Articoli dalla Categoria “English Version

Zsuzsanna Budapest: Goddess is Woman

Pubblicato il gennaio 17, 2014

Zsuzsanna Emese Mokcsay 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.

Founder and director of the Women’s Spirituality Forum, a nonprofit organization featuring lectures, retreats and other events, Z Budapest 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 will be in Europe between March 26th and mid-May for a upcoming tour of rituals and conferences*. We contacted her and asked her thoughts on the current status feminine spirituality today. “Where is the Goddess today? In which ways does she manifest her sacred self?”. Zsuzsanna has answered us with this previously unpublished article which stresses upon the importance of indulging instinctively and co-actively, surrendering to a sacred power of which every woman is spiritually a daughter: the divine feminine.

Z Budapest

 
 

Instructions of good ritual for unattentive Priestesses

Zsuzsanna Budapest

 

It has been many years since I have started teaching about women making ritual together. . Every book I have written since ( nine titles)contain some more information, how to adjust the rituals to different purposes, how to bend it, vary it and still have it down solid. I have ordained 12 High priestess, who in turn have ordained others, the sacred work of Women’s mysteries is happening nicely all over the world.

Yes, but I didn’t monitor the developments any further. I don’t really know what goes down in circles, what is being taught in my name, how did the “bending” happen.

Every so often I go to a circle and have a reality check. The reason I am not going often is that I am afraid to be bored. To see that my work had been watered down. To sit there thinking how can I leave sooner? It is hard for me to face a priestess of mine and tell her that her circle sucks.

Many women’s circles are satisfied with just the “clinical” variety, a workshop parading as a circle. Good intentions are not enough here. You either deliver a spiritual power raising experience, or you teach About It only. One is called a sacred Circle, the other is called a Workshop. Yes, the two can follow each other, but cannot occur at the same time.

There is a huge difference between a workshop and a ritual. But we need them both.

. Let me explain.

In a workshop the Left brain is engaged. The workshop teaches skills, there is a lot of talk re : information, there may be a book reading involved, may be sharing stories, talking, writing on little pieces of paper, burning them, sending around a mirror, or a bowl of water, changing the activity into something else. Focusing the attention of the women on an aspect of the Goddess ,getting deeper all this is still work shopping.

We need this in the beginning stages of the Path. We need to refurbish our minds with the ancient mythology , we need to learn the aspects of the Goddess, she of the Ten Thousand names. We also need to read more books about her, see how the Goddess was filtered through other minds. This will deepen our imagination. It is a good workshop that teaches us to see reality differently ,use the new paradigm’s lens of the Triple Goddess. Learn about nature and her laws. Start asking better questions and allow yourself to question yourself as well.

A workshop is like going to good magic school.

Then what is the Circle? It’s a temple, which is portable. It is a fresh encounter with the divine feminine, it’s a a slightly structured event, where we have to dress up the form with all contributing. There is a leader of energies, the High priestess. An archaic word for a necessary function of a director of energies. Like the conductor of an orchestra, a good HP employs us in the circle according to our strengths, asks us to contribute without disrupting the right brain activities.

A good ritual uses mostly the Right brain. The old brain. This is where all our genetic memories are kept. This is where words have little meaning, only chanting, singing, scents, dances, touching, eating dancing, kissing.

Once you have started on this Right brain road you must stay on it. You cannot switch back and forth, nothing magical can come from yanking the peoples minds around. The unconscious cannot hold the attention past an hour or so. A good ritual should conclude in this brief time. Anything that goes beyond an hour will crash the energies. Longer rituals are not better.

. Every step has to give way to the next step, it has to hang together like a well made macramé .Just like the dark space that holds the visible universe together, the Hps watchful instincts hold together the energy of the circle.

Since I am not observing myself while I work the circle,, I don’t really Know what I do when I am good. All I can give you is my inner landscape. I internalize the entire circle., I am in all women there present, I will feel the weak spots in my own body, I will then go there and encourage them to do the hum little more lightly not like a lawn mower, or teach them the hum by asking them to monitor themselves by placing their own hand on top of their heads and feel for its vibrations. If it isn’t vibrating, the sound had been misplaced. Usually its in the nose, or the forehead, which then made conscience , women can “think” the hum to the top of their heads.

A good ritual has a definite beginning, middle with a purpose and an satisfying well grounded end.

