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The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries: Feminist Witchcraft, Goddess Rituals, Spellcasting and Other Womanly Arts

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Women's rights and rites merge in this complete guide to the principles and practices of matriarchal religion.


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Women's rights and rites merge in this complete guide to the principles and practices of matriarchal religion.

30 review for The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries: Feminist Witchcraft, Goddess Rituals, Spellcasting and Other Womanly Arts

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chiara

    I've been waiting to read this book for ages, and now that I finally have started to read it I'm so disappointed and angry! This is so much crap! Where are all the women's mysteries and magic? It all comes down to "we have to stop this chauvinistic, male-centered, women-oppressing world-spread society!" And what mysterious and magic solution is there? Not teaching men the craft until the equality of sexes is a reality (quote!) ... Wait, why isn't everybody just scared to death? Exactly. There will I've been waiting to read this book for ages, and now that I finally have started to read it I'm so disappointed and angry! This is so much crap! Where are all the women's mysteries and magic? It all comes down to "we have to stop this chauvinistic, male-centered, women-oppressing world-spread society!" And what mysterious and magic solution is there? Not teaching men the craft until the equality of sexes is a reality (quote!) ... Wait, why isn't everybody just scared to death? Exactly. There will always be men who think women are a step below, as, apparently, there will always be women who think men are all pigs. Women (or people) that believe that women are necessarily better than men, or/and that a matriarchal society would be better than a patriarchal one just because women and not men are in charge, are in my opinion not better than men (or people) who believe that women are to stay home and make children because they are good for little more than that. When will the world stop preaching differences and teaching that one thing is better than the other? Where's the sacred duality thing? This is a bad book and a bad teaching, I honestly wouldn't expect that from people who blare they are connected to Nature, and the Goddess and Mother Earth and blah-blah-blah. Yes, everything has a mother, a feminine start, but, apart from the son of the Virgin Mary (whose actual virginity is at least questionable), everything has a father, too, a masculine start. I may be an underrated genius, but it seems to me that things couldn't be simpler. Neither men nor women are the better half of the world, our society should be neither matriarchal nor patriarchal: we are supposed to live together in peace and harmony as people and that is what Witchcraft, as any Nature-centered religion/philosophy/way of living, should be teaching. I surely agree that women must stand for their rights, but I disagree 100% that the way to do so is struggling to "take over" and putting men a step below. Oh God (Goddess?) am I disappointed!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Onyx

    A book that might be too female chauvinistic for some, it may be a good book for others who are looking for inspiration and empowerment in a world devoted to the dis-empowerment and subjection of women under man's ownership. (No, those words are Not too harsh.) For me, I thought the book was good enough to not only buy my own copy, but to trade even this copy in for a hardcover....something I only do for, what I consider, are the best of books. (Yes, there's actually a hardcover out there t A book that might be too female chauvinistic for some, it may be a good book for others who are looking for inspiration and empowerment in a world devoted to the dis-empowerment and subjection of women under man's ownership. (No, those words are Not too harsh.) For me, I thought the book was good enough to not only buy my own copy, but to trade even this copy in for a hardcover....something I only do for, what I consider, are the best of books. (Yes, there's actually a hardcover out there that's not in German. You just have to stumble across it.) I seriously recommend many of Budapest's books anyway, along with books written by Miriam Starhawk. The two authors' books ought to go together on the same shelf of a personal library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Araminta Matthews

    I appreciate that she offers up a feminist perspective of religion; but because she lacks references and has a clear agenda of debunking Christianity, the books fails to remain ingenuous.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I just met Z. what a woman of honor she is and I high recommend this book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Quarrie

    This book is a classic in the category of women's spirituality. When reading, one needs to keep in mind when it was written. The women's movement had not yet combined in any way with spirituality and Z clearly was a path maker in helping women combine female centered spirituality with the feminist movement. This book has been criticized for being militant and sexist in its point of view and in all honesty, it is, but those were times when things needed to be pushed. There were no alternatives fo This book is a classic in the category of women's spirituality. When reading, one needs to keep in mind when it was written. The women's movement had not yet combined in any way with spirituality and Z clearly was a path maker in helping women combine female centered spirituality with the feminist movement. This book has been criticized for being militant and sexist in its point of view and in all honesty, it is, but those were times when things needed to be pushed. There were no alternatives for women to worship a divinity that looked like them. In His image just wasn't working for many of us, so yes, it had to push buttons, wake women up and give them some basic material to begin working with.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    Great primer for female empowerment but is too unbalanced in its premise re: male/female. While it's true that everything begins as a mother-force, and father is not always necessary (i.e. parthenogenesis) demoting the god in us is limiting. The Good Great Mother of us all is both. We need the river (She) and the riverbed (He) in order to be effective in all realms. Still, for women who have suffered greatly under patriarchal limitations, a visit into all-woman time would not be remis Great primer for female empowerment but is too unbalanced in its premise re: male/female. While it's true that everything begins as a mother-force, and father is not always necessary (i.e. parthenogenesis) demoting the god in us is limiting. The Good Great Mother of us all is both. We need the river (She) and the riverbed (He) in order to be effective in all realms. Still, for women who have suffered greatly under patriarchal limitations, a visit into all-woman time would not be remiss to build a solid, unshakable base. While the writing isn't the greatest, if you want a clear look into witchcraft as a path, it's a great start and a staple for your library. Budapest's long experience and contribution is still a must-read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tepintzin

