Sisters, 2010 Blessings! This month’s cover art is a piece by Monica Sjöö that she sent to me as a work in progress. I thought after all this time, it should be shared with the world. I and the Women’s Spirituality Forum have also begun a website dedicated to the memory of Monica. It’s a work in progress, so bookmark it and visit often to watch our progress. Monica Sjöö (1938-2005) was one of the foremost artists of our times. She also was an author and pioneer feminist scholar, as well as a lifelong activist for peace, pagans, women, social justice, the environment and her beloved Mother Earth. She was my dear friend and I miss her, as I’m sure you all do. I chose Monica’s artwork for the cover of this month’s Goddess magazine because of the triple goddess aspect. I was inspired by as I wrote this month’s article on the Islam theologies, which appears later in this issue of the magazine. Islam’s Pagan Arab Heritage is the title of my article and I’ve asked a few Susan B. Anthony Coven #1 sisters to write accompanying articles that will teach you more about the Arabic triple goddesses and about the Archangel Gabriel. All of this information together should help you understand why Islam isn’t a religion as much as it is a fight club. My hope is that this issue of Goddess magazine inspires conversations in the Dianic University and on the ZBudapest-list on Yahoo. Also, please share the Goddess magazine with the women in your life! I am traveling in 2010. I’ll be in southern California Jan. 16th at the Orange County Goddess Temple. April 23-25, I’ll be in Woodstock, New York at Susun Weed’s farm. April29-May2, I’m the keynote speaker for the Pagan Odyssey Festival in Oxford, CT. I’m hoping to be able to travel up to Canada by summertime, and then of course, our own Goddess Festival is happening September 2010.
Just wondering, 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 Yule gift to yourself. Give it some thought and come join the fun. Hey, hey musicians! Goddess Festival 2010 is underway and this year’s venue promises lots of musical fun. If you’re interested in auditioning and learning more about it, visit the Z Budapest Goddess Festival page today! Grandmother, mothers and daughters! Goddess Festival 2010 is a fabulous event for you to share together! 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. Bring your daughter to Goddess Festival 2010. Get more information now!
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
Deepest Gratitude to these Sisters in Goddess for their Donations: Karen Rudolph Ghislaine Yergeau C. Roberts Christy Marsden Jennifer Reich Barbara Kennedy Kellie Matthews Gabriella Johnson Merrie Gail Foerster Wiski Lee Kimberly Beech Patty Andres Shannon Ritchie Elvira Orlando Indigo Friedlander Donna Kernes Amy Gross Thanks to the donations and support of women like these, we are able to bring you monthly issues of the Goddess magazine, bi-annual Goddess Festivals, and other events sponsored by the Women’s spirituality Forum. Without their generosity, and yours, none of this would be possible to produce. We appreciate your donations, each and every time you’re able to help.
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What is Z Up to Now? PantheaCon, February 12-15, 2010. PantheaCon is where Z will host the Dianic Clergy in-person training this year. And, also joining us there will be many of the sisters from the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1. We’d love for all of you to come join us! There’s going to be a lot of Dianics there! It would be wicked fun to have other Dianic covens join the fun! There’s going to be another Goddess Festival in 2010! Pencil in the magickal date and manifest attending on Sept. 9-12, 2010 at the most beautiful time of the year in Northern California. More information is coming soon … follow Z on Twitter to stay updated on all that’s going on.
Use this discount code at checkout for $25 off a tarot reading with Z: TAROT25
We’ve been recruited by the San Francisco Examiner’s online news and information website to cover all topics Pagan. We’re syndicated in over 6,000 cities across the USA and Canada, and in over 160 countries. Breaking new ground, we’re the first writing team that the Examiner has allowed and we’re the first to write on Pagan topics. It’s a very big deal in terms of bringing the Goddess to a more global consciousness. We’re also looking for other women who want to write about the Goddess and Pagan topics in their own area. If you follow our advice, you can earn a little income for the Women’s Spirituality Forum, as well as for yourself and establish yourself as the Goddess voice for the Pagans in your area. You have to be able to write around four articles per week (300-500 words each). If you think you can handle that, then here’s the next step. Follow the instructions exactly please…. 1. 2. 3.
First, go to our Examiner Referral page and choose the “Religion & Spirituality” link. Next, on top of the categories is a link to be able to choose your location … “Openings in San Francisco (Change Location)” … click it and choose the city closest to you. Now you have to choose a channel topic to write under. Sometimes there is “New Age” and “Spirituality,” but if you want “Pagan” you will have to click the link that says “Write In Your Own Topic.” Which channel is best for you really depends on what most of your articles will be about. The most general one is the “Spirituality,” and that gives you a lot of flexibility in writing. Once you chose, this brings you to the hardest part. Here, I’d suggest you do the work in a word program or something where you can write easily, Then, refresh their page, copy and paste your answers into their form. This page will time out on you. So, that’s why I’d do it on the side, refresh the page and then, past it in when ready.
They ask you for your expertise, your insider knowledge and qualifications. If you’re working with the Susan B. Anthony Coven #1, the Goddess magazine, the Dianic University, etc. you can say that you’re a student of Z Budapest’s. Give them my contact info, and then let me know so I can endorse you. And the most important step is last! At the bottom of this form where it says “I was referred by an Examiner:” … here you enter Pagan Examiner. If they accept you, then the Women’s Spirituality Forum will get a few bucks as well for the referral. How cool is that?!!
Pencil it onto your calendar now and start planning!
Help spread the word!
