Pagan Community Notes: A Pagan Library in DC, A COG Council’s Uncertain Future, Z. Budapest Asserts Copyright, and More!

Pagan Community Notes: A Pagan Library in DC, A COG Council’s Uncertain Future, Z. Budapest Asserts Copyright, and More! April 18, 2012

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note series, more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So lets get started!

A Pagan Library Opens in Washington DC: PNC-Washington DC reports on the Open Hearth Foundation community center’s launch of the OHF Pagan Library this past Saturday. PNC reporter Maria Aquila notes that this was “the culmination of over 10 years of effort of fundraising, collecting and organizing books, and safely storing them until a physical space could manifest.”

Views of the OHF collection

“Since signing a lease for the space in October 2011, volunteers have logged over 1,500 hours organizing the collection, as well as preparing the physical space–painting, moving furniture, assembling shelves, and installing lighting. “None of this would have been possible without a dedicated group of volunteers who carried boxes, built shelves, sorted, searched, catalogued, numbered and shelved thousands of books,” OHF Library Trustee and Library Volunteer Coordinator, Aderyn Benvenga. […] “We have designed the OHF Library according to professional principles and best practices for a community library with full searching capability available online,” said OHF Librarian, Eric (Fritter) Riley.”

You can peruse the collection at: It should also be noted that in addition to the local PNC bureau’s coverage of the event, the new library was also reported on by the Lez Get Real blog. Congratulations to the Open Hearth Foundation on this amazing milestone!

Northern Dawn Local Council Discusses Its Future: At PNC-Minnesota, Nels Linde reports on a recent town hall meeting to discuss the possible closure of the Northern Dawn local council of the Covenant of the Goddess (NorDCOG).  The Covenant of the Goddess, formed in 1975, is a consensus-based religious legal umbrella organization for Wiccans and Witches that has engaged in important work for the rights of modern Pagans. Regional councils, like Northern Dawn, are how many people engage with and interact with the organization. Formed in 1982, NorDCOG serves Minnesota and Wisconsin, and has a long history of putting on public rituals and acting as a contact for local media and law enforcement. However, lately, the council has been moribund with several unfilled positions, leading to its current uncertain future.

Northern Dawn council logo.

The immediate cause for the meeting was the lack of participation that has become a crisis in functioning as an organization. Several board positions are unfilled, including a ritual officer, so no public rituals have been planned. Meetings have been unable to meet quorum standards, and this has prevented NorDCOG to conduct business or consider active solutions to be considered and enacted, including possible changes to the bylaws. As a local of the national organization, mandates of operation are also in place that may pose a conflict in some considered changes within the organization. […] Tim, NorDCOG first officer, offered this summation of the meeting, “We had a wonderful meeting with members of the community who came together  to help Northern Dawn figure out what we need to do to survive and remain viable in the future.  I think it was wonderful that we had so many diverse people show up tonight. We will be working on scheduling a followup meeting ”

In a closing commentary, Linde offers two scenarios for survival, the council can modify its bylaws and work at becoming more inclusive, or break away from COG entirely and reform as a general-purpose Pagan organization for the region. Looking at recent conversations at their Facebook group, it seems like both options have their proponents. COG is a vibrant organization that is doing important work in the Pagan community, and beyond, and it could be seen as a step backward for the national body if they were to lose a local council in what is commonly considered a thriving hub of Midwestern Paganism. What happens next is uncertain, though another meeting is scheduled for the Summer to discuss proposals. Stay tuned to PNC-Minnesota for future developments.

Z. Budapest Wants “Theft” of “We All Come From The Goddess” to Stop: Dianic elder Z. Budapest has issued a statement calling for an end to alternate versions and unlicensed recordings of her chant “We All Come From The Goddess,” saying that, quote, “It is my intellectual property. it is NOT a folk song, which by the way is the fate of many composers whose songs are stolen.” Budapest further stated that to “steal my song from now will have consequences. You put men into the song, like God, a hex will be activated.”


“Theft is theft. I cannot be everywhere, but i have experienced women making up new words,attaching it to my song that NEEDS NO attachments. Have you ever heard a man writing a song about the gods, and then put females in it?? Never. So stop you generosity attacks with my songs, write an original .Men who had Mozart and Schubert amongst them,surely will come up with their own songs .  Women like to give away and include but please do it with your own intellectual property.  I wrote that song for the Goddess worshipping women. Its gone around the globe. I don’t mind you singing it, only selling it and not giving me credit. Its a sacred song, and i will protect it! Speak up when you hear this song abused, and write to me. Blesssed be!”

When asked for clarification, Budapest said that she “wanted the song to be OUT there and reach everybody. The Goddess includes all of us. Just don’t try to ad on ‘god’ stuff.” So I assume she means alternate versions like “We All Come From the Horned God” that have been created over the years. Does this “hex” also include “Hoof and Horn,” a chant often intertwined with “We All Come From the Goddess”?  Certainly it is her right to assert copyright and demand fair credit, though I wonder if the toothpaste can be pushed back in the tube when it comes to variants and performances of them in the Pagan community.

Other Community Notes:

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

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208 responses to “Pagan Community Notes: A Pagan Library in DC, A COG Council’s Uncertain Future, Z. Budapest Asserts Copyright, and More!”

  1. In the case of Rev. Z budapest assertion of her copyrights, she needs to make a clear and legal fair use doctrine. Otherwise the community is in a huge legal liability if it does not. The question will be has she allowed the copyright to deterioate so badly that it is unenforceable, and thus she can only resort to black magic and hexing to try to contain it.  This is not a little question as The Happy Birthday Song is owned by Warner Brothers, and has been enforced against all profit making organizations. Any festival that uses this, all the covers of it, and many more are now on the edge if she asserts a desire for royalties. I bet a lot of entertainment and intellectual rights attorneys may be interested in this.

    I love the Washing DC library is open, that is a amazing capability of that community. Excellent work.

  2. Apologies for being overly snarky, but I kind of want a MTF Transgender musician to do a remix/derivative work of this song. Just to see steam come out of Z’s ears.

    Someone needs to sit her down and have her watch ‘Transamerica’ and ‘Everything is a Remix.’ Not necessarily in that order, and not necessarily on the same day.

    Again, apologies for snark. I’ve just been really frustrated with her recently. I believe it’s important to honor our Elders, and historically she’s done a lot for the Pagan community in general and the Dianic tradition specifically. But she’s also caused a great deal of harm recently. And I think the one of the best ways to honor her is to point out where she’s harming more than helping. (Gently and respectfully, of course. She’s earned that much.)

  3. I’m especially troubled by her assertion that no one’s allowed to make derivative work from this song. Fair Use is an established doctrine in copyright law, and a defensible argument can be made that the ‘Horned God’ derivative is protected by Fair Use. Unless it’s clear that there’s no meaningful difference between the derivative and the original work- and it can be demonstrated in court- fighting it won’t do her any good.

    All that does is send a signal that the art she’s created for the Pagan community are, in fact, her property and we can’t use it. In some cases, she may be correct, and it would certainly be her right to assert that. But at a time when the Pagan community is still trying to build a collective culture and aesthetic and history, this kind of aggression would hurt the community a lot more than it would help her. It’s possible that she doesn’t care, but I don’t think that’s true.

  4. It truly saddens me to see something and someone so beloved for so many years ,be attached to such hatred and bigotry. While I Honor  Z;s rights to her music and intellectual property. To Attach a Threat a “Hex”, in her words to a song that has been so sacred to the community is a Slap in the face to the Gods as Well as the Goddess . It is so sad the road she has taken over the last few years . as I said to her in her facebook  post I feel sorry for her.

  5. When Z’s actions are worthy of respect, I’ll start giving her respect.  So long as she keeps running around the center ring wearing a frizzy wig, red rubber nose, and floppy shoes I see no reason to treat her as anything but comic relief. 

  6. No, I don’t think she cares at this point.  As has been pointed out numerous times in the various threads discussing this issue, she’s old, bitter, and at this point is reminiscing for a time long ago when she believed second-wave feminism and Dianic Wicca would someday rule the world.  Her threat of the “hex” is simultaneously humorous and sad, and all of this (along with the Pantheacon transgender controversy) is the sound of someone trying to burn out rather than fade away.

    That said, it absolutely nauseates me to see people refer to her as a “scumbag”, link to deliberately sexist comedy snippets, or imply that they’re wishing for her demise.  So… you (not you, IronLemur, but others in this thread) don’t like her, and to show that you act like her?  Not very sensible to me.

