I’ve found two folks who are interested so far! So here’s another reminder – it’s still happening if you’d like to get in on the ground floor.
A few more details about the project, mostly taken from a brainstorm page I wrote up:
Four (another name possibly TBD) is an experiment in bringing polytheist discourse back into the world of the senses. We aim to reach out to might-be devotees and animists who may not know that gods and spirits are real, and that people still know and honor them, while also being relevant to extant practitioners.
Price Point and Physical Format
The zine will only exist in printed format, to be ordered and mailed for individual use, and to be distributed to open-minded stores and possibly sold on consignment. It is intended to be an ink and paper take on the blog format, minus the distractions inherent to seeking out and reading online content. (To that end, previously-published online content is fair game for this project. Assume that readers don’t know who you are and don’t know you have a blog.) This style of publication is meant to be cheap and easy to produce, resulting in production costs of pennies on the dollar. Most other polytheist/animist publications currently in production have a cover price of over $10, sometimes in excess of $20, which can be prohibitively expensive for many of us to purchase regularly, if at all. To that end, Four would aim to fill a completely different niche than what is currently available.
This also means that there is no pressure to put out a length product – the zine format is lightweight and easy to produce for anyone with a home printer and large enough stapler. However, this also means that the zine will probably never be longer than around 20 or 24 total pages, as more specialized equipment becomes necessary to create a clean booklet.
Tone and Accessibility
The publication should generally strive for a calm, thoughtful, and approachable tone, even if the subject being discussed is difficult (like, say, blood sacrifice). It should also remain accessible for interested outside parties, who may or may not even consider themselves religious (yet!), and avoid too much jargon or idiosyncratic specifics of practice.
That said, it should not be 101 material; ie how to set up a shrine, what offerings to make to so-in-so, lists of magical correspondences, etc. We should also avoid politics as much as possible – and where it is impossible to do so, then it should remain non-confrontational to the intended audience. (Yes, it is possible to do this. And I think, given the current social climate, being able to do so is very important for this kind of work. However, “intended audience” might need sketching out more.)
(For reference, I take inspiration from the tone, style, subjects, and goals of The Dark Mountain Project.)
- Meditations on specifics or generalities of practice
- Meditations on ethics, values, the nature of gods, spirits, worship, etc.
- Poetry of an animist or devotional bent (not necessarily prayer!)
- Observations from day-to-day life
- Other popular topics: local practice, on consulting history, on the history of X tradition, ancestor worship, new traditions, and so on
- Media reviews (reinterpretations of well-worn works or thoughts on a new book/movie/album/etc; does not have to necessarily be a polytheist-themed, so long as it has value to polytheism, animism, or magic)
- Working with a particular spirit or category of spirit, ie. plants, rock formations, animals, urban landscape features, etc.
- Interesting instructions concerning things like making incense, home-brewing, fire-starting, foraging, or other skills that would have been part of the day-to-day life of our polytheist ancestors – a spiritual framing would be necessary for the inclusion of this kind of material, however
And to give an idea of the scope we might have, the zine may be organized like so:
- Introduction to the issue/table of contents
- Columns by regular contributors
- Stand-alone submissions
- Divination feature (a round robin-type, or with a dedicated diviner experienced in many types of divination/augury; would either be a spot about a certain kind of divination, a new card/rune/whatever spread, a deck/system review, that sort of thing)
- Festival calendar (a list of event names and dates until the next publication as submitted by contributors)
- Contributor bios and contact information
- A&H information
The zine should be beautiful to read, whether pleasant or challenging in scope. To this end, both poetry and prose would be acceptable, and images only on a case-by-case basis.
Once again, if this project sounds at all interesting to you, please contact me: lo at lofrequency dot net, and signal boost this project if you can on your own blog. Thank you!