The first step is holding hands, or putting hands on each others backs. Touching. This will establish a electric current which from now on is our main connection.

The ritual starts with unifying the group with breathing together , which then evolves into humming,(at least 2 minutes) and then chanting.(as long as it takes, )

These are the cornerstones of a Dianic ritual. The hum is to clear all charkas and unify them. The chanting is to empty the feelings from your heart, harmonies and discords both made into sound. This can go on for a few minutes as well. I listen to it deeply, and I know if its faltering way before it will.

The middle of the ritual must be lightly put on top of these skills, the hum for example supports very well the invocations to the four corners, and it makes everybody still involved. In a Dianic circle everybody is doing something(hum,chant,pray) all the time. There is no talking at the group, only playing the next energy burst first, which then can be picked up by the rest of the group. All prayers float on the breath or the hum. If you learn this simple requirement, your job will be considerably more effective.

Once in a circle, there is no reading from book or pieces of papers. I frown deeply on such pedestrian moves. There is no other speech but poetry. or singing . Everything has to be from the heart.

The right brain is the creative brain, spontaneous poetry, blessings, prayers, never prewritten material unless you know it by heart.

You say this is hard?

Not if the beginning of the circle was laid down solid, If the HP practiced the group in breathing together,huming together ,the right brain got properly engaged, it is not hard.

A good circle must have more then one chant, three would do nicely.

These chants can be taught right at the beginning of the circle, to make sure it will flow when called up for use. You cannot teach new stuff in the middle of the circle. This goes for any feature you need in the circle, you have to teach all of it BEFORE you begin the Circle.

I take ten, fifteen minutes to prepare my group of women to the basic structure. This could be dance steps for example, in case of the Spiral Dance a frequent feature ,you have to rehearse a little the technique of it, warn about dangers, such as the last members of the Spiral Dance could be flung around if the dance picks up etc. The women will quickly learn this, and deliver it to you.

I bring magical play to the circle, which engages the women. I call out “The goddess is alive!” And they answer” Magic is afoot.” Then we say our names, Z is alive, everybody answers Magic is afoot! Next woman’s name is alive! etc. It takes a little time to say all of our names as we come up ,if the circle is large, but its still active, nobody is nodding off from boredom.

Then there is the candle lighting with wishes part, which is normally the middle of a circle. Women come to ask for help in their lives, that’s the role of a good spirituality, give a framework for humans to ask for divine intervention. This is known as the power of prayer in all religions. In ours we do it while lighting an appropriately colored candle, and open our arms and prayer from the heart.

This must be supported/listened to by all. Women rarely get this kind of support, listen, as in the circle. Here speech is short, but appropriate, if it can be done with rhymes even better, but I think sometimes women just need to pray any which way they feel it. We hum underneath this activity, just a little under breath, so the woman who is praying aloud can be heard. We listen and we hum at the same time. This is done well all the time.

Having patience with each others movements and time taken for prayer, takes a little sisterhood. Those who need to sit down do so. No magic in suffering in the circle. If its outdoors please dress according to the weather. You cannot sport your latest gown made of see through sari material or anything flammable.

Be a sensible witch. I wear long underwear, if I have an outdoor circle. I wear warm hardy shoes if I climb a mountain or hill..

The end of the ritual also must be organic.

You feel when the energy is waning, you don’t wait until it all runs out of steam. You call together the women before that happens. You create a power cone again, and this time you put the thank you notes to the four corners on it, as you have done at the begining of calling them in. These two part must match up, all deities called in must be thanked properly and dismissed.

At the end you have a chance to peek out the energy ,but this time everybody is psyched .So let it soar! You put a prayer on for “world peace”, for “may patriarchy fall,” some big wish, and send it off to its goal on the wave of the women’s highest energy cry.

The closing part of the circle is love. You either hug each other in group hug, very grounding. Or you proceed to have the feast for the Goddess, which will beautifully ground you.

Grounding by touching the wood floors or concrete, is silly unless you touch actual Earth. You can share some nice freshly baked bread and feed each other with “May you never hunger!” offer drinks to each other saying “ May you never thirst! PARTY!

This is the last part of a good ritual the feeding each other, the good wishes for plenty. Food grounds the most pleasurable way. Eat until you feel your feet underneath you.