Dianic Witches Video Contest
The Art of Masika Szilagyi --- Masika Szilagyi - An Artist and Witch Z Budapest is Accepting Students --- WomenÂ´s Spirituality Praises for the Working Woman --- Goddess Prayer for Pax (Peace) Dianic Witch --- Susan B. Anthony Coven Number 1 Manifesto The Dirt Against The Dianic Tradition
Whatâ€™s a Dianic Witch? Women-born women-only who practice my flavor of Dianic Witchcraft, not some other tradition that calls themselves Dianic. What do I have to do? You must have a clear, concise message that speaks to the topic. This contest is completely subjective, as in Z Budapest is picking the one she likes best.
Want some tips on what Z likes? Z likes a strong message, a good solid delivery, creativity, but not over done. She likes tasteful, and not over-produced videos. Be authentic. And, Z wants to see your shining faces!
How long do I have to do it? You have until February 20th, 2010. That’s nearly four months! The winner will be announced and featured in the March issue of Goddess magazine.
Pick a book(s) by Z Budapest. Teach a core lesson or value of the Dianic Tradition. Include “www.ZBudapest.com” in your video verbally and visually. Post your video to Youtube.com and tag it “z budapest” and “dianic” … you can add more tags too as appropriate. Email the video’s link to firstname.lastname@example.org titled “Video Contest.”
Purpose? We want to get our own Dianics out there making videos about the Dianic Tradition. It’s important that other women hear from you personally. Our tradition is an oral tradition and it’s through word-of-mouth that other women will find it. The goal is to bring more awareness to the Dianic Tradition and to the books that teach the tradition. And, have fun doing it!
How many videos can I make? There’s no limit. We’d recommend if you want to do more than one, then do them for different books.
Want to see a great example of the type of video we’re looking for? Check out CharmingPixie Flora’s Esbat Activities video. She has a topic, she shows you the books, she tells you the value of the books in relation to the topic and she teaches you something.
How long does it have to be? The best videos will run between 3-6 minutes in length. Wanna know what you’re playing for? The winner of the Dianic Witch Video Contest will receive as first prize, a completely paid for, totally coveted, and full enrollment into the New Dianic Feminist Philosophies class in the Dianic University. That’s a $75 class and a great prize for the best of the best in this Dianic Witch Video Contest! Z is excited to see your creativity in action! So, go for it! Enjoy!
The Dianic University Online is adding new classes! If you're not studying with us, you should be. Make yourself a FREE account at the Dianic University if you haven't already done so ... do it now! Now's the time to come study with Z and her dedicated group of teachers! Tell your friends â€Ś Subscribe to the Goddess magazine here. This newsletter is sponsored by the Womenâ€™s Spirituality Forum. Please help support our efforts to help keep the Goddess Alive!
Islamâ€™s Pagan Arab Heritage Have you wondered what the crescent moon is doing on the Islamist flag? This is the same flag and symbology that the Arabs used before Islam was invented by Mohammad. You see, Pagan Arabs worshipped the Moon God, and the Sun Goddess. The star on the flag is Innana, the evening/morning star. To her were the very first and oldest of sacred writing was composed, Hymns to Innana comprises the first human sacred literature, found on slabs of stone, for a long time undeciphered. But since the computers got
Triple Arabic Goddess Art by Thalia Took smart, cuneiform writing had been interpreted. They sing of her powers, her journey to the underworld, dying there and then resurrected into life by her beloved sister priestess, she emerged from the underworld, taken back her queendom, and crown, and sent to the underworld instead of herself her faithless husband who didnâ€™t mourn her death.
Islam is the newest of the emerging patriarchal religions, and the most virulent. As desert religions go, it has helped itself to the existing philosophies of its desert neighbors, Christianity, Hebrew and quite a bit of Hindu as well. Mohamed was an illiterate man, didn’t read or write. The Qu’ran was not written by him. Allah didn’t dictate anything to him, since he couldn’t have written it down. It is a collection of quotes from other religions, and hearsay, oral traditions. Much like the Bible came to be, a hundred years after Jesus death, it’s also a collection of legends, mythology and remembrances of those who told about the life of Jesus, generations ago. But civilization building wisdom is not what Mohamed created, he created a personal cult. As soon as he identified himself with Allah, he was god. He received one fifth of all booty, and his word was law even if he just made it up that morning. First he was a merchant, working for his older woman wife, who entrusted him with her caravans. He traveled the Silk Road on camels, and was very successful, created wealth for themselves. The Silk Road has exposed him to many diverse cultures, he must have noticed other religions, emerging male god religions, and probably felt the Arabs should have one of those as well. The pilgrimages existed already to Mecca where the big black meteorite stone was worshipped as a gift from heaven. The ceremonial walk around the stone was also there already, these are features from the worship of Moon God Allah from the earlier times. Mohamed didn’t create these cultural features. Neither did he create the praying many times a day, the sea of men dressed in white gowns, prostrating themselves on their prayer rugs. The sing song praises to the Moon from the minarets, all there before him. So what did he bring that made Islam? First the word, Islam means submission. You had to accept him or else. This idea that he is equal in importance with Allah, being his prophet made him a powerful cult leader. Upon his word men rushed into martyrdom. He promised them happiness, and lots of sex with virgins in heaven. This is often enough for young men to rush into death, they believed him that after death there is still rivers flowing with milk and honey, and clean water (a big deal in the desert) ... and those delicious underage virgins, that they were not allowed to even share a conversation with without a family member present. Total submission earned his followers favors from Allah. In this way its rather similar to the Christian idea as well, disobedience earns sinners hell, but in the Christian heaven there were no promises of sex. Big difference. Muhammad used better marketing for his brand. Here is a definitive moment from his life as told in the Qu’ran. The pagans he tried to convert unsuccessfully were called Quraysh, his own tribe, they worshipped the Triple Goddess on their own, AlLat ,Al-Uzza, and Manat. These Goddesses were tolerant, woman friendly, their laws were simply the laws of nature, no special punishments and terrorism. They had excellent art, culture, feast foods, even architecture.