  7. People have been trying to do that for some time: she has steadfastly refused to be enlightened or to admit any wrongdoing.  At this point I figure she’s earned any mockery she receives for her antics.  If polite discourse doesn’t get the point across, maybe widespread scorn will.

  8.  Yeah, right now Z is just being ridiculous.  I think this new rant of hers is reactionary and clearly a case of sour grapes over the incidents at PCon.  It’s also obvious now that she is in fact a man-hater, and I don’t use that term lightly.  Her anti-anything-male attitude is giving feminists and Goddess centered Pagans a bad name.  She is hurting Paganism as a whole.  Who wants to be associated with that type of bigotry?  Also, a hex?  Really, Z?  She’s not getting her way so she’s taking her ball and going home, I suppose.

  9. So excited about the Pagan library in D.C.  Congratulations to the Open Hearth Foundation.  

  10. How long have Z’s songs been in circulation?  Years? Did she JUST find out about the variations that are out there?  If someone adds a verse and attributes the song, except that one verse to her, do they still get hexed? 
    Honestly I have never heard her song.  I first discovered her when I found a poem called Purification.  I had no idea what she stood for.
    It’s sad she is behaving this way.

  11. So the actions she’s done in the past aren’t worthy of respect?  Just because she’s gone off the deep end the last few years doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve our admiration for what she did, and what she accomplished.

    We should treat her as we treat any elderly relative who’s suffering from mental issues – with the respect due any human being, admiration for what they’ve done,  and do our best to help them avoid doing any (more) harm to themselves or others.

  12. I gave her due props during the whole transgender flap. Sure, she’s an important figure in the development of Women’s Spirituality.  But she’s also long been notorious as a ranting anti-trans anti-male kook and a serial abuser of those who get close to her in the women’s community.  She’s profited from silence and bullying at least as much as John Friend and other  slimy “Elders” have.  

    Most of her antics nowadays are just more of the same old crapola she’s been pulling for decades.  It’s just that her rants have grown more strident as she has become more irrelevant.  And so I figure if she wants attention I’ll happily oblige.   

  13. though I find Z’s behavior repugnant – the incredible ageist comments that I’ve seen on this thread, as well as others, amaze me.  What happened to respect for elders?  One doesn’t have to agree with the elder, but to be ageist in response to their insanity is unbecoming.

  14. Budapest has been this way the entire time.

    People are just seeing her for what she always has been. Which is exactly what she is now a bitter has been that has seen Paganism grow in ways she dosn’t like.

  15. Z has grown more and more bitter and more and more a bigot over the years.  The more fuel given her through attention, the more she will burn bright with her nastiness.  Ignore her.  Take the fuel away from her.  She certainly deserves credit for the creation of this wonderful chant.  Give that to her.  Otherwise ignore her rants.  And, the organizers at Pantheacon need to step up and stop inviting her back.  In doing so, they validate her behavior, which is simply not acceptable.

  16. Z sees  nothing wrong with calling trans women “mutilated men.”  I see nothing wrong with calling her a hateful old fruitbat.  If she wants the respect due an elder, she can earn it like everyone else by acting like an elder. 

    I also think giving her a pass because of “insanity,” “mental illness” etc. is in some ways more ageist and marginalizing than calling her on her misbehavior.  Blaming every stupid thing senior citizens do on Alzheimer’s Disease takes away their free agency and their responsibility for their actions. If Z is truly suffering from dementia it behooves her companions and compatriots to get her the help she needs and stop her from further degrading herself publicly.  If not, then she can be held accountable for her words just like every other adult.

  17. There are a few interesting things that Mrs. B (Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom) points out on her facebook page that is interesting:


    Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom From Z.’s Youtube page, “We all come from the Goddess is a chanted song that I wrote some years ago. I am deeply touched at its influence throughout the world and adaptation into many religions. Let me know if you create a version of We all come from the Goddess.”

    And this little tidbit:


    Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom Another point I’d make: On another youtube site, uploaded by Z. the song is listed as “We all come from the Goddess by feminist witch Z Budapest ( & the Susan B. Anthony Coven Number 1 of the Dianic Women’s Tradition. Lyrics by Z Budapest and music by Lindie Lila”. 
    So technically, unless I’m wrong, we don’t need Z.’s permission to create all new lyrics to put to the music – we just need LL’s permission to use the music (though generally just singing ’round the fire would be considered Fair Use anyhoo).


    The second tidbit can be found at where in the video description is stated, by Z, that she only did the lyrics and not the music.

    I have not found the post on YouTube that Mrs. B was refering to in her first blurb, but from what I have seen of her, I don’t doubt it.

    People wonder why Z is losing popularity and clout among Pagans. I for one has not personally met someone that does respect her

  18. Very much so. As an author, I can understand intellectual rights, but I think she’s let this one go waaaaaaay too long to be able to enforce it. I remember chanting “We All Come From the Goddess” and “We All Come From the Sun God” at Circle’s Pagan Spirit Gathering in 1982. Making a stand ~now~ does seem to be a little late. 

    Many years ago, when I was involved with COG, Z was trying her level best to pressure me to do something that was bad practice financially and could’ve been termed “money laundering.” I don’t think she understood this, no matter how much I explained it, and I am absolutely certain that there was no criminal intent on her part… but it was not something that I was going to authorize because it could’ve gotten everyone into very hot water. Moreover, I kept trying to explain, she didn’t need to do this. I laid out a plan for her that made her an add’l $2000 to keep at no add’l expense. She didn’t like that for some reason and wanted to do it her (bad) way. No, I said, this ain’t gonna happen. “Well, listen, honey!” Z said in her best patriarchal tones, “I’m the founder of COG and I should be able to do what I want!” I replied “I don’t recall seeing your name on the incorporation papers, but even if that were true, you of all people should know that we have to follow the law. So, no!” She was not happy with me and kept trying to pressure my successor. That didn’t work out, either. 

    Z has done some amazing things for women’s spirituality and given women a base of personal power to cling to, but personally, she’s not someone who does well with disagreement. I shall treasure her “Well, listen, honey!” phrase (which she seemed to use whenever she’s lecturing someone who won’t do what she wants) forever. And I adore her claim that she was the sole founder of COG. (I asked her about this in some detail to see how far she’d push it: yes, she said, she was the SOLE founder of COG. Gosh, imagine that!) 

  19. This kerfuffle reminds me: does anyone have the lyrics to “We all come from Milwaukee”? I do not know the wag who recorded it, and only heard it once on tape at Fracesca’s. The only evidence on the web is my own asking after it at another Pagan blog. Truly, it’s a fine parody which should be preserved.

  20. I don’t think that Alzheimer’s is the root cause (though I’ve not talked to her in years; what do I know?) and I didn’t think that until the subject came up. I think she’s always been like this and it’s more like “something crawled up her butt and died again.” This is completely in character from my experiences in the past. 

    BTW, Kenaz, I don’t recall running into anyone else who used the term “fruitbat” before. Far out!! Where’d you pick it up? 

  21. Honestly not sure where I picked up “fruitbat” but it seems to fit  the subject at hand. 

    And I agree with you regarding Z’s behavior.  From everything I’ve heard, she’s been a hateful bully for decades.  Now that she’s becoming irrelevant, she’s acting out more in a desperate attempt to get the attention she craves.  So I see no reason to treat her with anything but the contempt she deserves.  If she’d prefer better, she can act better.

  22. TThe thing about art is that it gets copied and changed all the time. Just look at Shakespeare, the Bard for gods’ sakes copied other plays repeatedly. That is just how art works and if you are going to put art out there (especially good chanty music like this that is great to use in a Circle) you have to expect that. Instead of looking at it as stealing, she should take it as an honor. After all, mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery, right.

  23. I do not want to belabor the point about Z. Budapest, but I have a couple of thoughts. I think that the best thing to do would be to completely drop the use of that song, period the end, and let it lapse into nothing.  She has shown herself incapable of retaining the respect that she might have earned for her work in years past, and respect is something that is not permanent.  If she cannot afford to give out basic human respect, I have no compulsion to even remotely return the same.

    And I am somewhat amused and incensed by the fact that she’s actively threatening malefic magic on people.  The principle of the statement irritates me, and amounts to nothing more than cantankerous vigilantism.

  24. I acknowledge that Z was in her time a groundbreaker that brought awareness to the Goddess movement.  For that she should be honoured.

    However, she is acting out bitterly and seems to almost resent the fact that the movement has moved on without her having a say-so in it.  Well, that’s the nature of social movements: they change. And either you do, too, and become gracious about that process or you end up being left behind by the very thing you helped to create.

