Sunday, February 16, 2020

The 6th Annual Wicked Witch of the Year/Nominees & the Winner

Out of the Frying Pan

Wherein the Wicked Witch Avoids Making a Painful Decision by Making the Right One

I confess...

There is something about your adult child having cancer that makes you feel like a total twat for using it as an excuse for failing to live up to your responsibilities.  Using my kids for any purpose is pretty low, but this situation makes the truth of it seem like a lie, and leads to a further spiral into a vat of confusion and guilt.  This is in no way helped by the fact that , knowing myself and knowing I am utterly capable of avoiding something for any number of non-altruistic reasons.

That said, it has been a solid two decades since I last took such a gut shot.  I'm sure over that time I would have thought any number of other things were meaningful and devastating, but my kid being sick has put all that in perspective, in a pretty horrible way.

So, I begged patience from and forgiveness to my Wicked Witch of the Year nominees and of Radio Free Satan .  Naturally, as I have come to depend, the citizenry of The Church of Satan were kind, and understanding, supportive and inspiring.

That made it worse.

When you feel guilt, and people are so unfathomably kind, it only sharpens the comprehension of who you are letting down.

So I said to my husband that today is the day!  I will make the decision, I will finish the bios, I will Hail some Satan, and do my fucking job.  Dammit!

Here is a secret:  Most (not all) years I know who is going to win before anyone is even nominated.  It isn't rigged, or fixed, but I pay attention to the women in our organization in a way that borders on stalking.  If a Satanic Witch does something that blows me the Hell away in June, I start the competition at that moment in my head, and pretty soon everything that comes afterwards if measured by that accomplishment.  Sometimes it is topped by a different witch.  Sometimes it isn't.  Regardless it is always about the application of Satanic theory, as defined by our canon and the membership, in improving the lives of the women in our organization, and how their self-improvement has elevated the Church of Satan.

This year was brutal.  I had no ONE favorite because I had so MANY favorites.  Added to that conundrum, and how I didn't see this shit coming I'll never know, but as the years go by and I have more interaction with these members, the closer I become to them, and the harder it is to select among them.

Now, on my very best day I have intellectual ADHD, there isn't a research rabbit hole I won't fall into, and, as stated, left to my own devices I'd live in my pajamas and blow off anything of note.  It took me years to comprehend that them turning it off was not the signal to pay the electric bill, that the big stack of impressive (but impersonal, hence the ignoring of) mail on the counter might provide some forewarnings.

And yet, for all that, I have never had a real job where I wasn't organized, on time, on top of every little thing, and focussed.  When I put my nose to the grindstone pity the fucker who gets in my way.  The problem is getting my nose to the grindstone.

So, I started this morning with all the best intent in the world.  I mean, I won't be curing my kid's cancer today, so what the Hell is my excuse, right?

I'm re-reading the bios, I remember what my council of previous winners have told me, I have cleared all potential winners with Central to guarantee their membership is in good standing, and.....I have juggled the same 3 names over and over and over, and I just can't.  Maybe it is because I am feeling so much pain I can't bear the thought of hurting anyone's feelings, or maybe because I know so many of these women so well and love them, and that isn't a word I use lightly as a woman or as a Satanist.  I mean LOVE.  Knowing them genuinely makes my life better, and without them I'd lose a part of me, and really, is there a better definition of love?

So bear with me, while I demonstrate the one thing I did see coming when I determined this award was mine to give, and mine alone.  I always felt that asking others to take the responsibility of this choice was a shit move.  

" Hey, yeah, you know that thing that makes me crazy and drives me to tears?  Here, have some."  seems a tad less than polite, so if this thing takes an amazing dump it will have to be exclusively on me.

So when I began researching a way OUT OF THIS, I found a degree of clarity.  I was thinking of starting a Wicked Witch Hall of Fame, where everyone nominated was a winner and got a nifty participation coffee mug!  Then I thought I would go the traditional pageant route and we'd have a Miss Congeniality award, or maybe Best Newcomer.  Yup, 2 hours of bullshitting to myself trying to make something organic, synthetic.


Below are the wonderful wicked witches nominated for the 6th Annual Wicked Witch of the Year.  Each one is worthy.  Each one adds to this amazing organization. 

These are the Finalists for

The 6th Annual Wicked Witch of the Year
presented by
in association with

Witch Renee

Art on You Studios

Renee is a perennial nominee because she just continues to grow, adapt, and live in the real world without hiding or watering down her beliefs. In years past she has participated in local politics, and she and her husband continue to perform charitable and philanthropic acts in their community , both through their tattoo shop, and as caring individuals. This past year they held a private event for members over Halloween, and I am so sorry I missed it as the word on that ritual & gathering has been 'unforgettable.' Having a private goal, Renee took a mundane job, that she wasn't too fond of, in order to reduce debt and plan for the future. That is real Satanism! She looked at the long goal and sacrificed--not metaphor, but herself, to make her dreams come true. Equally Satanic was her decision to leave her job when the pain overtook the joy.


