Books

Book Reviews September and October 2018

Book Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Living Kabbalah by William G. Gray

The title of this book is a bit of a misnomer, because while people just learning about Quabala can benefit from reading this book, it really is a book for anyone interested in Quabala. The insights you will get from this book will benefit your spiritual practice and help you recognize aspects of the Quabala that you might not have considered. The author makes all of these explanations very easy to understand. And you gt a treat with the last essay, which explores how spirits are communicated with and presents an innovative approach that is still not matched to this day.

My only complaint about this book is that the editors did a poor job. There are mispelled words, missing words and spaces between letters in a word, which diminishes the enjoyment of the book.

The Process of Magic is now Available

My newest book, The Process of Magic: A Guide to How Magic Works is now available.

The Process of Magic was originally a class I taught I took the 26 lessons, plus some bonus material and converted it into a book.

In The Process of Magic, we explore how magic works and what you can do to improve your magical workings as a result. I also show you how to troubleshoot existing magical workings. The goal of the book is to help you create a stable foundation for your magical practice.

8 Book Reviews

Book Review: Lessons Learned from Occult Letters by William G. Gray

This gem of a book was recently republished and it features letters William G. Gray received from one of his mentors, as well as commentary from Gray about the contents of the letters. For that reason alone this book is valuable because it offers a bit of history and perspective. But what else makes this content so valuable are the insights hidden in the letters and commentary. For someone new to magic they are extremely important, but even the seasoned practitioner will get a lot from the book. It's certainly a book I will read again and again and each time I have no doubt fresh perspectives and insights will yield themselves. 

7 Book Reviews

Book Review: The Physics of Angels by Mathew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake

This is a fascinating book which explores the mythos of Angels and relates the description of Angels to contemporary Physics. I enjoyed learning more about the mythology of Angels, though I did find the physics metaphor to be a bit of a stretch. Thankfully they focused mostly on them mythology of the Angels, and specifically in regards to three classic perspectives on Angels via Dionysus the Areopagite, St. Augustine and Hildegarde of Bingen. I found the quotes and commentary to be interesting in relationship to understanding Angels, but would note that the focus of this book was Christiancentric and didn't really represent any other perspective on Angels from Quabalah or Islam. That said, if you're interested in learning more about Angels, this is a useful book to read.

Book Review: Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Do you ever feel like life is too complicated or like you're going in too many directions at once? If so, you need to read this book. The author does an excellent job of portraying the discipline of the essentialist, the person who only focuses on what is essential and eliminates the non-essential in the process. In this book the author shows what the difference is between the essential and non-essential and provides suggestions on how to implement essentialism in your life. I've found it to be very helpful in my own life as I've been undergoing changes, and I recommend this book to anyone who feels like life is overwhelming and complicated.

Book Review: The 7 Secrets of the Prolific by Hillary Rettig

The 7 Secrets of the Prolific is an excellent book for writers who have writer's block or have troubles with procrastination. The author does an excellent job of exploring what stops people from writing and helping them figure out what actions to take. Even for someone who is prolific, this book will have some valuable insights. I found it helpful for recognizing some behaviors that have stopped me from being as productive with my writing as I'd like. She also does a good job of exploring the realities of being a published author and how to think of your writing as a business. If you want to be more productive with your writing check this book out. 

Book Review: Western Inner Workings by William. G. Gray

This is another excellent by William G. Gray that explores the inner workings of Western Mystery traditions. It's as comprehensive book that explores a number of salient issues, such as sacred kingship, the function of ceremonial tools, mediation and ties all of them together in a way that enables the reader to go deep with Western Mystery traditions, while also developing their own cosmological models. I've found this book to be very useful in some of my own ongoing work and would recommend it as well as Gray's other books to anyone serious about developing their magical practice.

Book Review: Welcome to your World by Sarah Williams Goldhagen

Welcome to your world is an intriguing book which explores how the environment we build around us affects us, as well as how we navigate that reality. What I find really fascinating is how the author integrates cognitive and bodily experiences into the book so that we're not just looking at the environment, but also our own place in space. If you want to understand space, building designs, or how you navigate the world around this is an excellent book to read because it provides you a way to look at your environment from a unique perspective and consider how you situate yourself in the world around you as well as how bring good design into your life and improve your circumstances as a result.

