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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
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The Lost Consciousness in the Abbey

Imagine a beer company, toying with ideas of how to get ahead in these times with their beer product and coming up with a “Halloween” idea.

–Hey guys why don’t we show on our label a sexy young woman, a witch, burning at the stake, but  as if  she “enjoyed” it? Her mouth open like crying out, or like….

The suits get excited.

–Yeah, it could be fun, a little S/M? Just a hint of it.

–No! No! That won’t be good. The witches will get angry at us.

–So? How many witches drink beer? They don’t buy expensive beer… do they?

–That’s not the point. The witches get angry, they can retaliate. Put out a Hex on us.

–I think it’s just the opposite! If they protest, they will bring attention to our beer nationwide! A kind of publicity we could never buy!

The room falls silent, and the men think real hard about this.

Meantime the offending label is drawn and attached to bottles of beer. The picture of the beer bottle is published, and the men forget about their meeting.

A few months later.

Sage the media person is reporting.

-Well we were right! The women were very offended, the witches were furious! This is huge publicity. We made the NY Times! I promised them a mea culpa, and that we change the label, we didn’t know it was so evil. Sorry.

–You promised them we change the label?

–No! No! We’ll stall them… say we agree, it’s bad. We made a mistake. That would pacify the witches, fortunately they are reasonable people. They would wait if we meant what we said, by that time our beer is distributed everywhere!  There are many beer drinking men who would love to get a buzz and watch a young bosomy girl burned at the stake. And we draw all the faces who are watching her die, watch emotionless like in a movie house.

–Yeah like a snuff movie!

As long as the beer drinking men still buy it.

Another woman in the room now speaks up.

–Hmmm…if I may say something, it would be better that I deal with all the incoming protest.

The men all agree.

–Yes, you should. The witches would believe you more than us.

–I think we should tell them we are setting up a “contest” for the next beer label. Let them all go to their artists and urge them to send us alternative images. This will easily take months. We can always say we never found the winner; it was just not good enough. So we’ll keep the young witch burning at the stake.

–You are right. Let the woman do that.

–There is one problem left.

–Yes?

–Z Budapest is talking about making our beer taste “funny” if we don’t take down the offensive label.

–Who is she?

–She normally just hexes serial killers and rapists. She is successful with those.

–She is going to hex our beer?

–Yes. She and her witches will sour the taste of beer, it will turn into vinegar.  She will make it unlucky for anybody to drink it. She is talking about a serious case of ED, incurable by Viagra.

–Witches can do that?

–She and her witches brought down serial killers?

–Yes. Several times.

A new silence descends on the room. The men are worried a little.  They won’t let it show, but the seed of their fright will grow as the days grow shorter.

The suits get angry.

–How stupid are these women? Can’t they understand that this is our branding? Bet they didn’t read the back label with our story of the struggle between good and evil? Our beer has satire! There is a catholic church in the background! Our owner is a recovering Catholic! How much more can we provide?

One woman who has been silent speaks now.

–Our satire sucks. Nobody laughs at woman being tortured.  Nobody reads the back of labels. Morality words about the struggle of good and evil has nothing to do with beer.

— This is not good.  What can we do about it? How can we stop her?

–By stopping the label. And dump the T shirts. The woman suggests timidly worrying that she is going to lose her job.

— She said the spell is only in place as long as we sell woman hatred with alcohol.

–After all this publicity, the taste of the beer will also be very public. Vinegar!

–I got it! Why don’t we have our own people taste the beer and write about it as “wonderful.”

–And get ED? Are you out of your mind? I wouldn’t do that to our friends!

As I said, let’s stick to beer.

Boycott The Lost Abby

Two Wonderful Springtime Goddess Reads

Books reviewed by Z Budapest

Make Merry in Step and Songs” by Bronwen Forbes (Llewellyn )

Spring is warm enough to take a book out and read it while you inhale the fresh new air with flower scents. Reading about pagan rituals and enhancing your vocabulary in songs and folk dances, for circle leaders what a gift.

This is a great book! I love old England and loved learning about these many dances. The music is written down, and one can actually learn it. The dances are explained with meticulous precision, and the gentle prodding towards more practice makes the book a delight.

The author is a great lover of folk art, it shows in every selection, but those who think this is all about sugar and a little spice don’t know the English. Some of the heritage is gruesome, the character of the players murderous and unpredictable.

Yes there are the well behaved May Dance participants, wooing the fair Elinor, but there is also a story of a mother who hexed the young wife of her son with infertility. She can never have a child, until the son learns what she has done to hex her and undo the spell.

Then there is the humor.  In the John Barleycorn Play, Old Woman questions Doctor Brown .

“What diseases canst you cure?”  Doctor Brown: “The hips –pipsy, the palsy, the gout, a man having twenty-two senses in his head. I can cast twenty one out. Why I cured a snag tail last week nearly twenty-five feet long! Surely I can cure thy son who is not quite gone.”  And then proceeds to raise her dead son from the dead. Not your everyday pabulum culture here.

I find it exciting that so much has remained still in practice, which the rebirth of the pagan traditions I am sure will contribute with more longevity.