One day he was specially angered that the Quraysh wouldn’t convert to Islam. He approached them at the K’bah, kissed the black stone, and walked around the shrine three times. On his third pass he stopped and declared, “Will you listen to me Quraysh! By him who holds my life in his hands, I bring you slaughter!” Now this was a defining moment for him. His behavior had changed from here on. He started first endorsing warfare in self-defense, but after a while he endorsed holy wars against the infidels who had rich caravans move through the deserts. He became a fierce endorser of raids on other people’s property, justifying it as a booty for Allah and his prophet, and finally as a fight for Islam. He glorified martyrdom for these young men, but Christianity already worshipped a martyr in the person of Jesus. So, even that wasn’t original idea. As he aged, Mohamed became more cruel, more greedy, and more lusty. He is listed to have had seventeen wives, one as young as nine years old “consummated” when he was in his forties. Promptly he encoded into law that child abuse (“marriage” to underage girls) is okay with him hence Allah. Even today young girls are traded amongst the ageing relatives for favors, erasing debts, or just sums of money. When the girls disobey the fathers in the west, they are mysteriously murdered as they would be in Arab countries. This idea about sexing little girls is now a worldwide business in the sex trade. It has widened its net all over the globe; thousands of little children disappear from the USA never to be seen again. Religions do count, they influence people’s inner lives, and they prohibit bad behavior, or promote it. Be careful what kind of cool aid you are drinking, it could be poisonous to your children. Here are the books I recommend reading on this topic: “The Truth about Mohammad” by Robert Spencer “The Complete Infidels Guide to the Koran” by Robert Spencer “A God that Hates“ by Wafa Sultan And do Goggle searches about the Pagan Arabs and Arab Goddesses. Phyllis Chesler writes on this topic daily on her blog. It pains me to read it, but I do because I care … and so should you … so should every woman because what happens to one woman happens to us all.
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
The Archangel Gabriel Dianic tradition does not really address angelic beings, neither does Wicca of any flavor, although Z Budapest suggests a spell to attract and honor angels in her book, Grandmother of Time. A great many pagans may regard angels as originating in Judeo-Christian scriptures and therefore having no real place in our belief system or cosmology. Make no mistake, the Archangels represent the top beings of a hierarchy of angels, beings of light, that fall under each one’s command. Hierarchy is not a principle in Dianic Wiccan philosophy. And it all sounds very militaristic with descriptions of the Archangels’ armor and swords and trumpets to go along with their flowing gowns and otherworldly wings. However, the origins of these beings belie what they seem on the surface. To be sure, all the religions prominent today, save Hinduism and Buddhism, originated in the ancient Middle East, referred to as the fertile crescent. Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Baha’i, Mormonism - they all have a cavalcade of characters in common: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Esther, John the Baptist, Jesus, Mohammad, Enoch. Also common to all these religions are the concept of angels, winged beings of power and light created to do the bidding of the god Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah, often depicted as a manipulator of armies and a dealer in vengeance, most specifically to be his messengers, his emissaries, and to carry out certain tasks of guiding and guarding humans against harm. There are two archangels most often mentioned by name in these scriptures: Michael and Gabriel. Gabriel is mentioned 500 years before any mention of Michael and is mentioned far more often. He is also mentioned prominently in the Qu’ran. The Jewish mystics, the Kabbalists, and the Christian mystics became fascinated with angels and delved deep into lore surrounding them. Even a perfunctory study of deities in the fertile crescent in ancient times will show a belief in many multiple winged beings. The other two most prominent archangels are
Uriel and Raphael. Now, although angels are, in general religious thought, genderless, the Archangels are typically depicted through the ages as male, reinforcing the male superiority that the desert sky-god religions all promote by having a single male deity. Except Gabriel. Gabriel is often depicted through the last few thousand years with flowing golden locks, in blue and white gossamer gowns, holding lilies, or with doves, holding a trumpet, a shining lantern or a branch from Paradise. Gabriel is thought by many to be female. Gabriel, whose name means “Strength of God”, was the instigator of many occurrences in the scriptures of all the aforementioned religions: Gabriel initiated the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, was the angel who helped Daniel interpret the dreams of the King thereby freeing Daniel from the lion’s den, the angel who inspired Moses to write the Pentateuch, the angel who taught Joseph 70 languages so that he could rule Egypt, the angel who announced to Elizabeth and Zachariah they would have a son (John the Baptist), the angel who announced to Mary she would bear Jesus, and who also visited her betrothed Joseph in a dream to let him know that Mary had not been adulterous but was pregnant by Divine means. Gabriel was, in traditional thought, the angel who stayed with Jesus in the garden the night before his crucifixion giving him comfort and strength. Gabriel was the angel who appeared inside the tomb of Jesus to tell Mary Magdalene that Jesus had resurrected. She is the angel who will sound the trumpet at the Apocalypse to herald the return of the messiah and the Day of Judgment. Gabriel was the angel who dictated the Qu’ran to the prophet Mohammad over the course of 23 years. Mormons hold that Noah was in fact archangel Gabriel incarnated. Gabriel also brought one of the holiest artifacts to Mecca, the black stone called the Kaaba, to be the foundation stone of the great temple of Islam there (widely believed to be a meteorite). Gabriel was said to be Mohammad’s guide as he took his “Night Journey”, a shamanic journey in which Mohammad met all the patriarchs - Abraham, Joseph, Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus, saw “the seven levels of heaven” and had a conversation with God in which he established with God how many times a day Muslims are to pray (5). Gabriel also showed up for Joan of Arc as one of her heavenly voices who urged her to fight the King of France for the sake of the Dauphin. This is clearly a very powerful spiritual entity indeed, no matter how one considers Gabriel. So what associates this archangel with the Divine Feminine, the Goddess, and why is Gabriel important to pagans or Dianics? Is it only that this archangel has been thought to be a female being, or is it something more? We must look to the region of the world from which all these Abrahamic religions came to get the answer to that question. These countries in the Middle East were sometimes referred to as the Chaldean peoples: Mesopotamia, Sumer, Babylon, Ur, Assyria. Five thousand years ago, these pantheistic and polytheistic peoples lived all around the tribes that came to be known as Jews or Hebrews. Additionally, the Hebrew tribes were enslaved by the Babylonians for many years. The most
prominent deity common to all these peoples was Inanna/Ishtar/Astarte (widely accepted in modern times to all be the same Goddess with different names in different regions). This Goddess was the most powerful of all and she was the most beloved to all the peoples. Her symbol was the crescent moon, horns pointing upward, with a 9 pointed star in between the horns symbolizing the morning star or the evening star (Venus). (Sometimes the star was artistically depicted as a rosette.) The symbol for the archangel Gabriel is an upturned crescent moon with a 9 pointed star in between the horns. By 2200 BCE, Ishtar’s stories had been sufficiently altered to make Her subservient to the male deities who had slowly gained prominence.
