|Zsuzsanna Emese Mokcsay|
January 30, 1940 |
|Other names||Zsuzsanna Budapest, Z. Budapest|
|Alma mater||University of Vienna|
|Occupation||Author, activist, journalist, playwright and song-writer.|
|Known for||Founder of the Susan B. Anthony Coven|
Zsuzsanna Emese Mokcsay (born 30 January 1940 in Budapest, Hungary) is an American author, activist, journalist, playwright and songwriter 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.
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 had an online autobiography entitled Fly by Night, and wrote 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 near Santa Cruz, 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.
Budapest immigrated 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.
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. She was responsible for the creation of an 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,"  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.
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.
"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 claims that her first job in television was as a Color Girl for the CBS Network in New York; that she was assigned to The Ed Sullivan Show, and it was her face that CBS adjusted their camera's settings to. 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 was also interviewed by Johnny Carson on "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
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- Gathering the Goddess, a documentary of her first festival (in south central Texas) DVD-R Amazon CreateSpace Title #306207
- Gathering the Goddess (held in LaHonda, California) In Development
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-  Z Budapest website http://zbudapest.com/ Archived September 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- ''Priestessing on the Edge of Chaos: The Goddess Monologues – Zsuzsanna E. Budapest'' by Letecia Layson, Morphogenesis Website. Morphogenesis.info. Retrieved on 2011-06-23.
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