In memory of Lord Shawnus Merlin Belarion Elder 3rd* High Priest of The Coven Of The Catta

It is with great sadness that I write this post in memory of my dear friend and teacher Lord Shawnus Merlin Belarion Elder 3rd* High Priest of the Coven of the Catta. I received a call from Lady Ember Willow Hawk 3rd* High Priestess of the COC letting me know that he had passed into the Summerland on the 1st of July 2015 on the eve of the Thunder Full Moon. To those of us who knew him we were Blessed to have in him a loyal and true friend who was steadfast and always there when you needed him. His sense of humor and wit , though sometimes risqué , was always in good spirit and he truly believed in the tenets of compassion and kindness. He lived an incredible life , receiving not only his three degrees into the Coven Of the Catta and serving as it’s Elder High Priest for the past three decades but also receiving Tibetan Buddhist empowerments and initiations into Vajrakilaya , Avalokitesvara , White Tara and Phowa . He told me once he had been a Priest in three religions , Buddhism , Wicca and also having received initiation many years ago as a Priest of Anubis. Despite all of that , or perhaps because of it , he was a kind and gentle man who after working his whole life in the medical field upon retirement due to a persistent illness that he constantly battled was devoted to caring for the land and for the creatures great and small that lived upon it. He was fiercely intelligent and could talk for hours on any given subject that you could imagine and shared his knowledge freely and generously with so many of us. He worked tirelessly to preserve the Coven of the Catta and it’s teachings ensuring they were passed on to others and are alive and well and thriving. Due to him the founders of the Coven of the Catta , Dr Frederick Lamotte Santee and Lady Phoebe will never be forgotten , through his books and blog posts people all around the world have read about them and their story. Now it is up to us , we who knew him and called him friend and all those who have followed his blogs and writings to preserve and carry on the memory of a true Priest of the Goddess ,with whom he now rests. He is and will be greatly missed. BB , Aren

“A Spell Of Witchcraft – Patricia & Arnold Crowther” Episode 1 or 6 from a 1971 BBC Radio Broadcast


I found these old 1971 BBC radio broadcasts interviewing Patricia and Arnold Crowther which are fascinating, interesting and somewhat spooky as the radio broadcasts on Witchcraft and other forms of Occultism were from back in that time. To put this into perspective 1971 is when I graduated from High School so it is 44 years ago. Embedded below is part one and the rest play as each is over. To quote from the YT sitesitesite – ”

To quote from the YT site – “A series of 6 twenty minute programmes on Witchcraft broadcast by BBC Radio Sheffield, which commenced on 6th January 1971.The series was presented by Patricia and Arnold Crowther and was produced by Peter Hawkins.”


Enjoy and Blessed Be !

To quote

My Teacher, Lady Phoebe Athene Nimue, Would Have Been 94 Today

Today is the birthday of Lady PAN, and as the title says she would have been 94 had she lived this long instead of passing 5 December 2005, so this December she will be gone for 10 years. I loved that Lady, my Teacher of Witchcraft. I am going to try to paste into this post a short bio from a Word doc which is in the booklets I have written about the Coven of the Catta.

Lady Triumphant

Lady Phoebe Athena Nimue
Edna Jane Kishbaugh Williams

© 2009 Coven of the Catta / Gary Lee Hoke


Born: 13 April 1921 Berwick, Pennsylvania
Died: 5 December 2005 Berwick, Pennsylvania

Parents: Edgar and Mary Slusser Kishbaugh (deceased)
Brothers: Ethan and Ralph Kisbaugh (deceased)
Husband: Dale Williams Deceased 2/22/1998

Funeral: Wesley United Methodist Church, Nescopeck, Pa.
Burrial: Pine Grove Cemetery, Wanut Street, Berwick, Pa.

Soulmate: Dr. Frederick LaMotte Santee Deceased 4/11/1980
(See separate biography of Dr. Santee for more about his life)

Janee with Cat

She met Dr. Santee in 1956 and was his receptionist-secretary at the Santee Medical office and Santee Memorial Library in Wapwallopen, Pa. She wrote a column in the local newspaper called “The Witches Kettle”. She also wrote and edited a local publication entitled “The Cat’s Tale”. In 1967 she and Dr. Santee and others were initiated into the Witchcraft Lineage of the Coven of the Horsa by the late Sybil Leek from the New Forest area in England. Dr. Santee had previously been initiated into various magickal and Wiccan lineages from England, Germany, Italy, and France including the Golden Dawn, Rosicrucians, and the Illuminati. She has said that she remembers previous lives, one of which was as the wife of an Indian chief who lived along the Susquehanna many years ago.

