Bring your drum, bring your bells, bring your magic, for it is the pagan pride parade of London. This coming weekend’s parade will be a celebration of the people who follow a pagan tradition, of which there are many and the gods and goddesses that they follow.
This weekend on Sunday 12th May there will be the pagan pride parade in London. It is one of the longest running events to celebrate the pagan society within and about the city. Paganism is not just a craft, it is a community. In fact, the term paganism is an umbrella term that covers a wide and eclectic variety of beliefs, acts and ceremonies.
Paganism comes from the Latin word ‘paganus’, meaning a person who lives in rural areas, a rustic, but Christians in later times adopted the name and gave it to those who did not follow the Christian faith, folk who followed the ancient ways, also known as heathens.
Often regarded as a magical culture, paganism is a mixture of beliefs and rituals, some follow the horned god who has many names, some dedicate their lives to the Goddess, both ancient deities from old religions.
The horned god is actually the consort of the Goddess, both representing the duality of life. The horned god is the sun, the goddess is the moon, he is the winter, she is the summer and it is during Spring and Autumn that they come together to swap roles.
But these are not the only deity couple, many gods and goddesses are honoured in the pagan traditions. In the pagan circles one can find a god or goddess for trees, rivers and in all capacities of the natural habitat as well as the homestead, there are domestic goddesses to watch over one’s home, the family, the livestock.
To be a pagan is to not be participating in an organized religion but to be part of a culture that embraces diversity, freedom of beliefs and a philosophy that is constantly developing and changing. There is no religious rule book that stipulates what laws and rules one has to follow. There are grimoires, these are books of spells, notes and observations from the folks who follow this path, none of these books are the same, each is unique.
This is one of the reasons that paganism and witchcraft is also known as the craft. One crafts one’s path as one goes forward, one creates, one writes, one makes it one’s own as one travels the oath that is the path of Wyrd. Wyrd is an old word from Anglo Saxon times which means fate or destiny. Following one’s Wyrd path means one is finding one’s connection with the deities, the Connections to one’s life, family and fate within the cosmos, because according to the way of Wyrd everything is connected.
In the 1940s countryside of England a gentleman by the name of Gerald Gardner revived what he believed was the old traditions of the British Isles. He developed what is now known as the Wicca tradition which is regarded as modern-day witchcraft.
Gardner was a customer to the Atlantis bookshop in London, the place to get one’s magical paraphernalia and any book on the pagan traditions. TST spoke to Atlantis bookshop, one of the oldest occult bookshops in London and supporters of paganism and who are “fiercely loyal” to the pagan pride parade and all who take part.
So this weekend prepare yourself for dance, music and chants as the pagan world takes to the streets in costumes, masks and revelry, and as the pagans say “Merry Meet, Merry Part and Merry Meet Again.”