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Z Budapest

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I'd rather be a
Pagan
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Suckled in a creed outworn

Zsuzsanna Emese Mokcsay, better known as Z Budapest (b. 1940) is a Hungarian-American neopagan and radical feminist. She founded the first women-only coven.[1] In 1975, she gained the dubious honor of being the last person to actually be tried for and convicted of witchcraft in the United States.[2][3]

Dianic Wicca[edit]

Z Budapest was at the forefront of the women's spirituality movement, developing her own form of Wicca, known as Dianic Wicca, that discarded the more heteronormative aspects of Gardnerian Wicca, rejecting dualism in favour of straightforward Goddess worship. Budapest's own website makes no mention of the Gardnerian connection, claiming to follow traditions passed down from her mother.[4] However, how original this "family tradition" is must be debatable, as her manifesto admits: "I know enough to begin it. The rest of it, we have to invent."[5]

Transphobia[edit]

Reflecting some strands of radical feminism, Z Budapest seems to have a problem with transgender people. To describe transgender people, Budapest uses the pejorative term "transies", much like the same derogatory context "pansies" is used to describe gay males.[6][7] After an incident in 2011 when a group of transgender women were excluded from a women-only ritual at an ecumenical neopagan conference[8] Budapest came out in support of the ritual organizers, claiming that trans women are men trying to undermine the efforts of "real" women to have their own spirituality.[9] Why men would want to do this is never explained. Some time after the event, Llewellyn Worldwide, one of the largest New Age publishers, dropped Budapest from their author database.[10]

Her organization, Dianic University Online, described as "a vagina-friendly online school for Dianic Wicca and Goddess studies for women", prominently includes the following on its homepage:

This is a woman-only space for females-born-female.
If you truly love the Goddess, then respect Her Dianic tradition.[11]

Interestingly, the same website makes use of the pentacle on a number of pages. The pentacle in Wicca, symbolizes the Triple Goddess with the Horned God, or in ceremonial magic (Cornelius Agrippa, Eliphas Levi, Pythagoreans, et al) as the union between male and female.[12][13] Uh oh!

References[edit]

  1. Fittingly named the Susan B. Anthony coven.
  2. Z Budapest on Blog Talk Radio
  3. [1]
  4. [2]
  5. [3]
  6. Pantheacon 2012: Here we go again...
  7. ODPS: Gay Slang Dictionary
  8. See Gender and transgender in modern paganism, collected in response to the incident
  9. In the comments section here
  10. She is linked as an author here but the link is officially dead and there is now almost no mention of her anywhere on the site.
  11. Dianic University Online Italics in original.
  12. About.com: Pentagram, Five-Pointed Star
  13. Buzzle: Paganism Symbols