Often demonised throughout history it is no wonder that the word ‘pagan’ in the urban language is a term used to denounce someone. Meeting with Christina Oakley-Harrington, the proprietor of the esoteric bookshop ‘Treadwell’s,’ I learned more about what being a pagan truly means beyond the bastardisation of the word in colloquialisms.
Entering the bookshop we were greeted by a lovely little dog and an ambience of serenity. Incense, books and symbols of astrology decorated the room to give off the essence of magic. That it certainly did.
We prepared to film and Christina told us in detail why London was a perfect space for pagans, what it is pagans believe and why it is that paganism has long been heralded as the work of demons.
‘Paganism was demonised because its the nature of missionary activity. It is just a historical fact that when missionaries came to Christianise Europe the method was to say that the old religions were the worship of demons.’
It is often the case that religions are targeted in order for other religions to hold court in a geographical space. Paganism, unsurprisingly, is not the worship of demons. Instead, we learned that paganism is a highly individualised practice that evokes a passionate love and endurance for nature; for the world around us. Due to their oppression in history pagans find it essential to stand up for those who are being, in anyway, marginalised. For LGBTQ, Muslims, women, any minority group is safely shielded by the pagan faith who see the beauty, love and reverence in all.
There is more, of course, to be said on pagans and their belief. Tune in to our ‘Religion Special’ on ‘London Undercover’ to delve into the mysticism of the pagan world.