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!!!!
- 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."
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.
"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..."