Dark Nights of the Soul: A Call for Submissions for the Autumn Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal

Isis-Seshat Autumn Issue Call for Submissions!

Ah, Autumn! What a delicious season it is here in my native Chicago, one that rattles fallen, decayed leaves like so many bones on the city’s windowpanes. Some may feel pangs of anxiety with the noticeable decrease of daylight, seeking shelter, companionship, and warmth to ameliorate the impact of the season’s omnipresent reminders of mortality. Others may treasure the call to hibernation and solitude, and like the lone figure in The Hermit Tarot card, kindle their lamps of inner wisdom to lead the way. Still others feel…stuck. Enmeshed in isolating feelings–exacerbated by the encroaching darkness and cold of the season–of depression, especially on a spiritual front. Why do I feel so disconnected? I can’t find it within me to pray. What do I do now? My beliefs are changing. To Whom do I turn? A spiritual crisis ensues, and the stuck ones are trying to climb their way upwards and outwards from the abyss many thinkers of a variety of spiritual traditions have labeled “The Dark Night of the Soul.” Continue reading

The Summer Issue of Isis-Seshat Magazine: A Call for Submissions

Pagan perspectives that are fit to print!

These are jolly times, friends! I’ve newly emerged from my solitary den of feverish writing and editing for the Spring issue of Isis-Seshat magazine, the quarterly journal of the worldwide Fellowship of Isis (FOI). In fact, earlier this morning before heading into the office, I stopped at my print vendor and scooped up the new hard copies of the Spring issue, which I am releasing today and tomorrow in honor of Earth Day. Not to toot my own horn, but I think it looks fabulous!

The lovely cover art of "Isis Unveiled" was generously donated by Oregon-based artist and Dark Wave Ambient musician, Amara Astrum.

The lovely cover art of “Isis Unveiled” was generously donated by Oregon-based artist and Dark Wave Ambient musician, Amara Astrum.

And now that the Spring issue is under my belt, it’s time to think about the Summer issue, and I hereby issue forth a call for submissions. While Isis-Seshat magazine is primarily aimed at FOI members worldwide, who number some 26,000 strong, I’m accepting submissions from any and every person who identifies as “Pagan” or any of its related spiritual/esoteric shades in the alternative spirituality spectrum in the West: Witch, Heathen, Spirit Worker, Shaman, Polytheist, Wiccan, Druid, (Chaos) Magician. The cool thing about being the Executive Editor of a publication is, well, making executive decisions like who you will accept contributions from!

Here’s what I’m looking for: Submissions of articles related to spiritual development; essays on one’s personal spiritual practices; news reports from FOI Lyceums and Iseums if you belong to any, including accounts of Lyceums’ or Iseums’ ritual observances for Summer Solstice; meditations; poetry; short stories; seasonally appropriate ritual food recipes; metaphysical book reviews; reflections on the Goddesses and Gods of Summer (of any pantheon, not just Kemetic Deities), and photography and artwork! Essays/articles, submitted as Word docs, can be as long as 2,000 words. If you’re including any proprietary photos, please keep them under 8 MB in file size and saved in JPEG format.

Please submit your files to me at hekua.yansa@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 31. The Summer issue will be distributed the week of August 17.

I’m sadly not able to pay contributors but you will receive a complimentary hard copy of the magazine issue wherein your work appears.

Curious about the FOI? For starters, Isis Myrionymos, Lady of 10,000 Names, serves as the organization’s Patroness. And it saddens me to have to do this, but in these times of global political volatility I must assert that we have nothing to do with the abhorrent Middle Eastern terrorist organization whose acronym the corporate-controlled U.S. media incorrectly, and repeatedly, refers to as “ISIS.” Click here for our official statement/press release to the media on that issue.

While many FOI members are Pagan, many hail from Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy/Coptic Christianity, Reformed Judaism, Shintoism and other indigenous peoples’/First Nations’ religions. Interfaith religious dialogue has been a major FOI preoccupation since the late co-founder Rt. Rev. Lady Olivia Robertson represented goddess-worshiping religions under the auspices of the FOI at the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago. Anyone who believes in the concept of the Divine Feminine, however interpreted, is probably already in alignment with the FOI’s Manifesto.

