Saturday, January 28, 2017

More, more, more

     I need to apologize for these taking so long to post.  For a change neither my inherent ditziness or my laziness or even my crappy health is to blame.  The problem is how to do these amazing women justice in 3 or 4 paragraphs?  How can I make people who have never had the privilege of meeting even a single Satanic Witch, fully comprehend the many I am presenting as representative as a breed?
     I bothered the crap out of them.   I started with a questionnaire where I asked each one what had happened/what had they done in 2016 that they themselves felt was a witchy plus?  Then I  took 12 questions, divided them by four, and sent a grouping to an equal amount of nominees.  I was trying to get differentiation, not automation.  Then I put together all responses, as well as photos, and my own experiences with each nominee, or if I don't know them personally I spent a good amount of time reading their Facebook posts, and googling their name, so I could write about them.
I know you all will be as overwhelmed as I am!!!!

Misty Tyres

     I won't deny that I was thrilled to see Misty Tyres get both nominated and seconded.  I have been watching this young lady for a little while and she is exactly the kind of young woman who I'd want to see join the Church of Satan.  Sometimes when young people seek to join the CoS they have yet to make any strides in their real life existence.  In some cases they seem to want to make Satanism a career, although when asked they have no idea how.  These "kids" have nothing to bring to the table and refuse to understand that in one's 20's and early 30's CAREER is PRECISELY what should be motivating.  As Magistra Nadramia has said to a gazillion potential members "Wait until you are ready.  We will still be here."

     Misty is ready because  she is already a Satanic success.  She is doing well at what she loves.  Misty is only a little while out of school but already she is making a living styling hair.  Doing men's styling seems to be her specialty.  Hair isn't just a job to Misty, it looms large in all aspects of her life:
  • Satanism:  Doing hair as a job has " given me the amazing opportunity to experiment and perfect my usage of Lesser Magic on a daily basis." and "Lesser Magic is my passion and my career."
  • Competition:  In just over a year she has been asked to join the highest grossing stylists at her salon for a Redken conference.  Women reading this will know just how cool that is, but even better, when a barbershop opened close to her salon, looking to destroy their male business, it was Misty who had the male clientele to keep that business.
  • Responsibility:  " I have gone from a broke girl just out of hair school to being able to pay outright for my upcoming cruise and week of concert touring."
  • Inspiration:  She idolizes "Bertus and Leen Schorem Haarsnijder en Barbier in Rotterdam, Netherlands--well known avant guarde barbers in Europe  because "They have created a barbering empire for themselves while still maintaining a love for what they do."
  • Ambition:  "My biggest goal in the world is to eventually own and operate my own barbershop."
  Misty is very supportive of the LGBT community.  Above she is marching for a friend and below she was lucky enough to meet my favorite, singer of the wonderful Vagina Song, Willam Belli.

   If I had to end this introduction right here I believe Misty would look good.  However, as the voice on TV often says but wait!  There is more!
     I find younger people, those who were never without the internet, often are piss poor writers.  Hell, I have become a piss poor writer.  Not Misty.  Reading her answers made me think more of an English major than a Hair Stylist. Despite that, two things made me want to know Misty better, and they were based on the questionnaire where I asked certain nominees to plan a dinner party with , living or dead, one actor, one artist, one politician, and one musician.
    Misty chose Betty White as her actor and I was so delighted and surprised!  According to Misty "...she is absolutely adorable, but I love her foul mouth...we could ogle guys together!" 
     And then, just to make sure we are reminded that this woman is utterly unique, her politician of choice was the late Congressman Leo J. Ryan.  Holy Crap!  Was she even alive then?  (The mass suicides at Jonestown, Guyana) "...getting to speak to the person whose death signaled the final catastrophic end of so much would be incredibly fascinating."  Just like Misty.