    The entire P’Con issue is regrettable and I wish I could have been there to lend my support to those who protest outside the ritual that she was conducting.    As for the intellectual property of that song, IMO, she can take that particular marble and go home.  If no one ever plays or sings it again, it won’t be soon enough. Speaking only for myself, I really have always intensely disliked that song from the first time hearing it.  The tune and its redundancy even as a chant I personally find it annoying in the extreme.

  25. I wonder, are other branches of COG in trouble? Is the organization still relevant?

  26. The fact that Z. Budapest is willing to not only curse her own music but also invoke the oppressive system of Western copyright law demonstrates just how filled with hate she’s become these days. It’s become painfully obvious that the only ethical option at this point is for people to disavow and shun her; whatever she may have been in the past, she’s a purely toxic influence on the pagan community now. 
    As someone who is currently searching for a spiritual path, I have to say that the fact that people are outright defending these actions is making me think twice about embracing the pagan community even though I’m finding great value in what I read about paganism. Paganism is starting to sound a lot more like Christianity: good in theory, not so good in actual practice. 

  27. OT, but the logo for the Northern Dawn is pretty much exact to a drawing style and symbolism of the deer in Siberian and Scythian art from thousands of years ago. It made me happy to see that.

    Back on topic, good luck to them 🙁

  28. I think calling Z. Budapest a fruitbat is completely unfair to fruit bats, who play an important role in the ecosystem and are also totally cool creatures. She’s a power tripping asshole, pure and simple.

  29. I can’t speak to the status of other COG branches, but I do know that COG is doing some excellent work. Both in regards to local activism on the ground, and increasingly in the global interfaith community. What they really need, IMHO, is better PR, and an influx of younger blood.

  30. I’m kind of torn on the Z Budapest thing.  In coven, we’ve sung the “Horned God” version alongside the “Goddess” version in years gone by as a way of celebrating the male/female polarity.  It’s a catchy tune, and it’s been a Pagan classic for literally decades.  Furthermore, so much of modern Paganism is a mashup of ancient & contemporary influences – – many of us call on multiple pantheons and mix-and-match every other ritual element imaginable, in an effort to evolve something truly current.

    But isn’t the Dianic critique about boundaries – – and about how sometimes people of attribute X (in her case, men) don’t respect them and must be pushed back for safety & growth to happen?  That’s not how I’d want to live my spiritual life, but isn’t it our obligation to say “live & let live” and step back?  And if that’s so, then if Z Budapest — as the author of the song — wants to make this sort of claim about her work, isn’t that consistent with the rest of her critique and equally deserving of accommodation?

    I don’t share the worldview that leads to Z Budapest’s action here – – and I think many of us are working to heal and prevent the sort of wounds that might result in that worldview.  But I do think it’s counterproductive to address it with anything other than compassion & the distance she’s asking for.  It’s just one song – – a good one.  There are many others, and many yet to be written.  I don’t feel impoverished by striking it from my repertoire.

  31. Whether or not Z is a feminist that only allows women, is not the issue.  The issue is her music, her song.

    There are many different kinds of Dianic Traditions that are not feminist, like the Mcfarland Tradition. Which uses the “We all come from the goddess” song.

    Taking the song and adding to it to me seems ok of but throwing  horned god in replacement of goddess, is not.

    There are many people that believe that we were created by one being, and we use parts of that being in rituals

    Biologically when a fetus is in the womb of a woman they are female for the first bit until the hormones kick in.

    Personally I believe in Equality, I am dianic but I don’t follow Z’s tradition

    I respect My Sisters and Brothers

    Love and Light

  32. A hex? Really?

    A sincere request, hoping people who liked her chant would respect the writer enough to consider her intentions, wasn’t good enough? She had to hex the chant?

    Is that really appropriate for a chant used for non-hexing purposes?

  33. Soooo, did Z curse Isaac Bonewitz for the “A minor D minor Pagan Dirge” parody of “We all come from the Goddess?”

  34. Does anyone else wonder what the curse would be?

    And it it just me or does she sound like a petulant child?

  35. I have a lot of respect for the organization on the national level, but I have to say it’s damn hard for the average pagan to join or interface with COG in any real way. As I understand the rules, if there’s a local council, you’ve got to jump through all sorts of hoops to “prove” yourself to what is usually the old, old line trad clergy and get accepted as “one of them.”
        You’ve also then have to contend with whatever baggage and bad blood they may have with you even by remote degrees of association – ie if you once were initiated by someone “on the outs” with the current leadership council. Honestly, if it were a matter of just joining and rolling up my sleeves and pitching in, I’d be all about it, but I’m too old and too busy to be playing high school politics to “prove” to someone that I’m “real clergy” or that my group is “real enough” for someone’s taste.  At least in my part of the world, COG seems to be a group by and for “Pagan leaders” as they were understood in the 1970s and 80s. If that continues to be the case ,the group is going to sideline itself once that old guard passes on. 

  36.  People will be people and no religious system is perfect because people aren’t perfect.  Plus, there is a lot more to Paganism than just Z Budapest and her followers and a lot more to Paganism than just Wicca- no offense to Wicca, but Paganism is a wide and varied field.

  37. Pat Robertson is the only prominent US semi-politician I hear speaking against the drug war.

    Props where it’s due.

  38. Oh, and becuz I was so wrapped up in Z’s latest “boys have cooties” rant, I forgot to say….

    CONGRATS to the Open Hearth Foundation on the AMAZING library project there in D.C.  You guys absolutely rule!

  39. Hey, look – s/h/it is back! 

    Got any more speculations on how Z’s account was hacked or the owner of Fruit of Pain forged her address into the comment?

  40.  It does sound like sour grapes.. but normally when someone doesn’t want to participate themselves in a ritual they also don’t pack the hallway outside of it.

    Cause that is disruptive and rude.

  41. I completely disagree with Z’s take on the adding of verses, but some of the comments on here are reprehensible.  We can do better as a community.    

  42.  And btw, Kenz if you don’t like that I’m anonymous so you can’t try to make personal attacks, then just don’t respond. 
    I’m not interested.

  43. Really chaps your ass to see your Fearless Leader getting her just desserts from the folks she thought were her community, doesn’t it, s/h/it? 

  44. I agree, Ed, in that by Z’s failure over the past 35-40 (?) years to aggressively pursue her intellectual property rights, she may well have lost them.  For the average pagan using the chant in a religious setting, however, US Copyright law provides an exception for religious use:

    (3) performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work or of a dramatico-musical work of a religious nature, or display of a work, in the course of services at a place of worship or other religious assembly;

    Of course, other sections apply to those who are recording the chant for sale.

  45. Along with ageism, I see you’re still USING that sexist/genderist/derogatory term you coined to slur those who don’t feel like sitting within your identity umbrellas.
    You don’t hurt my feelings, nor is Z my fearless leader or anyone I’ve even met.  You anger me by your injustice, sexism, ageism, abusive online conduct, etc.

  46. Really chaps your ass to see your Fearless Leader getting the scorn and mockery she deserves for her antics, doesn’t it, cisgender s/h/it?

    Is that  better?

  47.  You can call yourself anything you like, but that’s not what you should call me, if you  aren’t meaning t be sexist and derogatory.  That wasn’t this guest, and I said so before, so you created the theory there is only one Anonymous.
    Which is great.
    Call me Spartacus. 

  48. When the pagan community-at-large refuses to call out oppressive behavior like this the way it should be, then it is not a safe place for me to be. 

  49. You totally fail developmental biology. That’s not how sexual differentiation of fetuses works at all.

  50.  Many Pagans have called her out on her behavior. If you want every Pagan in existence to call her out, well, that’s not going to happen, because that sort of unity doesn’t happen with anything. Especially in our community, which doesn’t have a single group that speaks for all of us.

  51. The vast majority of comments I’ve seen here have ranged from critical to downright snarky re: Z’s anti-transgender and anti-male rantings. Her supporters (in this thread, supporter singular) are greatly outnumbered by those who find her behavior offensive and despicable. 

  52. Kenneth,

    It’s not either “just joining and pitching in” or simply old line trad clergy acceptance as one of them. It’s mostly that the organization runs on a consensus basis, so being able to work well with each other is a substantial issue in making decisions, including on applications. Each member weilds an incredible potential influence, so it’s a bit perjorative to characterize it as high school politics. Getting consensus on applicants and other organizational decisions takes some pretty hard work interally, especially if someone has reservations about an applicant. I certainly hope that CoG can effectively involve younger folks and stay viable, and one of it’s strengths is the local councils. My local council usually tries to ensure that applicants know what to expect and have the patience for decisions to be made, but I understand the frustration. I don’t think that CoG is, or should be, the be all and end all of organizattions for Witches and Wiccans, but it’s got a role and plays some of it well, as Jason pointed out.

