Budapest, Z. (1940–)

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Budapest, Z. (1940–)

American writer and founder of religious movement. Name variations: Zsusanna Mokcsay; Zsuzsanna Emese Budapest. Born Zsusanna Mokcsay, Jan 30, 1940, in Budapest, Hungary; dau. of Masika Szilagyi (medium and sculptor); attended University of Vienna and University of Chicago; children: 2 sons.

Known for founding the woman-centered, nature-based religion, Dianic Wicca, and for many writings on the subject of spirituality and spiritual power, fled to Austria when Hungarian Revolution broke out (1956), finishing high school in Innsbruck and winning scholarship to University of Vienna to study languages; immigrated to US (1959) and became student at University of Chicago; studied improvisational theater with Second City in Chicago; became involved in women's movement in Los Angeles; founded Susan B. Anthony Coven Number 1, 1st feminist witches coven which became a role model for other spiritual groups being formed across US; opened candle shop in Los Angeles; worked to spread Wiccan religion (1960s–70s), basing spiritual ideas on her own family's traditions of spirituality and worship which emphasize centrality of female deity and of nature; published The Feminist Book of Lights (1975); arrested for selling Tarot cards to undercover policewoman (1975), was convicted under antidivination law that would be struck down 9 years later; in San Francisco Bay Area, served as director of nonprofit Women's Spirituality Forum (founded 1986) and had cable tv show, "13th Heaven"; writings include the bestselling Holy Book of Women's Mysteries (1989) and Grandmother Moon: Lunar Magic in Our Lives—Spells, Rituals, Goddesses, Legends and Emotions Under the Moon (1991).

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Budapest, Z. (1940–)

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