Ruth Waytz

     I'm intimidated by Ruth Waytz.  I was intimidated by her before I even met her.  We knew many of the same people, and seemed to have quite a bit in common, but from the very beginning I was scared shitless about meeting her.  Then I meet her and she is warm, and fun and funny and engaging, and I forget all about my neurosis UNTIL the weeks leading up to the next time I am supposed to see her.  Then the same thing happens again.  We get along smashingly, and if she thinks I'm an ass she is keeping it to herself, and Ruth Waytz keeps very little to herself.

     Okay, every one of the nominees folded when I said I'd prefer to use my choices of photos, but they'd have final say.  15 women allowed me to do my thing. Not Ruth.  Nope.  She graciously reminded me that she loves me, and then politely told me exactly what I was allowed to use.  This is not being told to make Ruth look like a hard-ass, although I am sure she would agree that she is, but to show how this is one Witch who accepts no compromise when something matters to her AND utterly dismisses things that don't.

     Which makes Ruth Waytz incredibly interesting, but not particularly easy to write about.  Any pithy comments and bold statements based on her questionnaire are, well, impossible.  For example:

Q-Who is your personal idol/inspiration and why?
A- I am my personal idol and inspiration.

    While utterly fascinating, not to mention rare, it doesn't leave a lot of happy horseshit for me to oooh and aaah over.  It does remind me of why I am intimidated, though.  Here is a woman who just edited and put out Dr. Robert Johnson's The Satanic Warlock!  This book is Church of Satan CANON fer chrissakes!  In 2, 20, 200, 2000+ years it will be mandatory Satanic Reading, as PART of the religion itself, and Magister Johnson may written it (and lived it, no doubt), Magistra Ruth Waytz made it manifest.  I have a lousy silly word as my entire contribution to Satanism (Satanafliperoos or, for short fliperoos.  Meaning?  Any asshole who either says or thinks they are a Satanist but in actuality are Christian heretics, devil worshipers, or other forms of wanna-be,) but Magistra Ruth Waytz has CANON.   Maybe I am not intimidated but simply envious of such a talented and self-possessed woman.

<~~~~~Ruth with Magister Robert Johnson

     Ruth has always produced, but she has no need to impress with huge portions of past accomplishments.  In fact, last year Ruth rejected her nomination for Wicked Witch of the Year because she felt the year wasn't her best, but my oh my what a year can do.  While she admitted she "...deeply felt the loss of giants:  David Bowie and Prince.  Leonard Cohen and Mohammad Ali," Ruth turned her feelings of loss into personal power by stating "All their light and power will always surround me. But it still needs me to wield it."

 And wield it she has, because if producing Religious Canon isn't enough, in 2016 Ruth did an amazing job emceeing the 50th Anniversary Salon at the Conclave!  Oh, wait, she also went on NPR with our very own High Priest, Peter Gilmore.   Writer, editor, publisher, Ruth has a very simple, albeit intense,  sense of self  worth.  "I am educated, informed, and stimulated by others, but my accomplishments all come down to me.  My own attitude and efforts determine my success."  If that isn't a walking, talking, embodiment of Satanism, I'm not sure what is.


Evelyn Eve

Someone I respect beyond compare nominated Evelyn Eve and almost immediately another nomination (second nominations are considered seconds) came in.  I hardly knew her.  I had read various posts and seen pictures and even may have had small amounts of contact, but in real terms the various questionnaires and contact that is a result of this event has been an education.  I am saying that getting to know Evelyn through this procedure has been both enlightening and has left me wanting more.
  Evelyn is the second of our transgender nominees.  I have no idea what mix of letters Evelyn
identifies as, but for our purposes the woman is a Witch.  The only reason this is worth mentioning is because of what Eve believes to be one of her accomplishments, and I agree.
"I helped pave the way for other transgender veterans in the Yuba -Sutter area, which is  fairly conservative, by simply doing what I wanted to do:  go through the transition using the local VA.  I had to fight a minimal bit of conservative bigotry, but all in all tenacity and lesser magic won the day.  If anything, that is my "crowning achievement", as it actually had a small (but important) impact in society itself."                Although only active as a member since 2015 Evelyn has used "...witchcraft, lesser magic, and playing the synthesizer clock to my advantage, I managed to be reunited with my children after a divorce that was (on paper) stacked against me..."
     That isn't all she did in 2016, and here is where I should mention that this Witch is disabled.  This is actually a huge deal.  I, too, am technically "disabled," and I have the license plate to prove it, and when you can no longer do whatever you used to do due to a disability, life can kind of suck.  Evelyn has decided not to let it suck too much"Seeing as to how two years ago I was on the verge of suicide, pulling myself up by my bootstraps  has been the best thing I ever did for myself,"

