Goddess Prizes

  • 1st place: Attend the Goddess Festival FREE!
  • Runners up: $150 off Goddess Festival and a FREE copy of Z’s latest book, “Goddess Gets to Work”
  • All entrants: $25 off Goddess Festival

Rules

Prizes do not include travel expenses and all entrants must qualify for participation in the Goddess Festival. Prizes may not be applied to previously purchased tickets, but previously purchased tickets may be transferred to other qualified participants. By submitting your photo and essay for consideration, you agree that you are the author and have necessary rights to grant the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1, Women’s Spirituality Forum, and Goddess Festival permission to use, reproduce, display, and transmit them so that your thoughtful insights may inspire as may women as possible. For full terms and conditions, visit: http://goddess-festival.com/terms-conditions/. To learn more about the Goddess Festival, visit http://goddess-festival.com/.

Photo: “Mezzo Goddess - We sing our dreams into being"
Acrylic painting by Emily Balivet, 2008 (http://www.emilybalivet.com/)

Blog July – Goddess Festival

I confess I have been not writing. Not really. My profession is changing. What i thought was coming a long time, a writers dream to control ones intellectual property, its finally here. We have a Expresso bookstore now, where you can print your own book now while you are still in the bookstore. I have many books slipping between publishers, I am calling out to the universe for volunteer book designers, as a service to get my books into the new generation’s hands.

We moved in our new house and planted roses and apple trees and blueberries, and two grape plants. We still got white sage and blue sage to get in. The avocado tree made it through the winter as a baby, but froze the tips. She has recovered, and next winter we shall cover her up like we have seen other homeowners protect their cherished plants.

Faster then a speeding bullet, the year has gone into a trot and its midyear already. Freak out!

The biannual Goddess Festival (www-goddess-festival.com) is starting up in my house, we began drying the herbs and Cedar and Juniper, shedding in a big bag for the  big rituals, when women get handfuls of it and toss into the fire celebrating themselves and their wish to the universe. Get your reservations now!

Goddess gets to Work
Goddess gets to Work!

We have quite a few registrations already, and more will be coming. In spite of the smaller monies women get, we still managed to make this pilgrimage, this journey to the redwood forest of the ancient giants.

I have a potted forest waiting as well. A rescued group of five redwood young trees; keeping them alive and well until September during the Goddess Festival when we plant them back into the forest.

I think its time we as women make a pledge; lets plant at least one tree every year. Five came first, its a pentagram. I see it as auspicious. Women and Trees!

My newest book is out now! Yay! Goddess gets to Work! Wise, whimsical, witty and when it’s called for, deviously wicked. America’s favorite witch stirs up an empowering brew for working women everywhere. https://www.createspace.com/3897522

If all goes well Bobbie can start making more videos with me. An interactive video showing how to contact and receive a spirit guide for ones Tarot readings. There will be a short little booklet as well… “13 Days to a Tarot Spirit Guide.”

I hope this will speed up the learning curve for many of my students who cannot find time nor patience to memorize the meanings of the cards.

Otherwise, I walk the walk. I laugh at least once a day for NO reason at all. Then I laugh also for reasons, but one cannot depend on them.

I am reading “Lizz Free or Die!” I went to hear her at the Santa Cruz Bookstore, she didn’t go into details, but it was she who has created “The Daily Show” with Jon Stuart. I loved following it in her book, how things just lit up in her talent and she just started performing this as a stand up comic. Later it gelled into the Daily Show. It takes a lot of fateful accidents to make a funny show be born.

I yearn to submerge in natural water, its summer after all. Ocean is ice cold, it has to be a pool. I am in it. Happy summer time!

My post-festival Goddess thoughts

Driving home. Leaving the misty sunny coast behind. Thinking about the tall redwoods, the air that was fit for angels for breathe. Images of the garlanded women with Laurel crowns, walking about, chatting with each other exchanging emails.

I am happy. Over a hundred women came out to share the spectacular Circles.

First night: Thursday, women were still arriving, settling in, by evening we were ready to  pray and bless WATER.

The altar was created to honor WATER, heal the Gulf, heal all the oceans. SEDNA the goddess of the deep was the main image, hanging over the fireplace. We lit candles to her and her powers to replenish the oceans.

The women stood in the circle passing a candle with the image of the Lady of Guadalupe on it; she is the Queen of all Americas. We placed a blessing on it from the heart. It burned for the success of all wishes on the altar from then on.

In return we captured sea water from the Pacific Ocean, in two jars. You have never seen such clean water, see through like glass. I have dipped flowers into it and sprinkled with the sea all the participants.

This was the purification for the weekend.

All women felt included and sanctified.

Friday

The workshops all started with me, preparing us all to handle well the evening ritual.

Already Thursday afternoon I have taught the basics, divided the women into two major groups, the star sisterhood, and the generational sisterhood. Star sisterhood is the Zodiac sign you belong to, generational sisterhood is the age you are in. These groups then assumed their duties. Star sisters invoked the corners of the Universe according to their star quality, air, fire, water earth.

They opened and closed the circle.

Our drummers Larissa and friend, Ace, displayed their artistry, taking the beat and carrying us along.

First we had sacred play. I have prepared a bowl of magical herbs, good for all positive wishes. We each took a handful and made out of died Juniper leaves and berries (good health), fresh Patchouli (good sex), Verbena (good female health and love) … we made special wishes and we cast the magical herbs into the fire. The fire sparkled happily.

