Bringing Race to the Table: Exploring Racism in the Pagan Community is now available

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I’m pleased to announce that our latest anthology: Bringing Race to the Table: Exploring Racism in the Pagan Community is now available for pre-order and will be published on January 23rd.

Bringing Race to the Table: Exploring Racism in the Pagan Community is an anthology which explores the topic of racism and how it shows up in the Pagan community, as well as what we can do to discuss it and bring it out in the open. Each section of the anthology explores different facets of racism and how the Pagan community respond to it. Section 1: People of Color’s experience with Racism shares candid stories of how people of color have experienced racism in both subtle and overt forms, as well as how they have handled it. Section 2 Historical/Mythological Racism focuses on how Racism has shown up in mythological and historical contexts, as well as how it continues to show up in counter cultures. The final section: Being an Ally focuses on sharing suggestions and ideas on how white people can be better allies to people of color and how to be more aware of racism in both the Pagan and mainstream communities.

With essays from Xochiquetzal Duit Odinsdottir, T. Thorn Coyle, Crystal Blanton, Clio Ajana, Erick Dupree, Amy Hale, Lilith Dorsey, Lasara Firefox Allen and many others, this anthology explores racism and offers opportunities for us to engage this topic and proactively work to change our communities for the better.

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Why we publish Non-Fiction Anthologies Part 2

book_rooted_in_the_body_small In the previous post, I shared some of the history behind why Immanion Press has published the particular anthologies we’ve published. Now I want to share the rest of it and discuss how these anthologies fit into the core ideology of Immanion Press. After Shades of Faith came out, there was a lot of positive reaction to it, enough so that it got listed in Huffington Post’s 2012 list of Pagan books to read, along with another of our titles Graeco-Egyptian Magick. It made me happy to hear this. in 2013, at Pantheacon, Crystal and I chatted about Shades of Faith and she told me that her and some of the other contributors wanted to put out another anthology called Shades of Ritual, which would be a continuation of Shades of Faith, but would focus specifically on the spiritual practices of the contributors. It sounded interesting and when she asked if Immanion would be up for doing another anthology, I told her we would. I didn’t assume that she’d automatically want to place it with us, because as I tell all my authors, we never assume that your next book will come to us (and I’ll explain that further in my next post), but she told me that both she and the contributors had really liked how we worked with them. They felt respected by Immanion and our hands off approach to the editing. We respected their voice and how the writing needed to appear, as opposed to trying to sanitize it in order to sell it to the lowest common denominator. So Crystal and I came to an agreement and it was decided Immanion would publish Shades of Ritual. Now there was something very important about this moment…

For the last few anthologies, I’d played a particular role…I saw a need for an anthology on a topic and I approached someone to edit and I backed off and let them do what they needed to do. This time…someone approached me and told me what they wanted to do and I loved it. I loved it because what it demonstrated was something essential the Immanion Press ideology and brand: We empower our authors to be successful, to be heard in their voices…and to me to have someone else say they wanted to do an anthology was a signal that the brand and ideology were doing exactly what they were supposed to do. I’m actually in the process of doing the layout for Shades of Ritual and I’m really excited about this book. I’ve copy edited the essays and I’m really impressed at what is being expressed in it and how the various voices of the contributors speak to their own experiences as people of color in the ritual work they do.

Over the summer of 2013, I noticed a lot of focus on the topic of racism and it got me to thinking that while we’d published one anthology on People of Color and their perspectives on Paganism and another one was being worked on, we hadn’t focused on that topic of Racism. Racism is a charged topic, but I felt Immanion needed to contribute to the conversation and how better than to do another anthology, this time focused on racism. I got a hold of Crystal and bounced the idea off of her. She thought it was a good idea and asked who the editor would be. I said I didn’t know for sure, but she told me she’d be willing to edit, but only if there were co-editors. I said ok, and then she told me I had to be one of the co-editors. I was surprised at that and I asked her why and she told me, “Because you’re doing a lot of work in the background that no one really knows about and you obviously care about these issues. I want you to edit because I want people to know the role you’ve played in the anthologies.” I didn’t expect that answer and didn’t know how to respond. I’d never done any of this for recognition and in fact didn’t feel that any such recognition should come my way. I’ve written books, so its not like people don’t know my work and the whole point of these anthologies was to focus on these social issues. Plus I felt that one of the best ways I could help was to simply be in the background, helping to facilitate. Nonetheless she insisted that I had to be one of the editors…so I agreed, with the understanding that she’d be the contact person. We also agreed that Brandy Williams could be another editor for this topic since she was doing some research around these issues herself. She happily agreed and currently we’re in the process of starting to edit the anthology Bringing Race to the Table, which will explore the issue of racism and the Pagan community in more depth.

