A New Look at the Magic of Trees
While I was writing the first draft of my new book, Plant and Fungus Totems, I did some research into existing books and websites on related sorts of spirituality. I wanted to see if there was anything I could cite as additional reading material for people who liked my book once it was out, and to inspire me to keep writing, too!
Not surprisingly, I ran into a lot of “Here are the magical properties of this plant, and that fungus, and here’s what they ‘mean’, and here are the secrets of the flowers kingdom” and so forth. Which are all good things in their own right, but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. I don’t especially like stereotyped “meanings” for beings of nature, especially since “meaning” is such a subjective thing, and what I may learn from observing the cherry trees outside my apartment (or their totem, for that matter) isn’t what another person might learn from the same.
Furthermore, my spirituality over the years has dug its roots more deeply into the physical world than in abstracts and symbols. Hikes are my sacred rituals, and the heart-piercing feeling of overwhelm at the sight or smell of a wilderness spot is one of my most treasured sacraments. I am here in this world, and I want to be as fully in this world as I can be for as long as I have the privilege to do so. I don’t want to chase down dreams of an afterlife and miss out on the miracles that occur here every moment, with every breath. Trees are one good example of a miraculous sort of being.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit scarce around here since last autumn. Many changes have occurred in my life which I won’t bore you with just now. However, one good thing that came out of the past several months is a better idea of how I want to use this blog. See, each of my blogs has a personality, and this one was taking a little longer …
So I’ve remade my blog over at paganSquare into a pagan advice column. Here’s the initial post—and you can email questions for future installments to firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Call for Papers: Finding the Masculine in Goddess' Spiral: Men in Ritual, Community and Service to the Goddess
Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for Finding the Masculine in Goddess’ Spiral: Men in Ritual, Community and Service to the Goddess.
E-MAIL FOR INQUIRIES AND SUBMISSIONS:
Erick DuPree: please put “Finding the Masculine in the Goddess Anthology” in your subject line.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: JULY 30, 2014.
There is a movement among pagan identified men to step out on their own creating dialogues about their masculinity as men of the Goddess. Men reclaiming their right to a sacred form of masculine, and are wondering, “what type of man am I supposed to be?” How do Pagan men reclaim the overarching word’s expectation of what masculinity should be, in alignment with a Goddess centered faith?
This anthology will explore men and their relationship with the Goddess and the overarching Pagan community. We’re looking for essays and articles that detail personal experiences with the Goddess, How as men we come to know the Goddess, and ways you have worked through challenges and obstacles being a man within the Pagan movement. We’d like to see a combination of hands-on how-to, personally-inspired, and academic pieces that will offer readers the tools they can use in understanding the evolving role go masculinity in the Goddess movement.
We are looking for works from men, including the transgender community.
Essays and articles should be 1500-4,000 words.
We’re also looking for brief (500-1000 words) personal stories of how you reframe patriarchy, address feminism, and come into Goddess community.
HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTED TOPICS TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF THE FOCUS OF THIS ANTHOLOGY:
Personal work and self-transformation while working with the Goddess
The role patriarchy plays in coming to terms with worshiping the Goddess as a man.
How to foster relationships with other men while still honoring women.
What is the difference between sacred masculine and male?
Does Paganism make assumptions about men and create stereotypes?
Stories of inequality and/or discrimination when working in circles
Rituals, practices, and experiences with or for the Goddess.
Submission Deadline is July 30, 2014. Articles should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it – we can discuss this during the editing process. Personal experience essays should be 300-2,000 words. Drop us an email if you are unsure whether your idea fits into the content. The sooner you start the communication process the better, as after the deadline we won’t be considering additional ideas.
Do write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like, and writing in the first person is fine as well. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editor. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.
Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material
Bibliography of works cited
Prefer the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style http://www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/mla
Send the file in RTF format
Accepted contributors will receive a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributors. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays.
This anthology will take nonexclusive first world rights for 6 months.
Editor: The anthology will be edited by Erick DuPree, an Immanion Anthology contributor, and author of the popular blog Alone In Her Presence.
Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at Immanion Press today!
Call for Papers for Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism | Magical Experiments
Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism Deadline for submissions: September 1 2014.
The words “Pagan Leadership” are often met with scorn and tales of failed groups and so-called Witch Wars. And yet, as our communities grow and mature, we find ourselves in dire need of healthy, ethical leaders. Anyone who has been in a group that said, “Let’s just not have any leaders or power issues,” has seen what doesn’t work. But what does?
This anthology will explore leadership for real Pagans and real groups. We’re looking for essays and articles that detail leadership success stories, best practices, and ways you have worked through challenges and obstacles. Our specific focus is on techniques to help Pagans build healthier, stronger, and more sustainable groups and communities. We’d like to see a combination of hands-on how-to, personally-inspired, and academic pieces that will offer readers tools they can use in their own groups.
What resources do you have now that you wish you’d had when you stepped into leadership? What problems have you faced and overcome? How have you faced the unique difficulties of grassroots Pagan leadership? What are tools and techniques that have worked? Essays and articles should be 1500-4,000 words.
We’re also looking for brief (500-1000 words) personal stories of what we might call leadership disasters—community blow-ups that you’ve personally witnessed or even mistakes you’ve made as a leader. With few exceptions, these would be published anonymously (not naming names/locations) in order to illustrate, through the personal voice of storytelling, the need for leadership education through the power of storytelling. These stories do not need to be formally written; they should simply tell a story about problems you experienced that caused a group to blow up. Note: We prefer shorter pieces for this, but up to 2,000 words might work.