   Taking care of her health and her body( Evelyn's list of problems is extensive) by dealing with the VA is more than just a solution for her and an idea for other people.  Eve wants a Veterans to remember   that  "You serve, you've done it honorably, you should get what was promised .  Veterans, these are NOT handouts.  You've earned them.  Keep that (counterproductive) pride in check, ladies and gents."  Evelyn prefers  the "patriotic mercenary" over the "nationalist martyr" mentality, and keeping the promises made by the military to gain members is something she is very passionate about.   

    She is also passionate about writing and 2016 saw her work in the Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror :  Annual Anthology.  I get the distinct impression we will be seeing much more in the creative department from Evelyn.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Are You Ready to Meet the Witches?

     What good is a bunch of names and a picture or two?  Well, kind of a lot BUT this time I really wanted to celebrate the Church of Satan's Witches.  Many people see all witches as either nasty hags, unshaven Pagans who worship Jesus with Tits, varying breeds of Wiccans-many of whom have determined that ONLY Wiccans have the right to label themselves Witches, and the real nut bags who see Witches as "Brides of Satan" who do all sorts of evil deeds.
     The Satanic Witch by Anton Szandor LaVey  defines Satanic Witchery and gives important lessons in both greater and lesser magic.  The Church of Satan deems women members who have attained the Second Degree as Witches, and uses the term to describe female members in general.  Satanic Witches accept the tenets of The Satanic Bible, and practice witchCRAFT.  There are all kinds of "Craft" performed by witches.  
      As both a Satanic and a Wicked Witch, I want to support the Witches who support the Church of Satan, and even more important, I want young women looking to understand the feelings and beliefs they have, to see the variety, diversity, uniqueness, and power of Satanic Wicked Witches.  I define a "Wicked Witch" as a Satanic Witch who embraces her feminine power, shares her magic by way of love, and laughs at those who can't laugh at themselves.  A Wicked Witch is unapologetic, passionate, and without shame.

     The women nominated for Wicked Witch of the year will be introduced on this site, 3 or 4 at a time. This is the first group.  Feel free to make appropriate comments or ask questions.  What matters most is showing off the most powerful, most unique, most joyous Witches in the world!

The Nominees for Wicked Witch 2017

   Heather Height

     Heather Height happens to be married to one of my best friends.  That is as close to a disclosure as I intend to make.  To be honest, after a series of less than perfect relationships, when David announced he had found someone new I was utterly prepared for having to put a big old fake smile on my face, nod politely, and wait for the inevitable crash and burn.  Several years later I can safely say my dear friend has met his match.
     Heather is undeniably beautiful.  That much is obvious.  What might not be obvious is all the talents she has housed in that beautiful face and body.   
     Heather is curvy, plays with various styles and cosmetics and hair styles, but she doesn't have a prissy bone in her body.  This becomes obvious when Heather performs stand up comedy.  She was in her late 30's when she decided to follow that dream and was rewarded in 2012 when she won the Comic Strip's "Comedians Who Matter" competition.  Since then she has performed repeatedly including at Gotham Comedy Club and on the infamous Opie and Andy. Heather is every inch a woman but she comes off easily as one of the guys.  So much so she found it hard to find a female influence until she picked Patti Smith as someone to come to her dream dinner party, but even then "But she would have to come with David Bowie.  It's not like either of them would eat anyway."
     Heather and David have a passion for the artistic nature of the Carnal.  Photography, video, all manner of the digital arts melded with sex are fair game. Heather has also graced the pages of Old Nick Magazine. Yet, none of those explorations are as special, to me anyway, as the gift Heather bestowed upon the membership of The Church of Satan at the 50th Anniversary Conclave:
     "...who would think that I would get  to do a striptease and pose naked on the altar in front of a banquet hall full of Satanists at the age of 46 and weighing a voluptuous ---lbs!?*  I am so proud and honored to have been given that opportunity and had the moxie to take it!"

