The Truth and Dare about Halloween: An Interview with Z Budapest Queen of the Witches #GuestPost
Z Budapest is no stranger to this blog. She was featured on this blog more than a few times.. Marie Bargas, contributor and blogger, is back with another session with Z! It’s a very timely interview with Z Budapest!
Zsuzsanna Budapest is a witch and high priestess, author of 13 books and teacher. We found her pulling out her beloved myrtle broom from her closet of sacred things. She is getting ready to be reactivated again by the cosmic rays of the visiting ancestors.
Halloween is coming up soon and the scene in the stores testify that this is indeed a serious money making holiday. Mounds of candy and chocolates are displayed in easy to pick up bags. We better have them at hand when the little goblins knock on our doors. What is Halloween about for a real witch?
Halloween is not really about the candy. Its about life and death.
Each culture who had observed the heavens learned that October 31st is the end of the agricultural year. The harvest was in, time to look around to partake in social celebrations.
Its in the middle of Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. The Celts believed that on this night the veil is the thinnest between life and death. Long dead ancestors can come and visit. We put out milk and honey for them to feast on.
Its hard for us to imagine that white people also had venerable ancestors with wisdom. We also had our own natural calendar which did not coincide with the newly imposed Christian one based on the Saints.
White people in Europe worshipped Mother Nature. She was omnipresent, mostly in the sacred trees and wells and rivers and seas. Each country had a name for her, she was known by ten thousand names and nobody got upset about it. This season belonged to the Crone, the Old Fate Goddess ,Hecate the three formed.
It was a peasant religion, no churches but lots of sacred groves and forests. No hierarchy.
What happened to that?
A long religious war that started in the 10th century wiped away the pagans and their groves. The Christians clear-cut the forests, and planted their first crop and income making grapes, introduced wine.
When the first Christians came to Europe they were backed up by priests and mercenaries. They saw nature as an enemy. They cut the forests down, burned the sacred groves, eventually also burned a lot of native Europeans at the stake. Imagine the stench of the burned flesh of women and men and children. This went on till the 17th century. One of the last ones burned was Joan of Arc. The virgin saint; La Pucelle. She had created France before they burned her at 19 years of age.
How does all that relate to Halloween?
On Halloween we believe that the departed souls come back to visit the beloved relatives, children and wives. This is a time of facing the fact that we all will die. Make friends with the departed. Offer them their favorite foods and drinks. We observe this in a dumb supper, when nobody talks.
Mexican families celebrate death in the cemeteries. They have big processions and dances and sharing food with the dead. When did the candy come into the picture?
It was a custom for the children to go house to house and ask for alms for the poor. But it became a ritual of children dressing up as dead people, ghosts who come to visit your house, and you give them sweets to bribe them and receive a sweeter fate. Plus the children and the elderly share this holyday. So it belongs to the old and young, which is our past and the future.
I heard you used to have spiral dances at this time in the Bay Area. What was that about?
I loved the Spiral Dance, its an other heritage from the good ancestors. Its a dance event that ends up with everybody holding hands as we spiral around the space. Symbolically we all go together and die in the middle, then gain rebirth and spiral back out; and then of course a wild dance is in order.
What plans do you have now that you are in Santa Cruz?
I am gathering the Goddess women together to form a new ongoing group. I miss my circles of women. Its been a long time since I had to start anew. But there are many women who wanted to study with me, and begin the practice of veneration of the natural cycles .
Will you work on a new book?
I am writing animation stories for my new project. I love the freedom in animation. Starting an other group as well for writing comedy, “Crones Nest” where we incubate the funny. I hope I find people who love humor, and want to play.
Social links for Z. Budapest
Come and read more about Zsuzanna Budapest at www.zbudapest.com.
Thank you to Z. Budapest for the interview and thank you to Marie Bargas for the post!
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