Book Review: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is a must read book for any artist, writer, musician or creative. What I like about it is that author walks you through the life of being a writer, the challenges and the joys and reminds us that any creative act is really a communion with the divine, with the writer as the mediator. Reading this book helped me re-examine my writing practice in terms of how I approach and appreciate the ideas that come to me. I would highly recommend this book to any successful and aspiring writer.

A couple of book reviews

Book Review: Tao of Letting Go: Meditation for Modern Living by B. K. Frantzis

In this book, the author introduces readers to the Taoist water Breathing meditation. This book is similar to his other book Relaxing into Your Being. If anything it's a bit more stripped down and focuses on the basics, but its a god book to start with and I'd recommend it because the author takes the time to explore how to apply this technique to internal work and emotional blockages that's a bit more grounded than his other books on the same topic. I found it useful for revisiting what I'd previously learned and it will also be helpful for anyone who wants to learn meditation. 

Book Review: An Outlook on our Inner Western Way by William G. Gray

This is a book I will read again and again and each time I know I will discover insights and perspectives that will blow my mind. Reading it the first time, what struck me the most is how concisely and clearly Gray predicted modern society and the place of magic in society. And he does something so rare for frankly any magician to do and its that he advocates for experimentation. Actually that's one of the reasons I love all his books. And this one is no exception, with amazing insights that will challenge what you know about magic and push you to experiment.

My visit to the New Alexandrian Library

New Alexandrian Library Recently I had the pleasure and privilege to visit the New Alexandrian Library, which is run by the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. I was in the area to present classes, but I also visited for the express purpose of seeing the library and donating some of the rare works that I've had in my possession. I am happy to say those works are now in the possession of the library, where they will be given the finest care and be available for anyone to access who visits the library. The library is a distinct possibility of where my books may go in the event of my death, but that will hopefully be a long, long time off.

Dion Fortune Painting

The above picture is painting created by Dion Fortune. The NAL had three other paintings from her as well.

The ASW is still in the process of constructing the library, but it's pretty much finished and what I saw looked impressive. They also already have a good collection of rare books and its worth noting that they don't just collect books, but also magazines and periodicals. Most of my donation were issues of UK. Pagan and chaos magic magazines, but also issues of Konton Magazine, and some chap books by Michael Ford on Luciferian magical practices. I also donated my signed copy of Wilhelm Reich's Character Armor and the gallery copies of Kink Magic, because I know the library will preserve the books and magazines and also make sure people can access them (if only on the property). You can't easily find a lot of this material so having a library that is devoted to the preservation of writing on spiritual topics is essential.

Ceremonial Chair

This was a ceremonial chair from an 18th century esoteric order based in Germany.

They don't just have books in the library. I got to see ritual garb, a chair from an 18th century German Lodge and four paintings from Dion Fortune. Again these materials are being taken care of and preserved so that Pagans can see them and appreciate them. We need a place where this kind of preservation will occur, because it allows us to appreciate the magical heritage and foundation that informs the evolution of magic.

Bookshelves

A Picture of the many bookshelves crammed with rare esoteric books. The books can be examined in the library, but are not available to borrow. (They do have a part of the library where you can borrow books, but most of the collection is rare books they are preserving).

I know I'll continue donating my collection to the library (at least part of it). At some point I want to donate copies of Immanion Press books to the library and I may actually go through and send them some of the out of print books we have for that specific purpose. Having a space such as this is something I want to support. Admittedly I won't be able to get to it easily, being on the other side of the country, but the fact that there is a library where esoteric works are valued and preserved is important for the Pagan community and something that all of us need to support.

Rare collection donation

This is a picture of part of my rare collection I donated to the library. I've gotten what I've needed from these magazines and books and want the library to preserve them. You can find all the pictures from my tour here.

