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 Page: Profile: Notice   Total Views: 2,166,349  

Notice Specs

Notice ID: 15986

Category: Help_Wanted

Posted: September 9th., 2008

This Notice has been viewed 7437 times.
Commercial Notice

Call for Essays on Animal Sacrifice

Proclaimed by: Lupa - A WitchVox Sponsor
Proclaimed from: Portland, Oregon


Call for Writers - Digging Up the Ostrich's Head: Animal Sacrifice in Modern Pagan Practices

Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for an anthology concerning the modern practice of animal sacrifice, particularly as it concerns modern pagan practices. Contextually, "pagan" is given a broader meaning to include not only neopagan religions, but also African Diaspora religions, and other modern traditions outside of the strict definitions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Animal sacrifice is a highly contentious subject within modern paganism. In spite of numerous historical precedents supporting the practice, the ethical parameters of many of the cultures that modern pagans are a part of prohibit animal sacrifice as a religious practice. Additionally, there is a common feeling among many modern pagans that to speak of a practice is to encourage it, and so often the topic is squelched for fear of promoting the stereotypical "teenaged devil-worshippers slaughtering housepets in the cemetery". However, a lack of discourse often promotes misinformation and ignorance, particularly outside of pagan communities. Hence the inspiration for the title: if we are to promote correct information about pagan practices, then we need to stop ignoring that these practices may exist in legitimate modern contexts.

We are seeking essays on all sides of the debate, pro and con. You need not be a practitioner of animal sacrifice to have something to say, however. What we're looking for are well-thought-out, well-written, and well-researched essays; we'd like to avoid opinionated diatribes with little else to support them, as well as those that insist that "all REAL pagans...", or "no REAL pagan would ever...". This is a highly charged subject; please temper your passionate convictions with critical thinking, and back yourself up with other source material when possible. Here are some suggested topics to give you ideas:

--Are you a part of a religion that may utilize animal sacrifice, whether you are a practitioner or not? How is the practice integrated into your religion, and for what purposes? Are there acceptable alternatives to animal sacrifice in your tradition?

--How may animism work in with animal sacrifice? Where does the spirit of the animal come into play? What about other spirits, deities, and other beings?

--Ethical issues are at the center of the debate over animal sacrifice, particularly involving humane treatment of animals and animal rights. What do you see as the central issues to be discussed? Should "paganism" as a whole have a unified approach to ethical issues and animal sacrifice?

--Legalities are another common theme. It's well known that in the United States the 1993 Supreme Court decision regarding Church of Lukumi Babalou Aye vs. City of Hialeah set a precedent supporting animal sacrifice as a legal religious practice. However, what other legalities exist, both in the U.S. and elsewhere? Do modern practitioners of animal sacrifice tend to act in accordance with these laws?

--Other social issues besides religion may sometimes be involved. For example, it has been argued that in some cases involving African Diaspora religions such as Santeria, race is a factor in the conflict. Do you feel this is accurate? Why or why not? Are there other social issues that may be addressed in tandem with animal sacrifice?

--How does animal sacrifice compare to other modern methods of killing animals for food, such as factory farming, or Kosher slaughter?

--How may hunting and/or fishing be incorporated into animal sacrifice? What about other situations in which an animal will be killed, such as extermination of "vermin", or feeding live prey to captive snakes and other animals?

--How may a modern pagan practice animal sacrifice in a humane manner? Or, conversely, why might modern pagans want to avoid animal sacrifice altogether?

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.

Due to the fact that Lupa, the editor, is currently busy with graduate school, another anthology (Engaging the Spirit World, submission deadline Nov. 1, 2008) , as well as a couple of other book projects, the deadline for Digging Up the Ostrich's Head will be ****15 December, 2009****. This will keep Lupa from overworking herself (relatively speaking, that is) , and will also allow essay writers to have ample time to put their best words towards this topic.

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--again, that's why we have a thorough editing process. 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 whishthound (at)

Essays will be required to have citations for all unoriginal material, quoted or paraphrased, and a full bibliography; we prefer APA format, but with footnotes instead of in-text citations for easier readability. 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.

Please submit your essay in Word document format, as we use Word 2007 for editing. If you are unable to use Word, please make sure that your word processing program is compatible with Word documents. It is particularly important that you be able to view both in-text corrections and right-hand margin comments created in Word, as these are crucial to the editing process.

Compensation will be $25.00 per essay (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) . If for whatever reason the anthology is taken out of print before all essayists have been fully compensated, the remainder of the compensation will be paid by Immanion/Megalithica as per the contract terms. (We've had success with previous anthologies, so we don't see this being an issue.)

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) as well as Engaging the Spirit World. Her first book, Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic, spent a chapter exploring the topic of animal sacrifice in modern neopagan practices. She is a neoshaman, totemist and animist whose practices are elaborated upon at, as well as elsewhere. She may be found online at and her email address is whishthound (at)

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 controversial, 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) , both edited by Taylor Ellwood, as well as the aforementioned anthologies edited by Lupa. Find out more at

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