This kind of culture requires costumes and props, a bit of pageantry peasant style. I think this is the kind of book you can consult at each turn of the seasons plus to make more merry at pagan parties. The information in here creates community, cohesiveness and entertainments. Well done Bronwen!

Echoes of the Goddess” by Simon Brighton and Terry Welbourn (Ian Allan Publishing)

This is a book that should be made mandatory for all Women’s Studies students, and of the Craft and Goddess studies. Beautifully laid out with splendid color photographs just the object of the book itself is classy.

The English do not usually come out with this “in your face we got the Goddess all over our country” narrative. I recall when I was in England looking for the pagan heritage, the locals didn’t brag a lot about it. The London National Museum put the goddesses in room 22, a side show. It was all well known near the temples and stone, yet hush, hush at the same time. With this book, England at last owns her pagan heritage.

I have never seen goddess book this thorough, a well produced overview of the Goddess Culture. Starting with the Lost Goddess, prehistory goddesses, subterranean goddesses, holy wells, freshwater sirens, saltwater sirens, the Celtic and dark goddesses, the rude goddess, the Christianized goddess, the goddess in myths, legends, and in the labyrinth.

Rich chapters lead you through the countryside of England showing you what even tourist guides cannot see. And the Goddess is here bold and beautiful. Indeed, this book has a Holy book quality to it in content and presentation.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I am partial to stones. Looking at the breathtaking spiral paths, on a slab from Malta boggles the mind. Four to six thousand years old, these were people who knew about the spirals in the sky, understood the world to be part of the great whole. Another favorite of mine is the image on the Picardy Stone Aberdeen shire, from the 6/7th century AD; it was a tombstone once on an ancient grave.  It has a curvy snake, a symbol of reincarnation; several images which could be maps of the stars said that it had a relationship to the hill of Dunnideer. Mysterious, yet riveting.

When you absorb all this good information take it easy, do a chapter at a time. Its like a rich meal for your mind you want to savor.  The book takes you through history and accurately documents where the goddess was worshiped, by whom, for example the Pictish people, who gave women equal rights even back then. Then the great goddess was taken down with misinformation, destruction of her legacy and values.  The Synod of Whitby in 664 AD finally crushed the Goddess Culture; all her physical representations were destroyed.

But not the She na gig, the vagina Goddess, she survived decorating the Christian churches, inside and outside. Good luck was her value and sexuality. The same folk also had many Green Man images to keep her company.

Make this book a success. Give them to friends for high occasions. Share it with your book clubs, keep it where you can see it and reach for it.

The Dirt Against the Dianic Tradition

I have heard that some of the bad old myths are still alive. I have decided to attack them head on this time.

1. Dianic Tradition is for lesbians only.
This is a myth that attempts to divide the women against each other. An old ploy. In the past it worked, but not anymore. Sexual orientation is of NO importance when you are learning a spiritual path. Women are women, you love whom you please. Naturally. Herstorically, when I have revived ancient Women’s Mysteries, there was about half and half, gay women and straight women, worshiping together. But since I have never asked who is sleeping with whom, this may be a few points off either way.

2. An all women’s circle is not balanced.
A very strange myth. As if having a penis in a circle would be balancing. Underlying this remark is hostility toward women because they claim their own space. Claiming anything without men seems to enrage men and make them spin lies. Women were ignored and their traditions buried deep, but since the seventies the tradition is reclaimed and it is very satisfying. Women can exhale psychically when with each other, be themselves. When you put men into the circle, both sexes act differently. Nobody is themselves. An all women circle is balanced excellently because psychic wholeness does not depend on genitalia.

3. Dianics can raise power but they don’t know how to send it.
This must be from a man who obviously had no experience observing this. Dianics are especially good at sending energy, and even partaking in political spells when women need protection. Our spells come true most of the time. We regularly hexed rapists and mass murders; men that were hexed didn’t get away with their crimes.

4. Dianics are man-haters.
This is the most powerful accusation to divide women. We all cringe when we hear it because what it says to us is that we are hating our own children. This is the result of women’s audacity for claiming our own space to worship our Goddess. We are the life givers, we are raisers of sons and daughters; there is nobody on earth who didn’t come from our wombs. How dare you be so insecure that you call your mamas such names! Men have their priesthoods, their popes and ayatollahs, they have their religious fanatics, Osama Bin Laden, and suicide bombers, their men-only clubs and an all pervasive boys networks. Men don’t call other men woman haters, but they should. It’s a strange misguided projection on the women indeed. To belittle women, call us names because we want to worship without men, is absurd.

Teaching the Goddess Online

What an addictive tool the Internet! I can’t wait in the morning to run to my online school and see what my students have written! They have homework, they have destiny work, they have Tree work, and they chitchat with each other forming/nurturing an international women’s community.

I am very impressed. I started teaching in the days of the mimeograph machine (early seventies). Yes, Virginia, we cranked the pages out one by one by hand, and got a lot of ink on ourselves in turn. The ink didn’t come off for weeks.