Magical Experiments Radio: Interview about Shamanic Astrology with Erik Roth

Radio Interview: I was interviewed by Magick Radio Chicago about Pop Culture Magic. Here's the archived version.

Book Review: Magical Imagination by Nick Farrell

Magical Imagination is a substantial revision of Nick's book Magical Pathworking. I really liked Magical Pathworking and in my opinion Magical Imagination is even better. Having read both books its interesting for me to see Nick's journey in this work and how he has changed as a result. As to the book itself, I found that what I liked about it is that Nick explores pathworking from multiple perspectives and disciplines including archetypal/psychological, mythological, and most importantly through imagination. Nick treats imagination as a magical tool, which is a refreshing change of pace from how its often treated. This is a book that's applicable to a variety of magical paths and should be required reading.

Book Review: Adventures in Consciousness by Jane Roberts

The first half of this book a biographical excerpt of Jane Roberts life, which is interesting if you want to learn about the person behind Seth. I felt it gave me some useful context. However what really interested me was the second half of the book, where Roberts discusses aspect psychology and explores the topic of space/time and how a person's identity creates possibilities. Given that a lot of what she shares is similar to my own work on the topic, I wish I'd read this book years ago, but for anyone reading this book it'll provide some intriguing ideas to help you understand identity and space/time and how they fit together.

Book Review: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip

This was one of the first Fantasy books I ever read and reading it many years later, I'm still struck by the richness of the world and characters. The author is a master of her craft and if you enjoy fantasy or are intrigued by how metaphysical concepts show up in Fantasy this is a book worth reading. Every time I've revisited this book I've felt like I'm seeing a long lost friend and rediscovering the joy that fantasy books first brought me.

Book Review: Firebug by Lish McBride

Firebug is an interesting adventure as the main character and compatriots seek their freedom from their boss. The universe is set in our world and is somewhat similar to the Dresden Files universe, though the author does enough to distinguish her books from Jim Butcher's. I like her other books, but while I did enjoy this one, it just didn't grab me in the same way as her previous works. Part of the issue is that the main character mainly comes off as whiny and ineffective. I don't really care about her or the other characters. The pacing of the story is a bit of a slog, though it picks up a bit in the last 5 chapters.

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 is available!

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 arrived! I just got my first shipment of my new book Pop Culture Magic 2.0, which means its now truly available to any and all. I created a video (below) celebrating the happy news. If you're curious about what the book is about, here is a summary (click the link if you want to order the book):

In Pop Culture Magic 2.0, Taylor Ellwood explores how pop culture magic has continued to evolve. In this book you will learn how to make any pop culture into pop culture magic as well as why you might want to. You'll also learn how pop culture is becoming the mythology of our time and how older mythologies are showing up in contemporary culture. If you've wanted to practice pop culture magic or are just curious as to how magic and pop culture go together this book is for you. You will also learn:

• How to work with corporate entities in pop culture magic

• How to develop your own system of pop culture magic

• How to integrate social media and modern technology into your magical practice.

• How to use contemporary holidays in your magical workings

• How role playing games can help you with your identity work

• and much, much more!

If you've wanted to integrate contemporary culture into your spiritual work, look no further! Pop Culture Magic 2.0 can help you develop a modern system of magic that is relevant to you and allows you to take the pop culture you love and turn it into a spiritual practice that changes your life.

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 is coming out in September

POP CULTURE MAGIC FRONT COVER - WEB

I'm pleased to announce that Pop Culture Magic 2.0, will be published in September. It is available for pre-order now and here's why you want to pre-order it:

  • You get a personally autographed copy from me when you order it.
  • I'll send you a pop culture magic e-book free when you pre-order (this only applies until the book is released!

And of course you'll get the book which has content and ideas about pop culture magic you won't find anywhere else. Pre-order your copy here.

Pop Culture Magic 2.0 is now available for pre-order!