"I would like to tell you that I used specific magic on a day-to-day basis, but I’ve been an Active Member for so many years that I don’t even have to think about it anymore. It’s second nature. " ~Witch Renee

Sara Josephine Clarke

Social media got a whole lot better when Sarah Josephine Clarke bought a beautiful old home and shared her creativity in its restoration with photographs.

She writes : My Husband and I moved to a small town last Fall after buying a 113 year old house in the Spring. We are doing most all of the work on it ourselves. I have spent the majority of my nearly 42 years of life learning skills such as perfumery, painting, sculpting, mold making/casting, sewing, printmaking, etc. All of which make for the feeling of being ready for a project such as our new old house. Our Beloved High Priestess naturally put all best when she took the time to say:

"I'm so excited for you. From watching your creative activities over the years, I feel like making this house your home, a shining tribute to both of you and also to its history, is the project you've been preparing your whole life for."

That pretty much defines Satanic Witchery.

'A neighbor I was somewhat acquainted with and I are in the elevator of the Downtown highrise apartment I lived in at the time.
He says [in a scoffy tone]: "I heard that you are a Witch. What the hell does that even mean [mumbles one mainsteam impression after another]?"
So I say: "It means I understand people and I'm quite skilled at getting what I want."
After a long pause, his tone is markedly different, and he says: "..Well.. Damn.. I wish I could say that about my life.." '
~Sarah Josephine Clarke

Zoe Frost

No one who attended Howl's Devil's Reign/TSB 50th Anniversary this year will ever forget meeting the delightfully wicked, incredibly talented, and wonderfully witty Zoe Frost.  I have known her husband for decades, love him like a brother, and felt through online contact I knew who Zoe was.  I didn't have a clue.  Her formal addition to the ranks, coinciding with the birth of were merely an appetizer.  This educated, talented, wife, mother and dual careerist made such a splash onstage at Howl that everyone was charmed and smitten.

"This leads me to the most significant accomplishment of the year. The opening of Satanme. I mean, have you seen that ass? "

~Zoe Frost


It has been my great pleasure to have known this incredibly smart and almost unreasonably beautiful witch for years. I knew the kid she is now taking on college tours when he was a little kid. She in unconventional, cheerfully sarcastic, and the kind of mom I like best, hands on, but in no denial of what a shit gig it can be. I have seen her ride the waves of up & down, and then...Tania was diagnosed with a chronic and debilitating illness, and like all those afflicted with such, and hardest of all things to comprehend as a Satanist, she lost control.
Her nomination is for the attitude she used to get some element of that control back, and how if demonstrates Satanic Witchery. She writes: "Elite is about the real world and how you navigate it. Life isn’t always pretty, real life isn’t a laundry list of accomplishments. Life is marred by ugly things. None of us are immune and none of us will escape the chapters that break us for a while, change us, even bring us to our knees."
"I’m hopelessly flawed, oftentimes graceless in my execution of life. Sometimes we dance, more often I stumble. But I will always keep listening for the music. "


Josie Gallows

Another multiple nominee, Josie has been in the organization for 18 years.  Few people have lived more of a life of complete self-definition than Josie.  By even the most liberal standards, Josie is radical, insofar as she refuses to filter her words and lifestyle to appease anyone's notions of anything.  She is provocative, iconoclastic, funny and smart.  It takes quite a bit to shock me into an 'Oh, No!  She didn't!," but Josie hits that spot fairfly regularly, and the ensuing mental conversation I have with myself is always worth the effort.  This year it was a pleasure seeing her bond with other members and establish Bitchcraft Boutique.
"Satanic witches aren't parrots. They don't yearn from their cloacas awaiting someone else's agenda and motivations. They are cunning, adaptive, but concrete when it comes to their core self because they've put in the work. "

~Josie Gallows

Lizzie Hendricks

 Lizzie is a first time nominee, but I KNOW it won't be the last.  This young woman has accomplished more at 30 than most do in a lifetime.  I had the great pleasure of meeting her recently and was blown away by her wonderfully whimsical attitude, and commitment to the organization and, more importantly, to her own standards of excellence.  A great indicator of a magnificent Satanic witch is when you see their significant other beam with pride every time she speaks a word, or catches an eye.
When I see someone working in medicine who is also religiously inclined to believe in Heaven, my cynical brain wonders what, therefore, is the motivation to keep people alive?  Lizzie obviously cares deeply or she would not be where she is, and it looks like it is just the beginning.  This past year, alone:  
• Got BSN • Got Advanced Cert in Trauma nursing • Obtained Prehospital Trauma Life support • Obtained employment at a Magnet Status Level 1 Trauma Center, that is also a certified burn, stroke, and chest pain center.
She is the type of member who can make us all proud.

"I use my Satanic skills in everything I do, and try to live as a an example of Satanism by just living my life, and being the best me I can be."