Archangel Gabriel is associated with the Moon, the element of Water, the direction of the West, and the season of Winter. The Moon was, of course, strongly associated with Inanna, Ishtar and Astarte, as was the dove. In what could be termed an educated guess, it seems entirely possible that somewhere along the line, Ishtar, often depicted with wings, became morphed instead by the Hebrews into an angel guardian of Babylon, then adopted as their own. As the Angel of Resurrection, Gabriel echoes the former role of Inanna/Ishtar as the Goddess who resurrected Herself and Her lover after both had descended into the nether world. Hecate, who is much older than the Hellenistic peoples, may also be a part of Gabriel’s evolutionary history. In Jewish mysticism, Archangel Gabriel became associated with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life in the position of Yesod, the Foundation. Numerologically, Gabriel is associated with the numbers 9, 2, 7 and 12. The Tarot corresponds with Gabriel in the cards The High Priestess, The Chariot and the Moon - also 9 of Wands (Great Strength), 9 of Cups (Material Happiness), 9 of Swords (Despair and Sadness) and 9 of Pentacles (Material Gain through Creativity). Gabriel is said to sit “at the left hand of God”, the left being historically associated with the Feminine. She is the angel of Joy, Mercy, Revelation, Inspiration, but also Vengeance, Judgment and Death. (The all encompassing Bright and Dark Goddess.) She is master of the Powers of Love and her cup is the cup of Love. The Catholic Church assigned September 29th as Gabriel’s feast day. It falls in Libra, an air sign, and governed by Mercury - the planet always associated with Communication. However, magically, Gabriel is associated with all the water signs, especially Cancer. Her day is Monday (Moonday). Archangel Gabriel is believed to be the connector of the astral and the heavenly worlds with the earthly plane, as was Inanna and Ishtar. And Gabriel is to be invoked when one feels stuck - unable to move backwards or forwards, being at a crossroads. Hecate has from the furthest reaches of time been the Guardian and Guide at the Crossroads. Gabriel, in some traditional thought, is said to have originated with the “Giants” mentioned in the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible) and Hecate was born to Titans - the same concept. In an even more distinctly Feminine capacity, Gabriel is the angel of childbirth. In Judeo-Christian mystic lore she is the selector of souls to be incarnated and guides the unborn through the 9 months prior to their birth. In a quaint story, it is said that the cleft above the upper lip is where Gabriel touches each
baby before its birth and says, “Shhh. Don’t share any of the secrets of heaven.” Because of Gabriel’s history, she is a very important entity to invoke for clarity, for inspiration, communication, intuition and development of psychic abilities, scrying, writing, astral travel, dream interpretation, herbal medicine, women’s blood cycles, conception and the feminine aspects of men. The stones and crystals used to resonate with her powers are moonstone, aquamarine, clear quartz and pearls. The colors associated with her energetically are silver, white and blue, all colors related to the moon. It is customary to bring an offering to your altar for Gabriel if she grants your wishes, of white flowers and/or to perform music or singing before your altar as a thank-you. Who is Archangel Gabriel? So ancient, so ubiquitous in all the texts of these Abrahamic religions through several thousands of years of religious thought and development, these texts which eventually became at some points almost exclusive of women and piercingly, devastatingly misogynistic? Yet, this archangel is specifically associated with all things female! Archangel Gabriel, powerful, strong, compassionate, full of love and so approachable, ready to protect and defend, seems to be none other than a facet of the Great Goddess Herself - the translation down through time of Inanna/Ishtar/Astarte (and possibly even Hecate) into Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, et al, leaving Her shining mark on all the texts considered sacred through the next 3000 years after Her own powerful prominence receded. Acknowledging Her in Archangel Gabriel can be part of the re-claiming and re-membering in which we are all now involved.
