Thursday, April 19, 2012

Z. Budapest VS the Pagan community

So lately there has been alot of discussion in the pagan community over Z Budapest once again. Z made a statement on facebook saying basically that she wishes people to stop using her chant We All Come From the Goddess without credit, for making profit, or by adding additional words (mostly those that add God) into it. She said that she added a hex into the song for those that did not follow her instructions, later saying that the hex part was tongue in cheek.

Now to begin with let me say that I do not think the way she went about it was the correct way. Mentioning any hex, tongue in cheek or not, wasn't appropriate IMO and did bring alot more negativity to the entire situation. The old saying- you get more flies with honey seems to be worth remembering. Would it have been different if she asked nicely? I think slightly so. And the fact that I think only slightly so is what bothers me.

But on this point, I have no way of knowing if she meant the part about hexing or not. It could have been tongue in cheek or just spoken out of frustration or it could have been meant. I do wonder if someone less disliked said it would people have seen it differently? eh I assume in the same thought, she made her bed and if people dislike her for it then it is to be expected. She is outspoken and that usually leads to foot in mouth syndrome lol

 Z's situation reminds me of PETA. To be outspoken, to be loud, to stand up for what you believe, and to be angry about the situations is difficult. There is a thin line between crazy and truth perhaps. I feel deep down PETA does care & love animals and just wants them to be safe and protected. And all too often a strong voice of any message gets drowned out. Then people feel they need to be louder and make huge arms flailing types of statements that many might seem as down right nutty. It is easy to cross the line and go far off your message yourself.

No one is perfect & having all the heart in the world won't make you innocent of putting your foot in your mouth.

In the same way as PETA does care for animals, I think Z does care about women, the Goddess, feminism, women's rights. I think sometimes she takes what I feel is a misstep in trying to protect, honor & love those things.

I love Z. When I first found my path of Dianic Witchcraft, her books inspired me. I was a young feminist woman in love with the Goddess & her words spoke to me & shaped my path deeply. I still recommend her book of Holy Mysteries to all women interested in the Goddess path.

Since then my path has grown and been shaped by other things as well. I am still Dianic. Still a feminist. I disagree with Z on the entire women born women in groups, while still wanting Dianic circles to be women only. Just that being woman might need to be redefined. I feel awkward quoting myself lol but I wrote about it on my Dianic page:

"Within Dianic circles though there is an open confusion on those who are transgender & if we should be only women born women or not. It is a difficult topic. I can certainly see both sides of the discussion. I think for the most part the real issue is that as mentioned above we feel that it should be open to only women who can truly know what it is like to be a woman and go through the mysteries and rites of being born a woman. Yet at the same time so many women these days are born with health issues that may not let them experience them. I myself have PCOS. There are women who do not bleed, women who can not give birth for a variety of reasons. But it is supposed to be covered by the fact that being born a woman still gives you the innate creative potential and embodiment of the Goddess. Within you still lies that connection to the flow. But it leaves me to wonder if that may also lie within those who were not born into a traditional woman’s body? Could the soul still be tied to that of the Goddess and Her energy?
I think the other issue is that we are still young in so many ways, most certainly of our understanding of the universe. There is still a lot of confusion our there on those that are transgender and even more so for those of us who have not experienced it.
I feel that our circles can be something very private and that it is important for each woman in the group to feel safe and comfortable within that circle. So I can certainly understand why some may be restrictive of who they let in. Yet in my heart I pray that we as a whole can be more accepting and learn to broaden our acknowledgement of womanhood. It won’t be something that happens overnight but with time I believe many of our sisters will give a voice to this issue" 
And lately more and more I see Dianic circles removing the women born women policy. Alot more groups then when I first started on this path. I think it is the way of life, the older groups hold on to what they knew while the youth steps up with new ideas about the world around them. You see it with everything- racism, homosexuality, etc... 

What bothers me though is how the pagan community is behaving over the entire situation. Like little immature children on the playground throwing out lines that build just as much separation and discord as the fault Z for. 

It is ok to dislike someone. It is ok to disagree with someone. But should we really be throwing stones, passing judgement, and even going so far to belittle someone? 
Many of the comments I saw in popular pagan communities made me cringe. Not only did they skip the entire topic, many said she deserved it, many decided to just attack her, many even attacked her path. 

The topic of copyright is important to me. I have been in many artists communities and seen how heartbreaking it is if someone steals your work and uses it however they wish. You put your heart and soul and a piece of you into something you love & cherish and then to see it twisted & abused. 