Having danced around the fire and was ready to slow down a little, I had all the women who desired an Initiation into Women’s Mysteries come forward. I then blessed a ball of red yarn, and entwined them with it, myself included. This is for embarking on the PATH. This is just a first step. I never know what comes of it, many times I get activists from this first step, others just take it home with them and practice at home. This year we had 37 new Initiates.

I have started a new tradition within the Dianic Tradition, that of the SUMMONERS. These are our organizers. We need to raise a cadre of organizers so we can have circles in every state. My own Bobbie (and Kate MacDowell who couldn’t be there in person) went first, I took her staff and had all women bless it. They all promised to come when the SUMMONER calls. Summoners are sacred to Themis, the Goddess of Social Consciousness. They are serving Themis. She is the first of all the Goddesses; she summons together humanity.

We elevated CLERGY women, those who keep the sacred spaces for worship. Laura and Duffy, from Simi Valley, Rosmarinus and Ghislaine from Canada, Jesa from Hayward … received their snow white Clergy katas; silk scarf.

We have Ordained two women into QUEENDOMS, as they are the community builders. JoAnna from Carson City, who worked with women in rehab for thirty years and, Sage from Mendocino, who has led Dianic circles there now for four years.

After this the dancing resumed. Star studded skies, roaring sacred flames, and happy women.

I was so tired that night I just fallen into my sleeping bag, dressed as I was. Good dreams followed.

Saturday was easy. This time the women knew what to do, the fire women fed the fires. Miri kept the cauldron going with Frankincense, feeding the good spirits who attended the circle.

We invoked the grandmothers from all directions. We called in our own ancestors by name. We chanted various sweet chants.

A huge feeling of party times rapture our hearts, and the circle became a big dancing hall, drums went wild. I had to keep Jane from jumping the fire, fearing women would attempt it, the fright from last time was still with me when one of us landed on the hot coals. But not worried, this year all went just fine.

When the dancing and drumming calmed down a little, we sat down and watched the procession of the ages, women taking the sacred well for their demonstrations and impressions of what it was like being the age they were in. As usual the thirties were most numerous, but the forties had the most organization, the fifties were very musical this year, and the sixties, well we had a song thanks to Duffy, and I danced an impromptu interpretation of it.

Now I am moving away from the experience; takes a year to produce. Thank you women who came and allowed us to have another righteous witchy event.

Harvest Blessings

My garden has yielded the yellow and green beans, the tiny red tomatoes and the heirloom ones, with stripes and sweet juices.

My Pippin apple tree had many small apples, most of them eaten by the two new squirrels who inherited the trees next door.

The lemon tree is however the queen in my garden. She was the reason why I bought this house; a good old fruiting lemon tree always means good luck. She blooms and fruits at the same time. What genius!

My wife has green talents. She planted an avocado tree who has grown two feet already since it has been put in. She has a tangerine tree in a big pot, already budding little fruits.

We have 13 new rose bushes, in red, yellow and pink. This to keep me from stealing the neighbor’s flowers. Some will climb my back porch and fences; some will make a hedge against the street I live on. Some will grow to supply me with heavenly smelling cut flowers in the house.

Life is good.

My body is mobile. I continued when I could, to go swimming again. I do Yoga every Weds. It’s still reasonably priced at the North Berkeley Senior Center.

We are getting ready for the Goddess Festival starting on the 9th. It’s a pilgrimage gladly taken. The old covenstead is calling.

May all your harvests be blessed!

When is it YOUR TURN?

Festival or not. What we take from each other and what we keep.

Some women say I have no money to treat myself and my soul for an uplifting spiritual experience. True. There is tighter money now. But you woke up this morning, and you are well and you have something to eat, you have roof over your head and have something to wear.

You are successful.

Somebody tells you they need your resources. You think to yourself, he needs me. He needs my money. He comes first. I have something; I’ll support him because I love him or because he is my husband, or son.

Your daughter needs you too, and you give to her as well. And all these resources you have given away so generously without thinking will never come back to you.

When is it your turn?

You are not too young anymore. You are mature. Your needs are mature. When is it your turn?

Who feeds your hunger? Do you support them? Do you give back to yourself at all?

Yet you are lonely and exhausted. You work so hard, and you give it all away. You are a good person. Is that really enough?

At the end what we take with us is experiences, the memories of the divine. Do you have enough? Did the Great Spirit fill up your hunger? Did you smell the redwoods? Did you hear the ocean?  Did you just love yourself?

If you died tomorrow, are you a rich soul on your journey? Or just a suffering deprived worker, who was never number one? Was your life a donation? Does this feel good enough to you? You have been given away everything keeping nothing, not even a biannual women’s gathering is not possible for you while you are alive?

I say stop!

Your life is NOT a donation. You deserve to have a weekend every two years when you are a Holy Woman, not somebody who is a resource for everybody else.

We have kept our path strong. WE endure poverty gladly, because our soul is promoting the future. Join us. Take your life seriously! Take your spiritual needs seriously!

Get yourself registered now. Ride your own passion. WE only live once.

Gather the pleasure of your company. Share your joy with sisters. Look deep into the mirror of womanhood.

We have 200 beds to offer.  One of those is yours.

Blessed be,
Z Budapest

www.Goddess-Festival.com