Al-Lat Al-Lat is one of the three pre-Islamic Goddesses that make up the Triple Goddess. She can be traced to the city of Taif near Mecca where she was a tribal Goddess. Her name is also found in Safaitic graffiti. The Nabataeans worshiped her and equated her to the Greek's Athena and the Roman's Minerva. Al-Lat was considered both Mother and Warrior. Her name translates from Arabic as Al meaning the and Lat meaning mixing or moisture. How appropriate the Mother being referred to as moisture, the very essence of life itself! Another listing of Al-Lat is found as showing her to be a Daughter of Al Llah who was considered to be a Moon God. Oddly enough Muhammad added a verse to the Koran instructing followers to honor Al-Lat and her sisters Uzza and Manat. This was accepted by the people and followed at the time. Later Muhammad got instruction from God to remove the passage. In The Archeology of World Religions, Jack Finegan, 1952, suggests that Al-Lat originated in Syria as the Moon Goddess of North Arabia. Al-Lat was symbolized by the crescent moon and her sister Uzza the star which is often found on flags of countries in the area. Clearly Al-Lat and her sisters who formed this ancient Triple Goddess were recognized and worshiped in the cradle of civilization. As a Mother figure Al-Lat's image was most often portrayed as a female holding wheat to represent fertility and a small amount of Frankincense which represented riches. Al-Lat also had a gold necklace that showed her association with astrological bodies of the Moon, Son, and Venus. She is associated with Spring and Fertility rites. Herodotus associated Al-Lat with Aphrodite. She was considered the "Mother of all Gods" and the "Greatest of All" as artist Thalia Took tells us on her web site thaliatook.com. The Mother figure was seen by the ancients as both provider and lover. This tells us that ancient civilization saw the woman of childbearing years
as sacred. She was the source of sustenance and pleasure. What we can learn is that from the earliest of times the Mother was sacred. Motherhood was seen as sacred. This began to decline when societies began to grow and the struggle to build empires began. The Mother was a representation of the concept of plenty. To build an empire, resources must be declared as rare instead of bountiful and then they can be fought over, a justification for taking riches and peoples of other lands. The Mother had to be eradicated since she represented giving instead of taking. As women today we should study the Mother, honor her, research her in her earliest forms. As keepers of the traditions in families it will be our efforts that reverse this wave of greed and taking. You can learn more about the ways of women, how we worship, how we gather, how we can change the world for the better by studying with Z Budapest at the Dianic University which can be found at www.ZBudapest.com. Reclaim the ancient Mothers, we will all prosper!
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"Al Uzza: Star of the Sky" Al Uzza is the Middle-Eastern counterpart of the Great Cosmick One to Whom My Soul is Devoted, and from Whom a part of my Magickal Name comes: Urania, The Heavenly One.... The Starry Muse of the Cosmos... She Who is the Celestial Vault of Eternity... The Aquarian Spirit, Personified.... The Boundless Sky of the Future! It should most likely be mentioned that Urania is also seen as APHRODITE OURANIA as per Her Shrine in Petra!
Investigation of Manat, Al- Manat or Manawayat Arabic pre-Islamic Al-Manat is a very prominent, very ancient deity and her following may have preceded both Al-Uzza's and Al-Lat's. Her religious adherents were widespread, although She is worshipped as a black stone at Quidaid, near Mecca. She is Ruler of Fate, Luck and Fortune, and She gets Her name from the Arabic word maniya, "fate, destruction, doom, death", or menata, "part, portion, that which is allotted". Manat is known from Nabatean(1) inscriptions and tombs were placed under her protection. People asked her to curse violators of the tombs. She is a figure of death and in some poetry, She is holding out the cup of death. She is currently venerated as the Vulva of the Goddess in a Sacred Stone at Mecca. At Mecca the Goddess, the Old Woman, is worshipped as a black aniconic stone. The sacred Black Stone now enshrined in the Kaaba at Mecca was her feminine symbol, marked by the sign of the yoni, and covered like the ancient Mother by a veil. No one (men - since women aren't allowed within the shrine nor near the Yoni) seems to know exactly what it is supposed to represent today. The Black Stone rests in the Haram, "Sanctuary", cognate of "harem," which used to mean a Temple of Women: in Babylon, a shrine of the Goddess Har, mother of harlots. Hereditary guardians of the Haram were the Koreshites, "children of Kore," Mohammed’s own tribe. The holy office was originally held by women, before it was taken over by male priests calling themselves Beni Shayban, "Sons of the Old Woman." From Barbara Walker’s "The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets:"(2)
So, I was reading along on the web and came across the words: "The waning moon is shown over her head as the symbol of the Crone-Goddess of Death." As a result I tried to find pictures or statues of Manat but there aren't any. I wondered why Google didn't show them. After all, hasn't she been around longer than the Islamic religion? I thought, maybe they convinced everyone to purge themselves and surroundings when I remembered the Islamic law against music and art (an unbelievable horror to me):
"In the light of this analysis, the prohibition of portraits and music can be easily understood: only portraits which possessed religious sanctity and led people into worshipping them had been prohibited, while music and songs which possessed an element of immorality in them had been forbidden. Both music and image-making, it is clear, were not condemned because of any intrinsic evil in them, but because the former contributed to the polytheistic tendencies of people while the latter was responsible of stimulating base sentiments in a person." source: Islam and the Fine Arts, hosted by crescentlife.com The stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient sacred stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Stone is roughly 30 cm (12 in.) in diameter, and 1.5 meters (5 ft.) above the ground. (3)
I also thought that women weren't allowed in the Kaaba but through research, I've found that they are, and that they are allowed to kiss it also or more commonly, walk around it, counter-clockwise, seven times. More news on the current restrictions that are up for women worshiping at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.(4) But, I've digressed and run off at the fingers again, so, back to the subject at hand, Manat. Manat is connected with the great pilgrimage to Mecca and Her sanctuary is the starting point for several tribes. She is known from Nabatean(5) inscriptions. Tombs, during her reign, were placed under Her protection. People asked Her to curse violators/tomb raiders. She is a Goddess of Death, and Maniya (Death personified) is mentioned in poetry as an old woman escorting a person to his or her grave and holding out the cup of death to them. The symbols on the bottom of Her skirt spell Her name in Sabaic (which does not use vowels and is written right to left), M-n-t. The waning moon is shown over Her head as the symbol of the Crone-Goddess of Death. Manat was very popular in Mecca at the time of Mohammed. So, where are the hidden pictures, statues, jugs, dishes, mirrors, house decorations, etc.? Where are the women? What happened to them? I even Googled pre-Islam and Islam itself. No pictures of anything. How could they wipe out a whole women's culture? Seems impossible to me. I feel the horror. Researching further I've come to believe that women in that part of the world never had a Goddess. Inconceivable to me. I've looked backwards as far as the Minaeans and Sabaeans and couldn't find any art at all that depicted people, much less women. So, it appears that the Islamic religion has been without women's input for a lot longer than I thought; even before it became Islam. It's really a wonder that the name Manat survived or that women survive there now.