  53.  (puts on Biologist hat)
    You are correct. Sex is determined at conception. Dad’s sperm has either an X or a Y chromosome, which joins with Mom’s X when it enters the egg. Nondisjunction sometimes gives you variants of XX or XY, when you’ve got either too few or too many chromosomes.

    Sex organs begin to develop around weeks 8-12 of gestation and aren’t visible by ultrasound until about week 20, but the fetus is already (genotypically) either male or female. An XY male does need to respond to certain hormone levels during development in order to develop male brains and bodies.
    –Essentially, you’re both right, but as with any topic under the heading of “Biology,” it’s always more complicated than that.

    Gender is another thing entirely and is not nearly as neat and tidy as sex determination. Gender is partly determined by differences in the physical structure of the brain, but it’s not very well understood. One theory is that gender is connected to the aforementioned fetal developmental stages, especially in the case of M-F transgendered persons, but this is not something I’m well-versed in.
    (takes off Biologist hat)

  54. Faoladh, CoG’s local councils sometimes rise and fall, but there isn’t a particular sense of it’s local councils being in trouble that I can see. Still relevant, too, although there are plenty of other great things that other organizations are doing, too

  55. Thanks!  Our library committee worked their butts off to create a professional Pagan library 🙂

  56. Thanks Ed.  Our library committee is incredibly dedicated, and they are awed by the reaction.

  57. Sean, I’d like to talk to your committee people about how you did it. If that would be possible

  58. I know, I love the flowers blossoming from the tines of the stag. Beautiful. As you said, we need all the help we can get, so good luck to them in thier search. 

  59. Thanks Crystal!  Our library committee volunteers worked really hard to get it up to professional standards.  And the launch party was awesome 🙂

  60. They’re not going to get younger folks involved at all if they keep on this track. Young people as a general matter these days are not “joiners” or institutional people to begin with.
        They can be persuaded to join things, but not if it’s going to mean undergoing a vetting process like the Victorian-Era gentlemen’s clubs to make sure you’re seen as the “right sort” by the “committee.” None of the younger generation is going to waste five minutes on that game, and it’s showing. All of the COG membership I have happened to run across in my region is on the very long side of 50. The name “COG” doesn’t even compute with most of the pagans I come across who are under 40, or certainly 35.    I suspect the consensus model itself  tends to keep things moribund. I get why they like consensus, but it has its drawbacks. It only works if you have a few strong personalities and a vast majority of “go along to get along” types. That rarely produces anything interesting or bold, and it also creates a perverse incentive to keep “young blood” out. The core of old-time leaders who are used to deference and “the way things are done” aren’t going to welcome anyone who might rock the boat with new ideas or difficult questions. I don’t think COG has to be the only vehicle for involvement either, but for all it has done, it is truly running at 1 or 2% of its real potential, and that is only going to diminish with time on the current course. 

  61. I guess my question for Z Budapest is “Why Now?”  I don’t suppose it ever occured to me that the God-centered lyrics (Hoof and Horn, Corn and Grain, etc) were *not* part of the original tradition of this song.  I have been singing it in ritual since I got involved in Paganism back in college and I know other people have been singing it that way for much longer. 

    I’m not even arguing that she didn’t write the original chant, but I just wonder why now in 2012 that is has become an issue? 

  62. As an artist, Z can and should defend copyrights against commercial infringement. On the other hand, if she thinks she’s going to impose her personal Dianic orthodoxy on private use and adaptation of musical tradition, she can stick that hex where the moon don’t shine!

  63. Not using legacy liturgy makes for lots of room for new liturgy. Time to make new chants, learn ’em, use ’em. 

  64. Frankly, I’d just like to know: if my local CUUPS chapter sings the song, and gives her credit, are we at least allowed to correct the history part?  Because there weren’t even 9 million women in Europe during the Inquisition!

  65. Surely Z. Budapest knows that intellectual property control is an invention of men.  Why is she buying into it?

  66. I am too.  That’s quite a collection of books to amass in six months!  OHF should be proud. 🙂

  67. I’d known the first two verses for years.  Verse 1 was always attributed to Budapest, but Verse 2 (“Isis, Astarte, Diana,” etc.) seldom was.

    Then I heard the verse about the “Burning Times” and facepalmed.

  68. Seconding.  I’ve never heard this parody, but if it’s anything like the other “zingers” I’ve encountered in the Pagan community, it should be well worth learning.

  69. This is such fantastic news! You should be proud of the work you’ve done.
    I’d love to see similar libraries and such popping up all over the country as Paganism continues to grow. Great work!

  70.  Apparently, looking female–or needing hormones to develop a penis that aren’t yet there–is the same thing as BEING female.

    Wonder if Jen knows any FTM’s, and how she explains that.

  71.  Clearly the curse is impotence.  Can’t have all those MEN enjoying themselves at her expense, after all.

  72.  It’s not ageist to point out that someone has let
    themselves become irrelevant in their own movement by not keeping up with the
    Personally, I think it has nothing to do with her age as I know a few older
    people with a lot of understanding of modern ideas. I think Z is just an
    intellectually lazy and juvenile person and it got progressively worse (or
    perhaps just more obvious) over time. 

  73. Well,  poor old Z never fails to be entertaining. If I were involved in this I’d be tempted to say, “I’ll see your hex and raise you four demons.”

  74. i personaly am not a fan of Z, but i do sorta understand her point . A bit late though, i have heard this chant before my self , tis a quite lovely one . This action is like closing the barn door after the horse got out.The hex is ridiclulous. I understand Z is a dyed in the wool Feminist Dianic , but this chant has been out and about in the pagan universe to long to do this now .From my understanding she had said pagans could use it . I understand her being upset about her chant being modified ……………but a hex , come on folks .And quess what Z….. pagan men are not out to get you and your dianic freinds , actually we support you as one of our own , a fellow pagan . Pagan men as whole support our Dianic sisters and Pagan Woman in general, we want strong , intelligent ladies at our side.Granted society as a whole is not on womens side , but pagan men are .Actualy by definition most pagan men are feminists or feminist supports if that sounds better.   Kilm

  75. I figured I would get flamed, I know That what I said is not fully factual about Biology. My partner is a MTF transgendered woman.
    But that Aside we  are taking about a song. It is a mockery to Z and to be honest changing the song like that insults me

    You can flame me, hate me but I love you all anyways

    Love and respect to all

  76. no there is not

    We all come from the goddess and to her we will chall return like a drop of rain flowing to the ocean. Followed by another song Issis astare innana esct then it jumps to

    “we all come from the horned one, and to him we chall return  like a drop of rain flowing to the ocean.”

    We all come from the goddess and to her we will chall return like a drop of rain flowing to the ocean.

    the person that wrote that could not be anyless creative?

    If you want to make a god verse make one not copy and past

    Love and Light Sisters and Brothers

  77. Z definitely has found a second career as Pagan comic relief.  I’m reminded of Andy Kaufman in drag as a female wrestler, working overtime to get the audience throwing popcorn boxes at her.   

  78. What she wants is “an end to alternate versions and unlicensed recordings of her chant”. If someone is selling copies of the song and getting money for it, then that’s wrong.  That IS copywrite infringement. 
    If you plan on adding the song to a recording and don’t ask her for her permission, that’s illegal. 

  79. My guess is she’s pissed at the wider pagan community over the whole transgender business and probably rightly upset about some copyright issues as well. 

  80. Honestly I don’t like Z’s way of publicly threatening people. I also do not like the fact she says its mens faults.. but its her was of expressing anger.. Its not appropriate but she dung her own grave

  81. The press for civil rights is always disruptive and rude because bigotry, by it’s very nature,  doesn’t get civility.

  82. Not really a good idea not to have your facts straight about science if you plan on using it as an argument…

  83. Biology was not an argument it was my way of saying that women and men are equal in the eyes of the goddess. Because we all were female in our mothers wombs.

    But by not fully stating what I was talking about people got angry at it

  84. That’s true, but a substantial number of the people who stood up against Z at Pantheacon (which is when the toxic contamination of paganism by second-wave feminism became very apparent to me) went out of their way to explain that they were only protesting her use of inflammatory language.

    Protesting bigoted language while defending the actual substance of bigotry like that is not the mark of a community which has any actual respect for trans women.