I'm pleased to announce that Pop Culture Magic 2.0 is now available for pre-order from my publisher Immanion Press. The book itself won't be published until September or October, but once it's available my publisher, or I will ship re-ordered copies to you. Below is the blurb on the book as well as the cover! In Pop Culture Magic 2.0, Taylor Ellwood explores how pop culture magic has continued to evolve. In this book you will learn how to make any pop culture into pop culture magic as well as why you might want to. You'll also learn how pop culture is becoming the mythology of our time and how older mythologies are showing up in contemporary culture. If you've wanted to practice pop culture magic or are just curious as to how magic and pop culture go together this book is for you. You will also learn:

• How to work with corporate entities in pop culture magic • How to develop your own system of pop culture magic • How to integrate social media and modern technology into your magical practice. • How to use contemporary holidays in your magical workings • How role playing games can help you with your identity work • and much, much more!

If you've wanted to integrate contemporary culture into your spiritual work, look no further! Pop Culture Magic 2.0 can help you develop a modern system of magic that is relevant to you and allows you to take the pop culture you love and turn it into a spiritual practice that changes your life.

To Pre-order your copy today, click here!

POP CULTURE MAGIC FRONT COVER - WEB

Magical Movements is now Available

Copyright Taylor Ellwood 2015 Look what arrived in the mail today! It's my latest book, Magical Movements and is a compilation of the blog entries on the Magical Experiments site from 2013 to 2014 as well as the entries on Pagan Square. If you're like me, and you like a print copy of what you read electronically, this book is quite nice because it collects all the entries into a format that you can underline and dogtag and have as a reference guide. Or if you're a diehard fan of my writing, then this book will be a nice edition to your collection. If you're interesting in buying a copy, you can order it from Amazon or directly from me.

The Book of Good Practices is now available in Print!

BookofGoodPractices My latest Book, The Book of Good Practices, co-written with Bill Whitcomb is now available in print!

This book is a master toolkit containing the world's most effective ways to increase personal empowerment, freedom, and happiness! Learn how to practice core human skills that affect every aspect of your life, such as: Creating Well-formed Goals Decision-Making Cultivating Emotional Balance and Happiness Relaxation and Stress Reduction Pain Management Communicating Effectively Establishing Rapport with Others Improving Memory Increasing Concentration and Mindfulness Boosting Creativity and Imagination Growing Empathy and Compassion …and much, much more! This is a book about how to do things. We have tried to make it as difficult as possible for you to reject the material in this book out of prejudice against one tradition or another. If we have been successful, you will see that the only way truly to evaluate the practices in this book is to try them for yourself. The Book of Good Practices provides you the means and methods to transform your life. By using these techniques, you can determine what you want to change, and then create a plan of action to enable that change.

To order copies of this book go here.

Deadline coming up soon: Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism

E-mail for inquiries and submissions:  Shauna Aura Knight ; please put “Immanion Press Leadership Anthology Submission” in your subject line.

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.

What we are not looking for:

We are not looking for spells or rituals. We’d also prefer to not see generalized advice, like “leaders should delegate,” but rather, “Here’s how I learned to delegate in my group” or “here’s how a team I was part of successfully handled delegation.”

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

  • Planning a successful Pagan event, or running a successful coven or circle, or—how those involve different leadership processes
  • Skills to build community from the ground up, and skills to sustain a community long-term
  • Organizational leadership techniques
  • Transformational leadership and servant leadership
  • Experiences with Pagan unity councils or other collaborative work between groups
  • Dealing with local Pagan politics, including dealing with difficult, mentally ill, or abusive local leaders
  • Dealing with difficult and disruptive group members, spotting predatory practices, red flags
  • Gossip, bickering, rumors, and triangulation, ego and egotism, conflict resolution and personality conflicts
  • Communication skills and techniques
  • Personal work and self transformation required to be a leader, boundaries, dealing with personal burnout
  • Administrative aspects of leadership, leadership structures like bylaws, mission statements
  • Handling money in your group
  • Ethics of leadership
  • Delegation and dealing with volunteers dropping the ball
  • Keeping people motivated, empowering group members and new leaders, passing on the reigns of leadership
  • Creating a safe space
  • Different leadership models (consensus, hierarchy, rotating leadership, democracy)
  • Facing a leadership disaster/crisis

Submission Deadline is ____. 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.