I believe that We are All Goddesses and found it amazing (and expected) the correspondences between the Goddesses from different cultures but (unexpected) nothing more on pre-Islamic Goddesses. I'm beginning to see that the Christian, Jewish and Islamic religions (pretty much one and the same religion as far as I'm concerned) have only incorporated women because of the peoples they conquered and they have fought many years to delete her from the picture (consider the burning times then and now). So, I'm sorry to say, there's not much out there about Manat but here are some interesting things that I found on the Web. Web pages are cited after the information. Manat in Azerbaijan is a form a paper money. Manat (ancient Egyptian mnj.t) was a name used for the goddess Hathor. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt. Hathor was worshiped by Royalty and common people alike in whose tombs she is depicted as “Mistress of the West” welcoming the dead into the next life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hathor NAMES: Crone, Cerridwen (Celtic), Hecate or Hekate (Greek), Carravogue (Goddess of winter County Meath Ireland), Mórrígan or Morrigu (Celtic), Nemglan (Irish battle goddess), Ala (Nigerian), Ama No Uzumi (Japanese), Asase Yaa (West African), Annis (Celtic, later turned into various evil fairies or ghosts such as Black Ann and others), Badb (Irish), Baubo (Greek). Baba Yaga (Russian), Tripura Bhairavi (Tantric), Cailleac Bhuer (Celtic), The Corrigan (from Cornwall to Breton, France), Elli (Nordic), Grandmother Spiderwoman (Native American), The Hyldermoder (Scandinavia), The Leanansidhe (Isle of Man), Oya (Yoruba), The Muireartach (Scottish Highlands), Changing Woman (Navaho), Ereshkigal
(Sumerian), Estsanatlehi (Native American), Kalma (Finnish), Lara (Roman), Lilith (Hebrew), Macha (Irish), Mother Holle (German), Nicneven (Celtic), Sedna (Inuit), Xochi Quetzal (Aztec), The Wyrd, Nox or Nyx (Greek), Snow Queen (versions in Sweden & Japan), Queen of Shadows, Nightmare, Hag, the Wicked Witch. SYMBOLS: (Depending on the culture) Caldron, Owl, Snow and or winter, Yew tree, Dogs, Darkness, Waning Moon, Dark Moon, Cat, Frog, Raven, Snake, Spider, Ghosts, Triquette, Triple Spiral, )O( http://community-2.webtv.net/TheObsidianMask/Crone_Goddesses/
Neopagan archetype theory: Some Neopagans assert that the worship of the Triple Goddess dates to pre-Christian Europe and possibly goes as far back as the Paleolithic period and consequently claim that their religion is a surviving remnant of ancient beliefs. They believe the Triple Goddess is an archetypal figure which appears in various different cultures throughout human history, and that many individual goddesses can be interpreted as Triple Goddesses, The wide acceptance of an archetype theory has led to Neopagans adopting the images and names of culturally divergent deities for ritual purposes; for instance, Conway, and goddess feminist artist Monica Sjöö, connect the Triple Goddess to the Hindu Tridevi (literally "three goddesses") of Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati (Kali/Durga). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Goddess_(Neopaganism) (1)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabataeans (2) http://www.amazon.com/Womens-Encyclopedia-Secrets-Barbara-Walker/dp/0785807209 (3) http://www.crescentlife.com/spirituality/islam_&_fine_arts.htm (4) http://www.mujahideenryder.net/2006/09/02/saudi-salafi-scholars-women-not-allowed-near-the-kaaba/ (5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabataeans
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Spring Cleaning for the Soul With winter deep upon us this is a great time to spring clean, not only our homes, and our Magical supplies but our souls as well. A tell tale sign of our internal state is our external surroundings. Tackle your home clutter to help sort out your internal issues. Take one room, drawer or closet at a time and go through it, as a type of active meditation, this will help you sort out the internal and external clutter. For magical items they may spend all year closed up in cabinets, take everything out of their boxes or containers. Clean them, reconnect with them, and put them back refreshed. Maybe reorganize everything (all like items together) so they are easier to find. See if everything is still in working order, or just to take inventory of what you have. With the summer months being so busy for most of us, now is a great time to think about all the Sabbats that we have planned, and the supplies we may need for them. Or do you have something on your wish list? A new Athame or wand? Now is the time to set your intentions. For those of you who blend oils, are your base oils still "good"? Are the oils you current have blended, if they are in bottles that have a dropper, check the condition of the rubber at the top. I have found that even though my oils are still good, the rubber is starting to bulge at the base, I just re-bottled my Elemental oils. It is also a great time to go through all the stacks of books and papers we have laying around. Organize the books and put them in a special place, if you don't have a bookcase, home improvement stores have some great wood that is great to craft your own shelf. After sorting through those old papers, recycle the ones that don't have personal information on them. If one of the sides is blank, you can cut them in half and paint glue on one edge and make a note pad, for phone messages or notes to your family. If you have a sewing machine that you use to make magical bags or other magical items, is your machine in need of a tune up? Most tune ups are fairly inexpensive. Do you have enough material for your planned projects? Itâ€™s never too early to start making next yearâ€™s Yule gifts. Do you have magical items you no longer need such as herbs, oils, supplies...? If they come from the earth, they should go back to the earth. Meditate on the best way to give them back, whether it is burying, burning or just placing them on the earth to decompose as intended. If they are metal, glass or other and cannot go back to the earth, do you know of a practitioner who may be able to use the item? Smudge it, bless it, and give it to them as a spring gift.