    Z Budapest's mother Mazika Szilazgy was a brilliant artist. I was deeply impressed by her work, and I'd love to see it in situ in Budapest. I have now told you the best thing about this book. The photographs of Z's mother's art. Z drank the Margaret Murray kool-aid a little too deeply. Okay, a lot too deeply. She doesn't have any grasp of history and yet builds her religion upon it. I still want to know how Alexander the Great (who Z calls "the Pig") managed to b Z Budapest's mother Mazika Szilazgy was a brilliant artist. I was deeply impressed by her work, and I'd love to see it in situ in Budapest. I have now told you the best thing about this book. The photographs of Z's mother's art. Z drank the Margaret Murray kool-aid a little too deeply. Okay, a lot too deeply. She doesn't have any grasp of history and yet builds her religion upon it. I still want to know how Alexander the Great (who Z calls "the Pig") managed to burn down the library at Alexandria when it wasn't built yet. According to Z, he did this in order to destroy the matriarchal texts there. Yeah. Right.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amyd

    I'm only giving this one for the sake of at least giving it a rating. Really disappointed. It took me a really long time to actually get hold of and as a Pagan I was really looking forward to it. I couldn't even finish it. This woman can't tell the difference between feminism and sexism and she's meant to be a feminist priestess and teacher? I pity for future Pagan generations. Bad.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Zsuzsanna comes from a heritage that not only respects women, but is composed of women celebrating the rites of passage at every stage of life. It's about women supporting women. She has opened many roads to the idea of a very organic way of life. Love her books, love her philosophy. This book is spiritual, but not religious, if you understand the difference, which is what attracted me

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aradia V

    The book is cool because she basically created Dianic witchcraft (Goddess worship only) but I always found it a bit dry. Its also very 2nd wave feminist and at this point her politics are, in my opinion, outdated. Its a good reference book, and is worth keeping around for its historical value.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marty

    Thanks Carrie! This book changed everything, my attitude towards the cosmos, myself,and all women. Zsusanna Budapest is the real deal :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    The Cute Little Brown-haired girl

    Do you think God will strike me down with a bolt of lightening for reading this? Something tells me that even though it is totally Pagan, that learning about it is not such a bad thing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shawna Ze

    Amazing book- incredibly grateful for this author. Her writing expressed her palpable emotional generosity in her approach to sharing the spotlight with her sisters. As a millenial, this level of demonstrable emotional intelligence is rare in the generations that came before us and it speaks volumes to me that she stands out so much from the usual cognitive dissonance of the times.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maggi Horseman

    Budapest's older stuff is better than any of her new stuff.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    A great reference book for Dianic and other pagans (although I would buy a copy as a reference manual, rather than get it out at the library and have to take back!)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Women lack any identity in major religions of today. Zsuzsanna E. Budapest lifts the shroud surrounding the studies of Women's spiritualism. Paganism/Wicca is the first form of spirituality and the only true spiritualism for feminist women. This book was my biggest spiritual epiphany. I've met Zsuzsanna and had a chance to get to know her and the Susan B. Anthony Coven in San Francisco. I don't agree with everything she and the coven believe, such as the exclusion of transg Women lack any identity in major religions of today. Zsuzsanna E. Budapest lifts the shroud surrounding the studies of Women's spiritualism. Paganism/Wicca is the first form of spirituality and the only true spiritualism for feminist women. This book was my biggest spiritual epiphany. I've met Zsuzsanna and had a chance to get to know her and the Susan B. Anthony Coven in San Francisco. I don't agree with everything she and the coven believe, such as the exclusion of transgender women--most trans women I've known are better women than gender-born women and are purer spirits than many women I've met, including the Susan B. Anthony Coven because they appreciate being female where gender-born women just submit and resign themselves to their existences. Trans women fully embrace and appreciate the feminine role and power. If you're a woman who is grasping for your true identity and power as a female then this book is definitely an eye-opener--and I should know because I originally apprenticed under Sybil Leek between the age of 12 years-old and now I'm 60. Sybil appreciated the work that Zsuzsanna has brought forth before her death in the mid-1980s. This is not just a book, but a bible for feminine empowerment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    Another fabulous and ultra feminist contribution to the Pagan community. Some people can't handle Z's straightforward, almost militant feminism. Keep in mind that she's from another generation of witches who had to fight against the establishment so to speak during the time of women's liberation and social change. She's from that era of women warriors who trail blazed a path for the rest of us, generations who weren't event born at the time. Keep THAT in mind when reading this book. It's all abo Another fabulous and ultra feminist contribution to the Pagan community. Some people can't handle Z's straightforward, almost militant feminism. Keep in mind that she's from another generation of witches who had to fight against the establishment so to speak during the time of women's liberation and social change. She's from that era of women warriors who trail blazed a path for the rest of us, generations who weren't event born at the time. Keep THAT in mind when reading this book. It's all about empowerment, standing up and speaking out. This book is a must have for any feminist witch, any feminist period (pun not necessarily intended). Budapest made incredibly significant contributions to the Pagan community during a time, when many 'newbie' witches hadn't even been born yet, so if you are ignorant of the struggles faced by women back in the day, especially pagan women, don't be so quick to write Budapest off as a militant feminist. I consider her work a must have for any spiritual and magickal collection.