  85. But its ok I’m used to the hate and anger, I don’t let it flow into my positiveness

    No matter how blood thursty people are
    I value all opinions so that I may grow as a witch
    for example the biology idea caused extra anger so I will reavalueate how I come across

    I Love and respect everyone

    and in the future I will elaberate my views in a more positive light


    Love and light to all my sisters and Brothers

  86. I think my biologist hat is totally shinier than your biologist hat. 😛

    It’s more correct to point out that sex is not monolithic:  genes don’t necessarily match hormones, hormones don’t necessarily match phenotype, and phenotype doesn’t necessarily match neurotype. So genetic sex is determined at conception by having a sperm with an X or Y chromosome, plus or minus nondisjunction events. But hormonal sex doesn’t even start happening until the second trimester when the SRY gene activates if present, and  phenotypal and neurotypal sex develop in response to said hormones. Plus exogenous hormones from the mother.

    As for gender, that’s more in the psychology department. . . and as a cognitive scientist, I’ve got that hat too.

    Gender is an emergent characteristic which manifests around the ages of two to four, and itself is multilayered: gender identity is the innate component linked to neurotypal sex, gender role is the social component based on internalized cultural norms, and gender expression is the outward expression.

  87. Jen, 

    There are two versions of the masculine version I have heard>

    We all come from the Sun God , Horned god
    and to him we shall return
    like a spark of flame,
    soaring to the heavens

    It is a very similar song, but it is different enough 

  88. Congrats on the library!

    Something that occurred to me (as I was driving home from the steakhouse where my family met to have a lovely supper) about all this ranting on Z’s part about males being put into HER song, is that “hoof and horn” is more accurately referring to Cows. You know, Hathor,  Boann, other Cow Goddesses.  They have both hooves and horns.  I know I have had the image of a stag when singing that verse, but deer have antlers, not horns. [/channeling of Sheldon Cooper]

    So… “Hoof and horn… all that dies shall be reborn, Corn and grain…all that falls shall rise again can be as purely female as any anti-male person wants to make it.  Though I suppose the idea of meat animals might offend… oh never mind.

    The other verse I’ve learned is “Crone and Sage…. Sage and Crone….” which definitely brings in a *gasp* balance of male and female elders, but I guess any who think males never gain wisdom (despite all the evidence in our community to the contrary) can refuse to sing it. (~_^)

    I’ve never heard versions that replace Goddess with any male deity concept, but then, I don’t get out much.:-)  I think the Folk Process has taken over though with this chant. As I understand things, parody usage is legal, even with the performers of the parody version making money from it.  Is that correct?

  89. Something else just occurred to me while listening to the MamaGaia chant.

    In the Celtic tradition, songs are often combined, played together alternating, such that each song compliments the other, supports and builds upon the other.

    That is how I see the original chant when combined with the “hoof and horn” and “sage and crone” verses.

    It’s an old tradition.

    Not that anyone has to share my perspectives, but don’t many artists hope for the kind of immortality that this chant has?  I know when hubbie and I discuss music, whether it’ll still be being played and listened to decades later is one of our measures of “Good.”

  90. Yes. I try to use my “Speaking to general audiences” voice when, y’know, speaking to general audiences. Eyes will often glaze over when you bust out words like “genotype,” so I try to use simple language whenever possible.

    Also I’m the “morphology of lepidoptera” and “taxonomist” kind of biologist, so fetal development is not my strong suit. I am in the process of harboring a fetus, however, and have done it once before so I do have a fair to middlin’ idea of what goes on. I’m really just better at describing butterfly genitalia than I am at telling you the intricacies of how the human ones develop in utero.

    Neither biologist hat is shinier than the other, my friend. We just have ::different:: biologist hats.

  91. For the record, I just wanted to clarify sex determination and had really not put any value judgment on your statements. I think Biology is an interesting and fun topic to talk about and it’s good when we can better understand the wonderful ways in which the gods have put life together.
    Sometimes people have some odd ideas about the natural world and it’s good to try to illuminate these topics where you can. You were actually sort of correct. Some species have temperature-dependent sex determination, which is really cool. I think frogs, crocodiles, and/or alligators do, but I’m not so good with vertebrates and can’t remember precisely.

    Once a guy asked me whether the male or female mosquito was the one that reproduced. (Hint: it takes two to tango) And I’ve had some crazier questions than that.
    So, no need to be bothered on my account! No flames here other than that which lights the lamp of knowledge! Wheeeeeeee! Knowledge!

  92. I’m ok with that version, The one I was listening to was copy and paste and switched the goddess for horned god

  93. Thanks, and yes I find biology interesting.. Don’t freak out at the name of the show… I watch crazy animal sex.  its about animals and reproduction. Some gross be out like the molerats I think its called Inbreads, the sea horse is cool the female is bigger then the male and when reproducing the male gets sucked into the females body… and there is a spiece of bugs that the females constantly  have sex with eachother and the males go collect the food.  I could go on and on really good show

    Love and Light

  94. For the scientifically minded:

    “We all come from the Cosmos
    And to It we shall return
    Like a cloud of gas and dust
    coalescing to a star”

    I was going to post this in Z Budapest’s two threads, but I seem
    to have been blocked. Anyone is free to do what they want with it.

  95. I think both Kenaz’ anger and attitude are helping a lot, frankly, because it’s refusing to allow people to continue to ignore the issues she continues to raise. Angry protest has demolished many a wall of complacency. 

  96. Well, when you’re silly enough to continue using “Guest,” you’re gonna have to take the criticism for anything “Guest” says. That sorta comes with the territory. Or, you could just grow a pair and put your name to your thoughts like so many of the rest of us. In my case, this is the name I was born with.

  97. That, and the vast majority of her supporters cower under the name of “Guest.” What kinda womens’ empowerment is that?

  98. Are you asserting that there were fewer than 18 million people in Europe in the 16th-17th centuries? Because I’m pretty sure that is not correct.

  99. That’s good to hear, though I wish that we had more easily available public information about what, exactly, they are doing. So, yes, better PR is necessary for them. You’d think that people who were trained in magic would have that realization.

    Is what is said downthread there true? Are they consensus-based? Because that’s not really an effective model for an organization on the scale they seem to be intended to cover.


    I agree, Ed, in that by Z’s failure over the past 35-40 (?) years to
    aggressively pursue her intellectual property rights, she may well have
    lost them.

    No, she hasn’t.

    On the other hand, she hasn’t a leg to stand on, legally, surrounding derivative works.

  101.  Transamerica is actually a terrible film to learn about trans issues from — and I say this as a man “of history”.   I could give you a point-by-point analysis on everything that’s wrong with it, but if you’re a fan, I fear I’d just be wasting my time by doing so.

  102. …and a serial abuser of those who get close to her in the women’s
    community.  She’s profited from silence and bullying at least as much as
    John Friend and other  slimy “Elders” have.

    This, I did not previously know.  Can’t say I’m surprised.

  103. What happened to respect for elders?

    1.  Zsuzsanna Budapest is not an elder in my religion –I’d wager that she’s also not an elder in *most* pagan religions.

    2.  Respect is something earned through actions toward the community.  Ms Budapest has been nothing but divisive, especially in recent years.  I don’t see how that’s deserving of respect.

    I hope this helps.

  104. There’s plenty wrong with calling her a fruitbat!  Fruitbats are adorable and need our love!  Don’t disrespect the fruitbats!

    I also think giving her a pass because of “insanity,” “mental illness”
    etc. is in some ways more ageist and marginalizing than calling her on
    her misbehavior.  Blaming every stupid thing senior citizens do on
    Alzheimer’s Disease takes away their free agency and their
    responsibility for their actions. If Z is truly suffering from dementia it behooves her companions and
    compatriots to get her the help she needs and stop her from further
    degrading herself publicly.  If not, then she can be held accountable
    for her words just like every other adult.


  105. So when the Women’s Movement holds a protest against female exclusion and misogyny it’s a noble use of political theatre. But when the trans movement does the same thing against transphobia, it’s disruptive and rude and the trannies should just shut up and accept being shut out.  Good to know.

    BTW, my colleague wants you to ask Z when his pie will be ready. 

  106. We tried polite discourse with Z and her followers and got nowhere.  About the best we got was a “Dianic lawyer” who kept talking about how she wanted to dialogue but everybody was so RUUUUUDE.  When asked substantial questions about i.e. Mary Daly’s notorious “frankenstein monster” comments, she ignored them and went on at length about how her precious fee-fees were hurt by all this RUUUUDENESS.

    And so I figured  “you want to see rude? Challenge accepted.” 

  107. Z’s brand of Dianic Wicca is about the only one I see being really contaminated by second-wave feminism and Mary Dalyesque transphobia.  And while her little coterie is loud, they are small and ever growing smaller.   

