Six months ago, I resolved to write a book. Or, at least, to try. I gave myself a year, to flush out all the insecurities and psychological stumbling blocks that were in the way, and begin the work of articulating my vision and song of practical Pagan peace-making.
Six months later, the journey has changed shape. The process I committed to has come to demand that, first, before the sojourn of writing there must be a period of pilgrimage, a going-out along the peace-forging path in a new and more social way, learning from others as I go. Back at the beginning of May, I was invited to join the blogging project Pagan+Politics, and the familiar anxiety swept over me again as I wondered if I was up to the challenge. The experience has been both simpler and more difficult than I anticipated, with a great deal of stress and distraction as I have fought the urge to follow arguments far off course, into unfruitful bickering and petty fact-checking. Yet it has helped me to clarify my own thoughts, as well as get a better sense of where the detractors and dismissers of peace-making are coming from. Most importantly, however, it provided an opportunity to hear from readers the relief and gratitude at discovering they were not the only Pagan Pacifists out there, and to discover just how important it is for us to hear the voices of others and to know that we are not alone.
I hear quite often that there is an assumption that all Pagans are pacifists. Yet when I do a simple Google search for the phrase, what I find are almost entirely websites that promote a Christian peace in rejection of a violent pagan past, or modern Pagans trumpeting warriorship and bravado despite "the pacifistic Pagan stereotype." Where are all of these peace-making Pagans, then? Where might we find a space in which they speak for themselves about their values, intentions and practices? That I have received such feedback from readers about the need for Pagan pacifists to know they are not alone, it seems vital now to provide a forum where their voices might be heard, clearly and strongly, without the diluting reinterpretations of those who promote the impracticality of peace in the service of some other agenda.
And so, my partner Jeff and I set to work to create just such a forum. Though the website is still in development, to catch the peaking energies of mid-summer (and in honor of Pagan Values Month 2010) we would like to introduce to you, in a pre-launch Call for Submissions: Voices of Pagan Pacifism.
We hope this website will become an ever-growing forum and archive for the modern Pagan peace-maker, full of resources, personal essays, philosophical and well-researched articles, as well as practical suggestions for ritual, meditation, magic and prayer. The highlight of the website, however, will be the Featured Pagan Pacifist of the Month, where a rotation of interviews with leaders and practitioners of everyday Pagan peace-making will share, in their own words, the stories, inspirations and lessons-learned of a Pagan spiritual life informed by pacifism, peace-making, activism and social justice.
Our first month's issue will be published during the "Official Launch" of the website on Lughnasadh. August 1, 2010. For the next six weeks, we will be finishing the site's design (so please excuse the dust) and accepting submissions for this first as well as future issues. Please peruse our Submission Guidelines for more information about the types of articles, essays and how-to guides we're looking for. All submissions can be sent to submissions [at] paganpacifism [dot] com, along with a short bio of the writer. (We gladly welcome articles that have already appeared elsewhere in personal blogs or websites, as long as we have the original author's permission and a reference to the original publication.) We look forward to reading your work and working together with all of you to sing a song of peace that will resonate through the Pagan community. Warm up your voice, fellow peace-makers, and join the chorus!