At that point she (as Lady Phoebe Athena Nimue) and Dr. Santee (as Lord Merlin) then founded the Coven of the Catta in Wapwallopen which continued until Santee’s death on 4/11/1980. The Covenstead was originally in the basement of his house where he practiced medicine. Then next to his house he built a library which was stocked with over 20,000 books including tomes from the 1500s, books of the Greek and Roman classics, and an occult section. In the back of the bookhouse was a room used as the temple of the Coven of the Catta.

A year later in 1981 students from the Harrisburg area, following an ad in a national Wiccan paper, contacted and met Lady Phoebe and the two remaining witches of her coven. The bookhouse had been robbed and a fire set to cover the robbery, and the temple was piled full of the doctor’s stuff recovered from his house which had been sold. We cleaned all that up, repainted the three circles on the floor, and started learning from her and doing rituals with students from the local area and from the Harrisburg area. We would drive almost 100 miles 8 times or more a year to hold ritual and for me to copy her Books of Shadows. The Coven of the Catta continues to this day.

Janee (7)

And here are some other pictures someone shared with me years ago from his Aunt who lived in Wapwallopen, but i do not know her name to attribute them to her, if she is even alive.

Janee (2) Janee (5) Janee (6) Janee (7) Janee (8)

Tasseomancy – a Blog Post from Sarah Anne Lawless

Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge:

One of the elder HPSs in our Coven, Lady Alsace Isa Brie, was born in Australia and grew up a “bush baby” out in the wilds playing with lizards and such. When she grew older some Gypsies were passing through and she learned the Artes of reading palms, tea leaves and regular playing cards. She is amazing and starts “reading” you as soon as you come in the door, then reads your palm as the tea is brewing, then you have a cup of that tea with her until, like you wrote, a teaspoon is left with the leaves, which she then reads. BTW I remember somewhere some small booklet i saw one time that explained what the shapes mean in the leaves. Then she does a reading with her regular playing cards, the whole session lasting about 1.5-2 hours. Since i am her HPT she never takes money from me, but using the bathroom to refresh before my 2 hour drive home when i can i hide a $20 spot somewhere on the sink LOL. Blessings Sarah and TY for this post which i will link in an upcoming post.

Enjoy, and Blessed Be !

Originally posted on Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge:

11 Jan (7)

Photo of my right hand Copyright GLHoke 2015

Here is a great post from Sarah Anne Lawless on the old arte of Tasseomancy which is the reading of one’s fortune by tea leaves and she also writes on reading with regular playing cards

And here is my comment on her blog post –

One of the elder HPSs in our Coven, Lady Alsace Isa Brie, was born in Australia and grew up a “bush baby” out in the wilds playing with lizards and such. When she grew older some Gypsies were passing through and she learned the Artes of reading palms, tea leaves and regular playing cards. She is amazing and starts “reading” you as soon as you come in the door, then reads your palm as the tea is brewing, then you have a cup of that tea with her until, like you wrote, a teaspoon is left…

View original 100 more words

A Day in the Life of an Appalachian Witch 19-20 February 2015 – A Trip to Wapwallopen and some Weird Synchronocities with the Living and the Dead

After no sleep at 4am I spontaneously drove north to the Berwick / Nescopeck / Wapwallopen area. I stopped half way up that two hour trip and took an hour long cat nap in a parking lot of an abandoned business distribution center.

Unfortunately i was not able to meet with two of the High Priestesses in the Coven d/t their schedules. I did meet with an old coven member for awhile before she had her son, whom i had never met before, take her to a doctor’s appointment to have her new pacemaker checked out, something i did of course for 11 years. Her home health aid was there and Lady Persephone and I were able to talk Witchcraft openly in from of the aid and the son for a short time, then i moved on.

So i decided to visit Council Cup mountain again after a trip to Dr Santee’s grave. Its a weird angle backing into the driveway to the gate of the graveyard especially with two hills on the road and people driving 55mph there, so i drove past to find a turn around for a safer back in a pull out.

Well on a road i have never gone that far down before I saw a sign for a campground, so i drove down it to check it out in case it had a supply store with some local history booklets or whatever. There was no one there but a guy drove by who does maintenance there and contacted the campground owner who shortly arrived and let me in. Wow, did i find the “mother load” of information on the area. Not only did he know and doctor with ole Doc Santee, but he knew all his nurses and librarians. AND he was a collector of not only local AmerIndian artifacts but native artifacts from around the world. He graciously took me to his house which was right across the street from someone i knew in town mentioned above.

