Goddess Magazine from Z Budapest and the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One celebrating Women's Spirituality, Dianic Wicca, the Goddess Movement, and full-frontal Feminist Witchcraft. Come and make action your first step towards spiritual liberation. For, when women unite the world is healing.
On My Mind This year I attended the 2011 Goddess Conference in Glastonbury, England, last week in July. There I meet the sisters and brothers of the Goddess Movement. Lady Olivia Robertson was there too, and weâ€™re dedicating this issue of Goddess Magazine to her. Love you Olivia! Olivia and I spent a lovely few hours together enjoying a nice lunch together at a local tea room in Glastonbury. It was such a pleasure to spend quality time talking Goddess thealogy with Olivia and members of the Fellowship of Isis. Denise Murphy sent me a copy of a new DVD that she and her partner made about Olivia’s life and times. If you love Olivia like I do, then you’ll want to check out this documentary. The DVD is 70 minutes in length and available from www.logicreaity.co.uk (trails are there too) and part of the proceeds go to The Fellowship of Isis. She is a Goddess! Loved seeing you all at the Glastonbury Goddess Conference 2011! Thank you sisters who have donated $1 a month to help support our Goddess efforts! You can sponsor Goddess magazine too! Click here to help…. Merlin Stone Memorial Plans As many of you know, Merlin Stone has passed away and I was asked by Merlin and her family to conduct her memorial services. I’m going to do better by her than just a service. We have erected a memorial website www.MerlinStone.net and on this website you will find all the information to stay in-the-know ongoing, as we continue to work on her projects. There are three projects in the works. 1. DVD 2. Book 3. Benefit Memorial Celebration The DVD, In Search of Merlin Stone, will be a lovely documentary chronicling our search for Merlin; and will include some of the other women who have also passed on. We are contacting everyone we can find who knew Merlin and could share stories with the world about her. If that’s you, please email me! The book, also titled In Search of Merlin Stone, is an anthology of remembrances, articles discussing Merlin’s influences and academic white papers. If you would like to participate in the book project, please email me and explain your contribution. On September 24, 2011, just a few days before Merlin’s Birthday (Sept. 27th), we are going to have a global benefit memorial celebration to remember the life and times of Merlin Stone. We are working hard to make sure that everyone who wants to can participate no matter where you live, but the memorial itself will be held in Clearwater, Florida. Why Clearwater, Florida you ask? Merlin passed away in the state of Florida and many of her friends were there. Clearwater is where my resources are (Hecate’s Wheel) and where the most beautiful Unitarian Universalist Church is located. We have rented that church. Benefit Memorial Celebration for Merlin Stone September 24, 2011 11am-3pm Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater 2470 Nursery Road Clearwater, FL 33764 Benefit admission donation required Yes, there is an admission donation price because we have to pay for the facilities, for the cost incurred in making a documentary, for the costs incurred in publishing a book, and for the costs incurred in producing a globally accessible memorial service. There will be very notable people attending this memorial service and we will be filming the service itself. This is a herstorical moment in time when the women’s spirituality community comes together to remember the life of a remarkable woman, Merlin Stone. All of us can help keep Merlin’s memory alive by donating either through attending her memorial or by donating online at www.MerlinStone.net. We will be providing a live video stream from the memorial out to the Internet. Gather your groups or participate individually, but we are working to make sure that all of you can participate in some way. We will be sharing more information with you on the MerlinStone.net website. So, mark you calendars for September 24th! If you would like to attend the memorial in-person, you can make your donation to reserve your seat here online: http://merlinstone.net/merlin-stone-memorial-florida/ This is a huge undertaking. We need all of you to help get the word out about this event … make it go viral sisters! We can never repay the debt of what Merlin Stone did for women’s spirituality, but we can give her the accolades of this memorial service. Have you got any audio, video or photos of Merlin Stone that you’d like to share? Please email me right now! http://store.dianic-wicca.com/index.php/contacts/ Olympia Dukakis will be featured at Merlin