Then we advanced to Xerox machines, expensive but faster. Printing the first women’s liberation newsletter SISTER was a later development, after we mastered the art of asking for money and taking on regular subscribers. History just went fast forward from then on.

In the early eighties we still didn’t have computers; the machine we had was big and not much more than a glorified typing machine. But the times went into warp space, and suddenly we had computers, and email, and the works. Internet came as the topping on the cake. It has leveled the field all around the globe. Suddenly we are one not just in theory but as a tangible global community. I know what my friend in Budapest is cooking in her pot, and what my other friend in Brazil is reading. They know if I have some troubles with my IMAC, or the email is acting up. I bought me a pair of boots online and they fit! This must be the ultimate victory, saving time for fine things like nature walks. Smelling the roses.

I am an Aquarian with Libra Moon, Sagittarius rising. As a teacher I am best when I get to talk to my students in person, but I had to learn new tricks.

How to establish a school, online, where the students won’t get bored, won’t feel abandoned, and how do I urge them on to actually invest the time and finish the homework I have assigned to them?

How do I reward them? Do I need to give out grades? How often do I need to comment on their work? What about the peer review?
Isn’t that more exciting?

Life has stepped in and I had to go away to Europe to get some surgery done. I had double hip replacements and in that time I had a crappy computer to work on with not the American keyboard available, but a European one, with the letters and Y all mixed up. It was a nightmare.

But never mind. The Information Age has not let me down. My students have endured valiantly my misspelled words. They were kind about the long pauses when I was post-op and unable to sit without pain at the computer. I managed to hold on to my website. New students have come, and in fact my business doubled while I was laid off getting better.

Now we are nearing the 3rd year anniversary for the Dianic University. We have amassed a lot of homework in our resources; students and I started seeing that some reward IS in order, like a certificate that they had completed my curriculum. I am working on that now.

What are we learning?

My idea was to create a place where women can come and study as they have time. These women are new moms, some are students at Universities, some are professional women, some are kids. The Goddess is a family-friendly study. The Wisdom Track is a journey around the sun, taken together and taken consciously.

Each month has a Goddess monolog, and seasonal information about the sacred trees, birds, stones, and inner life. We share these with each other. Yes, its based on my book Grandmother of Time, but my books are to be lived, not just read. Reading about nature helps, but living it makes the journey visceral, makes it personal, something to share with each other.

What I found most exciting all my life is getting to know the trees. Sacred trees, every one of them. Some of them are more famous than others, but I think all trees are the very lungs of the beloved blue planet. Lungs and breath, spirit.

To make acquaintance with a local tree is to spend time with her: Hang out around her; Make some contact; Touch her; Kiss her bark. Tree-huggers dream assignments! The tree is not fast in responding, but when we take them seriously, the trees are direct phone lines to LIFE. A couple of heartfelt visits, maybe asking for a wand. These visits can become prayers.
I am very close to two trees in the cemetery park where I walk my dogs in Oakland. Here the trees are allowed to grow big and stay alive.
My beloved FRIEND, a yellow poplar, greets me as I start my walk. She sees me from afar, waits until I too can see her. Then, like a person, she begins to dance with her leaves. First just a few on the outside. Closer I come, more and more. This is independent from the wind conditions. When the wind is blowing of course she is more active. She can express excitement, she can express love, she can say yes and no depending on how she moves. I have learned her leafy language, I know what she is saying most of the time.

I tell her about my life. I ask her to send me more friends. (I have actually met two women later in the park after I asked her to help my social life). I asked her to send me more students. Most of the time I bless her and she in turn blesses me.

I have introduced her to friends of mine who do not walk this park, she approved on one, she wasn’t quite as enthused about another. Just like a person.

I urge my students to find this kind of deep personal relationship with a good tree. Many have managed to find their Tree Sisters, but some are more in tune with flowers. Some love stones better, have personal relationships with rose quartz, opals, amethysts, moonstones, and even diamonds. These human-to-planet experiences are prayers. We realign our souls with the natural world. No longer orphans, us women. We belong here. This is our time and our space. This is our planet.

Spell casting is expected from us witches, so there is a good amount of suggestions towards successful practice. But we don’t consider spell casting a daily chore. We use prayers, and abundant blessings on everything, mostly the water from which all things emerged. Than you water! Thanks and blessings change the molecular picture of water; it changes when receiving gratitude. It’s magic on a daily basis.

I have another Tree Friend. I call her Cork Mama Oak. She is magnificent. Her strong limbs reach out in a effortless stretch, her arms are thicker than my trunk. She has the sexiest groove between her main branches, and I bury my face in there and whisper sweet nothings to LIFE. She is also my Altar. Here I cast my most urgent spells just with words into her cork skin. I can hear my voice echoed back. (How does she do that?) When I finish, I leave with a much lightened heart. I kiss her several times before I leave. The feel of her cork skin feels dry but wonderful. I know I am the only one who has ever kissed her with deep love; maybe the only one to kiss her at all.

As part of our learning, we come together and talk about what has happened. How our prayers were answered by the trees. How our connection to nature created for us a family. How our love for the planet is growing. This love often gets translated into action for the environment. For peace. For each other.