Today is the 32nd anniversary of the passing of Dr Frederick LaMotte Santee aka Merlin of the Coven of the Catta. I arrived within a year after his passing and grew into the Priesthood there trying to fill his huge shoes. I wish so much i would have had the opportunity to talk with this intelligent, strange and wonderful man and magickian who remains almost unknown today.
Below are some excerpts on him from what Lady Phoebe told me which have been published by me in Coven of the Catta – Elders and History, Unique Ritual Practices and Spells
A Biography of Dr. Frederick LaMotte Santee
At his point I will write all I know about Dr. Santee, which is from Phoebe’s stories, some articles I found in the Santee Memorial Library and from the Harvard Yearbooks. I never met him, having arrived one year after his passing, but he was an amazing man, doctor, scholar and occultist.
He was born 17 September 1906 in Wapwallopen, Pa. He was born in a lineage of four generations of doctor’s who practiced medicine. His grandfather was a Civil War surgeon who helped runaway slaves. His father was Charles LaMotte Santee who held MD degrees from LaFayette and Jefferson colleges in 1901 and he passed away in 1963. His mother was Verna Caroline Lloyd Santee.
Santee showed signs of genius at an early age. By age 3 he would read both English and German. He learned Latin from his grandfather’s grammar books. By age 8 he was translating Caesar’s Gallic Wars from Latin into English and back again to check his grammar. He went to Wapwallopen High School and then on to Wilkes-Barre High School for his last year. He went to Central High School in Philadelphia for AB degree in Greek and had the highest score in the USA, and so went to Harvard……..
While at the University of Berlin he was initiated into witchcraft at a Coven 30 miles outside Berlin, the coven High Priest being an Arnold Reinman(d). In travels in the Middle East he met native adepts of the High Art in Egypt, learned from a German adept also in Egypt, and from a Sheik who was High Priest of a “coven” in North Africa……..
Santee claims to have been a Homeopathic Doctor to Adolf Hitler but escaped Germany before the War. Santee also claims to have adopted into the USA the daughter of Hitler, named Tao, whom Hitler fathered to an English lady before the War…….
In 1956 Santee met Edna Jane Kishbaugh Williams aka Lady Phoebe Athene Nimue.
In 1963 on his father’s death, he returns to Wapwallopen Pennsylvania to continue his medical practice. His home and office were the same at 5 River Street.
In the 1970s once the library was built next door he employed a total of 2 nurses and 4 secretaries and librarians. He wrote a newspaper column called: “The Country Doctor” and Janee wrote a column called: “The Witches’ Kettle”. The locals says he was a kind and compassionate doctor, though a bit of an eccentric. He often treated the poor at no charge……..
Santee was known to have rubbed shoulders with much of the northeastern occult community. He was also a scholar of the Faust novels and legend and wrote his own Faustian story entitled “The Devil’s Wager” set in modern times. He had a leg and nylon fetish if I can say so based on the amount of slides of ladies legs he had. He required his nurses and librarians to wear skirts, nylons and high heels at all times. He loves cats and all animals and supported the Humane Society and money from his will was donated to them. He was a regular to NYC and was known to frequent the Magickal Childe bookstore. He had met Sybil Leek at some time and invited her to his Covenstead. His ladies, foremost of which Phoebe, encouraged him to get initiated by her and start a Coven. In 1967 that happened and they received their charter from her. They titled the Coven of the Catta after the cat totem as I have written before and that coven continues to this day with a short hiatus of rituals from 1979, the year of the bookhouse fire through 1980 the year of his death. I wish I had arrived a few years earlier than I did to meet this intelligent, wonderful and weird man and magickian.
Dr Frederick LaMotte Santee died on 11 April 1980 aged 72 after a long battle with liver failure. His body is buried at the Old River Church just north of Wapwallopen, Pa. His gravestone says “I shall return when Spring’s shadow trails.”…….