So, fellow servants of the Muses, if you’ve got the write stuff (yes, I’m punny sometimes), whip out your writing implements of choice (Hail, Tehuti!) and send me your contributions!

Blessings in the name of Isis-Seshat, Goddess of Writing! May She always render you True of Voice!

Shitty Planetary Positions: Saturn in the 5th House

Stroll down Memory Lane a bit with me, won’t you? Here are some sensory details to swell the scene:

Act I, scene i: June, 2003. A cheerfully sunlit but uncomfortably cramped metaphysical store in Honolulu’s quirky Kaimuki neighborhood, with crystals and towering bamboo plants cramming the windows and mounds of paperback books spilling out of their cases, stacked horizontally on the floor. A gentle ginger tomcat named Toby, who more than slightly resembled my own beach cat rescue, welcomed a hearty scratch under the chin. I sigh nervously and paw my way through storefront flyers announcing the meeting times of Reiki groups inviting the public to join them in their full moon meditations on the “Violet Flame of Saint Germain.” I giggle as I mentally devise doggerel verse on the fly using that rhyming couplet (“the Violet Flame of Saint Germain / Makes New Agers go INSANE”!)…cheap entertainment while I wait. Toby meows as if he’s accusing me of insolence by walking away from him and focusing my attention elsewhere.

It’s a return visit, as I’d stumbled upon the store for the first time only the week prior to give the store’s owner–a Midwestern Mainlander transplant like myself–my birth details so she could construct my natal chart.

“Well, well!” Cheryl the proprietor/resident astrologer, after adjusting her reading glasses upon the bridge of her nose, greets me by waving all 30-plus pages of my detailed natal chart printout in the air. “Come and sit down, Ana. This is gonna be fun! Would you like a cup of tea before we begin?”

I thank her for her hospitality and say, even though it’s over 90 degrees outside (the trade winds weren’t blowing that day; I remember how the air felt oppressive, hanging with a leaden weight), that I would love a cup of jasmine tea if she’s got any. Organized Cheryl (she has a Capricorn Ascendant, I find out later) pulls out a wooden tea chest and extracts two jasmine tea bags, as she was fancying a cup herself.

“Soooooo, yes. Virgo Sun and both Moon and Ascendant in Aquarius,” she begins with no preliminary remarks. “Very cerebral, intellectual. You live a lot in your head, don’t you?”

I nod, sipping my tea.

Cheryl flips a few pages into my report where my natal chart, in wheel form, explodes in an array of zig-zagging, interwoven colored fonts, showcasing the various conjunctions, trines, squares, and oppositions of the planets at the moment of my birth in Chicago. She traces her ridiculously long, fuschia-painted right index fingernail across the “pie slices” of my chart and starts tapping once she reaches the fifth one–my fifth house. “Yeah, I actually want to start talking about this first,” she says. “Saturn in your fifth house. This is a heavy placement,” she announces brusquely. She adjusts her eyeglasses, studying my face. And then: “Do you and your fiancé plan on having any kids?”

“Excuse me?”

Continue reading

The Spring Issue of Isis-Seshat Magazine: A Call for Submissions from FOI Members

Hear ye, hear ye!

Members of the Fellowship of Isis (FOI), a worldwide inter-religious network (some 26,000 members strong!) dedicated to “honoring the religion of all the Goddesses and pantheons throughout the planet,” are cordially invited to send me their content submissions for the Spring 2015 issue of Isis-Seshat, a quarterly journal for FOI members. Submissions of articles related to spiritual development; essays on one’s personal spiritual practices; news reports from Lyceums and Iseums, including accounts of Lyceums’ or Iseums’ ritual observances for Spring Equinox; meditations; poetry; short stories; seasonally appropriate ritual food recipes; metaphysical book reviews; reflections on the Goddesses and Gods of Spring (of any pantheon, not just Kemetic Deities), are all welcome! Essays/articles, submitted as Word docs, can be as long as 2,000 words. If you’re including any proprietary photos, please keep them under 8 MB in file size and saved in JPEG format. Continue reading