Here's the original call for papers:Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for an anthology on women working in the magical communities, particularly in communities where women have not been extensively published or in which women face stereotyping and misunderstanding within and without the community. These communities include (but are not limited to) groups and individuals working in the Golden Dawn, Thelemic, Aurum Solis, Alchemy, Chaos, and Experimental Fields. Women have been involved in traditional and ritual magic since the late Victorian era. However women are often viewed as tangential to these communities or as soror mysticae, assistants to the magician. Today women are actively involved in ceremonial magical groups and lodges, alchemy, chaos magic, and Experimental Magic, overcoming stereotypes and creating new visions of magic within the communities.
Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology.
Magical work What magical work are you doing now? How do you describe it? Do you work alone, in a group, or in several settings? (For example, I do is traditional Ceremonial magic, traditional Witchcraft, experimental Ceremonial in a group setting, and I create experimental Ceremonial work.)
Women’s work Is your magical work centered in a community where women do not have a strong presence, or in which women face stereotyping? Does it matter to your work that you are a woman? Do you feel that you approach the work in the same way that the men in your field do, or does being a woman affect your magic? Is that affect biological, cultural, magical, or all three? Do you present yourself to the world as a magical worker (“I am an alchemist”) or as a woman in your field (“I am a woman alchemist”)?
Stereotypes and prejudice Has anyone ever told you “I didn’t know women were involved in that?” (“You’re the first woman I’ve met in the O.T.O.!”) Do outsiders assume that only men do the kind of work you are doing? Do people assume that because you are a woman you are doing the work in a particular way? (For example, do people assume that because you are a woman, you are doing psychological alchemy, not physical chemistry?)
Do you actively encounter prejudice? Do people talk to the man standing next to you rather than you? Are you silenced in person or online when you try to speak about your own work?
How do you counter stereotypes and prejudice when you encounter them? Are they only annoying, do they actively hinder your work, do they prevent you from doing your work? How important is it to you that your work is understood by others?
Women’s history Women’s history has been difficult to document. This is as true in the magical fields as in any other endeavor. Mary Greer wrote about the lives of some of the early women in ceremonial magic in Women of the Golden Dawn. Are you aware of stories about women in the traditional and ritual magical fields that have not been told? Are you involved in documenting women’s history in the magical communities?
Soror mysticae Stage magicians sometimes have women assistants. This image holds true in the magical field as well; Renaissance alchemists spoke of “soror mysticae” or women who assisted their work. Do people assume that you are not primarily directing or benefiting from your work? Do you work on your own, with a partner of your own sex, with a partner of the opposite sex, or with a group? Do the people you work with support your work? Do you yourself have assistants whose work you direct?
Traditional cultures In your work do you study or interact with people in other cultures and traditional cultures? Do the gender roles in those cultures differ from those of your own culture? Are those roles more or less restrictive, or just different? In what situations does your gender come up, and how do you handle those situations?
Honoring the cycle Women’s magic has been associated with women’s fertility cycle. Do you find that comforting and supporting, or angering and limiting? How does your menstrual, pregnancy, and menopausal cycle affect the magic you are doing – deeply, tangentially, or not at all? Do you do any specific magic to honor the cycles of the body?
Feminism If you are a feminist, do you present yourself as a feminist in the magical field in which you work? Are the others you work with in your field receptive to your feminism, or are they resistant or defensive around feminist discussion? Do you feel that feminism is central to your work, or do you see your feminism as social rather than magical?
Women’s communities Is there a sense of women’s community in the field in which you work? Are you actively involved in building women’s community? Do you encounter resistance to this work? Are women you work with excited by women’s community? Do you and the women you work with see women’s community as a way to socialize, a magical path, a parallel community to the mens’ community? What is your vision for the women’s magical communities of the future?
Rough drafts are due 18 May, 2008. 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. Do 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
Do 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 in women’s voices, and we are interested in being as inclusive of style as possible.
Compensation will be ($25) (paid via twice-yearly royalties from book sales) plus a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributers. 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 Brandy Williams. She is the author of author of several pagan/occult nonfiction books. She may be found online at http://www.brandywilliams.org and her email address for this anthology is brandyeditor 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. Find out more at http://www.immanion-press.com.