Essay requirements:

  • 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

Compensation:

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.

Rights:

This anthology will take nonexclusive first world rights for 6 months.

Editors: The anthology will be edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood:

Shauna Aura Knight is an artist, author, community leader, presenter, and spiritual seeker who travels nationally speaking on the transformative arts of ritual, community leadership, and personal growth. She is the author of several books including The Leader Within and Ritual Facilitation. She’s a columnist on ritual techniques for Circle Magazine and writes frequent articles and blogs on the topic of Pagan leadership, and her writing also appears in several Pagan anthologies. You can find her site at: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books  and her leadership blog at: http://shaunaaura.wordpress.com and her email address for this anthology is ShaunaAura@gmail.com

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://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.

Manifesting Wealth Updates

9781905713929 With Manifesting Wealth, one of the things I've decided to do is offer updates. If you've bought a copy of the book and you go to the resource page listed in the book, you'll be able to access updates for the book, which will eventually go into a revised version of the book. The updates are comprised of my continued workings in wealth magic, as well as other resources that you can use to help you with your own wealth magic work.

On the wealth magic front, I've been working my plan and processes and what I'm seeing as a result is a consistent increase in business, as well as achieving certain personal financial and health goals that I've been working toward. I've gotten more clients, developed more classes, and the finances are being whipped into shape. I'm pretty pleased with my own plan is being achieved, with the right touch of magic and help from spiritual allies such as Bune, as well as my own efforts. Wealth magic is a process of design. It's not something you stumble into, but something you plan.

Manifesting Wealth: Magic for Prosperity, Love and Health is now available!

9781905713929 I'm pleased to announce that Manifesting Wealth: Magic for Prosperity, Love, and Health is now available!

To celebrate I'll be hosting a Virtual Book Release Party and FREE Workshop on Wednesday February 26th from 5-6pm PST. To learn more about the class, go here.

The book blurb is below:

In Manifesting Wealth: Magic for Prosperity, Love, and Health, Taylor Ellwood shares a holistic approach to wealth magic that focuses on all areas of your life. True wealth, while involving finances, also includes your health and your relationships. In this book you'll learn how to manifest wealth by exploring what wealth really means to you, as well as as how you manifest it in your life. You will learn:

• Financial tips and resources to reduce debt and improve investments • How to proactively plan for a happier, healthier life • How to define what wealth means to you and start manifesting it in your life. • How to create and sustain proactive relationships with the people in your life. • How and when to apply wealth magic to manifest prosperity in your life.

If you want to manifest wealth, you need to learn the skills that will help you proactively and holistically manifest it as an enduring part of your life. This book will teach you those skills and the magic to manifest prosperity, love, and health.

Manifesting Wealth: Magic for Prosperity, Love, and Health gives readers information that will take them from concept, to the reality of embracing wealth, to improve their quality of life. Taylor Ellwood has created a book that is full of ideas and information, pushing the reader beyond old ideals of wealth, to a more holistic sense of possessing great personal wealth. - Crystal Blanton Author of Pain and Faith in a Wiccan World

 

An update on my writing projects

book_mystical_journeys  

It's been a while since I've done an update on my writing projects. So here's where I'm at with various projects.

1. Mystical Journeys: The Magical Journal of Taylor Ellwood (2011-2012) is now available from Immanion Press. This is a collection of all the blog posts on this website from 2011 to 2012. I'm not planning on deleting any of the posts, but if you want a book where all of them are referenced or you are just fascinated with my writing and various ideas, this is a good book to pick up. Both years were productive years, where I re-found my love of writing and magic.

2. The Book of Good Practices Vol 1 and The Book of God Practices Workbook by Bill Whitcomb and Taylor Ellwood is now available (self-published). I've been working on a book project with Bill Whitcomb for about 4 years. We finally finished it and are making the core books available as e-books, and the workbook available as a print book. Parts 2 and 3 will be published in the near future and eventually we plan on publishing all three parts as a print book.

3. The Space/Time Magic Correspondence course is coming together slowly. I think it will come together a lot faster now that I'm re-evaluating some of my priorities and scaling back on other activities which have been a distraction from the writing.

