Those who know me know I have a special relartionship with guilt. I need to state that this year, this project, has pretty well left me overflowing with guilt.
- Did I miss any nominee?
- Can I do them justice?
- Will they hate me for writing this/not writing that?
- Will so and so be upset that hers is longer/shorter/funnier/dryer than other so and so?
- Is there anyway to do this so no feelings get hurt?
I'm about at the end of my rope. These women are the saving grace. These witches deserve a prize for just being 30,000 times more interesting than any other women alive. I love them. You will too.
I’m in tears right now. It isn’t because I’m babysitting and my granddaughter is sick so I’m tired beyond measure, or because the arthritis in my ankle/foot is so bad that I can’t walk. It isn’t because I am having a meltdown due to my political beliefs. It isn’t even because my eldest daughter and her family have been devastated by a house fire that has destroyed almost all they own. All of those things may have worn away at my composure and made me vulnerable, but they didn’t actually knock down the wall.
“I had cats for all of my adult life. They were 19 and 16 when they died within two weeks of one another last September. I am still having a hard time dealing with the immeasurable loss.
Kali went first. She was 16. She was very much my Familiar. Me in cat form, I her in people form. She let out a very uncharacteristic for her loud meow. That was my only warning...we looked into one another's eyes... I saw the lights go out in her eyes as her grip relaxed. I knew what had happened, but was so stunned. I continued to hold her and brush her while I cried for quite some time.
For the next two weeks, I was so concerned about Beast - my 19 year old - that I could not process my grief. He was very much my Demonic. He and Kali had been together all but her first four weeks of life and he just gave up without her. ...The night before he died, I had this terrible feeling while at work that this was the night. ...He did stir happily when he saw me and we curled up to sleep. I woke up, he did not.
As painful as it still is, I take great comfort in having been with each of them until the very end.”
I feel guilty editing that but I want to share with you more than that about Sara Josephine. It is just that made me cry. It isn’t that it is so unique or special, it is because the love she shares in that story is so universal. And being able to touch another person in a deep and meaningful way is not always easy. Sara Josephine, by the way, may be able to share a story in a universal manner, but she herself is not simple.
She works in the Mental Health field, but it is obvious that she has many passion beyond that. I recently paid a visit to her website www.thestillshow.com from which Sara Josephine sells her wares. The site and the products are equally unique. She has also found writing and using her voice in a project called “Murnau” to be equally gratifying :
”Our first album was completed a bit before the end of 2016. I've always wanted to do something with sound. The people I collaborate with are so knowledgable. The entire process is so organic and enjoyable. It's also great to want to write again, as I've been focused on other methods of expression for so long that it was neglected."
This woman is so cool, it defies description. I was forced to go back into my film memory to call up Boccacio 70, a trinity of Italian comedies in one movie. One of them stars Sofia Loren. Another is led by Romy Schneider, but Sara Josephine had mentioned, along with the amazing Hedy Lamar, Anita Eckberg and her character in this film (directed by none other than Fellini) as an idol and inspiration of hers,
“ Anita Ekberg's character in BOCCACCIO '7O - mischevious, fierce, glamourous, larger than life and absolutely the best representation of a Satanic woman in all of her glimmering facets I've personally ever seen.”
Ever? Really? Look in the mirror much?
If there is anyone I am really jealous of this year, at least in terms of things they have spent time doing, it would be Ms. Jessica Darling. This woman has travelled all over the place in 2016. I don’t know if this is her norm, but damn!
- in April I enjoyed my first of three trips to Europe in 2016: first, to Italy/Croatia/Slovenia -
- In July, my 20th high school reunion took place in upstate New York. I was the person who traveled the farthest to attend, from Portland, Oregon.
- In September I made my annual trip to Germany, and met my new "god"-daughter who had been born a month before.
- In November I made my last trip to Europe for the year, spending my birthday in Belgrade, Serbia.
- In December, after only being home for less than two weeks, I traveled to New Orleans
Me? I went to Walmart. Stand back!