Yes i am being rather obscure here because i want to protect his privacy and the privacy of all involved because as mentioned in previous posts there are still plenty of “Santee tourists” up there who have broken into and stolen stuff from the old Bookhouse, which is getting a new roof and i assume mostly gutted and being turning into i do not know what. Santee’s house, from what the owner and his wife told me, has been mostly refurbished already. There were workers on the roof when i was there, rebuilding it in the single digit temperatures with a wind chill of in the minus signs amazingly. I missed the owner twice as when i drove by twice he was away getting more wood at the lumberyard. It is what it is.

So, this new friend and his wife as i said invited me into their house, let me rest, served me tea and food, let me wash up in their bathroom, etc. They trusted me as i had already at the campground told him i was the spiritual son of Santee and High Priest of the Coven of the Catta which does still exist. It turns out he wanted to buy the Santee property and turn it into a museum to Santee, but Bill the former cop got it first somehow.

Bottom line – and i am keeping this close to the cuff. I would estimate a collection of 30,000 pieces worth 3 million(?). Most is in his museum which is Heavy Secured so don’t even thing about it because he is ex special op and if you would step one millimeter within his door uninvited you would be dead in less than a few seconds.

So, i have met the most amazing friend, who does not want anything from me except the money for what i bought and have on hold, and i can trade Tibetan Buddhist artifacts for that since he has been to Tibet and climbed the 108 steps up to the Potala. Weather is sunny and above freezing Monday so will text him Sunday to confirm meeting up.

That’s my life.

Postscript – no answer to my emails or call so i guess that is not going to happen until later in the week when the temps are above freezing and there is no snow/sleet/freezing rain to deal with.

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20 Feb 3

The Duties of a Witch High Priestess and High Priest for a Wiccan Rite of Passage even for someone you do not know, but who Is a Witch

i have been dwelling for days trying to write the words to this blog post, because there are so many profound angles and synchronicitys to it all. So i am just going to ramble on and tell it.

To supplement my meager SSD and pension incomes i am in the buy-sell-trade business and run it out of the back of my jeep. I dumpster dive, stop at places with lots of “junk” in the yard, meet a lot of interesting people that way, go to yard sales, go to store front buy-sell-trade stores, find stuff along the road, dig up stuff in old forgotten dumps, etc etc etc. I make a little extra money that way, but also find some treasures i cannot part with and make some Incredible deals. My specialties are old iron tools, antiques furniture, and religious iconography. It keeps me busy and distracted and gives me something to do. I have also found that the “common man/woman” usually has more integrity than many “witches” i have met over the decades, though there are a handful of wonderful, truth telling, incredibly beautiful and serious witches i know too. I am blessed by their friendship.

A couple months ago i stopped at an open garage in an alley and met TJ, and we almost immediately took a liking to each other. I picked his garage and cellar and he made some money, he being unemployed d/t breaking his arm and being let go of his job. He knows how to do electrical, plumbing, carpentry, etc etc etc skills and he is my handyman now for jobs here and at the red lodge that i do not have the skill or strength to do.

The first time i met TJ something in his garage prompted me to admit to being a Witch and he said his sister Teala was a witch, and her sister, and his late godmother were also Witches, not book learned witches, but Real Witches, solitaries with BOSs and deeply into Nature. Teala was only 28 years old and very very ill with some mysterious illness and had been transferred to various specialty hospitals to figure out what was wrong with her. She grew weaker and eventually went into respiratory arrest and was soon brain dead. They decides wisely to pull her off the ventilator and expected her to pass soon, but it took about a day and a half, as these things often do. You know i have worked in medicine all my life, and in the emergency department, and critical care, and run ALS etc etc so i know the patterns. Now anyone who regularly reads this and the BSSS blog knows that i am a Witch who also practices Tibetan Buddhism and have empowerments into Chod and Powa (Wiki them) and the Rite of Passage in Witchcraft, and initiation into the Cult of Anubis, so i know how to work with the dying and dead (no, i am Not a necromancer nor do i evoke the dead). I also am being trained into PA Dutch German Powwow by my fellow COC HPT “Dutch Jeff” and i have learned to work with the Bible in this healing and working so have lots of old Bibles. Whilst picking his garage the first day i found a red Bible, not old, but well used, dog eared, with passages underlined and circled and pages bookmarked. I asked for it and he had to ask a relative it belonged to.

