By being Pagan – being a polytheist – I am connected to something that existed much farther back than Christianity or any current major monotheistic religion (regardless of how they paint their history). I tap into something that, possibly, all of my ancestors could access, until many were forced to become Christian. I have a sort of oneness with them because of this. I will someday go exactly where they went and, frankly, where the Christians went too, because regardless of belief, we really all go to the same place after death. Whether we have a brief stay in Hades or Elysium is irrelevant. We will eventually return here anyway for another cycle unless, somehow, we have managed to reach full enlightenment during our current lifetime (and few do). But we can hope to get closer each time, which will ultimately make all the trials of life worth it.
Also, besides the fact that I have thoroughly examined Christianity and found it wanting, there is one reason that I am a Pagan today. My studies demonstrated for me that Paganism actually worked for the ancient peoples who practiced it, period. So, I am not here because I want some wishy-washing feel-good esoteric mumbo-jumbo like some seem to gravitate to. If I didn’t think it was real, I would be an atheist. If I thought that our Pagan ancestors were simply misinformed and their worldview was based on make-believe fairy tales with nu substance, I wouldn’t be here. Worse, if I thought for one minute that our ancestors were guided by demons and Satan, I would have to still be a Christian, for where else could I turn to get away from that influence? Obviously, there are some who wish to call themselves Pagans but who do not want to fully acknowledge the ancient past. That is their prerogative, but I think they miss the essence of what it is to be a Pagan in so doing. It is certainly about having a world-view that accepts things the way they are. But, more than that, it is about maintaining that natural cycle that can be seen all around. Because of this way of thinking, it is no labor to maintain that which one accepts as inevitable and natural. Because of this, one can have no real regrets at the end of life if one has done one’s best, although we all wish for a longer stay, knowing that death is a good rather than a bad in any case. To make a lasting name for oneself in this life, and each life to come, is all one can really hope for – and it is enough if one understands that the cycle continues whether we believe that or not. It has taken me many years of study and practice to get from the beginning to where i am now, but the one fundamental thing still exists – Pagan understanding and ritual actually works, period. I am as bad as anyone when it comes to neglecting to perform this or that prayer or ritual because, life…. But I guarantee, when I do take the time and effort to reach out to the deities, they do not disappoint.