    A lot of the people who stood up at Pantheacon wanted to make clear the distinction between public rituals held at an open convention and private circles in a private event. There is no legal mechanism by which we could force Z and her friends to include trans women in her private rituals, any more than we can force Orthodox Jews to seat men and women together in their synagogues. But we do not have to give her exclusionary and bigoted behavior a seal of approval at one of the country’s largest Pagan gatherings.  (And as of now it looks like the organizers of PCon agree. Z isn’t going to be allowed to hold any more “womyn-born-genetic-womyn-with-bleeding-uteri” rituals on the PCon calendar in PCon public space.  That’s part of the reason she’s so spitting mad and waving hexes about like Norma Desmond on a bath salts binge). 

  108. I see. I respect this. However, what happens when a young group of children who have been growing up singing it both ways sing it with the “God”? Will the hex affect them as well? Just food for thought and responsible Crafting.

  109. I’m heartened this comment got 18 likes and Kenz’s coinage and use of “s/h/it” for “she/he/it” for those who haven’t labeled their gender gets only 4. And you can even tell which 4 are said bigots.

  110. I couldn’t agree more. We have sung this chant in our circle since we began over a decade ago. This Beltane, I had decided we were going to sing “We come from the God & Goddess” in honor of the duality of the Sabbat. But I have had it with this woman and her bigotry. We will no longer sing any version of this chant in our circle. To do so would only bring Z’s negativity into our sacred space.

  111. So how do you feel about the fact that this comment from yrs. truly got 21 likes? (I should add that I’ve since apologized to fruit bats for libeling them with a comparison to Z Budapest).

    Z sees  nothing wrong with calling trans women “mutilated men.”  I see nothing wrong with calling her a hateful old fruitbat.  If she wants the respect due an elder, she can earn it like everyone else by acting like an elder.

    Seriously, I do hope Z keeps frothing, ranting and soiling her rubber undies for our general amusement. She’s done more to discredit her cause than anything I could hope to accomplish.  Thanks to her, there are no more “genetic-women-with-bleeding-vaginas-only” rituals being held at Pantheacon. Thanks to her, many Pagans have become aware of trans issues and of the anti-trans bigotry which infects so much second wave feminist thought. And thanks to her, “womyn-born-womyn” space is now increasingly being identified with bigotry and hate rather than safety.  Hell, I couldn’t ask for a better enemy: give Z a gun and she’s sure to blow a hole in her foot.

  112. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan, but I likely didn’t find it as problematic as you did. I will say that your “I’d just be wasting my time” comment was off-putting. While I don’t think you meant it that way, it came off as condescending. I realize that you’ve probably had some awful experiences with internet commenters- Gods know I have- but I would invite you to try to give people the benefit of the doubt. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

  113. The thing about her claims to her work is that in the past she has encouraged people to make versions of that song in the past, in a public forum. Legally, that kinda puts it out there so people can do exactly what she is NOW fighting against.

    As someone pointed out earlier, this is most likely a result of the negative reaction she has received for her action at PaganCon. She could very well likely be seeing enemies at the gate that are simply not there.

    And if there are enemies of hers out there, the whole “Screw you guys, I’m goin’ home” attitude will not win fights or rally allies to your cause.

  114. FYI, whether you get money for the recording or not is irrelevant to whether it’s infringement, all that affects is how much the potential judgement can go for.  

  115.  Those are not “verses” to one song, they are three separate works. “We all come from the Goddess” was written by Z Budapest, “Isis, Astarte, etc.” was written by Deena Metzger, & “Burning Times” was written by Charlie Murphy. Charlie included Metzger’s chant as the chorus to his song, but that’s the only intentional overlap. He’s the one responsible for the “9 million European women died” line, Budapest had nothing to do with it. All three songs are protected under copyright law, as is the work of any artist who creates an original work and doesn’t specifically designate it as belonging to the public domain.

  116. If Z. Budapest wants to be shown the respect due an elder than she’d better start acting like one. An elder does not spew vitriol that harms the standing of the community they represent. An elder does not use threats of violence to silence those they disagree with. An elder uses their power intelligently and responsibly. For instance, instead of hexing her fellow pagans who want to adapt something she created to honor their gods perhaps she should be directing her efforts (magical and otherwise) towards opposing the conservative politicians who are right now passing harmful and demeaning legislation against women. Whatever her past accomplishments, at this stage she clearly cares more about personal aggrandizement than the welfare of her sisters. Frankly, comedian Jon Stewart seems more like a feminist elder than Z. Budapest for bringing some much needed attention to this War on Women – even if it has gotten him in trouble with the Catholic League*. Would that Z. Budapest showed even a fraction of that kind of courage, conviction and wisdom – then, perhaps, she would be deserving of the title of elder. Until then anyone who calls her that is just demonstrating that they hold such concepts to be empty and irrelevant. Shame on her and shame on them. 



    …as is the work of any artist who creates an original work and doesn’t
    specifically designate it as belonging to the public domain.

    That’s not completely true, either.  Some works lapse into public domain after a period of time, though the rule of thumb is that written works with a single creator fall into public domain after the life extent of the creator plus eighty years —there are a few exceptions, like the Authorised King James Bible, which is under Perpetual Crown Copyright in the UK.

    But say my wish comes true and Zsuzsanna Budapest dies tonight or tomorrow, and she was sensible in life and willed the copyright of her works to an heir —the right to that copyright would only be granted until April 2092, after which, ALL of it will lapse into public domain.

  118. The versions cited by Adrian are the ones most used in ritual. In twenty years I’ve never heard the “Drop of rain” part being used for The God.   

  119. …the oppressive system of Western copyright law…

    Yes.  Honestly, as a creative person myself, I can certainly see the use of a copyright law to protect intellectual properties and assure my potential to make a living off my creativity during my lifetime, but the way that copyright law has mutated in the last few decades actually stifles creativity and serves as nothing more than a means to make money for big corporations at the expense of the creators.

    It’s become painfully obvious that the only ethical option at this point is for people to disavow and shun her

    I disagree.  That’s certainly *one* option, but in my experiences, “ignore them and they’ll go away” doesn’t work for bullies.  Showing that you’re not bothered by them, sure, but you have to be active in that.  They tend to interpret being ignored as yourself admitting defeat, which tends to turn around and make reaching their goal of hurting you easier and thus gives them more power.  You have to take a stand, make a joke, or even throw a punch if you want to stop getting bullied.  Ignoring it absolutely DOES NOT EVER, and never has made it stop.

  120. Whereas I’m a cognitive scientist, so fetal development is pretty close to my specialty.

  121. You’re a bit mixed up — it’s anglerfish where the male gets absorbed into the female, not sea horses.

  122. …”hoof and horn” is more accurately referring to Cows. You know, Hathor, Boann, other Cow Goddesses.  They have both hooves and horns.  I know I have had the image of a stag when singing that verse, but deer have antlers, not horns.

    That occurred to me, as well, when listening to the song linked to in the post (I’ve never heard it before).  It’s clearly an Agrigoddess chant.

  123. Would that Z. Budapest showed even a fraction of that kind of courage, conviction and wisdom – then, perhaps, she would be deserving of the title of elder. Until then anyone who calls her that is just demonstrating that they hold such concepts to be empty and irrelevant. Shame on her and shame on them.

    Completely agreed.  “Elder” is supposed to mean something, it’s not a “pass Go and collect $200” status that just falls in one’s lap by being fated to stick around longer than some.

  124. It’s a shame that the announcement of The Open Hearth Foundation’s new library is being announced at the same time as Z’s latest bit of asshattery.  The (richly deserved) outcry against her latest comments seems to be overshadowing the valuable, positive contribution they are making to our community.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t address what Z is saying and doing.  She’s being awful, frankly, and we need to take a stand.  I just hope that some time in the near future we might also get a feature that looks more closely at The Open Hearth Foundation’s new library, because projects like this are important and deserve to be highlighted.  I’m bummed I live on the other side of the country from them!

  125.  A figure of the community who has given much of herself and
    much to others I scratch my in in total dismay over this ‘incident.’ According to this link, in her own words, released
    this chant to the public for free with no such stipulation over 40 years
    ago. This being the case she allowed it to flow into the Public
    Domain by her own will and desire and so it has been used and adapted.  Regretting that decision now, again by her own quotes specifically
    because others have created variants that include subject matter of masculinity that
    she opposes and demands exclusion, is pure folly.  Any legal
    team that would try to push a copyright claim with this being out there now would be hard pressed to
    dissuade any judiciary from throwing their case out immediately upon review. Now, we see here
    she is obviously recanting and claiming it was harmless and she was only trying to assert awareness and please do
    not hate me but once a again adds a jab at the masculine half of the planet, sorry but
    this just smells of regret, Damage Control and utter bitterness to me.  Period.

