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Christina Oakley Harrington 

Written and compiled by George Knowles 

Christina Oakley Harrington is a respected historian, researcher and academic commentator on the history of Paganism and Witchcraft in the UK and Ireland.  A Wiccan High Priestess, she is a founding director of “Treadwell’s Bookshop”, one of the UK’s premier Occult bookshops located in Bloomsbury, London. 

Born in America to an English father, a Geologist working for the United Nations, and American mother, an amateur Anthropologist, her parents were dedicated to Third World economic development.  As a result, Christina was raised mainly in West Africa, were she recalls attending her first religious ceremony at the age of five, that of a young girl’s initiation rite in Northern Liberia.  Later the family moved to Burma where she expeienced Buddhism, and through the early 1970’s lived in Chile during the turbulent rule of General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. 

At the age of 15 Christina returned to England to completed her formal education at an American style academy, a transition she refers to as “a severe culture shock where they had strange tribes, like football teams, cheerleaders and computer geeks.  She then entered University studying for a BSc degree in International Politics and History.  Her interest in Politics was negligible however, and she spent most of her time reading Latin and Medieval poetry, of which she was particularly fond of the American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892), and his “Leaves of Grass” poetry. 

Also at University and since her early 20s, Christina has been a pagan, but how did she find paganism?  During an interview she has stated “I was heartened to discover Europe’s native religious traditions”, and further explained:  Well, I had always had this ‘tree thing’, Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass.  I was a failed Buddhist, I liked to drink and smoke and enjoyed sex too much for that, and a friend suggested I read a book on paganism.  I did and thought “Oh God, this is what I am!” 

After graduating University, Christina spent the next few years working in Corporate business, before returning to study at University College London (UCL) and there completing a PhD degree in Medieval History.  She then began a career in academia and throughout the 1990s was an Assistant Professor (lecturer) in Medieval and Theological History at the University of Surrey.  During the course of her tenure, Christina received a sponsored ‘University Research Fellowship’ from Queens University, Belfast, the result of which was the publication of a book in 2002 entitled “Women in a Celtic Church” (*for a review see below). 

While Christina loved her work teaching at the University of Surrey, with growing academic interest in the ‘History of Paganism’ inspired by books and scholarly works from the likes of Aidan A. Kelly in America, and Ronald Hutton (Professor of History at Bristol University) here in the UK, she began seeking a place where she could develop and advance such academic interest.  To this end she founded and opened “Treadwell’s Bookshop” in 2003.

 

Treadwell’s Bookshop at 34 Tavistock St, Covent Garden, London. 

A traditional old style bookshop specialising in Occult, Magick and Pagan literature, Treadwell’s also stocked the usual magickal accessories of wands, herbal potions, tarot cards and incense.  Under Christina’s guidance however, Treadwell’s became more than just a bookshop, for it has and evolved into a cultural centre focused on building bridges between the esoteric community and the wider worlds of academia.  It is now a place where people with an interest in the Occult, Paganism and Witchcraft can comfortably meet and exchange ideas.

Using her contacts in academic circles Christina regularly invites speakers from nearby Oxford and Cambridge Universities to talk on specialized subjects, as well as prominent authors and practitionors from the wider Pagan community to share their knowledge and experience with interested audiences.  Today the shop is host to numerous evenings and weekend talks, lectures and classes covering all manner of esoteric subjects.  Her mission statement when starting the shop was:  To provide a place for people who have a Spiritual, Occult or Pagan interest, a place that can link the Pagan and Occult world to the world of Literature, Art, and Philosophy”, and this she has achieved in abundance. 

Aside from running the bookshop, as a Wiccan Priestess Christina conducts open rituals in Central London, serves on the central committee of the Pagan Federation UK, and is currently an editor of its magazine “The Pagan Dawn”.  She is also co-editor with Rob Ansell of “Abraxas:  A Journal of Esoteric Studies”.  Well known to the media as a spokesperson on Paganism and Witchcraft, Christina was featured in the documentary film “Celtic Legends”, and has appeared on the “Richard and Judy” television talk show in the UK.  She has also given interviews to the BBC World Service, Radio 4 and 5, and Resonance Radio, and been mentioned in such national newspapers and magazines as Stern, Marie Claire, Time Out and Women’s Weekly.  She is also a frequent guest speaker at national and international academic conferences. 