Now is also a great time to buy birthday cards. I am the youngest of seven girls. All of us have kids and a spouse. So, needless to say, there are a lot of birthdays during the year. I usually make one trip every year to the store and buy every-ones card. Then I write it out, address it and stamp it. Then at the beginning of each month I mail all the cards out for that month. It saves a lot of trips to the store each month, gas for my car and headaches. Once your external surroundings are bit more tidy and clear, start looking inward and search your soul for the things you need to get rid of. By going through your external clutter you should have started this process already. Plan a “Fresh Start” ritual for the January New Moon Esbat and make it a point to start doing something that speaks to your soul every day. Once you have cleared out your external and internal clutter, you can do a Chakra Balancing Meditation and Aura Cleansing salt bath. Link to Chakra Balancing Meditation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVFHu6AHMKk Do these often to keep you balanced throughout the year. I take an Epsom salt bath every week; it really does wonders during the hectic times. You will find that once you have cleared your cluttered, balanced your chakras, cleared your aura and most importantly, searched your soul for things that make you happy; your mood will improve, you’ll have more energy, and your outlook on life will improve greatly. Link to accompanying video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zpp YWeCtfao
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Contemplating Crone "As December moves to January and we sit in the darkness of winter, I feel her move near me. I see her in the beauty of the light frost and the naked trees. I sense her in the chill of the wind through my hair and on my skin. She calls in a voice filled with wisdom and truth. She asks me to choose this trail, to experience her. Can I walk the path of the Crone?" Most women are familiar with the triple Goddess. The archetypes of Maiden, Mother and Crone or even daughter, mother and grandmother are well known through most cultures. Being born and raised in the USA however, this archetype is taught a little different. The maiden is the most loved- young, fresh, blossoming, pretty. The mother has some respect, especially in recent years. Then there is the crone. Fairy tales told us that she was the evil witch who wanted to harm that princess or eat the children. As soon as girls can read, you are taught how to avoid turning into her, "wear sunscreen or you will get wrinkles!" Hardly are there cover girls on magazines with graying hair, gnarling hands and wisdom etched in their cheeks. Long, long ago, the Crone was the queen. It was a PRIVILEGE to age, a gift and an honor to reach the stage of life where you held your blood and it turned to wisdom (commonly referred to now as menopause, another horrible thing you are taught to stave off at all costs) The wise woman, the grandmother, the crone, were the medicine women of the village. They knew all the remedies, secrets and songs. They spoke with the earth, the animals and the ancestors. Their word was considered law. Small wonder she was the first to go during the witch hunts; she was the most powerful and therefore the most dangerous. Another interesting denial of the crone is in the idea that while women pass through the Maiden, Mother and Crone during the course of their natural life, they also pass through all three every monthly cycle. The maiden is day 1 through day 10 of the cycle: the renewal period. The mother is day 10 through 20, the fertile, juicy, ovulation period. Yes, you may have guessed it, Crone is roughly day 20 through 30, now commonly known as PMS! Very interesting that in many ways, the only thing worse than getting old and having menopause is experiencing Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. Which again, may simply be the Crone asking to be heard. There was a time, in the days of red tents and moon lodges, that the end of your cycle was an opportunity to heal, let go and move inward. You are not yet bleeding, you are no longer fertile and if you decided not to get pregnant, now is when the process of "death" begins.
People don't like that today. As the calendar moves more into the heart of winter, how can the Crone not be on our minds? Winter is her time, her season! Whether you are close to meeting the Crone via menopause or the end of another monthly flow, she is there and she has a message for you. She has a message for us all. Do not deny the Crone. Honor her. Don't be afraid of her seeming coldness or of her appearance! There must be reverence for her truth: the truth that says it is okay to be alone and it is okay to die. The truth that demands we look at our seasons, our cycles and our mortality. There is nothing more beautiful that that, is there? is there really more beauty in a blossoming flower than in an ancient stone or tree? Or can they both be magic, can they both be loved? Many people today would gladly pretend the only thing that exists is the summer sun and our youth, but this is not sustainable. We are seeing the death of that ideal, more and more in nature, in the economy and pretty much everywhere else. The message is, if you don't welcome the Crone and what she has to teach, she will teach us anyway. It is her time. If she must teach against our wills, she will appear in a teacher like Goddess Kali, the destroyer, who cannot be denied rather than the kind, loving grandmother that can come if we open our hearts and our minds. Look around you this winter and look within you. Where do you see the Crone? In the mirror, in the trees, in the snow, on TV? Seek her out and ask to be taught. The Crone is the messenger of Winter and when her season is embraced, it allows Spring, and the Maiden, to be reborn sweeter than ever before. The darkness defines the light. Honor the Crone, in whatever form she comes to you.