Stone’s Benefit Memorial Celebration. She will be performing one of Merlin’s literary works. What a wonderful way to remember their friendship. You can read more about it on the Merlin Stone website: http://merlinstone.net/2011/05/14/actress-olympiadukakis-speak-perform-merlin-stone/ We are delighted that Ms. Dukakis is taking time from her new off Broadway show preparations to let us interview her for Merlin’s memorial. We’ve asked Ms. Dukakis to share her memories of Merlin with us and perhaps to bring some of Merlin’s writings to life during the memorial service. You’ll want to reserve your seats! Not only was I searching for Merlin, but I was also searching for my friend Carol Clement, the illustrator of my Selene book. Well, well finally I found her! She’s living upsate New York running a huge farm. It’s called the Heather Ridge Farm and it’s amazing! And we’re going there! And you can too because the farm is open to the public. You can buy fresh meats, produce and there’s even a café… The Bees Knees Café. We interviewed Susun Weed at her home at the Wise Woman Center, where Merlin had also done workshops. From Woodstock, we went south to Poughkeepsie, NY where we located a piece of Merlin’s artwork. Bobbie captured it on film for you to see at the memorial and in the DVD. Also living in Poughkeepsie is my longtime friend and fella feminist activist, Kate Millet. We stopped and interviewed Kate for her thoughs on Merlin Stone and the passing of other notable women from the second wave of feminists. After that we headed to New York City, the Big Apple. Gloria Steinem graciously granted us an interview to discuss Merlin Stone and her body of work, it’s impact, and… we also asked Gloria if she’d talk about her beloved friend Wilma Mankiller who passed away April 2010. It’s high time we discuss the lives of these amazing spiritual women. Clips from this interview will be shared during the Merlin Stone Benefit Memorial, and the In Search of Merlin Stone DVD will have a lot more of the interview for you. While in New York, we will also interviewed Linda Perry Barr, the co-producer of the Return of the Goddess audio series that was done under Merlin’s direction. Linda is still very active in the media world, most recently working for the Candaian Broadcasting Company in radio and television, and we enjoyed hearing her stories. You can follow Linda on Twitter, where she’s quite prolific… @lindaperrybarr. Our next stop was a visit with my longtime friend and Goddess sister, Margot Adler. Margo and Merlin were good friends, and Margo had some great stories to share with all of us. Update on Margo’s health… she seems to be doing well. Let’s continue to send her loving healing energies. Margo is hoping to be able to attend Merlin’s memorial, but we’re going to tape her while we’re in New York because you can never have too much footage of Margo. Margo is a great news correspondant for NPR: http://www.npr.org/people/2100166/margot-adler We will also interviewed Donna Henes and a few women from a Goddess circle that Merlin Stone was briefly a part of. Plus, a few women from the famous feminist Heresies Magazine’s Goddess issue featuring Merlin Stone (http://helios.hampshire.edu/nomorenice girls/heretics/); most notable from that group was Mary Beth Edelson. After our trip to New York, Bobbie wentto Los Angeles for more interviews, and then we traveled to England. In England we will interviewed Lady Olivia and get her thoughts on Merlin Stone. We’ll write about the trip to LA and the UK in future editions of Goddess Magazine… so, you’ll have to come back! So, that’s if for this time. Please enjoy this issue of Goddess Magazine and blessings to you and all your beloveds. Blessed be, Z Budapest Two of my books are beautifully back in Print! So exciting! GRANDMOTHER MOON by Zsuzsanna E. Budapest Inviting us to "look at the moon as the old ally she is," renowned feminist witch Zsuzsanna Budapest shows how to tap into the moon's powers for peace, health, and energy. With delightful wit and wisdom, she shares practical and entertaining lunar lore, from ancient moon-based rituals to lunar cycle diet tips. Budapest reveals how, by acting in harmony with the moon, women can balance everything from their mood and weight to fertility. Here is a spirited illumination of the natural cycles that influence our lives as lunar primates. List Price: $19.99 Add to Cart Rewritten and new materials added! Available on Kindle Selene - The Most Famous Bull-leaper on Earth by Zsuzsanna E. Budapest Selene is far more than a coloring book! The story of Selene, the bull-leaper, is a story of a young woman who defeats fear and socialization, and gains self-hood through accomplishments of her own. Her name means moon and this name was common for young women to take up in honor of the Moon