Zsuzsanna Emese Mokcsay (born 30 January 1940 in Budapest, Hungary) is an American author, activist, journalist, playwright and song-writer of Hungarian origin who writes about feminist spirituality and Dianic Wicca under the pen name Zsuzsanna Budapest or Z. Budapest. She is the founder of the Susan B. Anthony Coven, the first feminist, women-only, witches' coven.[third-party source needed]
She is the founder and director of the Women's Spirituality Forum, a nonprofit organization featuring lectures, retreats and other events, and was the lead of a cable TV show called 13th Heaven. She has an online autobiography entitled Fly by Night, and writes for the religion section of the San Francisco Examiner on subjects related to Pagan religions. Her play The Rise of the Fates premiered in Los Angeles in the mid-seventies. She is the composer of several songs including We All Come From the Goddess. She lives in Oakland, California.
Z. Budapest was born in Budapest, Hungary. Her mother, Masika Szilagyi, was a medium, a practicing witch, and a professional sculptress whose work reflected themes of Goddess and nature spirituality. In 1956, when the Hungarian Revolution broke out, she left Hungary as a political refugee. She finished high school in Innsbruck, graduated from a bilingual gymnasium, and won a scholarship to the University of Vienna where she studied languages. In The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries, Z. Budapest claims that her maternal grandmother was born by parthenogenesis (or virgin birth).
Budapest emigrated to the United States in 1959, where she studied at the University of Chicago, with groundbreaking originator of the art of improvisation, Viola Spolin, and the improvisational theater group The Second City. She married and had two sons, Laszlo and Gabor, but later divorced. She realized she identified as a lesbian and chose, in her words, to avoid the "duality" between man and woman.
|This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (January 2013)|
She moved to Los Angeles from New York City in 1970, and became an activist in the women's liberation movement. She was on the staff of the first Women's Center in the U.S. there for many years, and became the Founder and High Priestess of Susan B. Anthony Coven #1, the first documented women-only coven.[third-party source needed] She was responsible for the creation of the first Anti-Rape Squad and the Take Back the Night Movement in Southern California, and facilitated many of their street marches.
In 1975, she was arrested for "fortune telling" at her candle and book store in Venice, California following a "sting" by an undercover police woman Rosalie Kimberlin, who received a tarot reading from her. Subsequently Budapest was charged with violating a municipal by-law, Code 43.30, which meant fortune telling was unlawful. Budapest and her defense team described the event as "the first witch prosecuted since Salem," [third-party source needed] and the ensuing trial became a focus for media and pagan protesters. Budapest was found guilty.
Duly, Budapest and her legal counsel set out to establish Wicca, and more specifically Dianic Wicca, as a bona fide religion. The state's Supreme Court repealed the guilty verdict as unconstitutional and in violation of the Freedom of Religion Act.[third-party source needed]
Following her conviction, she engaged in nine years of appeals on the grounds that reading the Tarot was an example of women spiritually counseling women within the context of their religion. With pro bono legal representation she was acquitted, and the laws against "fortune telling" were struck from California law.[third-party source needed]
We All Come From The Goddess
In 2012, Budapest requested via Facebook that the song she wrote, We All Come From The Goddess be performed as written and not be altered to include male gods. She initially stated that anyone changing her song was cursed, but clarified in comments section of this post that she was joking.
Budapest worked as a Color Girl for the CBS Network in New York, and was later assigned to The Ed Sullivan Show. In the eighties, she created the TV show 13th Heaven, which ran on syndicated cable in the San Francisco Bay area for seven years. She now focuses her attentions on the development of her latest TV project, Femina Nation, which focuses on notable women.[third-party source needed] Anecdotally, she was also interviewed by Johnny Carson on his "The Tonight Show" surrounding her "witch trial".
- The Feminist Book of Lights and Shadows, (1975) Feminist Wicca, Luna Publications
- The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries: Feminist Witchcraft, Goddess Rituals, Spellcasting and Other Womanly Arts (1989) Wingbow Press ISBN 0-914728-67-9, ISBN 978-0-914728-67-2
- The Grandmother of Time: A Woman's Book of Celebrations, Spells, and Sacred Objects for Every Month of the Year, (1989) HarperOne ISBN 0-06-250109-7, ISBN 978-0-06-250109-7
- Grandmother Moon: Lunar Magic in Our Lives—Spells, Rituals, Goddesses, Legends, and Emotions Under the Moon (1991) HarperSanFrancisco ISBN 0-06-250114-3, ISBN 978-0-06-250114-1
- The Goddess in the Office: A Personal Energy Guide for the Spiritual Warrior at Work (1993) HarperOne ISBN 0-06-250087-2, ISBN 978-0-06-250087-8
- The Goddess in the Bedroom: A Passionate Woman's Guide to Celebrating Sexuality Every Night of the Week (1995) HarperSanFrancisco ISBN 0-06-251186-6, ISBN 978-0-06-251186-7
- Summoning the Fates: A Woman's Guide to Destiny (1999) Three Rivers Press ISBN 0-609-80277-1, ISBN 978-0-609-80277-9
- Celestial Wisdom for Every Year of Your Life: Discover the Hidden Meaning of Your Age (with Diana Paxson) (2003) Weiser Books ISBN 1-57863-282-X, ISBN 978-1-57863-282-4
- Rasta Dogs (2003) Xlibris Corporation ISBN 1-4010-9308-6, ISBN 978-1-4010-9308-2
- Selene, the Most Famous Bull-Leaper on Earth (1976) Diana Press ISBN 0-88447-010-5
- The Rise of the Fates: A Woman's Passion Play 1976
- Winter: The Goddess Monologues (with Béla Bartók and the Hungarian Women's Chorus from Gyor) 2003
"Glad Woman's Song" on Robert Gass's "Ancient Mother" CD
- Grandmother Moon CD
- Goddess in the Bedroom CD
- The Occult Experience 1987 Cinetel Productions Ltd (released on VHS by Sony/Columbia-Tristar August 5, 1992)
- Gathering the Goddess, a documentary of her first festival (in south central Texas)
- Gathering the Goddess '08 (held in LaHonda, California) - in development.