More recently, at a time when small bookshops are failing due to the popularity of the internet, and when those still running are struggling to survive, Treadwell’s bookshop is expanding.  At the start of 2011 the shop was relocated to larger premises at 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1.

 

Treadwell’s - the new shop at 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WCI. 

According to Christina, “Treadwell’s had to expand and relocate from its old premises in Covent Garden.  The spiritual centre of London is the old British Library in the heart of the British Museum.  There is a tradition for people going to Bloomsbury looking for knowledge, for inspiration - both artistic and creative - and it is here where people look for others who might share their desire for intellectual freedom.  I aspire to carry on that tradition.” 

End.

 

 “Women in a Celtic Church”

(Oxford University Press - May 2002)

*A Review: 

A history of women in the early Irish church has never before been written, despite perennial interest in the early Christianity of Celtic areas, and indeed the increasing interest in gender and spirituality generally.  This book covers the development of women's religious professions in the primitive church in St Patrick's era and the development of large women's monasteries such as Kildare, Clonbroney, Cloonburren, and Killeedy.  It traces its subject through the heyday of the seventh century, through the Viking era, and the Culdee reforms, to the era of the Europeanization of the twelfth century.  The place of women and their establishments is considered against the wider Irish background and compared with female religiosity elsewhere in early medieval Europe.  The author demonstrates that while Ireland was distinct it was still very much part of the wider world of Western Christendom, and it must be appreciated as such.  Grounded in the primary material of the period the book places in the foreground many largely unknown Irish texts in order to bring them to the attention of scholars in related fields.  Throughout the study the author notes widespread ideas about Celtic women, pagan priestesses, and Saint Brigit, considering how these perceptions came about in light of the texts and historiographical traditions of the previous centuries.

 

Sources: 

The Book of English Magic” by Phillip Carr Gomm and Richard Heygate

http://www.treadwells-london.com/

http://www.esoteric-e.co.uk/popup_harrington.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RuHhyQFYnI

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2513122.Women_in_a_Celtic_Church

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.wicca/browse_thread/thread/c96049962c2030da

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/mar/15/treadwells-bookshop-london-esoteric

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/pagan-pages-one-bookshop-owner-is-summoning-all-sorts-to-her-supernatural-salons-464262.html

 Plus others to many too mention.

 

Written and compiled on the 22nd May 2011, first published on the 03rd November 2011 © George Knowles

Best wishes and Blessed Be

 

Site Contents - Links to all Pages

 

Home Page

 

A Universal Message:

 

Let there be peace in the world  -   Where have all the flowers gone?

 

About me:

 

My Personal Page My Place in England, UK / My Family Tree (Ancestry)

 

 

Wicca & Witchcraft

 

Wicca/Witchcraft /  What is WiccaWhat is Magick

 

 

Traditional Writings:

 

 Wiccan RedeCharge of the GoddessCharge of the God  /  The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) /  The Witches ChantThe Witches CreedDescent of the GoddessDrawing Down the MoonThe Great Rite InvocationInvocation of the Horned GodThe 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief /  The Witches Rede of ChivalryA Pledge to Pagan Spirituality

 

Correspondence Tables:

 

IncenseCandlesColoursMagickal DaysStones and GemsElements and Elementals

 

Traditions:

 

Traditions Part 1  -  Alexandrian Wicca /  Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) /  Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) /  Blue Star Wicca /  British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) /  Celtic Wicca /  Ceremonial Magic /  Chaos Magic /  Church and School of Wicca /  Circle Sanctuary /  Covenant of the Goddess (COG) /  Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) /  Cyber Wicca /  Dianic Wicca /  Eclectic Wicca /  Feri Wicca /

 

Traditions Part 2 Gardnerian Wicca /  Georgian Tradition /  Henge of Keltria /  Hereditary Witchcraft /  Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) /  Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) /  Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition /  Nordic Paganism /  Pagan Federation /  Pectic-Wita /  Seax-Wica /  Shamanism /  Solitary /  Strega /  Sylvan Tradition /  Vodoun or Voodoo /  Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /

 

Other things of interest:

 

Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology)Esbats & Full MoonsLinks to Personal Friends & ResourcesWicca/Witchcraft ResourcesWhat's a spell?Circle Casting and Sacred Space /  Pentagram - PentacleMarks of a WitchThe Witches PowerThe Witches HatAn esoteric guide to visiting LondonSatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  /  Part 2 Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /  The History of ThanksgivingI have a Dream, the 1963 speach by civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King /  Auras by Graham Furnell - Part 1 and Part 2 /

 

Sabbats and Rituals:

 

Sabbats in History and Mythology /  Samhain (October 31st)  /  Yule (December 21st)  /  Imbolc (February 2nd)  /  Ostara (March 21st)  /  Beltane (April 30th)  /  Litha (June 21st)  /  Lughnasadh (August 1st)  /  Mabon (September 21st)

 

Rituals contributed by Crone:  Samhain / YuleImbolcOstara /  BeltaneLithaLammasMabon

 

Tools:

 

Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron MagickMirror Gazing

 

Animals:

 

Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) /  AntelopeBatsCrowFoxFrog and ToadsGoat / HoneybeeKangarooLionOwlPhoenixRabbits and HaresRavenRobin RedbreastSheep SpiderSquirrelSwansWild Boar /  Wolf /  Serpent /  Pig /  Stag /  Horse /  Mouse /  Cat

 

Trees:

 

In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow /  Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  ElderAlso see:  The Willow Tree (Folk Music)

 

Sacred Sites:

 

Mystical Sacred Sites  -  Stonehenge /  Glastonbury Tor /  Malta - The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni /  Avebury /  Cerne Abbas - The Chalk Giant /  Ireland - Newgrange /

 

Rocks and Stones:

 

Stones - History, Myths and Lore

 

 Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:   / Apophyllite  / Amber AmethystAquamarineAragoniteAventurineBlack TourmalineBloodstoneCalciteCarnelianCelestiteCitrineChrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / FluoriteGarnet /  Hematite Herkimer DiamondLabradoriteLapis LazuliMalachiteMoonstoneObsidianOpalPyriteQuartz (Rock Crystal)Rose QuartzRubySeleniteSeraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodaliteSunstoneThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble

 

Wisdom:

 

Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakeningThe Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods

 

Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:

 

Murder by WitchcraftThe Fairy Witch of ClonmelA Battleship, U-boat, and a WitchThe Troll-Tear (A story for Children)Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-LanternThe Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark

 

Old Masters of Academia:

 

Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras

 

Biographies

 

Witches, Pagans and other associated People

(Ancient, Past and Present)

 

Remembered at Samhain

(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)

 

Abramelin the MageAgrippaAidan A. KellyAlbertus Magnus “Albert the Great”Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” Alison HarlowAmber KAnna Franklin /  Anodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey  / Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite Austin Osman SpareBiddy EarlyBridget ClearyCarl Llewellyn WeschckeCecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey LelandCharles Walton /  Christina Oakley Harrington /  Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) /   Dion FortuneDolores Aschroft-NowickiDorothy MorrisonDoreen ValienteEdward FitchEleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” /  Dr. John Dee and Edward KellyDr. Leo Louis Martello /  Eliphas LeviErnest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry /  Fiona Horne /  Friedrich von SpeeFrancis Barrett /  Gerald B. GardnerGavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gwydion PendderwenHans Holzer /  Helen DuncanHerman Slater "Horrible Herman" /  Israel RegardieJames "Cunning" MurrellJanet Farrar & Gavin BoneJessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne John George Hohman /  John GerardJohn Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) /  John Michael Greer /  John ScoreJohannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg /  Joseph John Campbell /  Karl von EckartshausenLaurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis Spence /  Margaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMarie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMatthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General”Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata /  Monique Wilson the “Queen of the WitchesMontague SummersNicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellersMrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-RavenheartOld Dorothy ClutterbuckOld George Pickingill /   Paddy SladePamela Colman-SmithParacelsusPatricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPhilip Emmons Isaac Bonewits Philip HeseltonRaymond BucklandReginald ScotRobert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /  Rudolf Steiner /  Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & DruidsSabrina - The Ink WitchScott CunninghamSelena FoxSilver Ravenwolf /  Sir Francis DashwoodSir James George FrazerS.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  StarhawkStewart FarrarSybil LeekTed AndrewsThe Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather /  Thomas AdyVera Chapman /  Victor Henry AndersonVivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest

 

 

Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)

 

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