If a different well loved pagan elder had something they wrote and a conservative pagan hating group changed the lyrics to spread hate. Everyone would be up in arms. It would go against the message that it was created within. & still be stealing. 

I feel that we within the pagan community should care about this subject. Copyright & theft of others works is very rampant within the pagan community. Here is a link on Patheos about it. I have seen so many pagan websites pop up that is 100% stolen from others works! It is a real shame.

I think as a pagan community we should stand up for the rights of pagan artists and respect them, their wishes, and their art. Even if you do not like the artist or agree with them.

If she doesn't want God added then why shouldn't we respect that wish?? If she didn't want us to add satan or the christian god would that make a difference?

Secondly as I said people went far off topic- their issues & comments had zero to do with copyright or her work but just straight attacks on her as a person. Saying she is only doing it for attention & calling her crazy. It was just in such distaste I think. I understand the anonymity of the internet is supposed to get people out of the realm of reason but still I would hope to see more respectful behavior out of any spiritual group of people.

And lastly the attacks on her (AND MY) faith.... Being Dianic I have seen and been the object of dislike just for it. It is really frustrating to say the least. On one forum I am on during the topic of Z's hex came up and one woman brought up the fact that she was once Dianic but wanted to be more balanced and valued men too much. What did her change of faith have to do with the topic? What does value of men have to do with being Dianic?

No it doesn't help out path with Z being so outspoken on some issues. But I think as pagans we should 100% understand that one person doesn't speak for all of us. How many times have I seen people try to distance themselves from the work of some writers or from the little fluffy high priests who will curse you if you look at them wrong. No one wants to be judged or have their path judged by one person!

And I do not even understand judging another's path as wrong at all. many pagans came to paganism because the path they were on didn't fit them and they wanted to find something that was a perfect fit. They should understand that one path does not fit all.

  • The Dianic path is NOT about hating men. I love my husband with all my heart. I love my brothers very very much. I love my brother in laws and father in law and a whole mess of other men. Not one thing within the path of Dianc has anything to do with hating men or viewing men as less then.
I love cats alot. My crazy cat lady love for cats doesn't mean I hate all other types of animals. I love chocolate alot, doesn't mean that is all I eat or want to eat. I do not understand how people think that having love & focus on one thing means I hate everything else.

I believe we ALL came from the Goddess. We ALL are apart of the Goddess. Men, women, children. A man is no less part of the Goddess then I am.

Can some Dianic women be sexist? Sure, just like every other group in the world can have those who embrace negativity or hate. That does not mean the entire group does. In my entire time being Dianic I have met very very very few women who were sexist. Most of us are feminist, we believe in equal rights for all. 

I do not pretend men do not exist. I do not pretend that masculine energy doesn't exist.

I am NOT unbalanced. Nor is my path unbalanced. 

We just view balance differently then you do. Infact you seem quite unbalanced from my view of things.

How does putting everything into two boxes of mascule & feminine equal balance? It seems that you just take all the extra stuff that doesn't fit and try to force it? What of those in nature that reproduce asexually? They certainly do not fit into masculine & feminine idea of balance. What about the gays, lesbians & transgender? Where do they fit in where the most basic fundamental spoke of the masculine & feminine together?

I do not look at balance as left vs right, up vs down, or masculine vs feminine. I view balance as a circle. Everything is within the circle, perfectly balanced and whole. Nothing gets in the way of this vs that. I can view then sun as feminine and the moon as masculine then. I can look outside of each box and expand within the circle so that feminine energy touches each aspect- strength as well as emotions. But that doesn't mean only feminine energy does so, the masculine does as well. It means that masculine energy can also find gentleness and softness and be emotional. 

No one can focus on everything or every single aspect of everything. Our minds would implode trying lol.
I choose to focus on the Goddess, because I am a woman and I practice and believe in a manifest deity. That I choose to understand & connect through the Divine through myself and my feminine experiences.

That does not mean I think of Goddess or women as better then anything. I see it as no different then focusing on a specific pantheon because if you tried to worship every deity out there you would be quite a mess probably!

So please people think before you speak! Don't let your ignorance put down another or their path.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post! I have to admit, I had no idea who Z Budapest was as I know very little about the Dianic path but from what you have said, the current situation has been handled very badly by all involved. I also find it very sad that people have used this to attack her personally. It just seems so utterly petty to do that.

    I've always had issues with the balance thing, fitting everything into feminine and masculine. I tend to push all of it to the back of my mind and try to forget about it. What you've said about circles, rather than left vs right makes total sense, at least a lot more sense than left vs right to me. Definately food for thought.


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