- Lesbian Pride Website. Lesbian-pride.com (1940-01-30). Retrieved on 2011-06-23.
- Nevill Drury, The History of Magic in the Modern Age ISBN 0-09-478740-9 (pg. 161)
- The Last Great American Witch Trial article, Bobby Grenier, 2008
- BlogTalkRadio Website. Blogtalkradio.com (2008-03-07). Retrieved on 2011-06-23.
- Facebook. Facebook.com (2013-04-17). Retrieved on 2013-01-23.
- ''Priestessing on the Edge of Chaos: The Goddess Monologues – Zsuzsanna E. Budapest'' by Letecia Layson, Morphogenesis Website. Morphogenesis.info. Retrieved on 2011-06-23.
- Women's Leadership in Marginal Religions by Catherine Lowman Wessinger (1993) University of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-06332-5, ISBN 978-0-252-06332-9
- Feminist Foremothers in Women's Studies, Psychology, and Mental Health by Phyllis Chesler, Esther D. Rothblum, and Ellen Cole (1995) Haworth Press ISBN 1-56023-078-9, ISBN 978-1-56023-078-6
- The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-Century Representations by Diane Purkiss (1996) Routledge ISBN 0-415-08761-9, ISBN 978-0-415-08761-2
- Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America by Eugene V. Gallagher and W. Michael Ashcraft (2006) Greenwood Publishing Group ISBN 0-275-98712-4, ISBN 978-0-275-98712-1
- Changing of the Gods: Feminism and the End of Traditional Religions by Naomi R. Goldenberg (1980) Beacon Press ISBN 0-8070-1111-8, ISBN 978-0-8070-1111-9
- Witchcraft and Magic: Contemporary North America by Helen A. Berger (2006) University of Pennsylvania Press ISBN 0-8122-1971-6, ISBN 978-0-8122-1971-5
- The New Religious Movements Experience in America by Eugene V. Gallagher (2004) Greenwood Publishing Group ISBN 0-313-32807-2, ISBN 978-0-313-32807-7
- Thealogy and Embodiment: the Post-Patriarchal Reconstruction of Female Sacrality by Melissa Raphael (1996) Continuum International Publishing Group ISBN 1-85075-757-7, ISBN 978-1-85075-757-3
- Living in the Lap of the Goddess by Cynthia Eller (1995) Beacon Press ISBN 0-8070-6507-2, ISBN 978-0-8070-6507-5
- Voices from the Pagan Census: A National Survey of Witches and Neo-Pagans in the United States by Helen A. Berger, Evan A. Leach, Leigh S. Shaffer (2003) University of South Carolina Press ISBN 1-57003-488-5, ISBN 978-1-57003-488-6
- Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, Identity, and Empowerment by Wendy Griffin (1999) Rowman Altamira ISBN 0-7425-0348-8, ISBN 978-0-7425-0348-9
- New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought by Wouter J. Hanegraaff (1998) SUNY Press ISBN 0-7914-3854-6, ISBN 978-0-7914-3854-1
- Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today by Ellen Evert Hopman & Lawrence Bond (2001) Inner Traditions / Bear & Company, ISBN 0-89281-904-9, ISBN 978-0-89281-904-1
- Introduction to Pagan Studies by Barbara Jane Davy (2006) Rowman Altamira ISBN 0-7591-0819-6, ISBN 978-0-7591-0819-6
- The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival: An Amazon Matrix of Meaning by Ph D Laurie J Kendall (2008) Lulu.com, ISBN 0-615-20065-6, ISBN 978-0-615-20065-1
- Goddess as Nature: Towards a Philosophical Thealogy by Paul Reid-Bowen (2007) Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0-7546-5627-6, ISBN 978-0-7546-5627-2
- Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America by Margot Adler (2006) Penguin Books ISBN 0-14-303819-2, ISBN 978-0-14-303819-1
- The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology by Susan Frank Parsons(2002) Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-66380-6, ISBN 978-0-521-66380-9
- Caretaking a New Soul: Writing on Parenting from Thich Nhat Hahn to Z Budapest by Anne Carson (1999) Crossing Press ISBN 1-58091-018-1, ISBN 978-1-58091-018-7
- Women's Culture: The Women's Renaissance of the Seventies by Gayle Kimball (1981) Scarecrow Press
- Woman of Power (1987) Published by Woman of Power, Inc. (Original from the University of California)
- The Fabric of the Future: Women Visionaries of Today Illuminate the Path to Tomorrow by Mary Jane Ryan, Patrice (INT) Wynne, Ken (FRW) Wilber (2000) Conari ISBN 1-57324-197-0, ISBN 978-1-57324-197-7
- Goddesses and the Divine Feminine: A Western Religious History by Rosemary Radford Ruether (2006) University of California Press ISBN 0-520-25005-2, ISBN 978-0-520-25005-5
- Ritual and Symbol in Peacebuilding by Lisa Schirch (2005) Kumarian Press, Inc. ISBN 1-56549-194-7, ISBN 978-1-56549-194-6