So one day i drove by and his garage was open and he was working on a vehicle replacing the engine. He said i could have the Bible. He handed it to me. Immediately he received a phone call that Teala had passed. He went into the corner and talked and cried on the phone. I respectfully stepped out of the garage to give his privacy whilst i cried too, holding that Bible. Now in Powwow one often just opens it to whatever page opens to skry a passage of relevance that G_d has for me today. When he was off the phone i opened the Bible on a table and it opened to the 23rd Psalm. Read it. I read it to me holding him and we both cried and i substituted her name into the passage. “Yea though i walk through the shadow of death, i shall fear no evil, and i shall dwell in the house of the (Goddess) forever.” We both cried and cried over a young woman whom i had never met. Then he had to walk up the alley to tell her mum that she had died. I left with that Bible after offering what i could to help him and her and their family.

Later my brother found the obituary in my mum’s newspaper, photographed it and emailed it to me. Her funeral was to be in about a week after her cremation at the local VFW instead of a church of course.

Teala Nornhold Obit - Copy

Edited for privacy

I arrived at the service and talked to her sister Sasha, also a Witch, and offered to do the Rite of Passage from my hand copied Book of Shadows which i copied from my teacher, Lady Phoebe Athene Nimue’s, BOS. She negotiated with relatives who all knew Teala was a witch though some were nominal Christians as i did not want to push my way in and offend anyone. They all said yes let that stranger (the only person i knew there was TJ) High Priest do the ritual a Witch has done when she passed over to the next world and reincarnation. I did not dress in a robe but was well dressed in what i call my black wedding and funeral suit. They had set up a table with her pictures as a shrine to remember her as she was, the pictures being below.

Teala  RIP 31 Jan 2014 (4)

Teala  RIP 31 Jan 2014 (2)

I did the opening blessing of salt and water and blessed myself, Teala who helped me by slowing ringing a bell the whole time, and the maybe 50 relatives there. The bar tender of the room rented at the VFW made me put my athame away because of course one cannot display a gun or knife in a bar in PA, so i used my index and middle finger in a mudra instead. I borrowed a salt shaker and water in a plastic cup. Witches make due. I did not have a black and astral colour candle, so used a black lighter and silver lighter. The ritual is only one page long and i read it out loud and i Immediately felt Teala’s spirit right there at the table shrine. I also felt Dr Santee and Anubis behind me.

Mission accomplished. I did my duty as an elder Witch High Priest and helped a Witch i never met, doing a ritual in front of mostly strangers.One last profound moment. After the ritual whilst having a beer a relative bought me i noticed a guy sitting along at the bar looking rather forlorn. I went over and talked with him and found out he was her boyfriend and he did not know many of the relative there too. He was nursing a rum and coke. I had already asked for some of the table centerpiece purple and white flowers for my shrine, and asked for a red flower to give him. He refused but i tucked it into his shirt. Later i saw him smelling that flower like it was his Teala and tears come to my eyes even now seeing that moment.

A Witch friend asked why i would publish this on the COC blog since it is not about the COC i assume, but it is, as this blog post in entitled – The Duties of a Witch High Priestess and High Priest for a Wiccan Rite of Passage even for someone you do not know, but who Is a Witch.  Teala  RIP 31 Jan 2014 (3)

Teala in a photo shoot by her sister Sasha

Teala  RIP 31 Jan 2014 (1)

A shrine i set up in my Witch Temple with a Picture Sasha gave me.

15 Feb (1)

This long cold winter many relatives of friends have passed on, or are circling the drain as we used to say in the ICU. We are all going to die some day, whether young or old, peacefully or in pain, ready or not. Like Carlos Castaneda said once, and i paraphrase, go through life aware that Death is always there on your left shoulder. Live one day, one hour at a time.

One thing i forgot. Because of the state of her body she could not donate organs, but did donate her lily white skin, so many many burn victims and skin cancer victims are benefiting. Thank you Teala

May the Goddess and God of our Faith Bless the woman and witch Teala on her journey to the Summerlands or wherever she wants to go before she is reincarnated into a country and family where our Faith is tolerated. So Mote It Be. SMSBFZ 3rd* HPT COC.


All photographs copyright GLHoke and Sasha 2015 except for the Tumblr image above, and Please, do Not try to use FB facial recognition to probe farther into this private affair!