~Lizzie Hendricks

Lauren Hippenstiel

From the horse's mouth: 
"Hey there, everybody, my name is Lauren, I'm a Satanist and I have been nominated for the Wicked Witch of the Year Award! Some of you may know me from my blog, but that's not all I am known for in my area. Here at home, I am a Theatrical Lighting Designer and Stage Manager, gardener, cat owner, and poet. Speaking of, a few readers may recognize my name from Infernal Ink Magazine, where I had a poem published!"
 "This is my second year being nominated for the Wicked Witch of the Year Award and, win or lose, it is always an honor to be nominated beside such powerful witches. "
~Lizzie Hippenstiel

Cimminnee Holt

I went back four years and discovered that in nominations alone, no one has more than Cimminnee Holt.  The reason she has yet to win?  Because she herself keeps placing the bar higher for her own accomplishments.  Few people I know have a greater comprehension of magical and religious traditions than Cimminnee.  She is the epitome of an academic who has followed her bliss straight into poverty, and this year she decided maybe she deserved a little bit better.  Naturally she is questioning her choices, as I have yet to know a ph.D candidate who hasn't, but instead of wandering blindly through a fairly substantial existential crisis, she went to doctors, the gym, mental health professionals, to ensure she was at a level to make those decisions, wisely.  
Oh, and I've said it before, you have not lived until you've watched brilliant & scholarly Cimm turn karaoke "Like A Virgin" into a punk anthem.  
 "As for the ways I’m using Satanism, the honest answer is: life can suckity suck suck...I just know that being human is a process and I’ve never been bored with my own brain."

~Cimminnee Holt

Delilah Charmer

I was reading Delilah's information, and as I tried to re-write I realized I was doing this gifted writer a disservice.  I noted a complete understanding of self, aware and wise, and the kind of full life that accepts both tragedy and joy with equal amounts of passion.  Delilah lost loved ones this year, busted butt to homeschool and then graduate her child, ran a business, and is returning to an earlier love, writing.

"Ever since I was little, I've always found it useful to color my world using words and a way to ignite my Inner Flame. Creative and abstract words are always fun to play with. Not to say that I'm not open to other writing styles, because I certainly am and always willing to learn new things."
~Delilah Charmer

Julia Perrotta

I became aware of Julia when she spearheaded a memorial for Les Hernandez.  I became fascinated and was grateful for her contribution.  Some months later I had the pleasure of getting to meet her at current Wicked Witch of the Year, Heather Height's birthday party, and I was so impressed.
To me true feminism and Satanism connect when there is neither expectation or limits  based on gender.  I applaud women who stay at home with their kids for one simple reason:  There is no tougher job in the world.  I applaud men who do likewise.  Child rearing is brutal, and women who stay at home to do so are vilified on two fronts.  If you add to that the post partum biological changes, you have a superhero with Desitin on their cape, smelling vaguely like spit up, whose fondest wish is neither jewels nor caviar, but a decent night's sleep.
One thing that does not come with parenting is time to indulge in the self care that reminds you that in addition to wife & mom, you are still you.  Julia spent this year determining how to define herself, getting healthy, making jewelry, writing, and picking her Italian lessons back up.
"I'm not just myself again; I'm the best version of myself, stronger and more capable than I ever knew."

~Julia Perrotta

Ophelia Rain

We're the friggin' Church of Satan .  Of course we have porn stars!

Obviousness aside, our Ophelia has had a really rough time over the last year.  Instead of writing all about her let me say, just this, CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement!

~Ophelia Rain

Karen Steuer

So I am going through Karen's list of accomplishments and am completely dumbstruck when I read that her herbal shop has EXCEEDED its goals. When do you see that? Met goals, maybe. Exceeded them is unique, especially when she spent the year in a 9 month herbalist program, working towards joining the Herbalists Guild, getting certified in Reiki, and being a crazy cat lady. She also co-hosted an event that drew members from all over the country. She wrote that she wasn't a "typical" witch, due to a love of Martha Stewart, gardening, weaving, etc... I know she'll come to see that none of us are. That is the nature of Satanic witchery--each of us is completely unique.

"Doktor's words just resonated with me....and it's LIBERATING to own my own life. My only regret is not having embraced the philosophy sooner."

~Karen Steuer

About The Winner
If you have taken the time to read about the nominees you'd have to agree that I was facing a daunting task. I had whittled down to 3 possible choices, and each one was just as fabulous as the other two and I was banging my head against the wall like a crazy person, madly flip flopping between them from moment to moment, and that secret is going with me to the grave.

So, I chucked all pretense, all convention, and asked myself who best represented the organization, who was the one person who was active, universally respected, and who gave us all a soft place to land and brutal honesty when required?

The answer came to me when I realized who I turn to, who I respect enough to tell my worst secrets, safe in the knowledge there will be a lack of judgment and a surplus of support AND I knew that she played the same role for hundreds, if not thousands of others. She isn't just loved, she is needed. Hell, her nickname is even 'Mama Satan!"

I have known this woman for over 25 years. I have felt her love & her wrath, and they were both deserved. Even those older than her want to be her when/if they grow up.

I won't list her accomplishments, although I will provide some links, because they are too vast and impressive to write that book right now.

I also hope the nominees will understand why, just this once, I abandoned them, and had to look in my heart for the winner of the 6th Annual Wicked Witch of the Year Award:

The High Priestess
of the

Magistra Peggy Nadramia

So it is done!

Hail, Satan!

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