I keep myself to these simple rules, which works with the Right brain.

So please be clear, you are having a circle, or a workshop. Do not delegate your HP part to somebody else because those of us present came for magical times. We want the right brain engaged. Boring circles are not magical.

Abdicating from your role as a HP is not cool. Embracing it and delivering the miracle of the sacred is your privilege.

There is a concept of double leadership , this is not for the sacred circles but for workshops. In workshops you can have two teachers, easily arranged , its actually enhancing the interest in the topics from two points of view.

But to circle, you have to go with the woman whose leadership is more magical, who can hang the energies together like a fine web, it’s a talent like any other and we are not endowed the same way. Some can sing and some can sing opera.

The women come for the sacred experience, not to be experimented on, or practiced on by left brain sisters. Do the circle work only if you can do the invisible finely tuned coalescing of the women energies in the circle. It has to go without boring moments, without looking at notes, without faltering with hesitation. It also takes grace and beauty.

Otherwise its like the old church we left behind. Sitting through a long boring ‘service”.

. Now we must develop and insists on higher quality food for our souls. It takes a little devotion, a little good will, and a divine sense

of the fleeting sacred.

We all come from the Goddess

And to her we shall return

Like a drop of rain

Flowing to the ocean.

Femme Fatale

Pubblicato il gennaio 4, 2014

mico oriente

Directly from the counter of the newsroom of C magazine, our trusted barman Domenico Oriente offers us a cocktail of his own invention .. of course in line with the concept of this month and associated with a song..

Femme Fatale shall be served in a Champagne Stemglass.

Category:

Pre-dinner Sparkling

Femme Fatale

Ingredients:

2cl Grand Marnier; 3cl Martini Rosé;

2cl Chambord; 6cl Sparkling Rosé

Cocktail colour:
Purplish red

Preparation:
Pour the liquors into a Mixing Glass with ice and shake for 4 seconds. Filter with the Strainer in a Champagne Stemglass (Asti) previously cooled.

Complete pouring the sparkling wine
You might garnish your cocktails with fresh raspberries and lime zest.

Sountrack recommended for your drink:

Romeo is Bleeding by Tom Waits.

Variations:

Instead of a Sparkling Rosé, you can use a Champagne: Rosé Brut Nicolas Fevillatte

Woman on Top

Pubblicato il gennaio 4, 2014

Liza Donnelly, cartoonist.
She is wise, she rises the flag for a feminine and subtle humanism, full of wit and irony. She’s been publishing on The New Yorker Magazine since more than thirty years. But not only that.

She has also spoken at TED and the United Nations, her drawings are on forbes.com and on half-a-dozen different blogs, and she has been around the world as a Cultural Envoy for the US State Department.

She has published 15 books of which, the last, “Women on Men” is dedicated to the feminine side of humor.
I had no idea about her before I had her book in my hands, and now that I do, even if only through some questions and answers, I can reccommend to explore her work, on-line if you cannot find a good paper copy of the New Yorker, maybe stealing it from the library.
As far as I am concerned, Liza, can teach a lot, with her witty and careful eye, about how the world is seen from the other half of the sky.

dancer NY

Women on Men opens with a nude blonde woman dancing in an iconic free jump. It evoked in me the clichè-image of 70s sexploitation movies about nudists in Europe, I don’t know why… She is free and happy and has no worries about her looks. Is that your state of bliss?
I like drawing the female form, in a “free” way as you put it. I think that what I was thinking by including her as a symbol is that she (and the other such figures in the book) are a symbol of “everyman” as embodied in a woman. Happy, playful, free, laughing.

You say in your introduction that for a woman humor had a value that had to be hidden, and only recently female humor went mainstream. Can you give me some examples?
For people who are oppressed, humor often has to be confined to their own group. It is too risky to make fun of the oppressor, obviously! This has been true historically for minorities, and although women are not a “minority,” they have historically not been in control in society. So the group uses humor amongst themselves as a coping mechanism. Of course there are individual exceptions: in the 1960’s, American comedian Phyllis Diller made fun of men, as did writer Dorothy Parker. And they also made fun of women. But generally speaking, mainstream humor has been by men. Now it is changing. Women are brashly making fun of men more and more.