Goddess ... Selene. List Price: $11.99 Add to Cart Selene was pictured on the temples and walls of Asia Minor sitting atop a white sow. So while this story is fictional, it is based on the history we do know. I love these books! I’m so happy to keep them in print for all of you. Please share the links with women you think would benefit from reading these books… and remember them when it’s time for gift giving. Blessings, ZB In Search of Merlin Stone In my recent search for Merlin Stone, I opened the last edition of Beltain Papers to discover that I’d been plagiarized and by a Ph.D. no less. Once again, women’s inhumanity to women to quote a title by Phyllis Chessler. For the record, you cannot lift words, details and data from my copy written materials and expect it to be okay. You cannot lift images, and edit out my references to the Women’s Spirituality Forum, Inc. Nonprofit and think that it’s okay. Not only is it NOT okay, you are robbing from the very group of women you claim alliance with. Shame on you! Do it again and I will take legal action. Z and I notified Lise Quinn, the publisher of Beltain Papers, immediately. She promised to print a retraction and statement of correction regarding the situation and then, last minute decided to stop publishing Beltain Papers all together. Sad to see that publication end, but now I’m going to share with you my part of the Merlin Stone memorial article that was supposed to run in response to the plagiarism. Blessed be Lise and thank you for the many years of service to the Goddess. Merlin Stone Marilyn C. “Merlin” Stone passed away on February 23, 2011 from complications caused by an extended illness. She was born September 27, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York. Merlin loved education and was a devoted student. She attended New York State College where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Art Education, Albright Art School, California College of Arts and Crafts where she earned her Doctorate of Philosophy, and Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England for five years of independent studies. Merlin Stone is best remembered for her impressive literary body of work. From 1971-1976, she traveled to Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, among others, where she uncovered the lost Goddess culture. She wrote about her discoveries in two landmark books: When God was a Woman (originally titled The Paradise Papers) and Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood – Our Goddess and Heroine Heritage. She also wrote a third book called Three Thousand Years of Racism, and she was also published in many magazines and anthologies. She was a noted American Artist and Sculptor, working her craft from 1958-1967. Merlin Stone’s artwork still stands throughout the state of New York, and she received a personal letter of thanks from Robert F. Kennedy for the loan of her art work which was on display in his New York City office. To say that Merlin Stone changed the religious landscape is an understatement. Her work influenced the budding Women’s Studies Departments with thoughts of women’s theology and history. She fostered new thinking throughout the academic world. In the same way that Marija Gimbutas gave women their own historical record of artifacts, Merlin Stone gave women their own spiritual culture. Merlin Stone was recognized by liberal thinkers. She once wrote, “…Yoko [Ono] and John [Lennon] had taken turns reading “When God was a Woman” to each other. I knew they had the book because I had been asked to autograph a copy for them. …it touched me deeply.” There is so much more to say about Merlin Stone’s life, much of it we are just beginning to understand because Merlin led a very private existence. With the help of her life-partner, Len Schneir, and her two daughters, Cynthia Davis and Jenny Hirst, we are creating three memorial projects. 1. DVD documentary called "In Search of Merlin Stone" chronicling her life. 2. A book of the same title featuring remembrances, personal influences and white papers, all focused on Merlin and her body of work. 3. The Benefit Memorial Celebration on September 24, 2011 in Clearwater, Florida. The Benefit Memorial Celebration will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2470 Nursery Road, Clearwater, FL 33764. This celebration of Merlin Stone’s life is in production, and updated information will be posted on the www.MerlinStone.net website. You may also donate to Merlin Stone’s Memorial Fund at the www.MerlinStone.net website. All donations are thankfully welcomed! “I want the world to remember her for the goddess she was,” said her life-partner Len Schneir. “I must admit that it took me a long time to finally believe and fully trust the Goddess and Merlin; everything I am is because of her