  18. 5 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    I hadn't thought of this book in years, but today while I was driving, BAM! It popped into my head. I couldn't remember the title, so I did a Google search (no, not while I was driving) on "feminist witch book," and this title was the first entry that popped up. I got this book while I was dabbling in witchcraft and paganism. Where in the world did I get it? Maybe at the witchy little feminst/lesbian/pagen/S&M/herbal bookstore that was in the French Quarter in the mid 9 I hadn't thought of this book in years, but today while I was driving, BAM! It popped into my head. I couldn't remember the title, so I did a Google search (no, not while I was driving) on "feminist witch book," and this title was the first entry that popped up. I got this book while I was dabbling in witchcraft and paganism. Where in the world did I get it? Maybe at the witchy little feminst/lesbian/pagen/S&M/herbal bookstore that was in the French Quarter in the mid 90s. I never cast any spell. I was going to to cast a spell once, to get my boyfriend back after he dumped me. I went as far as to buy all the items I needed for the spell. But I couldn't go through with it because I concluded it wasn't fair to mess with his autonomy that way. I started wearing patchouli oil because I bought a tiny vial to use in the spell I never cast.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Once Upon a Darling

    I bought this book to get an introduction on Dianic witchcraft. It is a well written book on the ideas and philosophies of the feminist side. Honestly, I don't know where I stand on the subject, but with that said I really did like this book for the points and theories on the Goddess and the new patriarchal society we live in. Yet some of the facts used to support her claim were historically inaccurate. For example, Alexander the Great (who she refers to as "the pig") died before the Library of I bought this book to get an introduction on Dianic witchcraft. It is a well written book on the ideas and philosophies of the feminist side. Honestly, I don't know where I stand on the subject, but with that said I really did like this book for the points and theories on the Goddess and the new patriarchal society we live in. Yet some of the facts used to support her claim were historically inaccurate. For example, Alexander the Great (who she refers to as "the pig") died before the Library of Alexandria was built -therefore he couldn't be the one to burn it down (Some historians believed it was Caesar). The rituals in this book are coven based but they seemed to be easily convertible to individual use. Overall I think this would be the perfect book for a witchy bookclub!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alexia Moon

    I think this book is just wonderful. Being a Witch, a Feminist and a lover of Feminist Witchcraft this book, for me, is simply amazing. It helps us understand the story behind Feminist Witchcraft, it has rituals and tips and stories and many more things that inspire us women to turn to ourselves and heal. To work with other women and to discover ourselves. I specially loved the passage rituals, I think the passages in a women's life should be important and this book helps A LOT!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    My instinctive beliefs that I possess intrinsic energy and influence were supported as I learned about the craft. At different life stages I’ve referenced individual chapters for more support or just to engage in alternative notions. Currently I am not a devoted practitioner but I believe more than I doubt.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marni Boynton

    A solid book, given to young wicca / practitioners to learn from and appreciate the path forged by these courageous women and men gone before us. A first generation book for people more advanced or the next step up to understand the authors of our books.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I love this book. While many people may not agree with many of the concepts that she provides, others will find it spiritualy refreshing,as this book really helped me to understand the importance and influence of religion and ritual that surrounds the Goddess and the women who follow her call.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Perkins

    If I'd read this book 20 years ago, it would have been the be-all and end-all; as it is, knowing what I do, and having established my practice, it wasn't much help to me. I do definitely recommend it to anyone beginning the Goddess path.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wolfie

    Most excellent for Dianic witchcraft.

  26. 4 out of 5

    H.A. Fowler

    A feminist Witches' classic from a Mother of the women's spirituality movement.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Just a bit too militant feminist for my taste.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patrise

    this was my essential wiccan guide for years.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Parts were great! Some parts were a little out there. I'm not the kind of woman who wants to use my menstrual blood in a spell, not that I'm against other doing that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    A bit outdated now, but still a good read. Kind of a bit of everything in the book.

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