I am aware about the courting habits of Americans, as you talk about in your book, but mainly via secondary sources. When Harry Met Sally…, Sex and the City etc. “Dating” as a process seems so standardized. Is it really like this?
No, it’s really not that standardized! What you see in movies and television are usually stereotypes of what actually happens.

Can you imagine a different way?
The word “dating” is so problematic, we should retire it and find another word. In American we now have the term “hooking up,” and I’m not even sure what that means. But the best way, I think, is to become friends with someone, know them as a person. Know all their idiosyncrasies and quirks and then maybe you will fall in love, if you haven’t already.

So (if I refer to the world in your book) it works like this: you notice someone at a party with a drink in your hand, you date him and have dinner, drink some wine, after sex there’s another drink (a cigarette would be politically incorrect, I suppose) and you drink a coffee with a friend to talk about ups and downs… seems always that the topic moment needs a drink…
What’s your favorite drink?
Haha, that’s very funny. It’s true, but maybe it’s just my cartoons. I have to give the people something to do while they are saying their witty remarks. I should learn to have my cartoon people do other things! I love coffee, and also a nice glass of pinot noir.

About the concept of “having sex”. It is to connect an emotional state with a possession. It fits with all that shopping and sipping I suppose. I like better the idea of making love. As I understand the “bad jokes” about sex conventions, they are a revenge against the same type of bad jokes that men had been spreading for centuries. Is that enough to put the woman on top?
That’s quite a provocative question! I don’t believe any relationship between the sexes should involve possession. Love is about shared admiration and shared letting go. If you love someone, you let them be who they want to be, and in fact you help them to be who they want to be. So, for generations, women have not always been able to be who they want to be. It’s time to redress the balance. I don’t propose that women be on top. We need to share ourselves equally, and take turns being on top. I know that on the surface, the title “Women On Men” has a sexual connotation– but in reality I mean it to refer to free speech. The title of my book implies that women now have a voice and can use it as they want.

Personally I think the best reaction to orgasm is laughter, what do you think, do you happen to laugh during and after lovemaking?
Sometimes! Sex is a bizarre activity, when you think about it. I guess that’s the point: don’t think!

I love the idea of you. But not you.” Is one of the punch lines I really love. Is this something you have really said to someone?
No! I am not that clever in real life. Rarely do the captions come verbatim from life. This caption represents what all of us have done at one point in our lives. We have an idea of who we want in a partner, and you know what? People don’t always measure up to our desires. We have to relax and, as we say in American, “go with the flow.” The person you end up with as your partner will most likely not fit all the requirements you had. But you love them anyway.

I fear that man use suspenders because it hides well the belly. What about that?
How can suspenders hide the belly? They are very thin strips of elastic! I think suspenders are a look, an affectation, an attempt at a style, and of course that is fair game for humor.

Woman dirty jokes vs man dirty jokes, again, is it camaraderie?
Certainly, why not?

I remember that I had a not very nice first meeting with New York, I have hated the guts of the city. It was 1995. Hated that people asking me change were three times as big as me, hated that stepping on the street reminded me stepping on a million movie sets, hated the mix of expensive places and shaggy shops, hated that the measure of everything was the dollar. And hated to find a used condom under my bed in the hotel. I guess the city changed a lot in twenty years. If I would like to give NY a second chance, Where should I start? Is New York the city you always lived in? And wanted to?
I grew up in Washington, DC, and the first time I was in New York as a student, I fell in love and knew I had to find a way to make it my home. I love the variety, the diversity of people that one finds in New York City. Yes, it’s expensive and often dirty and there are many money-hungry people there (as in most big cities). But I like to look beyond those things and see it as a mix of humanity co-existing and trying to live a dream. Also, despite the rumors, New Yorkers can be very friendly, and I think New Yorkers have a great sense of humor. They have to, they live in such close proximity to one another! Give us another chance!

You know that I love you, even though I don’t retweet you, right?
What is the frontier for miscommunication in modern life and how important is social network/computer time in it?

Liza Donnelly - autrice del libro Woman on Man

Liza Donnelly – author of the book Women on Men

 

We are all on a learning curve to know how to communicate with the new tools of social media and texting. But I am a fan of these things, if used them responsibly. I see it as a way to increase our connectivity around the world, and a way to make us understand our shared humanity.

Is social network second hand intimacy or only a totalitarian media? Is it fun?
It is fun, but it could end up being too controlling. We have to be careful how we use it, and how it uses us.