wisdom.” If you have a Merlin Stone story, photo, audio recording, video recording to share, etc. please contact Z Budapest. (www.ZBudapest.com) The September 24th Memorial will be streamed live onto the Internet; details will be announced at the www.MerlinStone.net website. Why is the Merlin Stone Project so important? She touched the hearts of women and men globally; Merlin Stone is recognized and remembered most by her contemporaries. And that’s really the foundation of why the creation of the documentary In Search of Merlin Stone is so important to our Goddess culture. It’s time for us to remember those who have already passed, and to look around to see who’s still standing. These remaining foremothers are our precious elders and we still have time with them to inherit the wisdoms of the Goddess culture. What is remembered lives, to quote Starhawk. I am making this documentary film about the significant events and contributions in the life and times of Merlin Stone and the other women who worked with her in the second wave of women’s spirituality. I have traveled all across the United States and to England to interview over 30 women who participated in the Women’s Spirituality Goddess Movement – including some very famous faces. The life and times of Merlin Stone was a momentous time in modern history – beckoning to a more ancient Goddess path. It’s a story that needs to be told and digitized for future generations. Religious equality for women is far from a reality, especially women practicing Matriarchal religions. In order to move forward and truly have equality we must embrace our her-story. Rejecting the word "Goddess" holds us back from ourselves and the divinity of Nature. Hearing and seeing the stories of what Merlin Stone and these other women did when they advanced the Goddess Thealogy will change the way you view the world and your existence in it. These women have a rich history full of dramatic stories, tough fights, and huge successes. In order to create equality for women in religion, we must honor the work done during the Women's Spirituality Movement. So far, I’ve completed the start of this work with seed money gifted to this project by Merlin Stone’s family. They believe in this project. The cinematographers who shot the interviews did so for free. This film is a labor of love for all of us. We’d like you to show this film some love, and help us complete our project and its marketing. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bobbiegrennier/in-search-of-merlin-stone We’ll give you lots of cool stuff for helping us raise the much needed funds. Click the link above to see the list of all the really great stuff you get for your donations. Plus, this link is also where you can get you reservations for the Merlin Stone Benefit Memorial Celebration. You’ll see how it works when you look at this list of backer support goodies. So join us In Search of Merlin Stone and be a part of her-story! Goddess College Updates & More We have changed the way the online school is doing business! After offering free memberships over the last four years, the changes in the economy have forced us to make changes … good changes! The Dianic University has now become the Goddess College, and has its own website to boot! It was necessary to update the school’s software, but with all the free accounts, the database had gotten too big to migrate. So, we were forced to start over from scratch eliminating all the free accounts. If you were a student in good standing and part of a paid class in old Dianic University, then we are working to grandmother you into the new school. The way to gain entry into the new Goddess College is through membership in the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1. Everyone in the Goddess College will be active members of the SBA; with only a handful of exceptions. Join the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1 - You can apply for membership here! The Susan B. Anthony Coven #1 now meets inside the Goddess College, and the old DU area is closed. We have updated and moved over the Dianic Feminist Philosophy class and the first Holy Book class. The Holy Book series of classes is being totally reworked and improved. That’s partly due to an alliance we’ve made with the Ocean Seminary College; which will allow us to offer degrees for our course of study. We are currently in process with meeting their requirements to make this happen. Very exciting stuff for women’s spirituality! I will keep you updated in my column here in the Goddess Magazine. We are networked up the Hoola-Hoop in Facebook. It’s hard to miss everything we’re doing, and yet some of you are still contacting me and saying you hadn’t heard of this or that. Get your face into Facebook my sisters and friend the following pages so you can