Editors: The anthology will be edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood.
From one of my publishers:
“Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for the Bring Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the Pagan Community.
This anthology explores the topic of Racism and how Racism shows up in the Pagan community, as well as what we can do to recognize it and proactively work to change it by being consciously aware of race and privilege and actively applying that awareness to the Pagan community. We also examine cultural appropriation and its role in racism, and how we can approach issues of culture with conscious awareness that leads to genuine cultural exchanges instead of appropriation.
The vision for this anthology is to include a combination of academic and personally inspired pieces that show the experiences of racism, and the study of racism.”
More info here. Deadline for rough drafts is March 15.
For my followers, especially the amazing POC writers that I know here on Tumblr.
Reblogging because I wanted Sisoula to see it if she hasn’t yet.
I actually hadn’t seen it. I am doing an article for the shades of faith book. But, I might just have to write a submission for this one too. THANKS!!
Also, Pagan followers check this out…
In case you missed it last week.
IMPORTANT NEWS! The deadline for rough drafts has been extended to April 15, 2014! Please pass this on so that anyone who may have missed the first deadline knows they have an extension.
Riding on the momentum of my last post, I’d like to trot out one of my pet peeves: the notion that this world doesn’t have any magic.
It’s a sentiment that I’ve heard here and there over the years among pagans and others. It generally starts with a discussion about how we can’t actually fly without support or shoot fireballs or change the color of our eyes with a spell, and complaints that there aren’t any dragons or unicorns or telepathic horses running around. This sometimes devolves into speculation that, as in some urban fantasy novel or White Wolf RPG, this world once had magic but somehow lost it when technology took over. Of course, no one ever provides any compelling evidence that this was the case in the past, and the speculation is usually defended with “Well, you can’t prove it wasn’t that way, so I believe it was!” This is then postulated as being as real a reality as that explored by science over the centuries, and no one can dissuade the speaker that there isn’t some huge government conspiracy to hide magic from the commoners.
—by Shauna Aura Knight The question, “Should Pagans charge for services/rituals/events/classes” comes up with some frequency within our community. One of my activist goals is looking at underlying…
Good food for thought on the ever-sticky question of money and paganism. It’s thorough, and well worth the read.
[Lupa’s note: It was such a busy weekend, I forgot that my first content post over at my paganSquare blog, Lupa’s Den, went live on Friday! I’m starting with the bare-bones basics in this how-to blog, and my first post is on “How To Sense Nature Spirits”]
So, let’s start with the very basics, beginning with how to sense spirits. After all, if I’m going to be helping my readership work with spirits and totems and the like, I should make sure that you have a way of doing so. You might already have figured out a good option for yourself, but keep reading anyway if you like—maybe there’s something in here you haven’t considered yet.
I’m going to sidestep the issue of the exact nature of spirits, whether they’re independent beings in a nonphysical reality that parallels our own, or unseen denizens of our world, or elements of our psyche that we project outward. Not that it isn’t important, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide exactly what they are; the how-tos I’m going to put in this blog should work regardless of your answer.
How do you sense something that doesn’t have a physical presence? In popular Western traditions, particularly those based in 19th century mediumship, there may be physical signs that a spirit is present, such as the room going cold suddenly, or an item falling off a shelf. However, these supposed signs can often be explained by more mundane things: the room went cold because the heat shut off, or the object fell off the shelf because it was already precariously balanced. The problem with these signs, too, is that they can lead you to want there to be “real proof” of the existence of spirits so badly that you start attributing any little thing to “the spirits”. This is what’s known as confirmation bias. This bugaboo can lead you to selectively ignore anything that doesn’t support your desire for “real proof”. Eventually you may find yourself so focused on trying to interpret the meaning of every little change in your environment that you completely miss the spirits themselves because you can no longer filter out what is and isn’t the sign of a spirit’s presence.
I favor a tactic that is admittedly more subjective and personal; it won’t prove the reality of spirits to everyone and their mother, but it can help you to figure out the best way for you to sense their presence. (The spirits, I mean, not everybody and their mother!)
Hey, folks! If you like my writing, I have great news for you! I am now a blogger over at paganSquare, courtesy of Witches and Pagans mag. My new blog, “Lupa’s Den: Practices for the Earthy Pagan” is going to be focusing on “how to do stuff” type writing—and I’m open to suggestions of things you’d like to see me cover! Here, check it out: http://witchesandpagans.com/Lupa-s-Den/Blogger/Listings/lupa.html
Note: This is my July offering for the Animist Blog Carnival, with “Becoming an Animist” as the theme; please note that the information about it has changed locations (again). When I was young, I v…
Note: This is my July offering for the Animist Blog Carnival, with “Becoming an Animist” as the theme; please note that the information about it has changed locations (again).
When I was young, I very quickly discovered the Great Outdoors. In fact, it was sometimes pretty hard to get me to go back inside! And even when I was under a human-made roof, I was usually reading books about nature, or playing with toy animals, or watching wildlife shows on TV. In short, the natural world was my first true love, and it’s a relationship that’s never ended.
However, it was about more than just the physical trees and grass and rabbits and snakes. Even at a young age I felt there was vivacity to the world beyond the basic science of it. People had been writing myths about nature spirits for millennia all around the world. Shouldn’t there be something to that, at least? And so I began talking to the bushes and the birds, and while they never spoke back to me in so many words, I sometimes felt that I was at least acknowledged.