In February of 2014 I met Shauna Aura Knight for the first time in person. I’d seen her online, but we’d never chatted. I briefly saw her at Pantheacon and because we were going to be at Convocation the flowing weekend, we agreed to meet up for lunch or dinner and talk about writing, publishing and the Pagan community. We met for lunch and over the course of three hours we bonded over topics that included writing, magical mishaps, pagan leadership and ritual facilitation. By the end of our discussion I asked she’d be interested in co-editing an anthology with me on Pagan Leadership (We’re still taking submissions). I was impressed with her take on the topic and as always I was also curious as to what other people would say…and of course I have my own take on that topic I’d like to share.

Our anthologies are reflective of our core ideology. They are quality works that contribute to our readers and to the community we are apart of. They are works designed to raise awareness and empower the writers. The creation of these anthologies is a labor of love by all involved, because we want our readers to have access to ideas that make them think about their community and get involved in the conversations that can make it better than ever before.

Call for Writers– Bringing Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the Pagan Community

Email for inquiries and submissionsCrystal Blanton

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.

Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology:

  • Your experience of racism and how it has impacted your ability to integrate into the Pagan community
  • Cultural Appropriation versus Cultural Exchange
  • How to recognize and confront Racism in your spiritual community.
  • Being an ally within the Pagan community for people of color.
  • Intersectionality of privilege, or examples of this within the community.
  • Experiences of a lack of cultural empathy, or sensitivity within Pagan groups, and how that impacts safe place for ethnic minorities.
  • Understanding how symbolism within Paganism reinforces racism and separation of diversity within Pagan groups.
  • Is preserving the lineage of hereditary practices and/or cultures racist? When is it not racist and what defines inclusion or exclusion in such cases?
  • How white power gangs are trying to infiltrate the Pagan community?
  • Definitions, understanding or experiences of symbolic, adversive, or systemic racism within the Pagan community.
  • Stereotypes and prejudice and the impact on spiritual or magic workings.
    Being the only person of color in a coven, group or community
  • Being a person of color at a pagan convention (and how convention organizers can be more conscious of this).
  • How Racism harms the Pagan Community, and how it shows up in the Pagan Community
  • How, as a community and as individuals, can we increase awareness of potentially harmful racial dynamics and proactively work to engage positive change.  
  • What is equity and how does it show up in the Pagan Community practically (what are examples of how equity has been or can be applied to the Pagan community)

Rough drafts are due March 15, 2014. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editors. Essays should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it – we can discuss this during the editing process. 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.

Essay requirements:

• Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material
• Bibliography of works cited
• Prefer APA format

Write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like. If your work entirely talks in the first person about your own experience, please include this also. There is a wide range of voices, and we are interested in being as inclusive of style as possible.

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, not when they are accepted for editing. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.

The anthology will be edited by Crystal Blanton, Brandy Williams, and Taylor Ellwood. Crystal is the author of two books with Immanion press; Bridging the Gap; Working Within the Dynamics of Pagan Groups and Society, and Pain and Faith in a Wiccan World.  She is also the editor of the first anthology, Shades of Faith; Minority Voices in Paganism, and the forthcoming anthology, Shades of Ritual; Minority Voices in Practice. She may be found online at http://www.crystalblanton.org and her email address for this anthology is crystal@crystalblanton.com .

Brandy Williams is the author of Ecstatic Ritual (published by Immanion Press), Practical Magic for Beginners and The Woman Magician (published by Llewellyn) as well as the editor of Women’s Voices in Magic (published by Immanion Press). She may be found online at http://www.brandywilliams.org

Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magick, Magical Identity, and other books on magic. He is also the managing non-fiction editor of Immanion Press. He can be found online at http://www.magicalexperiments.com

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 http://www.immanion-press.com.