stay in the know: Z Budapest on Facebook Z Budapest Fan Page Goddess Magazine Radio Show Fan Page Goddess Festival Fan Page Food Magic Fan Page Susan B. Anthony Coven Fan Page Why aren’t you more active in the Dianic Tradition? We have a lot of women who read this Goddess Magazine every month, and it would awesome to have more of you join in with us at the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1. A membership into the world’s most famous all-women’s coven makes for a nice gift to yourself. Give it some thought and then, come join us. The Women's Spirituality Forum is an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit. Your registration fees and your membership are tax deductible. Check out our mobile-friendly portal website! www.GoddessLive.com … We’ve pulled all our information and articles into one location for you and it doesn’t matter if you’re a computer user or a mobile user because we’ve programmed the site to be able to switch back and forth. Goddess Magazine Radio Show Goddess Magazine Radio Show will be forced to go to a half hour program because of changes at Blogtalk Radio. We will bring you more chats with Z very soon! Promise! Look for announcements of the new Goddess Magazine Radio Shows on our Facebook fan page. Are you a member of the Goddess Magazine Radio Show Fan page? And, now you can listen to Goddess Magazine Radio Shows on iTunes! So, open you iTunes and subscribe to our podcasted show. It’s free! Goddess Live Toolbar Every Sister in Goddess who wants to stay linked in to what Z Budapest is doing should have this toolbar! It’s free! It’s easy to install and it’s secure! Get your own Goddess Live Toolbar right now by clicking here! Follow Z Budapest on Facebook! And Twitter! You can sponsor Goddess magazine too! Click here to help…. Deepest Gratitude to Sisters in Goddess for their Donations Why am I a Witch? By Zsuzsanna E. Budapest I was born to a witch mother, who happened to be an artist, creating simple home altars that the peasants used in their “clean” room; used only on special occasions. We made our living from selling these Madonna’s with child, Triple Goddess altars. Abstract loving, primitive city folk and country folks bought them to pray in front of. Her art inspired faith. Mother’s sacred art was legendary. Nobody ever bought an image of a male saint or even St. Joseph to pray in front of. When the hardships were upon Hungarians they turned to the great Virgin Mother. Our pre-Christian Boldogassznony (Glad Woman). All this happened during the so called Communists occupation which lasted 40 years. I grew up in a city that was filled with statues of the Goddesses and Dianads. With all the churches we have in Hungary, not one of them is dedicated to Jesus Christ, but they are dedicated his mother goddess, Mary and her relatives, St. Ann, St .Kathryn , St . Elizabeth (a homegrown saint), along with St. Margaret. During the bombing, much of this art was destroyed, but enough of them remained to pass on to the new generation the message: We stand proud on our past, we knew beauty and civilization. We celebrated the female God in stone, and canvas, and worshipped the Great Mother. The Russians had left most of the art alone. When the war broke out, I was only one year old when the carpet bombing flew over my house. Our entire floor was destroyed, and thankfully not with us in it. This was a time when there was no food to eat. Wars bring dirty water, intestinal problems, you run out of food; no bread and no protein. War brings famine, disease, and death. We ate the dead horses off the street. Grandmother died of hunger. Bless her loving sweet face. Mother then found a nunnery in Pecel and brought me there to live and eat; only the Christians had food during the postwar. Finally enjoying a spiritual lifestyle, prayers to the Lady at five pm daily, and nuns dressed in exotic garbs; they wore many skirts and impossible hats like the flying nun. My inner life woke up in this environment especially because this nunnery was located in the middle of a forest. For a city kid, who has never seen natural life, this nunnery was paradise. My short life was totally transformed. If god is all powerful, how can he allow the massacre of fathers and mothers and children? But this god was a patriarchal man. Created in the image of patriarchal men. The answers were always off point, but it was always the men by many names, Communist, Nazis, party members, soldiers, and refuges who were killing the civilians; dragged my Auntie to be raped (Mom rescued her), but when we saw men we had to hide. The nunnery was a safe place. No men here, except for the drunken priest, who had his own little house. At one time mother told me I was born on biggest Feast Day of Pax, the Goddess of Peace. This struck me as strange. Pax? Even