4. Manifesting Wealth (my wealth magic book) is done with editing. I'll be doing layout for it in the near future. The cover is currently being worked on and if all goes well, it'll be available in January of 2014.

5. I've just started on Pop Culture Magic 2.0. At one point I wasn't sure I wanted to write more on the topic of Pop Culture Magic, but I've had a change of heart, due in no small part to seeing so many people actually working with and expanding on the concepts of Pop Culture Magick. I've got some intriguing ideas to share.

So it looks like my writing is fully back. I just need to make sure I have time to do it as well as the related work around it. And down the line, I'm going to start writing some fiction...I have ideas there that would be a lot of fun to write.

A Magical Life now available

book_magicallifesmall  

My newest book, a Magical Life has just been published by Immanion Press. A Magical Life is the collected blog posts of this website from 2008 to 2010, which comes out to roughly 250 pages (pretty amazing, eh?). In this book I candidly share my life journey as a magician, demonstrating that magic isn't just something you do, but something you live. You'll read about various experiments, some successful, some not, as well as the intensive personal work that I've been engaged in during those years. A Magical Life is a snapshot of the life of a magician, my mistakes and successes, and my on-going work to know myself better, so that I can become a better person. It is also an exploration of magic that shows how magic shows up in the life of a magician.

I'm pretty pleased to be putting this out, because while it is essentially a journal collection  there are a lot of ideas and experiments I worked on in this pages, including some I'd forgotten about. If you wish to order a copy, go here.

Call for Writers for the Second Shades of Faith Anthology

Shades of Faith Front copy Call for Writers– Shades of Ritual; Minority Voices in Practice

Email for inquiries and submissions: Crystal Blanton
Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for a the follow up anthology to Shades of Faith, released in August of 2011.  This anthology will focus on people of color working in magical communities and their spiritual practices.  This anthology will provide another opportunity to get the voices and experiences of minorities within the Pagan community out to the world and address some of the challenges, stereotyping, frustrations and the beauty of being different within the racial construct of typical Pagan or Wiccan groups. These communities include (but are not limited to) groups and individuals working in Wicca, Voodoo, Umbanda, Shaman, and other Pagan paths.
As many of the roots of Paganism come from the lands of people of color, much of the color of Paganism is often forgotten in the cultural mainstreaming that often happens to ethnic cultures. Many people of color within Paganism walk between the worlds of their birth ancestry and culture, and that of their spiritual culture.  This anthology is meant to show how that might look within the spiritual practice of one’s home.
Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology.
·         Rituals
·         Poetry
·         Your experience of integration into the Pagan community and how that might correlate with your practice
·         Magical work
·         Ancestor work
·         Deity specific practices and relationships
·         Integrating your birth culture with your spiritual workings
·         What magical work are you doing now? How do you describe it? Do you work alone, in a group, or in several settings?
·         Your birth culture and spiritual workings
·         Stereotypes and prejudice and the impact on spiritual or magic workings. Being the only person of color in a coven, group or community
·         Sharing your culture and history with other Pagans
·         Cultural history and how that plays a role in your spiritual practice today
·         Family culture and how that plays a role in your spiritual practice
·         Cultural appropriations and how that works in your practice.
Rough drafts are due August 15, 2013. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editor. 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. She 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. She may be found online at http://www.crystalblanton.org and her email address for this anthology is crystal@crystalblanton.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.

Why Immanion Press is so Important to me

Immanion Press I don't write much about the work I do with Immanion Press on this blog. Indeed, as far as many of you know, I'm just one of its authors. But the truth is I'm not just an author of Immanion Press. I'm also the Managing Non-Fiction editor of Immanion Press. (Cue in the jokes about being a Hair club for men member). For me, Immanion Press is one of the vehicles by which I express my passion for writing and publishing and magic in the world.