Okay, it isn’t quite as bleak as all that, but who wouldn’t be happy to do half of that in double the time?
What is especially cool about this is having started to get to know Jessica I have developed a bit of an understanding. Like many of us, she did not seem to have the easiest time in her younger days, but it seems that by becoming comfortable with herself and finding her true home, Portland, she became comfortable with (some) others:
“I was always a misfit, a "loner," an "introvert." I often used sex appeal to get what I thought I needed, and therefore have had lots of male friends, and issues with other women. This year not only have I built deep, lasting friendships with other women, but I have also realized the joy of having real friends, who are your family, who continue to love and support you despite any minor disagreements, who are not just friends of convenience or proximity, but will make an effort and travel long distances at their own expense just for your sake, who want you to be happy simply because they love you, and I also genuinely enjoyed doing the same for them.”
This is not to say Jessica is all light and joy. Heaven forbid! She knows what she has to do to keep her world as she wants it:
“me vanquishing my (professional) enemy in my first bloodless coup -- can't say much about it publicly, but let's just say, I'd been confounded and retaliated against for a certain amount of time, and so I replaced the person(s) with myself.”
When a Witch, or ANY woman can say the following, there really isn’t much else needed to be said:
“I realized, I have the absolute BEST LIFE of my entire graduating class, which I built myself, without a man to help or finance me. In fact, this year I bought myself all the things (designer handbags, etc) that I usually receive as gifts …”
Renee Anderson is a force of nature. There is nothing this woman can’t do. As I am typing this on a Sunday morning looking roughly like I escaped from the hospital’s geriatric ward, my husband--who’s most recent claim to a mid-life crisis involves wearing age inappropriate blue jeans--is looking dapper as Hell in a Renee Anderson original shirt. When, in all that is unholy, did this woman find time to sew, when, evidently, she is running a substantial portion of the world, I don’t know.
Renee is a dedicated pet owner.
Renee is a devoted mother.
Renee is a loving wife.
Renee is a successful business woman.
Renee cares for a special needs kitty.
Renee is amazingly crafty and sells her wares.
Renee is so involved in local politics that after 2 years as a member she has been elected President of the Magna Town Council. Now being a public Satanist as a business owner is pretty ballsy. Being a public Satanic Witch who is a member of the town council is downright heroic. Being a Satanic Witch who runs for and wins the Presidency of the Town Council in a town that is in Salt Lake County (I fucking looked this shit up, I couldn’t believe it!!!) is like winning some sort of bullet-proof-guts-Lotto.
Icing on the cake? This Satanic Witch doesn’t do this stuff one at a time, oh no, like some sort of Cosmo article on steroids, she ‘has it all’ at the same time! The woman is a walking example of Stratification.
This is impressive stuff. At Conclave when she and her husband demonstrated how they had made a festival grow I watched an audience of young Satanists being inspired to believing that they CAN do those kinds of things, without giving up their ideals. I likewise watched nearly every woman at the banquet ask another “Have you seen Renee Anderson’s dress? She MADE it!” “No way??!” “Really! She did!” “Holy Shit!”
And with all this going for her, I was most touched by her answer to who her idol/inspiration is:
“My personal idol is my Husband. He is the hardest working person I've ever known. He always has a positive attitude while never taking any kind of grief from anyone. He's been my biggest supporter in everything that I've wanted to do and has always encouraged growth and change when needed. He's also an incredible Father and Husband. He took on 3 daughters and gave them his last name when it became necessary. He's not a quitter and I find that to be the most attractive quality in him. “
‘Takes one to know one, Renee.
I am not alone when I say that I want Jessie Twains hair. Her eyes are pretty nice, too. Yeah, Hair and eyes. Wait, she has got some seriously beautiful skin, it borders on porcelain, only dewy. Yup. I will take her hair, eyes, and skin. Then there is her itty bitty waistline. Damn! Does the woman eat? I think she wears roughly the same waist size as my 5 year old granddaughter--but why skimp? The bitch has a pretty rockin’ bod all the way around. Now, if the stereotypes are correct, with all that going for her, Jessie Twain should be a real bitch. ‘not even close.