Heather at Conclave with my husband James Mitchell

     Satanists are constantly seen as one dimensional by non-Satanists, but Heather's life has been influenced by a mixture of influences that defies both convention and UNconvention,  She admires Warren Buffet ("I dig the way he effortlessly melds this almost metaphysical sense of money with the formula for practicality...",) and cites Gene Wilder, Benjamin Franklin and Salvador Dali.
      Heather Height is a Satanic Witch, a Wicked Witch, through an through.  I leave you with this:
"If you are loyal, I am loyal...Betray me, you're out, betray one of mine, well, it's gonna get ugly."
That would be the ONLY thing about Heather that is ugly!

*Heather had proudly written her weight but I was unsure whether that was for me or public consumption.  

Josie Gallows

     Let me be clear, Josie Gallows is a Witch.  A Satanic, wicked, witch.  Anyone who wants to dispute that can do so, alone.
     That said, Josie has had one Hell of a year, to top several years.  Going through transition surgery is brutal physically and no walk in the park emotionally.  The only thing harder for those who do it, is to NOT do it.  I want to thank Josie for allowing us to get to understand this situation through her experience.  I want to introduce everyone to Josie by sharing this quote that shows Satanist above all else:
     "...the closer I get  to my own personal ideal the brighter my black flame burns  and my charisma increases.  I find happiness is easier and less unadulterated."  Hell, yeah!
     But Josie is more than just a walking education of transition.  She is a loving family member who wisely notes "family in any positive meaning of the word is relative and ain't much to do with blood....It took me almost two decades to find my little family...They are my rock."

    She says her profession is that of  "Artist. bohemian, urchin."  She neglected to add writer but when I read this "I’ve been honing my novel Gimps of Fifth Avenue for the better part of two and 1/2 years. I carry my babies for a long ass time. Some of you read a shit-draft of the opening about the time I started work on it. I’m really happy with the way the tone and beat have progressed since then from start to finish of the novel. I hope to have it all done and actually soliciting actual agents by early next year instead of suffering the world of self-publishing like I did for A Greasy Wind," I was impressed so much about how she wrote about writing that I feel compelled to read more of her work.
Her influences are equally fascinating. I am pretty well educated and I actually had to look up one of her wanted dinner companions.She mentioned actor Rufus Sewall--well okay, she mentioned getting real chummy with Rufus Sewall, she added the fantastic expressionist artist Egon Schiele, who, in my opinion, paints some lovely ladies that remind me of Josie , herself,:
  Then, under the heading of politician, I had to look up Sophie Scholl who was guillotined for going against the Nazis in World War II. Holy Shit! What an amazing person to want to meet, and even more, what a unique perception of politician.

     On a more personal note Josie appreciates the artists who, like Bowie, " who showed me The Way, that gender can be beautiful and explosive rather than a prison of arbitrary etiquette."  Yeah, what she said.

