Though the title gives the impression of a fictional book, it’s subtitle more than corrects you on that note–‘How to live and work by natural cycles in the everyday world’. Now, the word pagan, actually comes from the latin word paganus, which means ‘country-dweller’. Nowadays it is a generic term used to describe those who practise pre-Christian ideals, particularly those who live in countryside. Going to university in Central Lancashire, which is to the North of England and considered more rural, I did notice that paganism seems to be more widely accepted than in the South where I live with my parents.
When I first started reading and learning about paganism, I thought it was a religion albeit an informal one, but after reading this book, it made me realise that it was also a way of life, or rather how you choose to live your life. A philosophy of life in other words, much like Taoism in a way.
The language that the author, Cassandra Eason, uses is easy to understand with none of the flowery language you often see in mainstream pagan texts, and uses examples from everyday life. The author also gives alternative suggestions to things that may not be possible given the lifestyle of the reader, such as if one cannot create a magical hearth (which requires either a grate or a brazier if one doesn’t have a hearth) , the alternative is to create a sacred place (which can be a coffee table that you decorate to your tastes).
Like any other pagan text you find on a chain bookstore shelf, it does include rituals that one can do, the Sabbats and some basic information on crystal healing. There is also a little about divining with water and the clouds. However, unlike other books I’ve read, Pagan in the City also explain in depth the pinciples of paganism. A couple of them are similar to Wiccan beliefs, but life many religions in the world, there are some similarities in how they view things. Eason also makes a few references to Asian cultures, to which I was disappointed that there were not more of them. As this is a book on living in the city as a pagan, Eason gives pointers on creating a harmonious home and workplace. The latter is stated as being more difficult to keep the harmony, mainly due to work colleagues.
Because this was mainly written from the writer’s own experience’s as pagan living in a city, one doesn’t have to completely follow the ideas and suggestions in this book, but adapt them to suit your own lifestyle. So it is more of a guidebook than an instruction manual on how to live your life in a certain way.
While reading, it would be good idea to have a notebook handy to jot down anything in the book that appeals to you, so you can incorporate them into your routine or just use them to make an anniversary or party a little extra special.
Eason has also included useful contact information for pagan groups and organisations, as well as lists for further reading on subjects mentioned in Pagan in the City. Eason has included her own contact information ( her website), and the titles of some of her other works.