My service to Immanion Press is one of the ways I give back to the magical community and is also an offering to the magic itself. I am not paid a salary at Immanion Press. I get a small royalty for books I edit, but I don't get paid for the layout I do, or a lot of the other work I do and I am fine with that. My service to Immanion is a dedication of love to occult writing, occult authors, and to the magic itself. It is done because I want to publish books that I know will likely not see the light of day because other publishers are afraid to touch the books. It is done because I want to empower authors who have had bad experiences with other publishers, and show them that someone has their back. Indeed as I write this I reflect on an email a prospective author sent me on Thursday, telling me how validated she feels to have a publisher interested in her work who will respect her voice, who will edit the book, but not to commoditize it for the mass market. I like hearing that because to me a publisher has two clients: The Authors and the Readers. Too often, imo, most publishers focus on the latter and forget or neglect the former.

Way back in 2003, I had written Pop Culture Magick. I shopped the book to Weiser, New Falcon, and a couple other publishers. In some cases I didn't hear back from the publishers and in other cases, I got a rejection letter. I was told that my book was too niche and controversial. I was told that I shouldn't try to publish it because it wouldn't sell. So during a trip to England, I talked with Storm Constantine, owner of Immanion Press, and to this day a good friend of mine. I showed her my book and even though Immanion Press had originally been intended for Science Fiction and Fantasy books, she saw the potential in my book and agreed to publish it. In 2004, Pop Culture Magick was published and thus we started the non-fiction line of Immanion Press. It strikes me as ironic that NOW bigger publishers want to publish books on pop culture magic. I guess it's no longer so controversial, but in 2003, a decade ago, no one would touch my book. I doubt I'll ever really get the recognition I think is deserved for paving the way, but I know I paved the way. Not just with my books either, but with other books by other authors as well. Of course, I didn't do it alone.

I had help over the years from the authors, from Storm, from Kat, and from other people and I am thankful to all of them to this day, because the nonfiction line for Immanion Press couldn't be what it is without the authors, editors, and volunteers who've offered time, blood, and sweat to make things happen. Immanion Press has always been a team effort, and so really it's that all of us paved the way to one extent or another.

A couple of months after Pop Culture Magic was published, Nick Farrell emailed me and asked if Immanion Press would consider publishing his book Gathering the Magic. It's a book about magical group dynamics and big surprise, none of the bigger publishers wanted to publish it. So I asked Storm about it, and Immanion Press took it on. I was still just an author then, but as more authors found out about us, and discovered that we wanted to publish intermediate to advanced books on magic that were for niche markets and that no book was too controversial for us, Storm asked me if I would be willing to be the managing non-fiction editor. She respected my expertise as an occultist, and the way that I knew the market. I said yes and I began what has been and continues to be one of the most important callings of my life: I publish the books other publishers won't touch because I know there is a market and that those publishers are wrong. They don't get it...how can they, when what they are focused on is really the bottom line? And I get why they are...and they have a place, and the books they publish have a place, but even so, on a certain level they just don't get it, and they never will. They aren't publishing for the same reason and what they publish is for a larger market. They aren't going to publish the controversial books, the risky books because they don't want to alienate that larger market. But the truth is that anything that is published is bound to offend someone. It's not always about hitting the largest market possible. It's about reaching the right market...the right people and meeting their needs even if it isn't an automatic hit. It's about knowing the market, knowing the people, knowing what they want...and knowing that giving it to them does involve some risk, because you can't please everyone...and maybe you shouldn't.

Working at Immanion Press hasn't always been easy. At one point I came very close to leaving, burned out, and fed up with how taken for granted I felt by everyone involved. And being a strong personality, I know I am not always easy to work with and that I've made a few mistakes along the way. But overall, I love the work I do at Immanion Press and over time the process has gotten easier. What people forget sometimes is that Immanion Press is a small press. We don't have a paid staff of editors, publicists, marketers, etc. We run on a tight budget and the people who work for us get paid in royalties. And yet they do it anyway, which I am so thankful for...because they believe in the vision of Immanion Press. They believe that what we are doing is important enough to support it. And despite not having what traditional publishers have, we make it work and we find ways to help our authors out. It's not a perfect system, far from it, and sometimes it doesn't work out as well as it could. But we make it work anyway.

