Thursday, February 2, 2017

The More I Find Out

the harder it is to choose.
     Each nominee is whispering in my ear as I lie down each night.  Every time I am certain I have a definitive answer, I re-read a questionnaire or, while reading or writing the nominee bio-summary thingy I become more convinced that THIS ONE deserves....aw fuck it.
     The fact is each one of these nominees as well as the two nominees who chose to withdraw are worthy of this "title," and when you consider I made up this title, and I get to choose who gains it, the more important it seems to be to introduce you to these women as individuals.  I am hoping that when you have a need, these women will be foremost in your mind to provide it.
 Do you need more information on Veterans Rights?  Contact Evelyn Eve.
Do you want to understand how to run a large scale festival?  Renee Anderson is your woman!
Hire a stand up comic for your next event?  Heather Height might be available.
    Need a vegan caterer who can do a burlesque striptease while lecturing on animal rights, and demonstrating the 7 deadly sins through music?  Huh?  Enter
Miss Scarlett Black, the Siren of Sin!

     In Washington DC I was treated to a striptease by Scarlett after she came onstage on the arm of the ever fabulous Robert Johnson, the Church of Satan's answer to the Rat Pack (yes, all of them.)  I was bewitched.  She is exquisitely beautiful in an almost Modigliani meets Raphael sort of way.  When she dances, the fact that she is statuesque doesn't hinder her grace but defines it.  There is an element of ballet grace while she bumps and grinds in the old school of  burlesque.  She radiates sensuality and intensity, with eyes that radiate both humor and intelligence.
    Best known in CoS circles as the lady with the raven, named, appropriately enough, Nevermore, Scarlett is not just an animal lover but an animal activist.  She even volunteered to work for an animal rights attorney in California and still considers law school as an option with the intention being to protect and save animals.  Nor is this just lip service.  Scarlet has been a vegetarian for 20+ years and a vegan for 14.
"In the past recent years I have focused on nutrition of plant based diets. I strongly believe in nutrition and health, and I think people are more responsive to information in regards to their own health than they are when faced with the idea of killing an animal for food. So, it is a good way to have people eat better for themselves, but it also moves towards the ideal goal of less animals tortured and murdered."
Unwilling to keep this information to herself she started a vegan bakery this year! "In May I established by own bakery, Raven's Regale. (www.ravensregale.com) I produce aesthetically pleasing, decadent vegan baked goods proving that vegan can be elegant and satisfying."
    As if running her own bakery, performing and modeling weren't enough, Scarlett kindly allows us all to be in awe of her beauty by modeling.  Her Old Nick magazine cover is one of my favorites, and her spread is utterly unique.  So...model, activist, baker, businesswoman.  That should be more than enough for any young women in terms of having enough to do, but no!  On top of starting the bakery, in 2016 "In September I studied with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes (author of Women Who Run With the Wolves) and achieved a certificate in archetypal and cross-cultural Psychology. In October I received a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition,"
When I asked her grouping what 5 songs they would never be bored of hearing, Scarlett's answer stuck out a mile: "Well, I have to give you 7, because I have seven performances based on the Seven Deadly Sins. These songs inspire me deeply and are the ones I have chosen to perform to:
(title - artist - sin)

  • Maneater - The Retrosic - Wrath
  • Omnis Mundis Creatura - Helium Vola - Envy
  • Obsessio - Wumpscut - Sloth
  • Morphosis - Die Form - Greed
  • Complications of the Flesh - Nine Inch Nails - Gluttony
  • Undone - God Module - Lust
  • Ceremony - Wumpscut - Pride"

I live in hope that one fine day I will have the honor of seeing Scarlett perform to these seven compositions.


