[This issue, we sit down for an interview with author and editor, Trevor Greenfield. Here, he discusses his personal spiritual practices; his work with Moon Books; and his upcoming projects.]
ev0ke: How do you define your personal spiritual practice? Does it have a name, or is it more intuitive and eclectic?
Trevor Greenfield: I’m a Christo-Pagan. Although I don’t buy into wise men in a stable or some precocious kid debating theology with the elders, I believe the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is very strong and I’ve never encountered any greater teachings, ancient or modern, on how people should live than those ascribed to Jesus.
My relationship with Paganism began around fifteen years ago. I was becoming disillusioned with Christian doctrine and dogma – what’s the point in reciting the Creed every week if you don’t actually believe it? Fortunately help was at hand! By chance I encountered Philip Carr-Gomm at a lecture on Druidry and it seemed to offer a spiritual path that was subjective, creative, and free of dogma whilst still remaining committed to a strong and refreshing spiritual pathway. I studied Druidry through OBOD for a couple of years and a nature based spirituality and a sense of place have become central to my spirituality. But Jesus never really went away and so my pathway has developed into that of Christo-Pagan.
ev0ke: Which Deities, spirits, or other powers do you honor in your tradition?
TG: As a Christo-Pagan and a monotheist my focus alights upon Jesus as a teacher and exemplar. But I also honor the sacredness of Earth, and the sense and spirit of place.
I believe any real engagement with spirituality, myth and archetype leaves you touched and enlightened by what you discover. In that respect I would also say I think Isis is beautiful in all aspects of her being, Elen of the Ways is intriguing and mysterious and Apollo is pretty cool. I also think the Minoan snake goddesses are super-sexy deities (I once asked a follower of Modern Minoan Paganism if that was appropriate and they said the goddesses would certainly be delighted to hear it!)
ev0ke: You have overseen the development and production of many titles for Moon Books. Can you walk us through the day-to-day of creating a new book for Moon Books?
TG: It starts with a proposal form a prospective author. About 50% are immediately declined, but, if we like the idea, we invite the author to submit a more detailed description which is then considered by myself, my manager and three other readers (who are knowledgeable or experts in many aspects of Paganism). If we agree that we like it, the author is offered a contract and the manuscript is submitted. The actual production process is pretty much just that … a standard process to ensure that we get the book out as efficiently and as error-free as we can. So we copy edit and then confer with the author to agree on a final version. We produce proofs which are checked for remaining errors and we produce the cover. When the files are ready, they go to the printer.
ev0ke: How has Covid-19 affected your writing and editorial work with Moon Books? Has there been a shift in focus or in how books are contracted and written?
TG: Moon Books is an imprint of John Hunt Publishing. All of us work from home, meet online, and have always done so. There was no logistical impact on us when the pandemic struck. The number of book proposals remained constant as did the number of books we published. It offered a strange normality at a time of global worry and uncertainty.
ev0ke: Naming the God will be released in May. First, why a book about the male Divine? What inspired you to create this anthology?
TG: Several years ago we published an anthology called Naming the Goddess. It was one of the first books that helped to define our ethos of being a community of authors and writers. It had over eighty writers contributing either essays or shorter pieces for our goddess gazetteer. It had great endorsements and reviews and (publishing hat on) sold well. A few people asked if we would do Naming the God and we fully intended to do so but, well, other projects just kept coming up and it never happened … until now
ev0ke: How did you go about finding contributors to Naming the God? Was it an open call, or did you have particular people in mind?
TG: Moon Books run two writer Facebook groups … the Author group comprises Moon Books authors (people who have written a Moon Book). The Writer group is there for people who haven’t, can’t, or don’t want to author a book, but who are knowledgeable and like to write and contribute essays and chapters to our community books. The contributors for our ‘community books’ come from those two groups.
ev0ke: Naming the God includes sections on dark Gods, warrior Gods, and even the Gods of London. Did you have that organization in mind originally, or did that evolve as the anthology was developed?
TG: The essay section was created partly by me saying to our author group “I need essays on ‘abc’” and authors offering to write them and others saying “do you want an essay on ‘xyz’” and me saying “yes, please.”
ev0ke: How did you decide which Gods to include in the encyclopedia entries in the second half of the book? And were there some that had to be left out?
TG: Part Two, the gazetteer of Gods, was purely writer-driven. Broadly, people wanted to honour their own deities by writing about them or they wanted to research a deity and include them that way. A criticism of Naming the Goddess was that it had an imbalance in that there was a notable lack of African Goddesses. It’s a valid point, but then it was a community book driven by author contributors, so those who wanted to write chose who they wanted to write about. I expect the same criticism will be made of Naming the God, but ultimately it’s created out of the contributors’ experience or interest.
ev0ke: Can you give us a hint as to what other projects you are working on?
TG: I can offer you some teasers! At the end of 2021 we started a new eco-spirituality series called Earth Spirit. We figured that the climate crisis would be the main talking point for the next thirty years and more so we’d like to give Pagans a voice and the chance to discuss what’s important to them. We have books coming out regularly throughout 2022. Also in July we will be running our second online conference, MoonCon, so look out for that!