The word ‘pagan’ originally referred to country-dwellers, living on the outskirts of the Roman Empire. It grew to have connotations of ignorance, as those ‘country bumpkins’ were out of touch with the latest cosmopolitan trends. And finally, it came to mean those ‘ignorant’ of the ‘true religion’ of Christ. The term has since been embraced by a number of new religions, those based on the ancient pre-Christian ones. Dictionaries define ‘pagan’ as anyone who is not Christian, Muslim or Jewish – and by this definition, we are pagan. But the original meaning is quite irrelevant to us, and this is why some have chosen not to embrace it.
We are not an ‘earth-based’ religion. Our festivals sometimes honour the seasons, and sometimes, they do not. Hellenic religion celebrates our lives and our diverse unity with the world around us, not simply the cycles of the year.