her name was weird. Yet she was my birthday Goddess. From then on, I called on the Goddess of Peace to help me survive. But gentle Pax was overwhelmed with the warlike Gods, all male gods; sometimes the same male gods who put blessings on the men fighters. Priests blessed the flags for victory. Priests blessed the war from both sides. Both sides! Male gods loved war. I saw what they approved of, not what they said they approve of. This religion did not civilize the men. Men didn’t get “churched” properly. Christianity was a useless religion; amassing wealth, but not true spiritual honors. The hypocrisy of Christianity was wide open exposed watching the war. Didn’t care about starving little witches in Budapest. I never much trusted the male gods, but this did them all in. One day, the Communists sent all the nuns back home; dispersed my little heaven. The old drunk priest died of neglect. I came home to the ruins to our once my proud artistic city of Budapest. I asked mother to make me a little Madonna I could pray to. Her studio was bombed to the ground. She said, “Come here, look out the window, call up the winds. The winds encircle the planet. The ancestors are always there. They look after us.” She opened her arms to the great outdoors, and called on the winds. Slowly the winds started fluttering a little, then like a gentle hand the air moved into our hair, stroked our cheeks. “They are here.” She stated. And she began a conversation with the spirit world explaining the food problems, the death problems, the war problems. The winds consoled her heart, she finished relieved. “Now they are gone, but they heard. Things will change now for the better.” In time, too slowly, the Communists and the Nazis met their fate. My country came back to life. The churches to our fair female saints were filled with women praying for peace. When I was sixteen the boarder security was lifted briefly, and I slipped through the noose of oppression, a refugee. My political activism started with peace protests in New York and Los Angeles. I saw religion as the highest of politics; still do. Only the Dalai Lama gets it, that wars are obsolete. Women still support the churches with the unnatural male gods. Women still tremble at the thought of finding the Goddess within themselves and in each other. Peace will prevail when women rediscover sisterhood once again, and hold together as a gender who represent the virtues of peace. Follow Z Budapest on Facebook! And Twitter! After more than thirty years in circulation, The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries is still a ground-breaking book in the forefront of women’s spirituality. Get your own copy of Z’s out of print books and DVDs at the Women’s Spirituality Forum online store. This magazine is sponsored by the Women’s Spirituality Forum. Please help support our efforts to help keep the Goddess Alive! The Application for Dianic Clergy Priestess is online You can sponsor Goddess magazine too! Click here to help…. Deepest Gratitude to Sisters in Goddess for their Donations Get your new copy here! OTHER WOMEN’S SACRED EVENTS & TOURS TELL THEM Z SENT YOU!!! On the Trail of the Goddess in Turkey - Anatolia - Land of the Nourishing Mothers! ON THE TRAIL OF THE GREAT GODDESS Sacred Journey to Turkey November 2 - 14, 2011 featuring Karen and Roy Tate Guided by: Rashid Ergener Visit the sacred goddess sites in Turkey: Catalhoyuk, Lagina, Ephesus, Troy and Sardis http://www.examiner.com/women-s-goddess-spirituality-in-losangeles/sacred-tour-of-goddess-sites-turkey-coming-november2011-for-women-men Check out the new video of sacred places in Turkey.... Hear the hauntingly beautiful music as the Ancient Mother calls... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twbcx8IicxI We LOVE to trade links with women who have email lists and other publications! Would you like to see your events listed here? Contact us and let’s make efforts to cross promote each other’s events. When women stand together and support each other, we are stronger and more formidable. The world changes! And even if you feel your email list only wants to hear about events you’re involved in, query them and find out if that’s really true. We’re guessing they’d rather be connected to the BIG FEMALE ALL that is networked in this age of information. Tryst – Handfasting Commitment Ceremonies Z is back sisters! And she’s available to officiate your Trysting wedding ceremonies again! The most popular pagan Goddess wedding ceremony was created by Z Budapest in The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries where Z coined the term Tryst Ritual as an expressly feminine marriage ceremony and rite of passage that can be used for heterosexual couples as well as same sex couples. Z Budapest has been conducting Pagan marriage rituals for