  126.  “Hoof and Horn” is not part of the “We All Come from the Goddess” chant. It’s a chant from the Reclaiming Tradition, different words, different music, different author. Singing the two chants together as a medley was, I believe, an idea that originated in the Reclaiming Tradition and was first recorded on a cassette tape of Reclaiming chants. This medley caught on because it’s easy to pick up on the fly at public rituals. Consequently many people don’t know that it’s a medley of mixed origins.

    There is a different medley of “We All Come from the Goddess” with two other water-themed chants (different words, different melodies, different authors) on the first Gaia’s Voice recording.

    Making a medley of several songs and chants that harmonize well with each other is a different operation from writing additional verses for an existing song or setting entirely new words to a well known tune.

  127.  According to Chris Godwin, Ian Corrigan wrote Hoof and Horn. I don’t know whether or not Ian was involved with Reclaiming, so my post immediately above needs correction. I’m fairly sure that Reclaiming put the two chants together.

  128.  CoG has never been open to membership by “the average pagan”.
    If no one told you this up front when you inquired, I’m sorry. Membership in CoG is and always has been limited to witches and covens. The decision to make CoG a witchcraft organization rather than a pan-pagan organization was made in order to insure that its members would have enough in common to be able to reach agreement on what to do. This decision was taken after a couple of previous attempts to form broader organizations fell apart.

    Both the national organization and the local councils of CoG cooperate with other pagan organizations and sometimes co-sponsor events. But you have to be a Witch to actually join CoG. That isn’t going to change.

    If you are a coven or a solitary witch, applying to join an existing Local Council does involve some hoop jumping. You can’t just fill out an application and write a check; it’s more like pledging a sorority. The main reason for this is that once a person or coven is admitted to membership, it’s almost impossible to kick them out. Since CoG strives to operate by consensus rather than by majority rule, each person’s behavior and views make a big difference.

    The vetting process is partly objective and partly subjective; the subjective part can be affected by people’s past history and who their friends are, because people are human. My Local Council tries to be fair and evaluate applicants on their own merits.

    CoG was never intended to be the only, biggest or most influential organization in the pagan community. Other organizations run along different lines aren’t competition, they are friends.

  129.  If you are interested enough to visit CoG’s website, click on “What CoG Already Does for You” for a summary of what CoG is doing. I agree that more and better PR would help.

    Operating by consensus has kept CoG a relatively small organization, but also a relatively stable, representative and long-lasting one. CoG was founded in 1975. It’s open to all Craft traditions and isn’t dominated by any one of them. CoG isn’t the property of one or two charismatic individuals, so it has some staying power and the ability to correct its mistakes. It runs on a shoestring and is ultimately controlled by the grassroots, not by the staff or the national officers.

    CoG is able to be consensus-based and still scale up to a degree because in practice, most of the decision making is done by representation. Covens send one or two people to local meetings to represent their views. The annual meetings are attended by people carrying proxies for covens and individuals who can’t attend in person. Some Local Councils delegate authority to their boards of officers.

    Most of what CoG does either is done by small local groups of people who know each other and get along, or it’s done at the national level and takes some time. That’s how it works.

  130.  CoG was intentionally set up as an institution with a detailed set of bylaws. The founders thought that the Craft needed some kind of formal organization to represent or advocate for witches in dealings with outside institutions like the legal system, hospitals, and other organized religions. At the time, telling any representative of mainstream cultural authority that you were a witch usually led them to think you were delusional and dangerous.

    It was tricky to figure out a way to make an organization that witches would be willing to have advocate for them and that would also look legit to the outside world, given how individualistic witches tend to be and that we prefer to deal with each other in free-flowing, intuitive ways.

    If there has been a generational shift against joining organizations or engaging with institutions, that may indeed herald a slow death for CoG. CoG needs to adapt to changing times, but there is a limit to how much change an organization can endure without losing its essential character.

    It may also be that as witches get older, they will see more value in an organization like CoG and have an interest in supporting it.

  131. Apparently she did indeed file a copyright for the song back in the 70’s. I found it here:,57&Search_Arg=Budapest&Search_Code=NALL&CNT=25&PID=RNBqLhsxqmhcTaBIHv5lMUAVtV&SEQ=20120420021407&SID=3

    While I fully support an artist’s right to insist that their work not be plagiarized and I fully support her insistence that others don’t use it, I don’t like her use of a hex on anyone who sings it with the word “God” in it. That targets innocent people who don’t know that the song was never meant to have a God variant to it. Hexing the innocent is not a priestly action in my professional opinion.

    Therefore in support of Z. Budapest, let us never again sing her song, make any changes to it and let it disappear into the night. We have many other pagan songs that are beautiful, open to both the God and Goddess, and we have no need to draw upon her work any longer. Hopefully that will satisfy her desire for her work to remain intact, and that way none of us will infringe on her copyright.

  132. And not to mention that, in the first fifty comments of that back-pedal, her partner LIED about the author of the “Hoof & Horn” chant.

    Bobbie Grennier ‎@Linda Hanley @Dana – Ian Corrigan is NOT the author/composer of “Hoof and Horn.” Deena Metzger is the author of that song. Ian Corrigan is a fine example of someone who stole the song for personal gain. He is the reason Z Budapest had to copyright the song. Actually, you’ve helped to make Z’s point.Wednesday at 02:53 · Like · 9

    I actually took the time yesterday to *e-mail Deena Metzger* who is pretty danged certain that she is NOT the author of “Hoof & Horn” (she does claim, and is commonly credited with the authorship of “Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Innanna”).I’d be willing to afford Ms Grennier the benefit of the doubt and assume that she was merely mistaken —if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s very closely connected to some-one so hateful toward “Teh Dred Y-Chromosome”, that it’s perfectly plausible that they’d intentionally smear some-one’s name like that.

  133. Considering that the Black Death reduced Europe’s population from 6 million to 4 million people during the 12th-14th centuries, plus continued high infant mortality rates, further outbreaks of plague throughout Europe for several more centuries, and the general lack of sanitary waste disposal in cities (conditions known to lead to outbreaks of cholera and other nasty diseases), I find it hard to believe that Europe’s population could have grown quite that large in only a couple centuries.  On top of all that, there were also various conflicts involving European soldiers, both on the continent itself, and in the recently-discovered Americas.  All of those things tend  to kill people, and to slow down population growth.

    So no, I don’t believe that there were already 18 million people in Europe so soon.  The exponential population growth curve we’re familiar with didn’t really take shape until modern medicine came about.  In the pre-modern world, population growth was very slow, and it wasn’t uncommon for you to outlive most of your children.

    I’ve tried to double-check this.  Some sites list high numbers (15-25 million range), others simply state that the population recovery from the Black Death and other Late Middle Ages crises was very slow until the sudden population surge of the 18th century.  I can’t find any 2 sites by reliable sources that agree.

    Regardless, there is no way that Europe could have survived the loss of 9 million women.  Either there weren’t that many to begin with, or there weren’t enough left over to spare.  You can’t kill off most of the women (which is known to have happened in some small villages during the witch hunts) and expect the population to remain at all stable.  Every source I’ve found says that Europe’s population during the 17th century was fairly stable (again the numbers themselves differed widely, but this statement was the same in most places) until the 18th-century population explosion.

    It is also important to remember that what the Renaissance considered a large city, we would consider a medium-sized town:  between ancient Rome and 19th-century London, there were NO cities anywhere in the world that could support 1 million people.  Most people lived in rural areas, which have a low population density by definition.

    Also, is it just me, or does Patheos have more pop-ups lately?  Even NoScript isn’t stopping them all!

  134.  I have heard all 3 songs, in a Z. Budapest chant, that was recorded and labeled as “the Goddess Chant.”  As one song.

    It was played back, also as one song, with credit given to Z. Budapest and her coven, in a recent episode of The Wigglian Way.  I can’t remember exactly which one but I know it was since July.

  135. Benefit of the doubt is always preferable to guilt by association under the rubric of making the choice which, if it turns out to be a mistake, is the lesser mistake.

  136. Your information is mistaken, and seems to be off by about an order of magnitude. The population of Europe in 1340 was approximately 70 million. The Black Death may have reduced that by as much as 30 million, but the population of the continent was back to 70 million within 200 years.

    Though the 9 million claim is incorrect for a large number of reasons, it is not wrong for the reason you give. The total figure was arrived at by a bad estimate (the assumption was made that a particular city at a certain time was representative, but it turns out that it was a period and place of very intense witch-hunting), but the estimate covered the whole period of the couple of centuries of the witch-craze in Europe – or less than about 45,000 people per year.

