After for searching and discussion, I feel I am able to identify with the label as pagan alongside identifying with the philosophy of Satanism, and my own values and chaos belief. I have wanted to identify with paganism for some time, but without linking to Wicca or New Age (which I find to peacey and fluffy bunny white light).
Interestingly, in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of the definitions of the word “pagan” is the following:
“one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person”
That sounds like an ideal fit, considering I don’t really have a religion (or at least not technically), and I don’t consider myself very religious, and I aspire to a hedonistic lifestyle. Also, I do place value in material experiences and goods and sensual pleasure, and do not believe in a separation between the material, carnal, sensual, and spiritual, as things like these can be linked. Though in the old days, the word pagan could be used for anyone who didn’t believe in Christianity or was neither Christian nor Jewish.
I also believe paganism can be related to my values.
My values are freedom, personal power, sexual liberty, selfhood, self-honesty, introspection (aimed at discovering and solidifying who you are and what you believe), Chaos, maximizing your potential and self-empowerment (even to the point of self-godhood), personal integrity/honor (doing what you think is right because you want to or think it’s right), the inner/chthonic flame (and empowering it), standing up and fighting for yourself, fighting herd mentality and oppression, and never losing your spirit.
Granted, most of those values are more likely to be prominent in Satanism than paganism (which is why I now identify with the philosophy of Satanism). But pagans were never really prudes, and they did celebrate life and sexuality, unlike the Christians who were much more prudish. It is said the religion surrounding the Canaanite god Baal involved a great deal of sexuality, and in various cultures all over the world there many phallic symbols and religious objects, such as the lingam of India, the Tara stone in Ireland, the phallic statues in some parts of Japan (such as the Mara Kannon temple in Yamaguchi), and, in some way, obelisks, as well as sacred objects for the feminine counterpart, like the yoni of India. So clearly, there is a respect and veneration for sexuality. Pagans certainly never saw it as vile or “sinful”.
One thing common in paganism is the worship or veneration of nature, which would probably include sexuality, since sex is as natural as the trees and the stars. They mainly worshiped the natural world that surrounded them, whether in the form of personified gods (such as Baal, Agni, Gaia, Tonatiuh, to name a few examples from various mythologies) or in an animistic kind of way, or the simple worship of the nature itself. I believe this can be extended by seeing the primal, and Chaos, as not just a part of nature, but the deepest and most residual essence and core that manifests itself as nature itself. As I’ve said before, Nature is Chaos, and Nature is Chaos. And no matter how many cities we build, no matter how much we overcrowd and pollute the planet, no matter how many Bibles tell us that we are separate from nature and its masters, and no matter how many ignorant sheep believe the words of those Bibles, we are not separate from nature, within or without (that is the nature inside us, or the world/universe/natural reality we live in).
From that last part, I must be pagan. I’m not Christian, I’m anti-Christian, I’m not atheist, I’m irreligious, I’m open about gods and spirits, I respect sexuality instead of condemning it, I have a respect for nature and venerate it as Chaos, the deep, primal, raw force behind everything, because Chaos is Nature and Nature is Chaos, and I don’t believe we are separate from nature. And I’m not a peacenik. I’m not Wiccan, and I don’t identify as Neopagan, or a fluffy bunny pagan. I just use the label because it actually fits in a viable way, and it is another way of describing a way of life. Pagan, at least by my definition, fits quite well, though it probably doesn’t encompass everything. Also, the pagan label could easily justify using different gods from various mythologies for different purposes.