You know how sometimes your partner starts using a new word… and using it a lot? Make him stop it. New words need to be cleared first. By you.
So, really our roleplay, man vs woman vs makes everyone at ease in the end. But what would be your Utopia? The perfect society, the most respectful of what woman really are?

Well, yes! The perfect society would be where men respect women and women respect men and women respect women and men respect men…and all the genders in between! And we all allow each other to realize our full potentials.

If you die before I do, can I sit there?
If no one is sitting there first, then be my guest!

‘Round Midnight (E.V.)

Pubblicato il gennaio 1, 2014

Before I  let the freezing series flow

Before I uncork the magmatic fervor,

To the chilly trickery of dissent;

Warrior angels come to guard the archetype that once was.

Oceans of pride scourged by the violet cheeks

Of annihilated Aeolian prepare catastrophes

From  the few which are sweetly awaited like light ointments

Made to soothe the offspring of the mournful me.

Frozen at the click, we followed the frames of a transfer

That runs to the sequential delay.

Dilated views which open themselves at our inadequate beauty.

Will man ever be able to look at his fellow man, staring merely at his soul?

Elves, pageboys, sprites busy themselves ironically

Grazing the translucent banks of mud, dazzling to become.

Arachne weaves frills and lace.

Choose your own time-waster!

Pubblicato il novembre 27, 2013

Bill Scheft is on the staff of David Letterman’s Show, but also is a great novelist and a comedy writer. 8 steps in 2013 through the humor, the present, the past and the future, the politics, the economy, the satire… and a shovels!

Bill Sheft

First I’d like to ask you something about the president Obama: why someone still thinks he was the Fresh Prince of Balair?

Excellent Borat impression. Seriously. It’s like I’m sitting in a movie theater.

Barack talks about “decisions”. We gotta take decisions. We gotta get our best decision working  for the future. Do I have to think that someone in the past don’t do it?

I think I need to bring in some people from the CIA to break this code, but they’re a little busy over there now.

 

Can you write me about similarities and differences between the global situation of the ’10s. From 1910 to 2010: looks like if time has not been able to solve some fundamental social problems.

Hey, how bad can things be if the Pope is on Twitter? The Pope. On Twitter.

Do you really want His Holiness knocking things out like:

“F***d up. Had meat on Friday. Does a Whopper count?”

“Remember, every Tuesday night at the Vatican, altar boys drink free.”

“Keep five dollars and not tell anyone. Actually, no, it’s too much, give it to me and say so to whoever you want”. This is Groucho Marx, you know. It was about a hundred years old. What did you think about Marx Bros economic program?

Here’s a little tip. When talking to someone in the US, avoid using the words “Marx” and “economic program” in the same sentence.

 “A laugh will bury you all”. Have you recently bought a shovel?

Why, did my doctor call you? What did he say? OH MY GOD, it’s malignant, isn’t it? Don’t tell my mother, this would kill her.  Wait a minute. Go ahead.

2012 will be remembered as the year which the world crisis starts. In new year 2013, USA could be the most important freedom referee in the world although in the rest of the world people must speak through violence, local revolution, sometimes through bombs?

2012 is the year the world crisis starts, if you are using the Mayan calendar.  For me, the

world crisis started when Ryan Seacrest showed up on eight channels at once.

Communication and media and real time technologies, apps are the symbol of progress. The signs who certified the great union between occidental communities. The signs of the Man who wants to be better. An ideal step upon the evolution scale. But what happened to the news? Where’s the information?

I don’t know who said, upon the invention of television in the late 1940s, “We’ve either invented the most important technological achievement of the modern era, or the biggest time-waster.” Same thing applies to each technological milestone. Was society better before everyone had a phone with a camera?  I don’t know if it’s progress that people are getting incorrect news in real time. I don’t know if that’s man at his best. But here’s the pressing question: Did you mean “accidental” instead of “occidental,” or do I have to look something up.

Do you know that as David Letterman’s Show author you are an “inspiration” for many satirical tv shows all around the world? What do you think about “free quotes”?

Dave is the inspiration. Everything begins and ends with him. All we’re trying to do is keep up with him. You want a free quote? Here’s my favorite: “If you ever forget you’re a Jew, a gentile will remind you”.

  

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