Shiva Rodriguez
Although I almost never see her any more, I consider Shiva a dear friend who I became close to at a time in my life when I was at my most vulnrable and somewhat chaotic. Shiva has a way about her, a seeming mellowness that belies a drive and a passion that touches everything she does. Her voice is so quiet that around BIG VOICED people like Jim and I, she sometimes is the victim of dozens of "What?"s. Yet, this trait of being quiet and relaxed and seeming almost wraithlike is a mile away from who Shiva really is.
Start with personally fascinating. Most of us can't keep one relationship going for almost two decades. Shiva can. Shiva handles her two men with love and humor and joy. you'dthink she'd be pretty tapped out after all that, but no, She then has to save any feral cats running about, " I think I have a surplus of pets. I do a lot of feral cat rescue and rehabilitation, so as I type this there are about 30 cats in the household. (Yeah, I'm that crazy cat lady who will strap on body armour and catch wild felines to try to domesticate... it just pisses me off that people like to abandon cats in the woods near my place !" And yet, this crazy cat lady, who also enjoys raising and caring for koi (or as like to call them, feral kitty sushi,") has a rather unique dream pet:
"If I were to dare a dream, I'd love to have a marine tank and get a bamboo shark. Or if I want to go beyond the point of being realistic for my house, a marine pond with a hammerhead shark in it." Did I mention this woman is nowhere near as mellow as she seems?
   

Shiva loves horror and film.  When I met her, nearly a decade and a half ago, things that were just in the fantasy stage.  Although her horror/fantasy cosmetic work was part of her job.  Today Shiva, like virtually every other Satanic Witch I have interviewed, is doing what she loves for a living.
She started by doing horror make up for indie films and now she has moved into directing those small indie horror films.  She says  " In 2016 I came to realize that I am in fact "director material" with the first two films I directed winning awards and having a great deal of support rallying behind me to take on another feature project in 2017.

But what I am most proud about is that I am always referred to as a leader, never as a boss. " I am not surprised that means so much to Shiva. It is an organic name of respect, which looms large in Shiva's world. "
I may be a fearsome sight with my black hair, wicked smirk, and signature machete strapped to my side, but those who work on the films I direct tend to have a great deal of respect for me. They know that I will never ask an actor to do anything that I wouldn't do myself (which is why I did a nude cameo in one of my films) and that I will always treat the project as a collaborative medium by considering any suggestions no matter how low down the totem pole they come from."

Shiva holds the rank of Priestess in the CoS, and her view on Witchcraft echoes my own: "I feel that Satanic women practice witchcraft naturally to some extent and likely don't even think about it when they do it. Hell knows that I didn't know I was practising witchcraft for many years until I read a certain book..."

Writing this reminded me how much I miss Shiva (and her two gents, Duckie & Garith.) I miss her sly smile and laughing eyes. I miss bitching and moaning and having her just nod, allowing me to vent without judgment or hypocrisy. Most of all I miss the thing we most share, and that is the sort of people we both admire, " I admire people who have the guts to chase their personal rainbows." ABSOLUTELY!






Hydra M. Star

   
  Not just because I am tired.  Not just because there is so much left that I am overwhelmed.  Not just because I am due a bit of slacking.  None of these things are why I am about to post a bio that was written by someone other than me.  In fact, I'm not exactly sure who the author was, but the piece was provided by the amazingly cool Hydra Star and I am unsure if I can do her better justice than  the following (although I DO intend to try:)

