Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating (Dutton) 1974, pgs 119-121:
"The Christian notion of the nature of the Devil underwent as many
transformations as the snake has skins. In this evolution, natural selection
played a determining role as the Church bred into its conception those deities
best suited to its particular brand of dualistic theology. It is a cultural
constant that the gods of one religion become the devils of the next, and
the Church, intolerant of deviation in this as in all other areas, vilified
the gods of those pagan religions which threatened Catholic supremacy in
Europe until at least the 15th century...The Church had a slew of dieties
to dispatch and would have done so speedily had not the old gods their faithful
adherents who clung to the old practices, who had local power, who had to
be pacified. Accordingly, the Church did a kind of roulette and sent some
gods to heaven (canonizing them) and others to hell (damning them).
...[Unlike the Greco-Roman gods,] in northern Europe the old gods did not
fare as well. The peoples of northern Europe were temperamentally and culturally
quite different from the Latin Christians, and their religions centered
around animal totemism and fertility rites. The 'heathens' adhered to a
primitive animism. They worshiped nature (archenemy of the Church)...
These pagan rites and dieties maintained their divinity in the mass psyche
despite all of the Church's attempts to blacklist them. Some kings of England
were converted by the missionaries, only to revert to the old faith when
the missionaries left. Others maintained two altars, one devoted to Christ,
one to the horned god."
See also Adler and Povey