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UPCOMING DIANIC EVENTS
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Z is at the OC Goddess Temple Jan. 16, 2010
Pagan Examiner – Read the articles written by Bobbie and myself. Z’s Calendar of Events – Want to know where I am appearing? Goddess Festival 2010 – You think the last was good? Goddess is Alive! Pantheacon 2009 – A very large number of Dianics are attending this year. Join us!
Z Budapest will be at the Wise Woman Center at Susun Weed’s Woodstock farm in New York this coming April 23-25, 2010. More information to be announced, but you can contact Susun for more information at susunweed.com. Z Budapest will be the keynote speaker at the Pagan Odyssey this coming Beltaine, April 29-May 2, 2010 in Oxford, CT. More information to be announced, but you can contact paganodyssey.com for details.
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Dianic Wiccan Clergy Priestess Overview It is the goal of the Women’s Spirituality Forum to provide our members with herstorical and philosophical foundations of the Dianic Tradition; including ritual and spiritual practices from which to provide Clergy Priestess services to the public. Dianic Tradition is an ancient Goddess and woman-centered, Earth-based, feminist denomination of Wiccan religion. We are a teaching tradition. In the Dianic Tradition, clergy are required to complete course work that enriches their understanding of the sacred feminine Craft through cognitive and practical hands-on experiences to use in their roles as clergy priestesses to the Goddess and Her women.
What is Dianic Clergy? Clergy is a Greek word meaning “heritage” and from its origins, developed into a name for the persons who kept records and practices of the heritage. In the Dianic Tradition, we refer to the Clergy Priestesses as the active keepers and practitioners of our traditions, records and practices. These are Goddess priestess women who provide spiritual support to women (and their families) worldwide; and support women’s rights as feminists.
Ordained Dianic Clergy is not the same as an Ordained Daughter of Z Budapest. Ordained Daughter is an honorary title for exemplary community service gifted by Z Budapest directly. It has no legal ties to the Women’s Spirituality Forum.
What can I do with this? Ordained Dianic Clergy can perform public rituals, including marriage rites, under the legal auspicious of the Women’s Spirituality Forum non-profit status. The Women’s Spirituality Forum, Inc. is a 501 ( c ) (3) tax-exempt religious, educational, and charitable organization. Income you earn as Dianic Clergy and keep is not tax deductible. Income you donate to the Women’s Spirituality Forum, Inc. is tax deductible. The same is true for portions of the income donated to the Women’s Spirituality Forum, Inc., but only the amount of the donated portion would be tax deductible.
What is expected from students enrolled in this program? The Womenâ€™s Spirituality Movement, which reclaimed the Dianic Tradition, was based on two principles of action; movement happens through the written word and through the physical doing. We will require both from you. Expect to produce high quality materials that you will use in your Clergy Priestess practice. We expect you complete your training in a reasonable amount of time. You may not complete this training in any less than a year and a day, and not more than three years and three days. We have made concessions for lifeâ€™s complications during your period of training by allowing you longer than a year and a day to finish, but also realize that this is a very serious and intensive program for only the most dedicated of Goddess Women. Live In-person trainings are required. Online classes in the Dianic Wicca University are required. More on requirements and fees. Ordination as a Dianic Clergy Priestess is required before you will receive any acknowledgement of successful completion. This ordination must be inperson at an event of our choosing. You will be required to complete an academic body of work using a variety of mediums (written, video, audio, etc.). You will attend in-person events where you will be required to perform leadership skills and be observed. If you meet all these requirements satisfactorily, you will receive ordination as a Clergy Priestess and an official certificate. Who should apply? Women-born-women who live their lives as females, and are seeking to enrich their lives and the lives of others by becoming knowledgeable about and intending to become practicing clergy of the Dianic (Feminist) tradition of Wicca, an Earthbased theology, as founded by Zsuzsanna Budapest.
Statement of Dianic Wiccan Faith As a Goddess and woman-centered, Earth-based, feminist clergy, you must support, defend and be prepared to propagate the basic principles of Dianic Wicca as follows: 1. Maintain a living practice the Manifesto of the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One. 2. Practice the Dianic Wiccan Rede code of ethics that honors the Earth and Her creatures, "And it harm none, do what thou wilt." 3. Honor a feminine aspect of deity.
Ethics of the Dianic Wiccan Faith
Manifesto of the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One (Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries p.1-2)
Dangers of Magic (Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries p.10)
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Goddess Resource Links Z Budapest Website Dianic Wicca University Online Dianic Nation Women's Events Z's Blog Z's Events Schedule Z's MySpace Calendar 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 Holy Book Herstory Have you ever wondered the who, what, where and when's of the creation of the Holy Book of Women's Mysteries? We've put together a web page that highlights the answers to these questions.
Please share the Goddess with your friends. Have you done your self-blessing today? We do self-blessing every day. In fact, it's the first thing I do every morning when I rise as I'm preparing to get dressed. It's good mental health. Do your self-blessings and life will be sweeter. The SelfBlessing is on page 120 of the Holy Book of Women's Mysteries.
Goddess Magazine from Z Budapest and the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One celebrating Women's Spirituality, Dianic Wicca, the Goddess Movem...
Published on Dec 31, 2009
Goddess Magazine from Z Budapest and the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number One celebrating Women's Spirituality, Dianic Wicca, the Goddess Movem...