Pagans get a bum rap. They are Satan worshippers, or they are witches casting evil spells and making people into zombies by sticking pins into them. They dance at night in the trees and in the day they give you evil-eyed stares.
Let's right now understand what Pagans are not. They are not devil worshippers. They are not a religion. All religions have a form of devil worship. But in the case of Pagans, devils are just the bad things that happen as opposed to the good things.
Duality. That permeates most all of the ancient cultures composed of people who could be called Pagans. Yes, Paganism is the oldest form of 'religion' in the world, but it's not technically a religion at all.
The interesting thing about Paganism is that each person is free to develop their own beliefs based on their dreams, and no one would dare argue with another person's dream. Dreams were just another level of reality. No one who calls themselves Pagan would dare to tell you to believe as they do.
There are some beliefs in Paganism around the world that are pretty standard, however. Beliefs in ancient cultures had oral traditions, not written ones; we can usually only guess how people felt about their spirituality back then by observing the last of these cultures today, by looking at historical records of early encounters and by their own art left behind or found underground.
Overall, however, there was this belief in duality: good/evil, man/woman, night/day, hot/cold, up/down. The change of the seasons affected them directly, without air conditioning or temperature gauges. Sure, they had enclosed structures and fire. But they had to worry about the fire going out, in ways that we don't today.
They understood a lot more than we give them credit for. They understood that they were a minute part of a huge universe, they understood the use of plants, and they examined the biology of other creatures, even comparing them to themselves. They must have wondered why a lot of male animals had a penis bone while human males did not. Did they understand human consciousness? Probably, as it can be found reflected on in their art.
So Pagans can be simply defined as a spirituality devoted to nature and individualistic depending on dreams; not something to be argued. In other words, I'm a Pagan and recognize that without Mother Earth, we would be dead. And I am not obsessed with convincing you to see it my way, as you might be with converting me to your religion. Nor would I denigrate you to feel inferior to me, as Europeans did to the native Indian cultures in this country when they first arrived.
Here's an internet definition of Paganism.
Wikipedia: is a broad group of indigenous and historical polytheistic religious traditions—primarily those of cultures known to the classical world. In a wider sense, it has also been understood to include any non-Abrahamic folk/ethnic religion. The term pagan was historically used as one of several pejorative Christian counterparts to "gentile" as used in the Hebrew Bible—comparable to "infidel" or "heretic". Modern ethnologists often avoid this broad usage in favour of more specific and less potentially offensive terms such as polytheism, shamanism, pantheism, or animism when referring to traditional or historical faiths. Since the 20th century, "Paganism" (or "Neopaganism") has become the identifier for a collection of new religious movements attempting to continue, revive, or reconstruct historical pre-Abrahamic religion. There are roughly 300 million pagans worldwide.
"Historical pre-Abrahamic (Judaism) religion." Yes, that would be the first organized religion that pulls its roots from Paganism. Orthodox Judaism is a spirituality that is practice a lot more on a daily basis, as were the early Pagans. Everything they did was with nature's gods in mind, both good and bad.
The book I'm working on is called "Creating Consciousness" and looks at the roots of all religions to find what it is that we created to deal with our fears of death. This is what sets us apart from the animals. All Paganism does is sees spirituality in everything, and that humans are all a part of nature. That's a good thing. That's a belief to be honored above all others, not demonized.