First of all she gave one of my all time favorite answers to a question posed to her under the heading of additional insight required. I asked her to plan a dinner party and invite an actor, an artist, a politician and a musician. In order she wrote “Robin Williams, Teller, Marcus Aurelius, Chico Marx.” Now I don;’t give a flying rat’s ass who is supposed to represent what in that little quartet, but I do know I want a seat at that table.
I also like the way this woman thinks. While most of the nominees stated one or two EVENTS in 2016 that made their year, I found Jessie’s accomplishment to be ever so reasonable in preparing for her future
“To pick one accomplishment I'll say putting the effort in at a new job to make as many people as possible comfortable around me so that I'm never the one to be thrown under the bus.”
Speaking of the workplace, the younger (and prettier) than me Jessie (who in no way makes me feel inadequate)has her her lovely voice in Satanic podcasts and video and is one of the most popular guests on online Satanic media. I am particularly hoping (because I like it) and dreading (because, damn! The bitch is good!) the return of Satanic Story Time.
Jessie also seems to be turning up at many CoS events and I truly believe she is an up and comer who has so much to offer all the citizens of the Infernal Empire!
- a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning.
I suppose that when I've have watched someone grow up from a distance, but with great interest, there should be little in the way of surprises. Especially, you see, when I realized Witch Troj at around 15 or 16, was about the numeric weight of a 5 year old in IQ points over me. Still, I admit, there aren’t a lot of people who can trot out vocabulary that has me scratching my head (yes, Bill, you are one of the few, proud and brave)and looking shit up. Witch Troj does this with alarming regularity.
It is rather unfair, really. I know what poly means. I know what math means, or at least I thought I did (Math: noun 1. Toxic college subject destined to prevent otherwise intelligent people from gaining rightfully earned degrees. See: Bullshit,) Therefore I was confused when Troj said she usually admires people who had multiple calculation skills. I was completely unaware that Mae West and Robin Williams , Jane Goodall and Ray Bradberry shared a predilection for Algebra. Silly me. I looked it up. Troj opened my eyes again.
When I see this charming and sparkly young lady at CoS events she still, in my eyes, looks to be the too young girl who asked the smartest questions, kept up with the brainiest banterers, and made me jealous of her parents. The Internet allowed me to “meet” her even before or right around the time she formally joined. I thought then as I do now, her joining the ranks is a coup for us. Having someone this intelligent, beautiful and charming become a member of the Church of Satan says nothing but great things about us.
This year Troj has made huge headway in her chosen profession:
“I successfully completed my internship, have well over 2,000 hours of work under my belt in my field, have resumed work on my fiction writing, and plan to complete my degree by Spring 2017.”
Her field, by the way, isn’t exactly piece of cake material, either! Troj is a therapist specializing in Clinical Psychology.
I don’t think I’m spilling the beans when I mention that Troj has a physical disability. For those who haven’t had the honor of meeting her let me be plain: In 3 minutes of chatting with her you’ll forget it exists. But that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t effected her. I am quite sure that she has had to be tougher, thicker skinned, and more focused and driven than those in her peer groups. It has provided some interesting insights and opportunities though:
“My first job was at a doggie daycare and hotel. That first gig in particular taught me a lot about mammalian psychology, in that I saw just how much people and dogs share in common, and how some of the same training/motivation techniques and social rules-of-thumb work with or apply equally to both. Because my boss only hired people with mental illnesses, physical disabilities, and cognitive impairments, I learned a fair amount about those illnesses and disabilities and how they affect people's lives, and their served to further pique my interest in Psychology.”
And, of course, anyone with an interest in psychology and Satanism knows the secret to Wicked Witchery:
“I don't see how a Satanist can be a Satanist and not see the inherent power and value in Lesser Magic and various elements and principles of seduction. Even if you don't necessarily use seductive techniques to net mates and dates, the same strategies and principles can be still applied with various people in other kinds of interactions and situations.”
Neither do I, Witch Troj--and I can even understand that without a dictionary!