over 40 years as a celebrated High Priestess within the Dianic Tradition, which she founded. Z is available to officiate your handfasting ceremony as well. Whether it's a civil union or a licensed marriage certificate, Z is able to offer you her services as clergy. She has legal standings through the Women's Spirituality Forum, an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit in the state of California; making your clergy fees tax deductible. You can learn more about Z’s Trysting Ritual and schedule your wedding ceremony with her in 2010! SWEET TASTE OF SPRING Susun S. Weed March winds blow the sweet scent of maple sap boiling to my questing nose. When the days are warm and sunny and the nights below freezing, the sap rises in the trees. If those trees are sugar maples, then it is worth drilling a hole in the bark, inserting a tap, and collecting their sweet sap. There is so much sugar in sugar maple sap that it can be boiled and turned into maple syrup and maple sugar. There’s about one gallon of maple syrup and ninety-nine gallons of water in one hundred gallons of maple sap.* A hot fire and a slow but steady boil send that sweet-smelling water vapor high in the clear, cold sky. The March wind blows it to me. I close my eyes and remember my years of “sugaring”, making maple syrup. There’s something special about a task that requires one to stay up all night. Maple sap starts to ferment if it is left at normal temperatures for very long. Once ten or so gallons of sap have been collected, the boiling begins … and cannot be stopped until the finished syrup is achieved many, many, many hours later. I have never sugared without at least one overnighter, and sometimes two. A large operation boils sap for weeks without stopping, just drawing off the syrup as it forms, if the run is steady and copious. It was a picture of Helen Nearing driving a team of horses through the woods standing on a sleigh loaded with buckets of maple sap that made me long for a homestead where I could lead The Simple Life, like her. Two years later, I had my own “sugar bush” (an acre or more of woodlot where large sugar maples grow). Spring equinox found me with my drill in hand, a pocket full of taps, and a bunch of funny buckets with lids to hang from the taps. “Ting, ting,” the ping of sap filling the metal buckets echoes, tying me through time to every woman who has ever sugared, and bringing a smile to my heart and face. My groves of sugar maples have never been large enough to require a team of horses or a sleigh. I’ve always lugged a big bucket out to the trees and poured the sap from the collecting buckets into it. When I have two or three buckets full, I pour them into a big galvanized tub set up on cinder blocks over a fire and commence to boil it down. Native peoples valued maple sugar so highly that they set up camp in the sugar bush and lived there until the sap stopped flowing. Lacking metal drill bits, they cut a shallow groove in the bark and pressed hollow elder stems into service as taps to direct the flow of sap into birch bark containers. I can heat the sap directly in my metal tub, while they had to hollow out a log, put smooth rocks into the fire, heat them, and put the hot rocks into the sap in the hollowed out log to boil it down into maple syrup and sugar. Whew! I am impressed with the power of the desire for sweet. It takes far more calories, in fuel and human energy, to make maple syrup or maple sugar than it returns. Grandmother Twylah taught us that maple trees are friendly and companionable, colorful and expressive. They always have a positive attitude and are adept at helping us see solutions to impossible problems. Maple trees are devoted and true. Make friends with a maple and you will have a friend for life, she advised. Ellen Everet Hopman, green witch, reminds us that maple-syrup-making time is Eostreâ€™s time. Eostre (ee-oh-stir) is the Teutonic goddess of fertility and manifestation. Her symbols are the egg and the rabbit; her time is Spring Equinox. A lovely custom, still enacted, but without the underlying magic, is to paint a picture of something you desire on an egg and plant it in the ground so Eostre can help it grow and become real. If itâ€™s too late to tap your maples, or you live too far south for the sap to flow strongly, you can still be blessed and embraced by maple. A decoction of maple bark boiled in water can be used to ease sore eyes externally and to tonify the uterus after birth internally. A magical wand of maple wood is used for spells that bring harmony, especially in the home. And maple leaves sewn into a charm made of green flannel, tied with a golden string, will bring abundance into your life. Indulge your desire for sweet. Celebrate spring equinox and Eostre, who loves sweet things. Have a stack of pancakes swimming in butter and maple syrup. Or pour maple syrup over plain vanilla ice cream and savor the sweet taste of the friendly maple tree. Green blessings. * How much sugar per gallon of sap is quite variable, depending on the type of maple, the growing conditions, and especially the amount of sun the tree gets. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) sap is the sweetest, followed by the saps of silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Northern red maple (Acer rubrum), and Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Susun Weed PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498 Fax: 1-845-246-8081 Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.ashtreepublishing.com Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative. Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at www.susunweed.com Susun Weedâ€™s books include: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations. Healing Wise Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations. Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations. For more info on menopause, visit: www.menopause-metamorphosis.com Breast Cancer? Breast Health! Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations. UPCOMING DIANIC EVENTS Pagan Examiner – Read the articles written by Bobbie and myself. Z’s Calendar of Events – Want to know where I am appearing? Goddess Festival – You think the last was good? Goddess is Alive! Tarot Social - A joyful coming-together of the Women’s Tarot community ... a Revival of the 70’s TRAVELING MAGIC SHOW by a FOREMOTHER of GODDESS SPIRITUALITY, The QUEEN of TAROT READINGS, and the woman responsible for LEGALIZING TAROT in California … Z Budapest. Z Budapest is conducting most entertaining Tarot Socials at her new home… to be scheduled soon. For more information and registration go to TarotSocial.com. The Dianic University for Women in Goddess Study the Dianic Tradition with Z Budapest, the woman who rebirthed it into modern culture. Classes at the Dianic University are designed for women only. Sisterhood of the Moon ~ Women’s Spirituality Coven in the Z Budapest Dianic Tradition Events in the Sisterhood of the Moon are for women-born-women only. Located in Hayward, CA. You must contact Jesamyn Angelica for more information. Many of the members of this group are also members of the Susan B. Anthony Coven No.1. Facebook.page. Hands of Demeter ~ Women’s Spirituality Coven in the Z Budapest Dianic Tradition Events in the Hands of Demeter are for women-born-women only. Located in Semi Valley, CA. You must contact http://earthmothercovenant.com for more information. Many of the members of this group are also members of the Susan B. Anthony Coven No.1. Facebook page. The Sacred Circle ~ Recovering & Reclaiming Ancient Ways to Heal Events in The Sacred Circle are for members only, unless otherwise stated. Call JoAnna 775-882-1599 for membership inquiries. Sisterhood of the Turning Tides ~ Women’s Spirituality Coven in the Z Budapest Dianic Tradition They meet on Esbats and Sabbats and have a Tuesday night drum/ritual circle. Located in Mendocino, CA. You must contact Sage Simon for more information. Many of the members of this group are also members of the Susan B. Anthony Coven No.1. Facebook.page. Are you looking for other Dianic women in your area or do you have a Dianic group/starting a Dianic group and want to connect with others? Go to the Dianic University online and join; it’s totally free! Then go to the area called Global Goddess Dianic Groups to share your information with other women. You can sponsor Goddess magazine too! Click here to helpâ€Ś. Deepest Gratitude to Sisters in Goddess for their Donations The Application for Dianic Clergy Priestess is online Follow the Goddess Festival on Facebook! And Twitter! Thank you sisters who have donated $1 a month to help support our Goddess efforts! You can sponsor Goddess magazine too! Click here to helpâ€Ś. Vicki Scotti, LuAnn Morris, and Amy Otero are Hecate’s Wheel an acoustic folk trio. Their music is inspired by, and dedicated to the Goddess in all her guises. They sing an eclectic variety of cover songs and original music. Hecate’s Wheel has been playing and singing together for several years and their voices have found a natural harmonious blend. We VERY much enjoyed their Beltaine concert! Goddess Resource Links Z Budapest Website Goddess College Online Goddess Blog – Sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Coven Z Budapest Blog Goddess Festival Susan B. Anthony Coven Dianic Wicca Tarot Social Witch Trial – the last great witch trial in America Z's Events Schedule Z's University Calendar Z's Books Summoning the Fates Holy Book of Women's Mysteries Celestial Wisdom Grandmother of Time Grandmother Moon Goddess in the Office Goddess in the Bedroom