  137. So, I suppose that I can no longer sing my Yule favorite “They All Come From Walmart”
    They all came from WalMart
    and to there they shall return
    like the horrible holiday sweater
    returned with a gift receipt

  138. The chant of the Seven Sacred Fibers:
    “Orlon, Dacron, Rayon,
    Nylon, Polyester, Lycra,

  139. If it’s at all “off-putting”, it’s only because I’ve dealt with truly condescending attitudes about TS/TG 101 stuff from people who think their “bad trans movies” are completely absolved because it’s a good story that simply utilises TS/TG issues as a medium to tell a deeper story.  I’ve learned that it really is no more effective to try and re-educate a fan of one of these films that it really *isn’t* a good film to teach people about TS/TG issues (Hedwig & the Angry Inch gets some of the most rabid fans who will defend it to the death), than it is to replace my blender with interpretive dance when making a milkshake.

    Transamerica, while positive in some aspects, was clearly not written by a TS person.  First off, no therapist would dangle “the surgery” over our heads if we don’t make peace with some aspect of our past that’s so inconsequential to our journey that we didn’t even know about it until five minutes ago.  Furthermore, that urination scene (which was added by Felicity Huffman, along with all her fakey pancake make-up and facial appliances and several other points in her portrayal of Bree –word on the street is that director wanted her to play it straight, but then she did “research” for the role and became very insistent that “this is what trans people act and look like in order to pass themselves off as real”) is not something that would ever happen with a trans woman that deeply stealth –it just wouldn’t be in her nature to stand-to-pee.  This scene is then used to make Bree look “dishonest”, even though there is no reason up to that point that her son needed to know –hell, she didn’t even know this kid existed until a week before, and the only reason she’s being put in this position now is because somebody rolled a negative on their Ethics stat when creating that Therapist character.  Oh, and let’s not forget that “trans party” of women sitting around showing off each-other photographic evidence of their “shiny new vaginae” –cos clearly some-one had to emphasise that “trans women obsess on this to the point of being fetishistic and creepy”; yeah, that’s “trans positive”.  [eyeroll]

    This is absolutely NOT a film to learn about trans people, especially trans women, from just because it’s a somewhat sympathetic portrayal.

  140. “If it’s at all “off-putting”, it’s only because I’ve dealt with truly condescending attitudes about TS/TG 101 stuff from people who think their “bad trans movies” are completely absolved because it’s a good story that simply utilises TS/TG issues as a medium to tell a deeper story.”

    Again, you’re making assumptions as to how I will react based on your experiences with other people. Because other people were jerks to you, you assume I’ll be a jerk to you too.

  141. It’s a fact of human nature that past experiences will shape our reactions.

    It’s off-putting that you expect me to react in a way other than humour because it’s more comfortable for you that I not be shaped by my own life experience.

  142. “It’s a fact of human nature that past experiences will shape our current reactions.
    It’s off-putting that you expect me to react in a way other than human because it’s more comfortable for you that I not be shaped by my own life experience.”

    I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences with people, both in real life and on the internet. I still try to treat people with basic respect. I certainly don’t hold total strangers responsible for things that other people did. 

    It’s clear that you’re a very angry and troubled individual. I’m sorry for whatever pain you experienced that made you this way. I hope you find some peace some day. Take care.

  143. I still try to treat people with basic respect.

    As have I.

    I certainly don’t hold total strangers responsible for things that other people did.

    Considering that I never did anything of the sort, I find this allegation not only fallacious, but completely unreasonable.

    It’s clear that you’re a very angry and troubled individual. I’m sorry
    for whatever pain you experienced that made you this way. I hope you
    find some peace some day. Take care.

    That’s not only completely condescending, but couldn’t be further from the truth.  But hey, I guess it’s my own fault for giving you the benefit of the doubt and challenging your tone argument in a manner that would suggest that I’m assuming you understand basic human nature.

  144. Ruadhan, citing other people’s past treatment of you to explain how you treat new people was exactly your defense of your original comment than rubbed Lemur the wrong way.

    I would not go so far as to call you angry or troubled — I only know you from your comments — but you do have a low threshold of irritation and you wander near the boundary between “giving as good as you get” and being able to dish it out but not take it.

  145.  Z Budapest’s anger really saddens me. My children have grown listening to this song as a lullaby, a prayer for a cherished friend’s beautiful baby lost too soon, a fireside anthem….a bit to hold them to their faith “hoof and horn” “grain and corn” “human form” we all return to the Mother and from her we shall return again someday. Maybe she (and many of you) need to remember that our faith isn’t about a personal gain but about doing the Gods’/Goddesses’ work here on earth….doing them honor in the way we move through this life. Treat your faith like a religion with a future. Invite children. Respect your Elders. Teach the hungry to plant gardens. Write words and music to inspire others in the worship of our  Gods. Grow the Community.

  146.  Congrats to you and your community for speaking up on this. Although I don’t always agree with *how* you are saying it, you points are well taken. When I first was attracted to Wicca in the early eighties but knew little about it, I had the misfortune of stumbling upon a small group who followed a Dianic tradition. I was told point blank that men could not be Wiccans or witches, and that it was a woman’s religion. My questions were answered  with ridicule.  Thankfully,  I had the presence of mind to realize that not all Wiccans could be like that. But back in the days before the internet, it sure slowed down my quest. 

  147.  Attributions in pagan media are pretty unreliable. Often the person doing the attribution just guesses or goes by what somebody else told them without checking its accuracy. It’s common to credit the most well known individual who has performed or quoted the piece, or the group that made the most popular recording of it, rather than the original author. Writers and composers who are not famous or who don’t seek the limelight often see their work credited to somebody better known or more respected.

    I didn’t know that Z. was not the author of the melody to “We All Come From the Goddess” until I read it right here. My work has been misattributed. Dame Julian of Norwich’s work has been misattributed.

    To some degree this is the folk process at work. Robert Graves wrote a fantasy novel Watch the Northwind Rise, in which all the poetry of the Twentieth Century was attributed to the legendary Tseliot.

  148. Ruadhan, citing other people’s past treatment of you to explain how you
    treat new people was exactly your defense of your original comment than
    rubbed Lemur the wrong way.

    You know, I didn’t have to explain anything to s/h/it —and I’m sure you comprehend this without me telling you.  But I decided to give the li’l concern troll the benefit of the doubt and suggest that there might be a reason for a TS/TG person to feel tired of explaining why Bad Trans Media is Bad.  And behold!  s/h/it is sure living up to that title of “concern troll” because they completely ignored my description of the aforementioned film and decided to throw baseless accusations at me —proving they really don’t care about what I have to say, but instead just want to call me a FMPPH.

    I never once said that “complete strangers are responsible for past slights” or anything of the sort.  S/h/it said my initial comment was “off-putting” —maybe that means something completely different to you than it does to me (and apparently it does), but I’ve interpreted noting in my response to that first comment as saying treat anybody as horribly as s/h/it says I have.

    But hey, thanks for giving me your seal of approval.  I’ll take it to the pyre with me, Baruch! :’)

  149. “You know, I didn’t have to explain anything to s/h/it —and I’m sure you comprehend this without me telling you.  But I decided to give the li’lconcern troll the benefit of the doubt and suggest that there might be a reason for a TS/TG person to feel tired of explaining why Bad Trans Media is Bad.”

    From Wikipedia:

    “A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user claims to hold. The concern troll posts in Web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.”

    This does not describe my comments at all. I never disputed your point that many depictions of TS/TG persons are problematic. What I said was that you are using your previous negative interactions with people as a justification to act like a jerk towards me.

    My “you seem angry” comment was my attempt to express frustration and try and disengage without being aggressive and hurtful. Since then, you’ve continued this argument and made some pretty mean-spirited comments about me. I no longer see any value in playing nice.

    You are a pedantic, sniveling little prick. You pick fights with strangers on the internet to alleviate your own feelings of inadequacy. You’re so convinced that the world is Out To Get You that you have re-ordered your own life to meet those expectations. Your aggressive and condescending attitude is shameful, so much so that several transgendered and genderfuck friends of mine who have read this thread felt compelled to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that you are not representative of their community as a whole. When you’ve had some time to calm the fuck down, I suggest you think long and hard about how you interact with people and what kind of impact you’re having on your community.


  150. You are a pedantic, sniveling little prick. You pick fights with
    strangers on the internet to alleviate your own feelings of inadequacy.

    Except that I recognise myself as your superior, so clearly:  LOL ur jealous.


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