Stephanie Petersen

      Picking out pictures of photographer Stephanie Petersen is a bitch.  The woman is incredibly photogenic, understands the aesthetics of photography, and plays dress up with the best 8 year old girls.  She is a complete chameleon.  When I met her in the late 1990's she was doing the blonde JudyHolliday meets Bettie Page thing, before it was cool.  I never saw her "undone."  Her wonderful Jersey accent mixed with her look, and the last name of "Crabe" seemed almost too much like a charicature, until you spent 5 minutes with her and realized she was brilliant to boot.
      I returned to Florida and didn't see Stephanie again for many years.  Now if someone had said the next time I would have contact with the artist who did the amazing photo book "Motel Bizarre" she would be a happy wife and mother trick or treating and pissing off the neighbors in Bayonne, I probably would have said they were nuts.  She just didn't reek of Mommy.  Of all people I should have realized that those are sometimes the best ones.  " job as Wife and Mother surpasses my role as a Photographer.  As a Mother I create the world that my family and I live in according to my own design , sensibilities, and liking.  Our house functions independently from outside influences.  This is our realm, we make our own rule, and as Mother I am the governing force."  Total Environment, anybody?
      One of the important elements of being a Satanic and Wicked Witch is to be able to live up to your own preferred standard by doing what you love.  According to Stephanie "2016 was a wonderful year for my family and myself.....I made my living in 2016 doing what I love most, as a Photographer.  Both my husband and I make our money by means of our own talents, by our own hands, doing what we love."  Stephanie also understands that there is more to witchcraft than sex appeal, although she has a mountain of it, "The term "what you got" can apply to anything from a winning smile to the perfume you select before leaving the house."

     When I met Stephanie her sense of style made me jealous.  I was trapped in what I called my corporate Stevie Nicks phase, and she just looked so damn great .  That hasn't changed, "At the moment I've been playing around with a dark 60's "Hammer Horror meets Season of the Witch look" which is much different from the look I was playing with years ago that you may remember."  Stephanie's versatility in style and her unique choices of what to photograph are as diverse as her influences:  Arbus, Weegee (Arthur Fellig,) and Martin Scorsese.  Young women looking for a Satanic role model would do well to look at Stephanie Petersen, living, working, and loving on her own terms.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Wicked Witch of the Year Nominees

     This is the third year I have had the great pleasure to get to know the witches who are members of the Church of Satan.  Naturally this sampling is almost ludicrously small because of the method by which nominations are made.
      On Facebook, and when the timing works properly, on Radio Free Satan's Confessions of a Wicked Witch podcast I announce the contest .  Anyone who is a member of the CoS is free to nominate any other member.  If a nominated Witch gets a second nomination, or is literally seconded, I investigate her appropriateness to represent my show in particular, and Satanic Witchdom in general.  I prefer to confirm she is a member in good standing.  If all that checks out I okay the nomination, send the witch the questionnaire, and await responses.
     In the previous two years I then chose the single winner based on the answers given on the questionnaire, and my own standards.  This year I have asked the two previous winners to assist me with what will essentially be creating the secondary "Witch Non-Congeniality" awards.  I kid.  Sorta.
You'll see.  'just figure  the fabulous Marilyn Mansfield and the brilliant Kim Rice will have a say in what goes on.
     This year we have more donations for prizes.  My next blog post will show pictures of these fantastic gifts with info on how you can obtain yours without a nomination.  Those willing to donate a prize will be given the proper snail mail address of the winner, once she is named.
     There is something else.  This year and last year a nominee has come to me, despite multiple nominations, and told me that they are withdrawing from the competition.  They felt the year they had was not demonstrative of their personal best---simply not as wickedly witchy as they knew they could be.  I could not be more proud of these women.  They KNOW THEMSELVES, and to me (as well as a 2000 year old self-help book from the Middle East,) that is the epitome of WICKED!  I applaud them.
     Very soon I will post a brief summary of each nominee, right here.  Shortly there will be two-three episodes of Confessions of a Wicked Witch, on Radio Free Satan,   When I am comfortable that I have fairly evaluated all the nominees, and have gained the input of the two previous winners, I shall name the winner(s!)
     So, finally, here is the list of nominees:
Renee Anderson
Miss Scarlett Black "the Siren of Sin"
Jessica Darling
Evelyn Eve
Zoe Frost
Josie Gallows
Heather Height
Sara Josephine
Stephanie Petersen
Shiva Rodriguez
Hydra M. Star
Witch Troj
Jessie Twain
Misty Tyers
Ruth Waytz

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