And I am proud of our authors and books. I am proud that I've played a role, however small it is, in helping authors launch their writing career and when I see that one of my authors got a book published by another publisher I feel good about it, because I know that getting published by us helped with that. We publish the controversial books, and we also bring books back into print and what we have available is awesome. We've published books on the subjects that the other publishers won't touch and we've played a role in getting conversations to happen. We've also told the authors that we want them to write in their voices and that we won't sanitize those voices. At the same time, we've insisted on academic standards of in-text citation and quotations, which readers tell me they love because they see it so rarely in the majority of books published on magic and paganism.

At this last Pantheacon, two of my authors, Tony Mierzwicki and Crystal Blanton, told me in their respective ways how much they liked working with Immanion Press. Tony told me how he'd shopped his book Graeco-Egyptian Magic everywhere and was about to self-publish it when he remembered meeting me and decided to see if we'd publish his book. We said yes and he told me how getting his book published opened doors for him. He told me how much he appreciated a free marketing seminar I gave to the authors (and inspired me to start it up again for my authors). And I know that even if he never publishes another book with us, we played a role in his life and in his writing that he'll always remember. And that touched me so profoundly and I was so grateful for his appreciation and recognition of Immanion Press and my role in all of it.

And at one point I was talking with Crystal and she abruptly stopped me and said, with much emotion, "Thank you" several times. And later she told me how much she appreciated my vision for Immanion and she said that she didn't think I knew what an impact I had on her community because of how I'd supported her as an author and as an editor of The Shades of Faith Anthology we published. And she's right I didn't know it, but that weekend gave me a glimpse...and later she acknowledged at a panel my role in the anthology and how I'd recognized I wasn't the right person to edit that anthology, and that I knew I needed to find someone who could do it justice. I was so touched by what she said, so honored that she felt I had contributed to her vision and work.

And I've had other authors on occasions tell me similar things and I have always felt touched. To me that is the biggest payoff. I have helped authors reach their audience. I have respected their voices, their culture, their audience...I have done my job as a publisher and an editor and as a magician...I have believed in them and provided a platform to help them reach others who can believe in them as well.

And I've continued to write my books and place them with Immanion. I'll admit I do find it frustrating when I go to Powells books and don't see my books on the shelves or the Barnes and Nobles because we use print on demand and because we don't take returns. Yet that frustration pales to the joy I feel writing my books my way...knowing my voice will be respected, knowing that the cover of the book will be the cover I pick. And I know I'm reaching my audience. I'm reaching the people who need my work and that is what is really important.

I'm writing a book on Wealth Magic and I flirted with the idea of letting another publisher publish one of my books. I even sent a proposal in and then...I went to a panel held by the publisher and in that panel I heard everything that was an antithesis of my approach to publishing. They wanted trendy, marketable ideas. They wanted books that had cute titles and approached magic in a hip marketable manner that would hit the largest market possible. I left feeling sick to my stomach and I knew that none of my occult books will likely ever be published by a larger publisher. I simply can't imagine emasculating my vision and my words in that way just to make a buck. And I don't feel they will really get my vision or my approach or understand that I know the market better than they may know it. I know I'll write non-occult books (I'm starting one as soon as I finish the wealth magic book) and those books will go to more mainstream publishers, but my spiritual work, the work that touches the heart of the universe and speaks the language of magic...that work needs to be the way it is...not written for a general audience...not written to make a buck, but written to speak to the people who need it...written in my voice, written the way I want it to be written. And yes it means my books will always be with a small publisher. It means that I won't get some of the advantages that some of my other occult authors have. And I can live with that...because even though its a harder road to walk and there is more work on my end as an author, I've already been doing it for ten years, and I like how I feel about myself as a writer and as a magician. I don't say that to pass judgments on other authors. I recognize that many of the other occult authors have had awesome relationships with the publishers they've worked with. I just feel that for me I know where the home of my occult books are...and hopefully always will be. And that's Immanion Press. My press...my publisher and one of my loves. I love Immanion Press. I love what we stand for and I love that I serve the magic with the work I do for the press. That is more important than anything else. I serve the magic.