Extended deadline and updated guidelines for animism anthology
Due to the fact that I recently got accepted to graduate school (I'll be working on a Master's in community counseling with an emphasis on ecopsychology, just in case you were curious) and will be starting classes in September, I'm going to be pushing the deadline for Engaging the Spirit World: Shamanism, Totemism and Other Animistic Practices back to accomodate my schedule. This will be my first time back in school since I graduated with my B.A. back in 2001, and I want to give myself time to reintegrate back into academia.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you were rushing to meet the the upcoming deadline, you just got a reprieve! The new deadline will be November 1, 2008. This gives you a few more months to work on your essays, and it gives me some breathing room so I'm not trying to do the first round of edits when classes start. I've also updated the submission guidelines a bit:
Call for Writers - Engaging the Spirit World: Shamanism, Totemism and Other Animistic Practices
Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for an anthology on modern animistic practices, particularly (though not exclusively) within a Neopagan/modern Pagan context.
Animism is an ancient thread that has run through countless religions, spiritualities and creeds. However, in a world that is increasingly dominated by science (which says spirits don't exist) and anti-animism religions (which may call the spirits "evil demons"), the belief in spirits has often been met with skepticism and/or hostility. Yet for many people around the world, animism is alive and well. This includes within Neopagan and reconstructed religious contexts, where rediscovery of animism may take even more varied forms than in the past.
Two areas of animistic practice that are alive and well in contemporary paganism are shamanism and totemism; however, animism may take a variety of other forms in modern practice. We're looking for your perspectives on animism in the twenty-first century, particularly your own experiences thereof. While theoretical explorations of indigenous practices by observers are a worthy topic, we're especially looking for essays from practitioners themselves, whether of indigenous or Neopagan animisms.
Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology:
--What has shamanism become in the 21st century, particularly in postindustrial cultures such as the United States, United Kingdom, etc.? What neoshamanic practices exist outside of the context of core shamanism? (While we don't mind some perspectives on core shamanism, we are particularly interested in neoshamanic/nonindigenous shamanisms that are not based on core shamanism.)
--How have the ways shamans work with spirits changed over time? Are there major differences between neoshamanisms and indigenous shamanisms? What role do community and a changing social structure have in these relationships?
--If you are a shaman, what do you do? How do you relate to the spirits, and what determines who you work with and why? What are your trips to the spirit world like, and how do they compare to the experiences of shamans in other cultures? Do you find your experiences mirror commonly reported motifs? What would you tell someone who says, "I want to be a shaman" or "I feel called to be a shaman"?
--How does neopagan totemism (such as the bulk of what is found in books by popular neopagan authors) differ from traditional, indigenous totemism? How have the roles of totems changed over time and in different cultures?
--What sorts of totems exist? Animal totems are the best known, but do you (or other people) work with plant, mineral or other totems?
--What are totems? Archetypes? Individual spirits? Deities? Something completely different?
--If you work with totems of any sort, how do you work with them? What experiences have you had? Do you work with totems within the framework of a particular religion, or is totemism your primary spiritual path? What should prospective totemists be aware of when entering into relationships with the totems?
Other Forms of Animism
--What attitudes towards animism exist in the world today, particularly in Neopagan traditions? Where did these attitudes comes from?
--How strictly do modern animists give regard to the spirits? Have science, anti-animistic religions, and other such trends caused even animists to be more lax in their practices? How else do modern animistic traditions differ (or not) from older animistic traditions, extant or extinct?
--Are you a practitioner of an older animistic tradition, such as Shinto or other indigenous animistic religions? Is your religion alive and well in the 21st century, or is it dying out? What can be done to help? What should potential adherents to your religion be aware of, particularly when dealing with the spirits?
--Do you practice a newer animistic tradition? Do you practice animism in a group, or on your own? Is it a formal religion, based on a specific culture's practices, or a self-made path primarily based on Unverified Personal Gnosis, or something inbetween? Again, what should newcomers to your path be aware of?
Again, these are suggestions; if you have ideas beyond these, feel free to contact us about them. We WILL consider multiple essays from each author, so if you have more than one great idea, feel free to pitch them all to us. Please do not submit fiction or poetry; this is a nonfiction anthology only. We are also not interested in essays that are primarily composed of anecdotes (e.g., "This is the story of my initiation", descriptions of journeys, etc.) without any real applicable information for the reader. If you want to use anecdotes and personal experience to highlight concepts you're writing about, that's fine; however, they should only be used to illustrate a main theme or concept that your essay discusses and/or analyzes.
Rough drafts are due 1 November, 2008; you don't have to turn in a perfectly polished essay--that's what the editing process is for. We're anticipating a word count of 1,500 - 4,000 words per essay, though if your essay will go outside those bounds, don't assume we won't take it--just contact Lupa to let her know what your word count is. You may contact us with proposals and ideas any time prior to the deadline if you are unsure as to whether your idea will work or not. You may direct all correspondence to Lupa's email address, whishthound (at) gmail.com
Essays will be required to have citations for all unoriginal material, quoted or paraphrased, and a full bibliography; we prefer APA format. We expect a wide range of voices and readers; don't be afraid of being too academic. On the other hand, don't be intimidated if you think
your work isn't academic enough; just make sure you show your work and give credit for any thoughts that aren't uniquely yours, whether directly quoted or not.
Compensation will be $25.00 (paid via twice-yearly royalties from book sales) plus a free copy of the anthology when it is published. All essayists will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays, not when they are accepted for editing (however, if your essay isn't fit for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits).
The anthology will be edited by Lupa. She is the author of several pagan/occult nonfiction books, and is an associate nonfiction editor
for Immanion Press/Megalithica Books. She is also the editor for the upcoming anthology, Talking About the Elephant: An Anthology of Neopagan Perspectives on Cultural Appropriation (November 2008). She is a practicing neoshaman, totemist and animist whose practices are elaborated upon at Therioshamanism.com, as well as elsewhere. She may be found online at http://www.thegreenwolf.com and her email address is whishthound (at) gmail.com
Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine in 2003, 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. Immanion Press is the publisher of Magick on the Edge: An Anthology of Experimental Magick (2007) and Manifesting Prosperity: A Wealth Magic Anthology (2008) as well as the aforementioned Talking About the Elephant. Find out more at http://www.immanion-press.com.