"Hydra M. Star was originally one half of a set of twin fetuses conceived during the holiday season of 1977, but ate her twin prior to birth. Almost from birth, like most children, she had an intense interest in all things mysterious and magical. As she aged, her taste matured and darkened from Disney-esque fairy stories in childhood to Erotic Horror today. Evidence of this personal evolution and perverting of childhood things can most readily be seen in her Little Red Riding Hood inspired novella, Candy, Blood, and Sex as well as her recent contribution to the on going anthology series Fucked Up Fair Tales.
In addition to writing, Hydra designs and hand-burns a line of pyrography items featuring symbols and signs from various occult and magical traditions. She is also the publisher of Infernal Ink Magazine, which she uses as a platform to bring the most twisted and sexually depraved horror and dark fiction she can find to the world. More about Hydra and her work can be found through her website, www.hydramstar.com"
I don't know if Hydra remembers that at the 06/06/06 event we had dinner together with some of the coolest folks in the world. Somehow we had ended up at some restaurant, I think in Burbank.I remember thinking later, after reading tons of posts and essays by her, what a shame it was that I hadn't made more of an effort to speak to her because of how cool she is. It isn't just her amazing productivity that makes her special, either. She has the ability to inspire others, I've seen it repeatedly, most recently by convincing a mutual friend, getting a bit too sorry for himself--almost rightfully so, but still, what good is giving up? Hydra had him back up and running in double time, demanding from him what she demands from herself, the very best they have.
Hydra has generously donated a prize from her amazing wood burning business. When she sent me the pictures of the wood pieces I damned near dropped! These aren't scrawls of a burin on a plaque bought at Joannes or Micheals!! These are unique, elegant pieces. You can see them on her site and shortly on the prize donation page coming very soon.
Although Hydra admits she has a rough year, including losing a business/artistic partner, she is reassured she will overcome. With a friend like Cyrus the Orange, and an idol like HPs Peggy Nadramia how can she go wrong?





Josephine

Even more than Hydra, Jospehine has written something that I cannot top, so after I give you my take on this FUCKING OUTRAGEOUSLY COOL BITCH, I'm going to provide 2 of her answers to the questionnaire and let them speak for themselves.
When I saw Jospehine at DC Conclave she was busy assisting Rev. Robert Merciless. She had this metric shit ton of work--giving out cards and checking IDs and room assignment crap and directions, not to mention the things that will follow. Do you know what she cared about more than all that? Making sure everyone signed and kept the fact on the down-lo, a surprise for her friend Rev. Merciless. This woman was making her first big CoS appearance since all Hell had broken through her personal life, and her attitude was one of joy, giving and love.
When I met Josephine in Las Vegas she was not precisely svelte and that was to be expected. Her Satanic cookbook was a gift given to everyone who attended. She had done some catering, and food, its preparation, its bonding abilities was obviously important to her. I still use that cookbook from time to time.
By the time DC came around the woman looked like she lost over 100 pounds. At first I was concerned that it was a result of being ill, which she had been BUT seeing as she was competing in marathons and triathlons, Jospehine lost this weight with deliberate intensity. If you haven't had the honor, and it is an HONOR, let me introduce JOSEPHINE in her own words:
In 2016 what personal accomplishment, event, or deed do you feel most defines you as a Satanic/Wicked Witch?
Finished chemotherapy for breast cancer in February 2016. after a few months recovery, I had a double radical mastectomy AND breast reconstruction surgery on May 18 2016. Finally got the okay from my plastic surgeon to get into the swimming pool on August 3rd, 2016. Completed my FIFTH triathlon on August 23rd AND shaved two minutes off my previous 2015 time.
Who is your personal idol/inspiration and why?
My personal idol. This is a hard one to answer because I have so many people I admire and look up to for different reasons and for different aspects of my life. If I had to pick one, though, I would pick my daughter. Right after I got separated, her biological father was having dinner with her and started to scream at her in the restaurant. She was stunned and shocked and pretty upset by it. When the time came for him to make his weekend phone call to talk to her, she had told me she didn't want to talk to him. I was letting her make her own decisions but when the phone rang, before I could answer it and make an excuse that she was playing at a friends, she took the phone from me. She looked at the caller ID, saw it was him, and answered the phone. I watched as she said, "Daddy...I do not like the way you spoke to me at dinner the other night. If you cannot speak to me properly, do not speak to me at all." THEN she hung the phone up, handed it to me, and walked away. That was seven years ago. He has not spoken to her since. That blew me away that a young girl had the confidence, self assurance, and balls to demand respect and refuse to engage with anyone that did not show it to her. I told her that day she was my hero and I could learn a lesson from her. And, she still is."
Still to come: Renee Campbell, Jessica Darling, Jessie Twain, TrojZyr & Sara Josephine!!!!!

1 comment:

 Vs. said...

Hey Venus here,, I really enjoyed this post! It's about time women got recognition in the field of Satanism and witchcraft! Sharing!